Sunday, 22 September 2013

How To Get Hired, or Life After Graduation

My name's Polly and I am an unemployed graduate.

Around three months ago I was thrust from the loving comfort of my University life into what older friends and relatives like to call 'The Real World'. "You're in the Real World now!" they'll say, sagely nodding over their Earl Grey while you send off your 387th job application or update your CV, again. The same CV that has been rewritten every day since you left uni, because you've suddenly noticed how many times you've used the word 'enthusiastic' or mentioned your 'excellent team working skills'.

I am, quite frankly, exhausted by it. My phone pings with emails from job search sites about unsuitable jobs - that is between the emails and phone calls from recruiters asking if I have considered a career in recruitment. Or recruitment for recruitment. Which means there are people out there, recruiting for recruiters, for recruitment. It's unbearable. I drink 500 cups of coffee a day as I restart my computer again because, after 3 years of endless essay's and googling miniature pigs in tea-cups, several of the letters on my keyboard - handily most of the ones in my name, and therefore email addresses - give up on me at 10 minute intervals.

Then there are my friends. This would all be slightly more bearable were there others in my position, but it seems that, somehow, everyone I've ever met has managed to get employed by Goldman Sachs or a similar fortune 500 graduate scheme that's going to pay them 5 million pounds a year and give them a jaguar because, despite the fact that they've spent the past 3 years with their head either in a toilet or at the end of a beer funnel, they've suddenly blossomed into the most talented young people on the planet. I've watched my number of facebook friends fall rapidly away as I cull anyone posting proud status' about how they've got their 'dream job aaaaaaaah omg so excited #suitandtie #firstday #thatsrightpollyeveryonebutyou'.

So I'm writing a seven step survival guide, if not for anyone but myself.

Step 1
Pamper yourself every now and again. Take some time to relax, or when potential jobs do call you they will sense your stress and desperation as you chatter desperately that you'd be great if someone, ANYONE would just give you a chance! Have a bath and a glass of wine. Or two.

Step 2
Avoid, at all costs, family events. "How's the job hunt pol" when asked by the 50th person is likely to be answered solely with hand gestures. If you have to go, keep the wine at hand. Joke about separation anxiety from uni life if people question it.

Step 3
Find a hobby. Needlecraft. Taxidermy. Exercise if you really must. Wine Tasting.

Step 4
Work on your CV. Both on its presentation and on its content. If you can't find relevant experience do some charity work. Charity events usually have wine.

Step 5
Go to each interview as if you don't really need the job. Panic beforehand, as it will make you prepare better, but on the day be the embodiment of confident charm. Nothing says confident like ordering wine for you and your future boss.

Step 6
When you're feeling stressed take time to appreciate things you can do because you don't have a job. Okay, so you're too poor to do anything that interesting, but you can wake up late to the sound of birdsong. You can spend all day on facebook (if you have any friends left after the cull). You can drink wine at lunch.

Step 7

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