Why being a graduate in 2012 is a good thing
By Corin Jackson.
If you’re anything like me then the media is largely, well, doing your head in right now. Everywhere you look there are looming reminders that it’s near enough impossible to get a job. Your dreams of the future are being hacked into smaller pieces every day, and sometimes you even find yourself wondering why you bothered going to university. The friends you left at home that didn’t go to university are thinking about sharing a flat together, and they can most certainly afford to run a car. The jobs they do, and have done for years, actually pay real money into their bank accounts – something that has become a distant fantasy for a lot of us. In many ways, leaving university jobless can seem pretty dismal.
Despite all that, being a graduate in 2012 is, believe it or not, a good thing. Not convinced? Read on.
The virtual you
Facebook and Twitter have never been taken so seriously, and you’re all pros. Networking has never been easier, as well as putting yourself and your ideas out there. Sites such as WordPress and Blogspot have been pushed to the forefront and setting up your own blog is not only wonderfully straightforward, it’s free. Where there’s a blog, there’s a business opportunity.
Don’t even get me started about LinkedIn – a site that saves you from constantly having to be ‘in the right place at the right time’, because virtually, you’re already there. Yes, it’s hard work finding a job, but there’s a much higher chance of eventually finding the right job for you purely because you have no choice but to know yourselves inside out. You’ve spent so much time projecting an online version of your personalities that you’ve become reprogrammed with a better sense of professional identity.
Gaining work experience through internships means that you have a better sense of what you’re good at, what you enjoy and what you would eventually like to end up doing. Despite feeling like taking the first job prospect might have to suffice, working in a whole host of environments provides the luxury of choice. There is a strong likelihood that the internship that amounts to a job will be the one you enjoyed and excelled in the most. It will probably be something you’d never thought of doing, and something you’d never have done if you’d landed a job straight away. Class of 2012, you are the most experienced, well-equipped and self-aware graduates to date. Not only that, you’ll be the graduates that appreciate and treasure their jobs the most, having worked so very hard to find the right one.
What’s even better about being a graduate in 2012 is that there is very little stigma around the concept of being unemployed, or the idea of moving back home. 2012 graduates have a free pass to carry on making the most of their youth. You do, after all, have the rest of your lives for a steady full time job. There is a temptation to wallow in self-pity. Don’t. Go off and do things, a ski season, or teaching abroad for example. Build up your experiences while you don’t have the responsibility of having a job. It sounds cheesy but you’ve all been given the right to grow as people before entering the world of work.
So there you have it. 2012 postgrads will have more worldly experience, more professional experience, will be more appreciative of their jobs and salaries, will have a prolonged sense of youth and freedom. You have the opportunity to put yourselves out there without being judged if you fail. You have the most networking opportunities and are the most in tune with yourselves, all with less pressure from society. Five words: make the most of it. Persevere and stay positive through the hard bits, isn’t that what got you through your degree in the first place? It will happen. In the mean time, continue getting as much experience as possible. Above all, enjoy yourself while you do so.