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The Why Don't You Get a Job Thread

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Not always the case though. The kid who sells me my ham and cheese croissant at Pret on my way to work graduated from Cambridge last year.

 

Also, Loki, *cough*nerd*cough*.

 

Rich, successful nerd, Chest. Rich successful nerd.

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I've fallen foul of both the lack of workplace experience and the presumption of future desertion due to possession of a degree. The degree thing's particularly annoying, because my degree is in Writing Contemporary Fiction, and as such, relies on me fucking off and writing a novel if I'm to ever make a living off it. So I can't get a job because presumably I could just go away and magically create one for myself.

 

I can see, from the perspective of the business, why such an approach is taken, but it's not half annoying when I know how incredibly unlikely it is that a super-awesome job in my *field* will open up.

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I've fallen foul of both the lack of workplace experience and the presumption of future desertion due to possession of a degree. The degree thing's particularly annoying, because my degree is in Writing Contemporary Fiction, and as such, relies on me fucking off and writing a novel if I'm to ever make a living off it. So I can't get a job because presumably I could just go away and magically create one for myself.

 

I can see, from the perspective of the business, why such an approach is taken, but it's not half annoying when I know how incredibly unlikely it is that a super-awesome job in my *field* will open up.

 

Can you get some sort of writer-in-residence job? I was at a graduation in the week, and this girl had graduated with a similar degree, and was getting a job as writer-in-residence at a prison.

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I've just got myself a job working at a big university for good money doing exactly the kind of work I intended to get into when beginning my degree. I had to go through seven months of pretty intense job-hunting after finishing the degree (reckon I was spending about 25 hours a week at it, on average, alongside my part-time call center job) but the job is sufficient reward to make it seem worthwhile in hindsight.

 

I imagine I would still be searching for a job now if it wasn't for my participation in the World of Difference programme run by the Vodafone Foundation a couple of years ago, which meant that alongside my degree I had close to a year's experience working for a well-known charity.

 

The programme pays you (and the charity) a decent (though not lavish) wedge to work there for a few months. It's supposed to be either 2 months full-time or 4 months part-time, but in practise it's quite flexible. I did a kind of 0.8fte schedule for 3 months in the end, and then got taken on at reduced hours at the end of my WOD placement.

 

I always tell people about it when I hear them struggling to amass the necessary experience to break into their chosen field since I really do think its been crucial to my progress since. The scope of it is very broad, and to win one of the 500 placements they sponsor each year you just have to write a relatively short proposal about your proposed role, its value to the charity in question and its wider value to society. It may have grown a bit since I applied in 2009, but at that time they only received about 1200 applicants for the 500 placements, so the chances of being accepted (not much worse than Evens, at the time) are a fair-sight better than if you were competing with scores of other people for one full time role.

 

Also - don't be put off if you don't have ambitions to work in the charity sector long term. The programme accepts applications from any registered UK charity and it benefits them to sponsor a diverse range of projects, since at its heart it is a propaganda tool to make people think Vodafone is just swell. Ergo, if you're a bit creative with it, it's nearly always possible to find a role and charity which suits your desired career path. For example my brother has been hoping to break into some kind of writing or publishing job. He didn't end up applying because something else came up, but he approached a disability charity about working as a publishing assistant on their newsletter and the charity was bang up for it.

 

Just thought I'd share since it doesn't seem to be particularly well-known-about and it definitely gave me a leg-up in a tough jobs market. There's a 'Charity Match-Maker' thing on the WOD website which helps you find charities in your area of interest near you. They don't accept applications until September usually, with most placements starting in the new year, but I imagine there are other similar initiatives if you go looking for them. It's a really good way to get what is essentially a paid internship which makes you look like a socially conscious bastard when listed on your CV. It also has the advantage over conventional internships that you get to largely define your role yourself, as the first step is ringing up your charities of choice and explaining what you'd like to do for them. Alot of charities haven't even heard of the programme, so in my experience it helps to begin the conversation by explaining a little about the programme and emphasising that it doesn't cost the charity a thing.

