Friday, 28 November 2014

All I want for Christmas? My dream career.

So there I was, hanging out my laundry while listening to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You.’ As you do.

The talented wordsmith that she is, Mariah got me thinking. Was there any particular member of the male species I wanted for Christmas? Negative.

So what did I want?

What do I really want?

Well, I want a career. My dream career.

I’d spent the evening working on a certain graduate scheme application and feeling guilty for not devoting said time to my uni essays. But the trouble is, I’m far more interested in kick-starting my career at the moment. Getting a taste of the real world on my year abroad probably didn’t help either.

I know, I know, I should make the most of my final year as a student.

I know, I have the rest of my life to think about the working world.

And I know, there’s no point applying to anything if I’m not going to graduate with a 2:1.

But, as Mariah says, ‘what more can I do?’ This is where I’m at right now.

I feel like I’ve been building up to this moment my whole life – all the work placements, internships and shadowing; all the time spent imagining my working life; all my goals, aims and dreams of climbing the career ladder once I’ve finished my education.

It’s all about to happen.

And while that is beyond exciting, it’s also super terrifying.

What if it doesn’t turn out the way I’ve always hoped?

One thing I’m stubbornly having to accept is that you can’t plan everything. Whenever I speak to people who are essentially doing one of my dream jobs, they always seem to say, “Well, I actually sort of fell into the job, really.” Which is so unhelpful for an ambitious, enthusiastic, keen-bean kiddo like myself.

And the fact of the matter is, it’s a scaaaary world out there for a grad. (Yes, I know I’m not even a grad yet.)

It’s blimmin’ competitive, particularly in journalism.

As a final year student I’m facing this difficulty of not knowing how to prioritise my life: how do I balance uni work with job applications and working unpaid jobs? Which is the most important?

I’m really not sure, and I keep going through phases.

Even if the majority of final year students weren’t applying for grad schemes and the like, this would be a bloomin’ stressful year.


All. The. Stress.

I can quite foresee having a minor mental breakdown before this year is over, but let’s just push that to one side for now. That’s a whole other blog post really.

Applying for jobs is a big deal.

Sure, I’ve applied for millions of work placements, part-time jobs and internships in my time, but they’re not the same. Nowhere close.

These are actual jobs. In the actual world. Which will be your actual life.

And the reason it’s so scary is that I care so much. I really REALLY want to get something awesome, but – as our mothers have always said – all we can do is our best. (And as usual, they’re totally right.)

But what if my best isn’t good enough? It’d be disappointing. Massively so. But I suppose rejection is a part of life. Oh, we have so many life lessons to learn, fellow young grasshoppers!

And I do believe everything happens for a reason, so there’s something we must all try and remember when things don’t go as planned.

You're probably wondering what my dream career actually is. Well, there isn't just one dream. I have a few. But they're all in a similar ballpark (journalism, I'm looking at you), and I know I'm lucky to even have an inkling as to what I want to do with myself post-graduation.

I do believe this is a fabulously exciting time for all my friends and me though. So many opportunities! The world truly is our oyster!

Buuuut before I can dive headfirst into said oyster I need to finish life in the uni bubble. (Did this ‘under the sea’ metaphor work?)

And on that note, it’s back to the degree.

PS. Father Christmas, I realise you can't actually give me my dream career, so a present or two under the tree will be gratefully received as an alternative. 

What do you think about uni and graduate jobs?


  1. I know exactly what you mean.... Guess whose is also in the stressful process of applying for one of the biggest and most sort for grad schemes in the UK?! They are a nightmare to complete and take up an incredible amount of time to do properly, all to be potentially shattered right at the last hurdle...
    I did an assessment centre last year for said company's internship and have just done their video interview this year for the grad scheme... Beyond daunting (especially when juggling two essay deadlines on the same day!)
    My dad always says to me from his years in M&S, 'Getting a job is a full time job', so don't worry if it doesn't happen this year, Rachel. (Even though I'm sure with your endless list of work experience you have a cracking shot!)
    You just have to remember not to take it personally if it doesn't pull through, some of the people you are up against are graduates and are dedicated to only job applications, and actually, some of the greatest people out there got rejected from other grad schemes.
    (The current Head of John Lewis didn't make it onto the M&S grad scheme!) So, my little rant is over... Good luck, I'm sure you'll nail it, you aren't alone in the job hunting hell! Urghh!
    Emily xx
    My GingerBread Journey

    1. Oh Lordy, good luck Emily! I totally feel your pain. You and your dad are so right though, thanks for the advice :) xxx

  2. Definitely a scary post - being out on my placement year has confirmed the area I want to go in, but it is small and very competitive. Fingers crossed for both of us! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

    1. Ahh it's so tricky! Thanks Chloe and good luck to you too! X

  3. Hi Rachel, please don't worry yourself so much. The amount of work experience and internships that you have already done, as well as your year abroad puts you miles ahead of so many graduates. When I graduated I hadn't done ANY work experience in journalism, and I was in for quite a surprise to learn that a degree doesn't mean you walk into a newspaper of your choice! :)
    You've already had so much experience and worked in real newsrooms so you are bound to find something that's perfect for you. So trust me, you're already so close to getting what you want!

    But, as soon as college is over, that's that. Make sure you enjoy the last of your days of being a student, you will miss it when it's gone! Focus on making the most of learning, of having the freedom to chose baking over class once in a while, and enjoying the fact that if you don't go to a class, you don't have to call in sick! Maybe think about doing some travelling when you graduate, as your CV is already fantastic! :)

    1. Thanks, Christine. It's really kind of you to take the time to write such a nice comment. I'll try really hard to follow your advice :) x


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