All third years will be breaking out into cold sweats, palpitations and panic attacks at the prospect of graduating in five short months. Real World Soc is like no society you might know at university, membership is compulsory, the socials are crap and you can never leave. However, this sorry state of affairs is a natural process in your life and we at Pause hope to try and help you make sense of things. After all, had you been born 100 years previously, the chaps reading this would have left school at 14 for a poorly-paid and dangerous job, before getting killed in a war. Ladies, you would have been married off at the earliest opportunity and had no real choices in life after this. So don’t fret too much.
Britain as a nation no longer makes things. Our national wealth is seemingly suspended in the air with elaborate wires, comprising upscale coffee shops, dodgy accountants and kitschy pop-culture. There is no point fighting this fact of the modern world, which makes looking for a graduate job both easier and harder. Easier in that you are unlikely to encounter genuine responsibility over the lives of others or the success of a business, making winging it as you have winged it for the last 2.5 years of university a legitimate and good strategy in professional life. Harder in that when your mates at home ask you what you’re up to, you are thoroughly aware that working in sales or PR won’t impress anybody and may meet snorts of derision from some circles.
What degree did you do? Only the happy few who studied Medicine or managed to do an Engineering degree and still be able to pass a DBS check, on account of their profound sexual perversions (the average engineering student’s internet history is the reason Theresa May wants blocks on our internet) and vices not coming to light at any point miraculously, are really exempt from what follows. It doesn’t really matter, you aren’t getting a job in your field if you did an academic subject. Nobody with a chance of getting PhD funding wastes their time reading unfunny articles like this, so we can make this assumption early on. It’s the same old business fodder for everyone else, after a few years watching The Office will no longer be a cutting edge comedy and more a sick joke.
But if we’re talking about business and finance, surely The Wolf of Wall Street is more pertinent? Yes, if you are called Tarquin, went to a private school and your dad knows someone willing to give you an unpaid placement you can then fund yourself through. For us mortals, forget it. The comeuppance comes in 15 years’ time when he’s being arrested for insider trading. Or he might be Chancellor. Bit of a dicey one here.
Many students of the ‘writing’ subjects fancy themselves as journalists or authors. These sorry people write for their student magazine, wholly unpaid, in the hope of building up a portfolio. Some of the saddest cases write the joke articles in the hope of landing a contract with Private Eye, Viz or the South Nottinghamshire Advertiser. Some of the more serious types imagine that there are not enough writers telling the world about how the most marginalised group in the world is chronically underpaid media types living in Central London. The heart bleeds for these dishevelled people, most of whom are probably cousins with Tarquin, who eke out a living sat in coffee shops ignoring the screaming children and writing opinion pieces for the Huffington Post, Guardian or Independent.
But are there jobs outside business or media in our country? Of course there are many worthy jobs in public service, they merely require that mix of masochism and self-righteousness that defines our great nation. Being a teacher or a nurse requires surprisingly little, bar the requirement to tell literally everyone you meet what you do for a living and how hard it is.
Great, so you have probably decided what job you want now. But where do you want to work? Most graduates do one of three things. Move to London, go back home or stay in their university town. We shall briefly run through these options. Moving to London is a popular option, but invariably ends up with paying roughly the national debt of Venezuela a month to live above a chicken shop that has been closed down 7 times by the public health officer. Some argue this concrete hell of noise, pollution and Boris Johnson is okay because you get food and fashion trends slightly faster than the rest of the country. Up to you though. Moving home is comfy, being near the family and old friends. However, your old mates will remind you constantly how much debt you racked up to essentially get the same job as them. Finally, perhaps the saddest option. Staying in your university town for a year or two is okay, but after a while it dries up and you are left desperately trying to relive the Good Old Days, to the extent of having works drinks in the Hobbit.
Pause hopes this guide was as informative as the average careers officer, our standards are not generally as high this late in the magazine.