With new media continuing to gain importance in today’s increasingly virtual era, I can’t help but wonder whether, by avoiding blogging, I have been missing out on an excellent platform to promote myself. Shamefully, I don’t blog, I don’t Tweet and I barely even touch Facebook now that the heady free days of student life are over.
So I was pleased when I was asked to write a blog post in my first week of work experience at Quest PR. I have come to the conclusion that it can’t hurt to get involved, especially when you see companies like Quest using blogging to such great effect. Like many other recent graduates, promoting myself has been one of my most time consuming activities since coming to the end of my degree last summer. Anything that makes this particular task easier is fine by me.
According to press coverage in the last 6 months, 2009 graduates are in a real predicament when it comes to a finding job. I certainly know how they feel. Having applied myself diligently to every aspect of University life, I naively thought walking into my dream job would be a doddle. Instead, I was one of thousands of graduates who were faced with the grim reality of recession: there aren’t enough jobs to go round. Never mind that after three years of hard work, this predicament felt monstrously unfair. Life, as we are regularly reminded, isn’t fair.
It’s a frightening time for graduates, the realisation that getting your degree is only the beginning. We have been encouraged to believe throughout our education, that this seemingly insignificant piece of paper ensures a job will land in your lap. The truth is far less clear cut, leading to many graduates facing an uncertain future.
What’s more, only yesterday I read an article which said that 50,000 students would miss out on University places this year due to a surge in applications. So now not only is getting a job after University a challenge, getting there in the first place is becoming increasingly tough. From the point of view of an eager 18 year old, I can imagine this situation would be heartbreaking beyond belief.
There has long been muted whispers from varied sources that there needs to be a massive shift in emphasis: rather than glorifying the degree we must start encouraging good old fashioned hard work in all its many forms. I can’t help but wholeheartedly agree. The government target of getting 50% of school leavers to University is unrealistic at best and damaging to young people’s dreams and aspirations at worst.
Whether you are doing a vocational course in catering, a degree in History of Art or an apprenticeship in engineering, the merit of hard work should never be underestimated. You can gain valuable skills and qualifications through a huge variety of routes and this definitely does not have to always include going to University. My advice to any young people unsure of their next step would be, find something that really interests you and get grafting; hard work and persistence are extremely valuable weapons on your armoury.
So here I am practicing what I preach; writing to you from a desk in the Quest offices, in my first week of seven, already feeling very much as if I am learning a great deal. Great thanks must go to Quest for offering such a valuable opportunity to a disillusioned graduate, we’d all have a far more positive outlook if more companies had Quest’s attitude. Now if only the worldwide recession will abate, I’ll be sorted.