Posted by: hannahefriend | January 26, 2012

Premature Graduate Blues

You may have heard of the graduate blues, but I reckon many final year students are suffering these prematurely; in the form of pre-graduation panics.

It happened. The question dreaded by all final year students/recent graduates hit my ears on Christmas day. Of all the days to bring this up, it had to be my favourite day of the year. This question is very easy to avoid at university; don’t talk to career advisers, lecturers or your parents, and your friends are quite firmly in the same boat to know not to ask. But on Christmas day, we arrive at my Nan’s for my favourite meal of the year, and I hear:

“So what are you going to do with your life?”

The only response I could muster was “try to get a job”. At least it was the truth. And I think most people would give the same response. But it is a terrifying thought. Come June I will be unemployed. No, I haven’t applied for any graduate schemes, because there aren’t any I want to do. No, I haven’t applied for any jobs because they all start before I graduate. And yes, I know this will leave me very stuck. So instead of writing my dissertation right now, I am wondering what a careers adviser would be telling me to do apart from sort my life out. I need more direct advice.

In all honesty, all I have done is created a LinkedIn profile. Just a page sitting on the World Wide Web begging someone to give me a job. Very unlikely but it’s worth a shot. I want to be an editor, preferably of Vogue. So my plan at the moment is actually get a degree, and send out some speculative letters to local newspapers and magazines asking for any experience or jobs they might have. My other option is to do a masters degree but this comes at a very high price. Slightly worrying, but what can you do?

If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it, as at the moment all I have is 10,000 words to write!


  1. “preaching to the choir sister” sorry could not resist that quote, as someone who has graduated with an MA, my advice would be get the work experience and volunteer first. Finishing my MA has left me in the same position as I was in when I finished my BA, jobless and lacking experience with an extra piece of paper.

    I am now looking at vocational traineeships, even they require experience,. I know Archaeology and Editing are worlds apart, so I would suggest target Vogue, look for any way in and grab it, do your research on them and just go for it. You can’t go far wrong if you follow your heart (pass the sick bucket)

  2. This is almost as if I wrote it! Every single part of it! My advice, although I ‘m not sure how useful but this is the approach I’m going with is to volunteer and get as much experience as possible in a company/role you would enjoy when you graduate, so you are much more likely to get the job come june. You may be able to get a foot in the door in that company too as they may want to hire somebody for a position that they are more familiar with.

    Hope this helps and good luck – I feel your pain!

  3. Thanks for the advice guys! I will definitely be trying to get more work experience this year, and that’s so true. Michael – I am about to apply for journalism MAs but doesn’t sound like that has helped much for you. At least it puts off the depression for another year – I joke..
    Good luck to you both, at least we’re all in it together!

  4. Hi Hannah – thanks for posting!

    Are you coming along to our Creative Careers Week? We have a session on magazine journalism with three regional journalists on 9 Feb – It’s a great chance to hear from professionals actually working in the field and an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you might have about routes in.

    Well done on setting up a LinkedIn profile – you’ve done an excellent job with yours and having a good online presence is pretty much essential in the field of work you’re looking to get into.

    Make sure you research postgrad courses thoroughly before making your choice – see our Choosing Courses page for lots of questions to get you thinking!

    You might also want to consider the NCTJ Diploma courses on offer as an alternative way to qualify –

    Finally, get as much work experience as possible (don’t dismiss student media) and take every opportunity to write!

    Oh, and don’t forget to come in and use your careers service!

  5. I am going to that yes! It sounds like a great opportunity. Thanks Nadia.

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