Happily ever after?!

getting a job

From the ‘break-up’ when you give up University life, to your first job interview that leaves you ‘giggly and warm inside’, the life path of a graduate exploring the job market is never easy.

There’s no denying… it has turned into one of ‘those’ relationships where your friends are starting to feel concerned for your well-being and your family are planning an intervention. You never thought it could feel like this: your heart’s racing, your palms are constantly sweaty and you’ve never been so on-the-edge in your life.

After years of putting in the hard graft, early morning caffeine shots of energy and late nights staying awake, drunk with lack of sleep, you just want to be given a chance. A phone rings, an email comes in… but it’s never the person you want to hear from. Another day passes with no news, and you know you’ve blown it! Time to face it – you’re just another pathetic bachelor… degree holder, with no job!

Parting is such sweet sorrow…
So let’s set the scene: you’re happy in your comfortable University-life bubble, you have a routine, friends who care about you and an endless supply of subsidised coffee – so why would you leave? Well, unless you’re planning on sleeping in a computer lab and donning a one-piece wardrobe of gym hoodies, you’re going to have to move out at some point. So there you have it. Your separation from your alma mater has come, and the words ‘pending graduation’ is like a corny breakup song you can’t get out of your head. This relationship is almost over and you feel both terrified and ecstatic at the same time.

So, ‘moving on is never easy’, but the notion of ‘release’ brings unprecedented freedom. No more studying over the long weekend, finishing references at three in the morning or begging for an extension because your dog died. When you join the professional world, your work is completed between the normal hours of the day and when you come home you don’t have to worry about prepping for next week. It seems like heaven (even though everyone who works tells you it will be hell!).

Your first crush…
Who can’t remember taking that first step to job hunting? It’s like your first crush, you’re all giggly and warm inside. The phone interview goes well and when an update email drops into your inbox the next day, you just want to squeal with delight.

…leading to your first break-up!
Then, when the words ‘we regret to inform you’ appears three paragraphs down the line, you don’t think you’ll ever get over it. Where did it go wrong? How could they seduce you by claiming you were a ‘strong candidate’ as they looked deeply into your eyes? Now they are saying ‘it’s them, not you’; but you can’t shake that feeling that that’s just part of their modus operandi, and you are just another notch on their boardroom wall.

The rocky road, well-travelled…
Soon you’ll become jaded and cynical. Every job application becomes a Sisyphean task. Every ‘you’ve progressed to the next stage’ is a stab to your already damaged heart, surely heralding a rejection email down the line.

Dozens of psychometric tests blur into each other, and make you feel like the dumbest person on earth. You got through interviews that are worse than first dates, and once smart, bright optimistic suits, are now shiny in places, looking as limp and as worn as you feel. The universe and the working world have colluded together to pat you on the shoulder and say: “You’re just not good enough”!

How the other half lives….
And you recall the ones who were more sensible than you; who knew the inevitable was approaching and got in the closest life boat they saw. They secured jobs at their uncles firms and have been working long before you even knew that ‘CV’ was a Latin acronym. There were also the adventurers who cut their losses while they could, bought up that dirt-cheap ‘around the world’ ticket and now post disgusting photos on their Facebook pages of how ‘divine the sunset is in Waikiki. Unfortunately you don’t belong to either category. Having watched every clichéd soap known to man, securing that corner office with the view has always been your dream.

Maybe you need a makeover?
So why isn’t it happening, how terrible can you possibly be? Actually, it has nothing to do with you, in fact it’s very simple really it’s a unit you took in first year and wished you’ll never have to deal with again it’s bloody ‘statistics’!

According to the Australian Financial Review graduate employment has hit rock bottom since the recession in 1992-1993, almost a lifetime away. Many claim we are still reeling from the 2008 global economic crisis but knowing this and living it is two very different things.
Our prospects seem dim at best and maybe deciding to read this article is not helping your self-esteem, but don’t go dropping out of university anytime soon.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics save the day when they reported in May 2013 that graduate unemployment though increased since previous years was lower than for those with no post-school education.

Dreams do come true…
You deserve that happy ending but you feel you’re caught in a tower and Prince Charming can’t afford a ball. Your future is in their ruthless corporate hands and you can’t do anything about it. You are more than a candidate – you’re a graduate fresh and desperate for that first pay check, and let’s face it — you’re keen, hungry, clever and a bloody good investment in the future.

And one day, when you least expect it, the magic will happen, the love letter will arrive, the contract will be signed and that corner office with the view will have your name on the door. Until then you’ll just have to patiently wait for them to realise what they’re missing, before they get down on one knee and propose!

By Alexandria Abishegam

Studying business at the University of Western Australia. Growing up in a large family expressing your opinions is always mandatory. "Life is a journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn but most of all experiences to enjoy" - Ritu Ghatourey Check out my articles for a bit of a laugh and a insight into my world...

2 Comments

  1. Matt Taylor

    08/09/2014 at 11:14 am

    Great article! I totally agree that the job market just isn’t the same after 2008. I know of guys who graduated and got some plump accounting graduate positions – only to be told that they’ll be getting $50k but no job. It’s not easy finding work in your area of interest, and competition for spots is pretty extreme.

    Might be an idea to start your own business if you can… It’d be hard work but at least you can follow your dream!

  2. Georgina

    08/09/2014 at 4:31 pm

    Amazing article!!! Made me laugh but totally true, good luck to all those graduates just entering the rat race

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