How do I find a job and move out?
June 15, 2012 6:08 AM   Subscribe

What advice can you give to an unemployed graduate like me who wants to move out into the city?

I graduated from a good University almost a year ago now, with good grades, but what people probably consider a useless degree. I refuse to believe it's useless as there are many graduate careers that don't require a specific degree, however I might be at a disadvantage. Anyway, I am unemployed now, but over the year I did a bit of traveling, acquired a driving license, got a temporary job that allowed me to save up. My contract ended just over 4 months ago and I decided I want to pursue a long-term career, more importantly I want to move out into the big city as I am very isolated now.

During my temp job I have met people who graduated years ago who are still stuck in a limbo and I did not want to be like that. This has led me to apply for all sorts of internships, I haven't heard back from most of them and today I got rejected for one I have worked so hard for (even had people look over my application for me). It has dishearten me slightly. I've managed to get accepted into an internship agency but so far this seems like my only progress I've made. It's a drag having to spend so much time filling applications in only to hear nothing back.

I know it has only been 4 months since I had a job (and I'm sure many graduates has it much worse), but I'm starting to feel agitated, irritated, demotivated and hopeless about my future mainly because of my living situation (where I have controlling parents). On top of that going to the Job Centre to claim my JSA is a depressing environment too (although at the same time I am grateful they have this system).

My main goal is to move out (being isolated is deteriorating my mental health) so I pretty much will take up any job just to get my foot into the city. My second goal is to find a long-term career (a bit interested in eCommerce but other then that I am not really sure what I want to do and I have spent many restless days trying to work that out). My mind is all over the place, doing this and that, that I feel like I have lost track and focus. I know I need to approach things one at a time, but I'm not sure where to start. I am still young, I want to make the most of it and start living. I am positive if I continue to work hard I can at least achieve something. What advice could you give to me?

Thanks for reading and I appreciate your input!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Where are you? I'd guess you're in the UK or Ireland based on context clues, but it might be helpful for other posters to know specifically where you are, as some specific advice (government programs, office culture, employment laws, etc.) will differ based on your location.
posted by andrewesque at 6:22 AM on June 15, 2012


Hmm. You know, I'm in the same position with the same goal of moving to London (although I graduated four years ago at this point, urgh). We should, like, bounce ideas off each other or something :P
posted by Fen at 8:06 AM on June 15, 2012


What advice could you give to me?

Just Do It.

I refuse to believe it's useless as there are many graduate careers that don't require a specific degree, however I might be at a disadvantage.

Maybe you are, maybe you are not. Only time will tell. What will put you at a greater disadvantage is thinking that you are at a disadvantage. You haven't started the race yet, but you are already considering yourself to be behind!

It's an important point because there is not much that you can do if you are at a disadvantage. You have that degree, thus you will proceed with it. Eliminate negative beliefs about yourself. They may be true or they may not be true. Regardless, your future will be determined by your actions and behaviours, not by your self-perception, thus let this go.

I decided I want to pursue a long-term career, more importantly I want to move out into the big city as I am very isolated now.

It doesn't matter why you want to move to the big city. You want to because you want to. Back to limiting beliefs, if you structure your future in terms of undoing some negativity in your present, you are running away from something. That is not powerful, for you do not have a vision nor a goal for yourself, rather you are looking for relief. The extension of this is things are so bad here that I must make a change. You have no destination in that case, other than anywhere that is not here.

Thus, if you just say out loud I want to move to the big city because that's where my future is. All positivity; all forward direction. Leave the negativity behind. Maybe it's part of the reason you want to move, that's fine. The bigger reason is that you want to move to the big city to become the best version of yourself. Very natural. That process is as old as cities are. Rather than thinking you are a small town boy, living in a lonely world, looking for a midnight train to anywhere, consider that you wish to join the pantheon of people that jumped into the Big It to make it for themselves. When you arrive in the big city, we will say Welcome.

During my temp job I have met people who graduated years ago who are still stuck in a limbo and I did not want to be like that.

