10 Things An Unemployed Graduate Is Sick Of Hearing
You’ve finally done it! You’ve got your degree, faffed around for a day in a cap and gown and experienced beams of gushing pride from your parents that you probably won’t feel again for a very long time.
Why’s that, you ask? Because you’re still unemployed. And what’s worse than being a jobless, loser graduate? People reminding you that you are a jobless, loser graduate.
“So… have you heard back from any job applications?”
Have you seen the magical LinkedIn update demonstrating their miraculous new position at some company you’ve never even heard of? No? Well then, it’s probably best not to ask.
Word of warning: it’s always better to let the unemployed graduate wallow in their self-pity.
Generally, when we do hear back from applications, it’s a rejection. So if we’re keeping quiet, it’s not for fun – it’s because we’ve got nothing positive to report at the moment. But when we receive an interview date, and feel a glimmer of hope, we will be sure to let you know!
“You’re sooo lucky to have all this free time.”
Are they? Are they ‘lucky’? Do you really think they would consider their monotonous routine of CV-editing, covering letter-writing and rejections before they’ve even got an interview ‘lucky’? Is it ‘lucky’ that all their friends are getting started in their careers, and can afford to do cool, new things?
“Why don’t you try looking for a job in x field?”
Stop suggesting jobs that are miles away from the role they’re trying to land! The months after graduation should be spent focusing on the career a grad really wants; unnecessary pressure to go into a commercial banking career when they want to be a actor isn’t the most helpful thing to hear.
“How are you still unemployed?!”
We’re surprised too. Let’s stop pointing out the obvious, shall we?
“How can you be tired? You don’t do anything all day!”
First of all, while unemployed graduates most probably do very little in comparison to the incredible and awe-inspiring employed adults, they’re still very much human. They get tired. That’s life ladies and gents, humans get tired – no matter what their job status is.
“Bet your degree feels like a waste of time now, eh?”
Not really… but this conversation does.
This is the only thing a grad can hold on to with pride – their degree! It’s the proof of years of endless hard work. Don’t take it away from them. Please.
“But everybody else seems to have a job?”
WE KNOW! It takes a lot of energy for an unemployed graduate not to compare themselves to overachieving students from their seminars, or their neighbour’s daughter who somewhat effortlessly landed her dream job at a massive company. So it would help if you don’t compare us too.
“When are you going to get a job?”
We are actually trying, you know. This question is arguably the most painful thing for an unemployed grad to hear. It already feels like the end of the world not having a job, but questions like this seem to invalidate all the hard work they’ve been doing, trying to get their foot on the career ladder.
In all seriousness, the real world can be tough! And the first time a grad really realises this is, unfortunately, when they’re job hunting.
“You should try volunteering or something.”
With the overdraft dwindling away, more unpaid experience isn’t a priority for most unemployed grads.
“Do you have a job?”
How direct and invasive. Stop that. We know you mean well, but these kinds of questions and remarks often leave us feeling even lower than we already are!
Varsha Patel is a recent graduate from the University of Warwick. You can find her portfolio here.