Graduate of 2012
I graduated in 2012 with a BA in History and Politics. I loved the subjects but I missed out on a 2:1. This was a huge blow for me, I was a high achiever at school but struggled with the unsupported teaching that university offered. I thought my "career" was over before it began, because I couldn't apply for the majority of the "Graduate" positions that demanded a 2:1 from all applicants. I soon came to the conclusion that if that company believes that my 2:2 means that I am not capable of doing the job then they aren't worth my time anyway.
One day I was reviewing my CV and was struggling to find things to put under "Employment History". I had a few paid jobs but most of my professional life had been dedicated to volunteering. When I took a good look at the work I had done as a volunteer with Livity and a local mental health charity, it was clear that I had experience in event organisation, communications, journalism and fundraising, to name a few. It was at that point that I knew I was searching for the wrong jobs in the wrong place.
I live in Northern Ireland but had previously studied and worked in England, the difference in availability of jobs is staggering. Adding insult to injury is the appalling public transport system consisting of one railway line and huge areas of countryside and small towns that no Translink bus dare breach. Many people happily make a living and a life in NI but unfortunately I will not be one of them. The type of job I want in the businesses I wish to work for do not thrive as well in NI.
Where to find the job you'll love
I am an experienced job hunter, not because I can't hold down a job but because I like to take a good opportunity when I see it. My positions with International and National Citizen Service were temporary and I quit my job at Regenersis so I could go to Sierra Leone (a little disclaimer if any potential employers are reading!). Therefore, I have learned of a few job websites that cater for people like me.
A wonderful website that claims to be the "number one website for charity jobs", and rightly so. I have used this website for several years and I even obtained an 3 month internship with Brake as a result. My favourite feature of this website is the "Voluntary" section; as there are fantastic opportunities to volunteer professionally across the UK and internationally.
Even if you do not wish to pursue a career in the third sector (charity sector) there are a wide range of jobs available; from fundraising to administrative roles. They are often less stringent when it comes to degree classification than jobs you would find on the likes of Graduate Talent Pool. They are still competitive though and you need to show that you have at least an interest in the Charity's goals and focus.
Work In Startups
A friend of mine was telling me about startup businesses and organisations and how they are always looking for talented new people to help get the work done. He introduced me to this fantastic website that posts available jobs and internships with startups. Most are based in London, a location with a particular proclivity for churning out new and innovative businesses.
The website is in a beta testing stage but is nonetheless a gold mine for opportunities. Especially jobs involving social media marketing and PR, which is exactly the type of job I am working towards.
This website is a particular favourite of mine for 2 reasons. Firstly, they are not just a job website but a recruitment agency as well. A friend of mine manages a big marketing company in England and said that they are fantastic to work with and have provided them with an excellent entry level work force.
Secondly, Inspiring Interns are moving with the times. CV's will soon be a thing of the past. Online profiles like Linkedin and Google+ will take it's place. This company asks that you submit a short video of yourself, summarizing your key qualities and what you could bring to a job. They then use this video as another way of selling you to potential employers. I am in the process of creating my own video and will be sending it to them this week.
I am reading an e book written by Smit Patel called Learn to Hustle, in it he says that to really stand out as the perfect person for the job, show that you can do the job already. For example, I wish to work in social media marketing and PR and I am currently the voluntary social media manager for Radio Coalisland. In order to increase Radio Coalisland's listeners and their engagement with social media I am researching and compiling a report about the best social media platform to use (Hoot Suit, Parllay etc.).
Monitoring and evaluating your businesses social media strategies is a vital part of it's success. This demonstrates that it may not be a paid job or full time but I am still doing the same work as an intern or assistant at a startup business.
I hope this has been of some help for those of you struggling to find a job that you want to get up for in the morning. I am in the same boat, however it means I can share really cool websites and resources like the ones above.
Come and find me!