Post University, Uncategorized

The uncertainty of success

It feels like an eternity since I last posted on here! In retrospect it has only been a few months, however when I come to think about it, the last time I actually posted was actually last year; so happy belated New Year everyone.  When thinking back to New Year, the occasion involved a glorious trip away and this very much sparked sensationalized feelings of renewed optimism and hope for the future.

When considering the circumstances of the New Year time period, it is wise to appreciate that I was still very much basking in the glory of my newspaper placement days. The reality of these elated feelings however was that I was being unrealistic. It was approaching a month without my ego boosting front page appearances and not only had I already disappeared from the lime light, but my confidence remained shattered by a dream job rejection which would have tied in perfectly with my placement exit.

That New Year’s Eve as I gazed out at the Manchester City views and watched the sky explode with colour, a fresh wave of determination came over me. If I’m being honest though I think I was trying thrust the determination upon myself. My true feeling at that time was basically that of lost hope in finding a job now that I had graduated.

The three months that have followed those New Year celebrations have been a whirlwind blur. The predicted reality of full-time work in my unwanted job was being fulfilled. In sync with the mass student mentality that the system had failed me, many would assume that I had slumped into despair. In some respects I had fallen into this frame of mind, however bizarrely I never really gave it that much of a thought.  In fact I never really had time to dwell too much on this negativity. For me it was a case of getting my head down and doing what I had to do to make ends meet, and to be honest I began to feel as though life wasn’t too bad.

During these busy months however, I made sure that I didn’t give up on the job search. I knew it would be tough and I knew it could potentially take years to find something. I knew that if too much time elapsed I would have to do something else to make me stand out from the crowd, but what did I have to lose?

It has only been in the last few weeks in which things began to happen. The scenario in which this change came about seemed very peculiar to me. It began just as I started to fully adapt to my routine. Somehow things just felt different and I just knew that my life needed to change.

My first signal for change was a sudden rush of transition at work. It was evident that fresh young new faces were becoming the norm in a place that in recent years, has been unaccustomed to change. Moreover increasing numbers of veteran employees began to leave.

My next signal was that the additional casual work I had been completing for some time and what was very much helping to keep me afloat, was due to end.

In my opinion however the most significant determiner was the day I found the job. In terms of my aspirations, the job hardly cut the mustard. I thought I would apply anyway.  I sat there and browsed through the jobs description and a weird buzz of excitement overwhelmed me. Certain criteria aspects where ticking huge boxes in my brain and this left me swelling up with confidence. This made the application process easy; I finished it quick and efficiently and sat there feeling happy with myself.

I quickly adapted back to my everyday routine and placed the application to the back of my mind. However within that very same hour it was quickly brought back to my attention. I routinely checked my emails and there it was. I received the first email that was about to change my life. The email was from a random guy from an employment agency and he wanted to summit my CV to the company.

I was in a state of astonishment. The circumstances around this job seemed slightly fishy to me, however that positive gut feeling burned brighter than ever and things seemed to just snow ball from there. Slightly later than anticipated I was offered an interview. I went to the interview and I’m not going to lie I nailed it and I don’t know how. It was interesting because I was given an unexpected test and that was my downfall. It went horribly wrong! In any logical mind one would think that the game was over, however I just knew it wasn’t.

My instincts were proven correct, I got offered a second interview. In suit with the last two session interview I had, the nerves where due to kick in; but they hardly did. This was unusual behaviour for me and I couldn’t explain it. I was however knocked down a peg or two in round two. I got a grilling. For over one hour and thirty minutes they kept me there and I was digging myself into a pretty deep dark hole. Eventually they let me go. Relief was my first feeling and then I started to ponder. I thought that the job really wasn’t my thing after the interview; however I still had this positive feeling. It refused to go away. In fact my logic was leading me to believe to because I didn’t really want the job; I was destined to get it.

I was right. After making me sweat for several days I got the email. I am delighted to inform you, that you have been appointed for the position. I got the job. Like any overwhelming news it didn’t sink in at first. Then an incredible feeling of happiness gripped me. It was the happiest I had felt in a long time. It was as if it has been all worthwhile. I could have gone back and kissed the grotty grounds of UCLAN and saluted the place.

However the realistic side of my brain soon and unexpectedly brought me down to earth. I realised that it was going to be hard. I realised that I would be based in a place I didn’t like. I realised that I would be working 9 to 5 like everyone else. I realised that the money wasn’t the greatest. That’s when I realised, nothing in life’s ever turns out the way you want or expect it, in fact the majority of us are faced with a constant battle. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who are blessed enough to get that dream job, then I doubt you will ever be 100% happy and even if you do, who’s to say that it really will make you happy? As these thoughts continue to whizz around in my mind I just hope to myself that I’ve made the right move.

So it seems that after a ten month slog since becoming a fresh-faced graduate, the goal that I set out to achieve has effectively been achieved and therefore as I write this blog as guidance for you who are yet to graduate I can only give you advice based on what I’ve experienced.

Tip one:  get ready for a long battle and don’t lose patience or hope.

Tip two:  if you’ve not already, get yourself some kind of work. It doesn’t matter what it is, just take anything you can! I hated my job, but if it wasn’t for it I don’t know what I would have done.

Tip three:  don’t get your hopes up.  I made this mistake; it shatters your confidence and makes it harder to push forward.

Tip four:  get yourself some kind of work experience. I did and although I found it tough with little financial incentive, it was richly rewarding and invaluable.

My final tip: is to stay committed. Even if you look on job websites for days to no avail just keep looking and one day your job will find you.

I hope this advice will come in useful; it seemed to work for me. Now all that’s left for me two do is to move on the next chapter in my life. It’s daunting, nerve-racking and I know it won’t be easy, but that’s life. I imagine that many of you regardless of whether you take my advice or not, are likely to find yourself in my position right now. The only people who won’t be, is those who do give up. I imagine whose people will be very unhappy, whilst desperately and weirdly wishing that they had the nerve-racking feeling that I have right now.