The problem with statistics and anecdotes is that they are generalities, yet we live in specificity. If I say 20% of people are unemployed, 80% are employed. If I say 50% of new graduates did not get jobs, 50% did. Generalities will not help you, because you don't need an economy's worth of jobs. You need one. Also, you will have significant perspective bias because you found a population like yourself, marginally employed. Make friends that have jobs – good jobs – and you'll see that there is still a thriving economy going on. The trick it to find it and become a part of it.

The people like you who graduated and still are in limbo are not you. They are making the best choices they can, but those choices are not producing the result you desire for yourself. Which is fine, because those are not your choices. Make your own choices and see how it goes.

It's a drag having to spend so much time filling applications in only to hear nothing back.

In the current job market, the key value is endurance. A group of us graduated from grad school in 2008. Talk about a tough job market. The difference between the people that Made It and the people That Didn't was raw persistance.

One chap came from a job paying £70k a year before grad school. After grad school, he completed 5 internships over twelve months at an average rate of £150 a day. That's a huge pay cut and a lot of time. He now works for one of the most prestigious hedge funds in the world.

Another fellow lived in a hostel and kept his belongings in a storage facility whilst interning all summer for a small stipend, doing basic analyst work at a bank. He had previously run a large construction company in Spain. He interned for six months and then took a very junior role and was treated relatively poorly (and paid thus) for the next two years. In the following two years, he has risen to be VP of a global bank covering 15 countries in Europe.

Raw determination. Learn to enjoy the No. Crave the No. If the ratio of No to Yes is 500:1, that's a terrible ratio but there's still a yes at the end of that tunnel. Crave The No because it means that you have taken activity to generate a decision.

Raw determination. One of the key criteria for hiring is already being employed. It's a terrible criteria and very unfair, but them's the breaks. Thus, you need to get a job as fast as possible doing something. If you want something done, give it to a busy person. Be busy. Ideally, you can get a junior job in the working environment that you aspire to. If you want to be in an office, get a job in an office. Mailroom. PA. Receptionist. Whatever. Learn the environment. If that fails, bar-back, work in a pub, wait tables. Anything. If the requirement for getting a job is having a job, you need to get a job. Once that binary condition (job versus no job) is taken care of, you can then start thinking about tactical moves toward the industry and role that you would like.

For you at the moment, the right job is a job. Even if you are waiting tables, that is a job and pay check. You have a reference. You will be building experience. And most importantly you will be networking. The two fellows previously received their successive internships from other people at other internships. It's a group effort. The people you work with will take you places and you will take them places. Thus it's very important to stretch yourself and socialise with the people who are going where you want to go.

If you want a life in the pub, then go hang out in the pub. If you want to be on the fast-track, join the fast-track crown. If you want me to tell you of yourself, simply tell me about your friends. Friends are essential in this journey. Make the right ones.

I'm starting to feel agitated, irritated, demotivated and hopeless about my future mainly because of my living situation (where I have controlling parents). On top of that going to the Job Centre to claim my JSA is a depressing environment too (although at the same time I am grateful they have this system).

Your emotions are telling you something very important: you need to move forward. Yes the economy is bad. It is going to be terrible some days, getting out there and making it happen. It's a slog. It's not easy. It will test you.

And it's going to be amazing some days. You will grow. You will flourish. You will become a different person, capable of things you never knew you could do or wanted to do.

When I made The Big Leap (for The First Time), the best advice that I received was: Don't think about it too much. Some days, you'll wish you'd never left the security of home. Other days, you'll wonder why you didn't leave sooner. In the end, life will happen.


Listen to yourself. How much emotional evidence do you need to make a change? If you have reached that point, than may the wind fill your sails.

My mind is all over the place, doing this and that, that I feel like I have lost track and focus. I know I need to approach things one at a time, but I'm not sure where to start.

It's okay. Your mind is oscillating between fear and opportunity. You're thinking about making a change, you know what you want out of it (opportunity) but it's still a Big Change (fear). Thus your mind may be bouncing back and forth between the two, unable to sort out an answer.

There is no answer. Your mind may be running scenarios to understand potential threats and ensure it's safe. You cannot think your way into jumping. You can only jump.

Good luck my young friend. Crave the No.
posted by nickrussell at 9:42 AM on June 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


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