graduate

Ten things English graduates hear when finding a job 

So after the success and support of my last post, I’m here to do a limited special edition post on the job market! Thank you all very much for your positive support on my last post and I don’t normally moan about my life. So, today’s article is about life after university: the harsh, cruel world of getting a job (or not).

The stereotypes: jobs people think you should do:

Dear Teesside University, if you ever read this, you gave the most cliche careers talk I have ever heard.

1. English teacher

PGCE needed for every level, as an extra qualification.

2. Librarian

Librarianships are needed to be a librarian. But it’s hardly an aspirational career.

3. TEFL teacher

Again, ESOL qualification over here, it’s not a job you can go into.

4. Art director

Probably got a Liberal Arts degree.

5. Author

You don’t  even need any qualifications, you just need talent and connections.

6. Copywriter

Spoiler alert: most copywriters either have a copywriting course or freelance experience. Either that or a degree in journalism.

7. Marketing

Once again,  there’s a degree in Marketing involved.

8. Proofreader/editor

And if you say, “you made a typo”, I will actually cut your head off.

9. Journalist

Sorry, but Journalist graduates are way ahead here.

10. Lexicographer (yes, really)

I’m sorry but my dad wasn’t a posh tosser from Oxford who can get me this job.
Here are some more realistic ideas instead:

1. Researcher (in business)

With experience, you can climb up to the top from being a junior to project manager. You need to be able to read books and have good grammar for this job. It may sound obscure but these roles are actually quite popular

2. Admin

It needs to be on here, it’s better than a cashier at McDonald’s. At least you can spell letters, e-mails and type up reports.

3. Customer advisor

Once again, I don’t think anyone would enjoy this job. But if you have ever written a play, use your scripting talents for the horrific, annoying customer role play you can look forward to.

4. Tattoo artist?

Yeah I know, pretty obscure choice. But if you have a creative mind, well who knows what might come out of your talent? Besides, after seeing far too many misspelt tattoos, I’m sure having good English will help somewhere.

5. Audio typist

Surprisingly, these jobs are very popular in hospitals. All you really need are good typing skills and attention to detail.

Ten things I wish people would stop saying to me:

1. “But arts and humanities are hobbies. Maths, IT/Technology and Science are far more important subjects!”

Says you, with an NVQ Hair and Beauty  level 2, who doesn’t have 5 GCSEs.

2. “Oh, unemployment rates are really high for arts students”

Yeah, I got that. Thanks for telling me.

3. [at an employment agency ] some young woman  with buddy holly glasses is sat at a desk in the middle of a busy office  “Why are you even here? You can write a CV really well, you’re well dressed and you got a degree!” “Because I want a job, can you help me get a placement?” “No, we’re used to dealing with CHAVS, bums and lazy students. So we only help you job search and tell you what to wear for an interview,”

4. “I don’t really want to be a desk receptionist or customer advisor. McDonald’s and data entry are dull, I want a job which uses my skills and talents” “You’re such a cheeky bitch you are, think you’re too good for most places but you only need a job for money. Don’t be such a snob”

Okay okay, forget I ever existed. But considering I live in a small-minded town in the North   of England, working as a receptionist in a posh hotel is the ultimate goal. If people do go to uni, it’s pretty rare that they return.

5. “Why don’t you be a secondary school teacher?”

Because I hate teenagers, and I cannot do maths.

6. “What is your degree actually useful for? We have spellcheckers!”

But spellcheckers can’t understand grammar or punctuation. Plus, what about slang and regional informal words?

7. “What are your hobbies and interests?” “I read, write fiction, blog, play Pokemon go and exercise at the gym” “those are very unsocial hobbies and will not help you find work”

Not all computer programmers go to hackathons, and not all drama goers are actors. I do what I like for fun, not business. Do you think the medical secretary who does data entry all day spends her free time on Excel? Do you think the fireman saves people as a hobby? Do you think a lawyer is part of a law society for fun? No, of course not. I don’t go to a book club but I don’t need to.

8. “What is your biggest achievement?” “I self published a book when I was 19” “What happened?” “It made no money”

True story.

9. “Why don’t you just become an author and live in Tahiti?”

Because I need some security.

10. “What are your main strengths?” “I’m hardworking, a creative problem solver, I have the ability to see things from others views and a good communicator” “Yes, but you lack social skills, the ability to work in a team and your verbal communication is appalling. Those skills are far more useful.”

You know, it must really suck knowing the only job you can do is be a careers advisor. You must feel so jealous of others, telling them what’s right but not doing it yourself.

I have made it through university on all my own merits; I have no rich connections, no outstanding talent or an IQ of 130. If you think there’s anything missing from this list, please comment below!