 

Hope this is of help to somebody :thumbsup:. Picture me typing this from my ass-fuck office in central London for motivation.

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I've just got myself a job working at a big university for good money doing exactly the kind of work I intended to get into when beginning my degree. I had to go through seven months of pretty intense job-hunting after finishing the degree (reckon I was spending about 25 hours a week at it, on average, alongside my part-time call center job) but the job is sufficient reward to make it seem worthwhile in hindsight.

 

I imagine I would still be searching for a job now if it wasn't for my participation in the World of Difference programme run by the Vodafone Foundation a couple of years ago, which meant that alongside my degree I had close to a year's experience working for a well-known charity.

 

The programme pays you (and the charity) a decent (though not lavish) wedge to work there for a few months. It's supposed to be either 2 months full-time or 4 months part-time, but in practise it's quite flexible. I did a kind of 0.8fte schedule for 3 months in the end, and then got taken on at reduced hours at the end of my WOD placement.

 

I always tell people about it when I hear them struggling to amass the necessary experience to break into their chosen field since I really do think its been crucial to my progress since. The scope of it is very broad, and to win one of the 500 placements they sponsor each year you just have to write a relatively short proposal about your proposed role, its value to the charity in question and its wider value to society. It may have grown a bit since I applied in 2009, but at that time they only received about 1200 applicants for the 500 placements, so the chances of being accepted (not much worse than Evens, at the time) are a fair-sight better than if you were competing with scores of other people for one full time role.

 

Also - don't be put off if you don't have ambitions to work in the charity sector long term. The programme accepts applications from any registered UK charity and it benefits them to sponsor a diverse range of projects, since at its heart it is a propaganda tool to make people think Vodafone is just swell. Ergo, if you're a bit creative with it, it's nearly always possible to find a role and charity which suits your desired career path. For example my brother has been hoping to break into some kind of writing or publishing job. He didn't end up applying because something else came up, but he approached a disability charity about working as a publishing assistant on their newsletter and the charity was bang up for it.

 

Just thought I'd share since it doesn't seem to be particularly well-known-about and it definitely gave me a leg-up in a tough jobs market. There's a 'Charity Match-Maker' thing on the WOD website which helps you find charities in your area of interest near you. They don't accept applications until September usually, with most placements starting in the new year, but I imagine there are other similar initiatives if you go looking for them. It's a really good way to get what is essentially a paid internship which makes you look like a socially conscious bastard when listed on your CV. It also has the advantage over conventional internships that you get to largely define your role yourself, as the first step is ringing up your charities of choice and explaining what you'd like to do for them. Alot of charities haven't even heard of the programme, so in my experience it helps to begin the conversation by explaining a little about the programme and emphasising that it doesn't cost the charity a thing.

 

Hope this is of help to somebody :thumbsup:. Picture me typing this from my ass-fuck office in central London for motivation.

 

My mate has just done this, and loved every minute of it. He does however work for Vodafone anyway and is some high up PR Media type, so I dont know if that had any bearing on him getting the offer. However it is a chance to do some real good and get experience and so forth. I seem to know a couple Vodafone PR people, having crossed paths with them at some point growing up. Hey Ho.

 

Anyway here is his page

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I'm currently advertising for a new assistant and you wouldn't believe how hard it's going! I need someone who's equally got with sub-editing, page layout and design as well as good PowerPoint skills. The majority of the applications that are coming through are for wannabe writers and journalists even though we've specifically highlighted in the advert that it's not a writing role.

