The Graduate(s)

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** Click here for Episode 156 **

I imagine quite a few of you have the same problem as Emily from Essex in the current Dark Economic Times. She writes:

I am currently one of the bazillions of university graduates who are unemployed at the moment. To make matters worse for myself, I stupidly decided to do a subject I enjoyed…English, renowned for its inability to get you a job. I’ve been trying to get into publishing but, seeing as the British Heart Foundation’s electrical shop recently rejected me, I don’t hold out much hope.

Because of my lack of money and the fact that I had to move back in with my parents after university, my social life has also taken a battering. I’m very bored and fed up and I can’t even ask for sympathy because it’s happening to lots of other people too.

So answer me this: What can I do to stop myself going mental and flipping out? I’ve already contemplated getting an addiction just for something to do. I had around twelve cups of tea yesterday. It’s a slippery slope.

Emily could take a tip from HM Prisons Service, who try to stop their inmates flipping out by making them do useful tasks such as the laundry, the cooking, the mailbag-stitching etc. You could become the foremost mailbag-stitcher of your generation, which would give you something of an income on Etsy.

Anyone else who has a decent plan for Emily instead of twiddling her thumbs until they drop off, tell us it in the comments.

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4 Responses to “The Graduate(s)”

  1. Amy Says:

    I graduated 4 years ago and would probably still be unemployed now if I hadn’t started offering myself for free. Next time you get a rejection from somewhere you might quite like to work for ask if they would be interested in taking you on as an intern. This worked for me – they even paid me generous expenses, and then employed me after a week. Even if that doesn’t work, it’s something to put on your CV. This got me into publishing, and a friend who followed my lead too.

    Getting used to being poor will be good training for working in publishing too!

  2. greg Says:

    yeah I was the same until 6 months ago. Only i also did an MA in English so it left even more unemployable in menial and basic jobs and left me actually in debt.

    Ask your job centre advisor about the Fututre Jobs Fund opportunities in your area. I managed to get an amazing graduate level job with a social housing organisation, which they made full time and extended it to 12 months.
    As a bit of what i do is run the FJF stuff in the organisation I know there are still the last phase of jobs till march when it dies. and that they are not great at referring people and its getting worse as they wind up the scheme. and its better if you pester them. if you havent been unemployed for 6 months yet simply ask them if your eligibility can be bought forward. advisors have this at their discretion.

    If you don’t already, start exercising. Find something you like to do, particular activity, sport, class etc

    you should be able to get discounts for that stuff from council run sports centres if you are signing on.

    and it helps you stay fit; being unemployed can severely harm your waistline as you feel crap and want to eat comfort food.
    also the endorphines and general improved sense of worth really does help with the feeling utterly rubbish all the time.

    I recommend also writing up a reading list of books you want to read and just ploughing through that to stave off the boredom.

    Also I guess volunteer, that didnt really work out for me as all the good opportunities locally had gone and i hate most of the volunteer work i could find on offer (ie working with kids and disadvantaged people)

  3. Kate Says:

    Ditto, except that I graduated last year, possibly making me even more useless? To fill in the painful painful gaps in my life, I did a nine-month volunteer placement with CSV. They gave me somewhere to live that wasn’t my parent’s house (bonus), a job (bonus) and even some cash (ka-ching! Except not that much cause, y’know, volunteer). I was lucky in that I was working somewhere which had lots of exciting people to hang around with – there was one girl on another project who I met at a fairly awful volunteer’s day (“Hey, volunteers! Do you want to see a city farm?!” No. Not really.) who was supporting a family and hadn’t really met anyone outside of that. It’s a big ol’ YMMV. Theoretically, this experience has made me more employable. If I ever get a job I’ll let you know. (Technically, I could’ve got a job at the placement, but I suspect I would’ve ended up working there until I died. It was that kind of place.)

    Failing that, I’m writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. It’s fairly awful, but it keeps me busy in between horrendous applications and poor decision making. And tweeting during Pointless.

  4. Cal Says:

    I’m in exactly the same position, except worse because I chose to do Philosophy. I’m unemployed, friendless, and if I don’t leave the house soon I’m fairly certain I’ll get rickets.

    What I like to do is collect all the rejection letters from high street shops, warehouses and forced labour camps and glue them together to make what I like to call a “paper wall of rejection.” When it’s big enough, you can stretch a piece of string across the length of your bedroom, lay the sheet of disappointment over the string (making a tent-like structure) and then sit naked inside it until someone offers you a job.

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