The Job Hunt

You know when you feel like you could scream in the middle of a crowded room and no one would even blink? That’s what the graduate job hunt feels like.

As all the economists at university applied for grad schemes and the rest of my friends were flaunting their father’s abilities in finding them their dream job, I was chilling at the beach wondering what all the fuss was about. As an English student, I didn’t think there was much I could do. Turns out, there really isn’t. Except for undertake ridiculous work experience placements without expenses even being paid for and applying endlessly on journalistic jobsites for vacancies WAY above my station because let’s face it, when it comes to publishing, someone has to have a baby, or die, before anyone else even gets an interview.

So since May last year, this is what I’ve been doing. And now I’ve pretty much hit rock bottom. After maxing out my hefty overdraft while completing placements at various magazines, I am left with a pretty nice looking CV, but still no job and no money. And there is nothing more depressing than knowing you’ve spent £10,000 studying to no gain. In fact yes there is. There’s being interviewed for a job that you really don’t want, and have only applied for because you are living below the breadline, only for them to tell you that your heart’s not in making moulds of children’s hands and feet for their middle class parents. NO IT BLOODY ISN’T!!! But I’ll do it. And I’ll do it well.

Just the other day I walked into a salon on the Fulham Road where I had applied (and been rejected for) a receptionist role. The woman who had pipped me to the poorly-paid post could barely string a sentence together let alone answer my mum’s questions about facial appointments and gift cards. How on earth is this fair?! I was rejected due to “a lack of commitment to the job” and being “overqualified”. What does that even mean and how would you even know if you don’t give me the chance?!

Throw a girl a bone.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not alone in sitting behind a computer screen with a pretty sick degree, some fantastic work experience and a cup of tea, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be a little frustrated.

So employers, if you’re reading this, I have worked in some of the worst conditions throughout my life, stuck with them AND did a good job, have come across the most challenging of bosses and have even worked for free with very little reward. So please, find it in your hearts to employ me. And pay me. You will not regret it. I’ll even stop talking about sex on here if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Plus, I’m a right laugh at office parties.

The cherry on top of the job hunt cake? Putting on five stone as you spend endless hours in front of Gorkana and Gumtree with slice after slice of peanut butter on toast.

Excuse me while I roll to my interview at McDonald’s…

Pah! I should be so lucky.


  1. Lizzi May 23, 2012 / 11:16 pm

    I am in the same boat Olivia! I have resorted to recruitment agencies and I have everything crossed. They tell me I have a great CV so they better get me something!

    Love your blog, great posts and images – keep up the good work! And drop me a line if you ever want to write about booky things for me!

    Lizzi x

  2. thelondonladybird May 17, 2012 / 1:14 pm

    Thank you all so much for the positive responses!! It’s funny, posting this has made me realise just how many people are happy to help and I’ve had some promising leads.

    Stefanie, I love your feature on the job hunt-it’s such a frustrating time isn’t it! Especially when you feel so passionately about the shape you’d like your career to take!

    Thanks Lou-Lou, glad to hear someone else has been through the same thing.. it makes me feel like less of a failure!

    Charlotte, glad my post made you feel a little better! A problem shared is a problem halved! Thanks for the copywriting suggestions… i’m on it!

    Tom, thank you so much for the suggestions but I need paid work. It’s a catch 22!

    And finally British Beauty Blagger, I know what you mean.. it is so tempting to give up. I think for the time being, not being poor should be my priority but never let the dream fade I say!

    Again, thanks for the comments and suggestions guys, much appreciated!

    x x

  3. Lou Binns (@LouLou_Poubelle) May 14, 2012 / 3:31 pm

    I feel your pain. When i graduated from uni with a French degree and moved to Paris, i had to work in bars for 5 months until a law firm finally gave me a chance to be a legal secretary…and i havent looked back. Like you, i was unsuccessful at interviews, when it was not a question of competence at all. It is SO frustrating, and i hope you get some helpful feedback from this blog post. Keep your chin up. Your moment will come and you will not look back : ) GOOD LUCK!!!

  4. Charlotte May 11, 2012 / 8:46 am

    PS, there are quite a lot of copywriting jobs out there right now so chin up! xx

  5. Charlotte May 11, 2012 / 8:44 am

    You know what? I’m totally feeling this post today. I have a degree in Journalism and I can’t even get a job in it for crying out loud. I’ve done work experience, I’ve written for free, and I currently work in a thankless soulless job as a copywriter just to keep on writing. (Copywriting itself is good, it’s the employers that suck so I’d definitely recommend looking into copywriting if you haven’t already) I have a good portfolio because I’ve written for everyone from Nicole Farhi to Boohoo to Tesco… but no-one is interested.

    Sucks to be a graduate, I feel your pain

    Let’s have a cry together xxx

  6. Tom May 11, 2012 / 8:02 am

    Hi Ladybird

    Do you have a linked in profile so people can see your qualifications & experience?

    Also try the charity sector – they love employing over-qualified people! They often have internships with travel and lunch paid for to get experience in an area.

    Best of luck


  7. britishbeautyblagger May 11, 2012 / 6:30 am

    I knew a girl who did unpaid internships at magazines for two years whilst working at New Look at the weekend to make ends meet! She got a six month paid internship now but it is £5k in London and it finishes soon and she has nowhere else to go! She was the one that made me think maybe journalism isnt the be all and end all?! x

  8. stefaniegrace May 10, 2012 / 11:37 pm

    Yes, yes, yes, yes and YES!!! Bloody hell. Had enough of it all.

    I have applied to 20 positions today to be told that I am on the “list” for a part-time, unpaid, remote internship… Fingers crossed on the rest!

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