12 months ago I had just finished my final exam and said an emotional goodbye to my friends, my tutors and the city. My life as a graduate was about to begin. Looking back, I definitely had some rose tinted glasses on, I thought everything would just fall into place. By about this time I had already started trawling through websites, signing up to email alerts and making the odd application here and there – I thought with a bit more of this I would land myself a job, move and get started. That didn’t happen.
I was unemployed for a lot longer than I expected and I can quite honestly say it was one of the most difficult periods of my life. However, I was in the fortunate position of being able to move back in with my parents – a move I was reluctant to make but I am incredibly thankful for their amazing support through it all. I’m sure it was just as unsettling for them as it was for me – they saw it all, the excitement of receiving interview offers, the tears of the rejections and the general despondent mood that filled the house on a daily basis.
Moving away from a city that had been my home for 4 years, where all my friends had been, back to a small village in Suffolk was a massive adjustment. My friends were now dotted around the country, I was alone and faced with the daunting task of sorting my life out, actually using my degree to get a career on the go. I can’t remember the exact number of applications I sent out and part of me wishes I had kept track because I know it would have been an impressive figure. Quite often I wouldn’t even receive rejection letters/emails; I wouldn’t receive anything at all. This made the entire process that little bit more painful – filling in applications when you have so much desire to be employed is exhausting, so to not even receive a ‘no’ was hard not to take to heart.
Sounds rubbish, right?
But, fear not! With a little bit of volunteering/freelancing here and there I struggled through and finally, in February of this year I had the interview for this position and a phone call a few days later offering me the job. I was out at the time and genuinely had to sit on a bench to be able to calm myself down and give my soon to be manager a vaguely human response. I felt like I had crossed the finish line of a very, very long marathon.
Now, sitting at my desk, I am able to reflect upon my experiences without feeling too down in the dumps and think of it as something I needed to go through. I learnt a lot, not just about myself but about life! Sounds clichéd, it probably is, but it’s completely true.