Four years ago, as I came to the end of my time at university, I was ready to walk out of my graduation into my dream job. The job I had spent three years studying and working towards. A solid three whole years spent in the library with my head in a book… Maybe with the odd party thrown in-between here and there. When you start University you expect to leave knowing exactly what you want to do, but it is not always that easy. When I left I still wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to work in the media. I saw myself at the BBC perhaps Radio 1, a national newspaper or maybe a magazine. The easiest of jobs to get in to of course, so I naively thought or perhaps desperately hoped at the time.
Fast forward four years and I am going through my second redundancy. Effectively third, but the first wasn’t exactly redundancy when your boss has to rush you out the door and shut the company down for dodgy tax reasons. But that’s another story!
Each time I’ve had to go back to various employment such as shop or bar work just to earn some money. All the while hoping and praying that my dream job would be just around the corner and seriously debating whether I should tip toe back to the doors of education. Or if a further £10,000 would still leave me in exactly the same position at the end of it? A far cry from the image of me skipping up to the front doors of the BBC for my first day or sipping a chai latte with Heat’s editor-in-chief Lucie Cave whilst discussing the latest celebrity gossip that would adorn the pages of our magazine, as I began to climb the rungs of the (now seemingly ever extending) ladder to her job. But a girl can dream right… SOMEONE has to get it? Then again I don’t even like chai lattes, so swings and roundabouts.
In fact, I was lucky enough to get a taste of “working” at both Reveal and LOOK magazine, as the work experience girl. Not quite what I was hoping for. At 25 I was reporting to a senior not much older than myself, to inform her I had filed the papers along with several other menial office duties. Not that I’m knocking work experience, I think it’s fantastic when you gain something from it, but that’s for another blog.
Aside from the realisation I would not walk into my dream job, redundancy had never crossed my mind as I closed my last book and left behind what seemed at the time to be the hardest years of my life, but in retrospect really wasn’t. As I sit in a meeting being told the words “Your role is at risk of redundancy” I feel déjà vu of just five months previous as I begin another period of consultation to wait and find out if I will stay in yet another role. Now, as I stare down the barrel of unemployment again, I realise that to many at the top you are just a number and not always safe in your role whoever you are. Through no fault of your own the role you have been doing is now going to come to an end. A role you have worked hard to get and excel in is no longer needed, as those way more important than you have found a cheaper and easier way to get that work done… you along with your role are now redundant to them.
So once again it feels like you are back to square one. You hope when you start a new role you will leave of your own choice, when you are ready and something has come along to progress your career. I think, obviously alongside hard work, there is always an element of luck that goes with landing your dream career. You can study hard, build up work experience and fill your CV with work that tailors you to your desired job, but still can continuously be told you have not got enough experience and someone better fits the role because they have that little bit more experience than you do. Job applications become less this is why you need me and it is your loss if you don’t hire me to I’ll do literally anything if you hire me. Pleaseeeee!
As is so often said it’s not what you know but who you know or who you are. I’m almost certain that if Kerry Katona and Katie Price can write columns in national glossy magazines, then so can I. Many ‘stars’ of shows such as Made in Chelsea or TOWIE seem to end up with careers in media publications now despite, I expect, their lack of experience. Perhaps that is the way forward and I need to get myself in a reality show to pursue my own career.
The world or work can be both cruel and wonderful in equal measures. No one tells you how hard it is actually going to be and that your years or education will seem a doddle in comparison. Or perhaps they do but at the time that doesn’t seem possible because we are going through the “hardest” and definitely most “stressful” time of our lives. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?
It’s hard enough to decide what it is you want to spend your life doing and then even harder to get in to and stay in it. Although now, not as naively, I do like to think that things happen for a reason and something better will be just around the corner. Here’s hoping anyway!