 

In my experience a standard 'one-size-fits-all' CV is OK (obviously if you're applying for jobs all in the same field) as long as your cover letter highlights specific skills that match the job description. The ones I've had through have been shocking. Some of cover letters just say "I'm applying for this job, my salary expectations are xxx. Look forward to hearing from you." Basically, your CV should be short and to the point with only relevant details expanded. Don't start off with a personal paragraph unless it's similar to what you've said in your cover letter. Don't put things like "I love going to the football every Saturday" unless maybe you're applying for a football-related job and this would be an advantage to mention. If this is a hobby then just add to a couple of sentences at the end of a CV to maybe make yourself sound a bit interesting.

 

For your cover letter pick aspects out of the job ad they're specifically looking for. If they ask for experience with a certain computer programme then mention that you've used it a lot and maybe give an example of what you used it for. If they ask for a particular attribute (being able to work to deadlines or willing to work weekends) then say this in the cover letter. Keep it to maybe 2 paragraphs and outline the experience you have specific to what they're looking for. The CV will just back this up.

 

I think one of the main pieces of advice from my side is spelling. I had a cover letter that had obviously not been spell checked and, considering it's applying for a sub-editor role, then I immediately binned it. If you can't even be bothered to put a little bit of time and effort into a cover letter and a CV then how is this reflecting on your work ethic?

 

If anyone wants me to have a go at doing your CV then I'm all for this. I did one for someone off here a while back. Not sure it led to any jobs to be honest but I liked doing it. Let me know.

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The horror stories about getting a job post-graduation make me realise how lucky I've been. I ended up graduating with a shit degree but fortunately had spent a placement year with a multinational car manufacturer and had been offered my graduate job before my degree went tits up. Now I'm doing well enough at my current company and have tailored my development with transferable skills so that when I want to move on to another company/field (which will probably be sooner rather than later as I can't get the geographical transfer I'm after) I shouldn't have any problems doing it. God knows what I did to deserve lucking out like I have.

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Decided on Edinburgh over London because of the less hecticness,my mate has a spare room in her new flat in Morningside that she's moving into in July so I'm going to take it!Hopefully I'll pick up any sort of full time job upon my arrival.

 

See you in hell Ireland!

 

(In July obviously!)

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The horror stories about getting a job post-graduation make me realise how lucky I've been. I ended up graduating with a shit degree but fortunately had spent a placement year with a multinational car manufacturer and had been offered my graduate job before my degree went tits up. Now I'm doing well enough at my current company and have tailored my development with transferable skills so that when I want to move on to another company/field (which will probably be sooner rather than later as I can't get the geographical transfer I'm after) I shouldn't have any problems doing it. God knows what I did to deserve lucking out like I have.

 

Transferable skills are for lightweights. You need to specialize like crazy, preferably in a dying industry. That's what real men do.

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I've fallen foul of both the lack of workplace experience and the presumption of future desertion due to possession of a degree. The degree thing's particularly annoying, because my degree is in Writing Contemporary Fiction, and as such, relies on me fucking off and writing a novel if I'm to ever make a living off it. So I can't get a job because presumably I could just go away and magically create one for myself.

 

I can see, from the perspective of the business, why such an approach is taken, but it's not half annoying when I know how incredibly unlikely it is that a super-awesome job in my *field* will open up.

 

Can you get some sort of writer-in-residence job? I was at a graduation in the week, and this girl had graduated with a similar degree, and was getting a job as writer-in-residence at a prison.

 

This was one of the few aspects of professional writing that I feel wasn't properly explained to me on the degree. Probably the only aspect, actually, everything else was pleasingly exhaustive. In fact, that's probably why I forgot about it until just now. Great idea and one I'm definitely going to look into. Although I bet they'll want me to have experience.

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They could've had it, for me: better than letting it all go to waste. I was only a shelf filler, though, and the boss had some locks put on the bins

That's real nice of him. Making sure that decent food goes to the dump rather than into the possession of some poor old tramp or something.

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Quick CV question, what would be the more acceptable way to describe yourself at the start if you're putting in a short profile paragraph?

 

For example "A conscientious and enthusiastic [ _____________ ] with experience or skills in such and such.......

 

worker? candidate? individual? something else?

Edited by Reznor

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