I finished university back at the end of 2009, but I have a lot of friends who are graduating right about now. Conjoint degrees, law degrees, medical and similarly scientific degrees have added on more than the minimum three years for them.
While most have scored jobs relatively easily, some are struggling to get in anywhere. It’s hammered home the fact that qualifying in traditionally safe fields like teaching or law or engineering are no guarantees now.
I’ve been blessed, and in fact, it was a good year to graduate, as almost all my classmates found work fairly quickly. Journalism may not exactly be a growing field but there are still plenty of opportunities for new grads, as turnover increases and more leave the profession after just a few years. Newsrooms, I’ve noticed, seem divided quite sharply between legacy staff (the hardboiled types who’ve done it for decades and are practically part of the furniture) and the young, cheap, fresh faces. And as print, TV, and radio expand online, there are fresh jobs for the digitally-savvy.
We suffered back in 2009/2010 with T out of work, and it put a huge strain on our relationship, but it’s funny how quickly you forget those things. It’s easy to point the finger, but the job market is still tough.
I’ll put it out there. Overall, I’ve been lucky and I don’t think I appreciate that enough. Yes, I worked hard to get where I am, and yes, I seized opportunities along the way, but in fact my career history reads like a pretty charmed life.
2007: First year of university. Landed a two-week internship. That led to a part-time job for the rest of my years of study.
Late 2009: With graduation approaching, I applied for another internship, and ended up with a regular part-time/freelance gig. At about the same time, I was offered temporary full-time hours at work.
Early 2010: Offered permanent full-time hours at work, and later a bump in position title/pay to match. Carried on with side gig in my own time.
2011: Side gig turned into an offer for a full-time role, which I accepted.
Tell me about the path to your first job. I want to hear!