Whilst I definitely don’t regret my decision to go to university – as it has provided me with a new circle of friends and a chance to challenge and inspire me – it has definitely proved
Whilst I definitely don’t regret my decision to go to university – as it has provided me with a new circle of friends and a chance to challenge and inspire me – it has definitely proved rather damaging to my bank balance.
University does not come cheap. Funding your living costs, eating and (most importantly) drinking habits, has left a rather sizeable dent in my, and many a student’s pocket. As a result, I decided to do the so-called responsible thing and try to find myself a job.
Early bird catches the worm?
I chose to start early in an attempt to beat the anticipated rush of new students starting in September, so travelled to Brighton armed with 25 CVs and a head full of high hopes. That was all soon to change.
What I previously anticipated as a simple and even entertaining task soon turned to an effort that was exhausting, demoralising and intensely draining. The main reason for this? My lack of experience. Yes, that’s right apparently nearly every job under the sun requires prior experience and, in most cases, at least a year’s worth. Any other volunteer work, minor jobs or interests are deemed irrelevant if they are not within the field of that work.
Now I’m not saying all of the places I entered had the same attitude, but it was certainly the majority. The few that seemed more positive explained that they had either just hired people or weren’t in need at the moment. So, several hours later after quite literally pounding up and down the streets of Brighton, I returned to the train station defeated and irritated.
Experience, experience, experience
Having grown up in an environment where good grades at school were deemed as paramount, jobs and experience had failed to make the list. Now, once out in the big wide world, I am facing the very real expectation that all that I had previously worked for is deemed as useless.
Clearly, not everyone is like me, and some of you may have been lucky enough to get that first job nice and early so you’ll miss the stage I’m at now. But for me, and others I’ve heard from, it seems that society is wrapped up in this vicious cycle: to get a job you need experience but to get experience you need a job.
Surely all employers can’t have forgotten that they too were once like me, desperate and more than willing to take on any job that came their way?
In my opinion, I think the most crucial thing employers should look for is attitude rather than experience. Attitude is everything, no matter what industry you choose to enter into: you need people to be positive and friendly.
It shouldn’t matter how many tables you’ve cleaned, tills you’ve worked or dishes you’ve cleared, as long as you can present yourself to others well and have a can-do attitude, all other required skills can be learned.
For now though, it seems I will be destined to make the dreaded and reluctant return for round two of the job hunt in a matter of weeks. Wish me luck!
What do you think? Have your experiences job-hunting been similar? How can you make yourself stand out in a competitive job market? Have your say in the comments section below.
Image: Robert S Donovan