My Job Hunting Journey!

I graduated Bournemouth University with a 2:1 in Advertising and Marketing Communications in late May. I thought I'd give myself the summer to enjoy my last moments of 'freedom'. It was in September that I decided to face the world of 'grown-up' job hunting. I was at a loss, as I had no idea what it was that I wanted to do. I knew the general path; working in advertising and/or marketing, but I still didn't know exactly what area to start with.

I attained a temp job in an office in London, doing nothing related to my course or to what I wanted to be doing. My train of thought told me that office experience was an essential thing to have on my CV. Luckily for me, my neighbour was actually my boss at this job, and he allowed me to go to interviews around the city. I would encourage any job hunter to have at least two months experience either in an office and/or in the field of work related to their degree. Due to the fact that I have no dream-job in mind, gaining office experience was the best thing I could do, as it would allow me to show employers that I had gained some of the skills they most desire in an employee.

The job hunt started…

Universities offer graduates help and guidance in finding jobs. I chose to ignore this and search for jobs on my own! As my degree was in a media related course, I already had Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which I used by following companies regularly to keep an eye out for vacancy postings.

I joined sites such as graduate-jobs.com and gained an insight into what was available. I was then invited to a number of interviews around London, all with basic starting salaries. The interviews were all for varied roles and, with no dream job in mind, I used the interviews to determine what felt the most natural to my current skill set and knowledge from my degree. The first few interviews I attended went really well (or so I thought), and I was feeling optimistic. Unfortunately, I was hit with a bout of rejection; the interviewers had hired someone with at least a year's worth of experience. I was obviously disheartened and completely disappointed, but you've got to remember to learn from your mistakes and to persist with something you want. It will be worth it in the end.

To make myself more available, I started to job search nearer home (Surrey) and I got an interview in Reading. I went to the interview thinking I could use it as 'experience' rather than wanting the actual job itself. (It paid less than £18k and wasn't what I'd call my 'dream job'). The interview went really well and I was offered the job a few days later. I weighed up my options and decided to take it. If experience is what I need to progress within this industry, I have no qualms in spending my first year gaining as much knowledge as possible.

Four months later I know that I made the right decision. I am working within a small marketing team and I am involved with all aspects of the work, gaining knowledge that will serve me well when I make my way up the career ladder. I still don't have a dream job in mind, but I do know that the industry I'm working in is where I want to be. Based on my journey so far, I can offer graduates three valuable pieces of advice:

1) Don't panic if you don't know exactly what you want to do - you have your whole life ahead of you to find out. It's all about putting yourself out there and trying a variety of roles, you'll soon find your ideal career path.

2) Experience is vital - the more experience you have, the better the job opportunities. You can gain a hell of a lot of experience whilst discovering which career path to take. All experience is useful in showing employers how you're versatile and that you've developed solid set of skills along the way.

3) Never give up - don't feel disheartened if you don't love your job straight away. People usually mould to their roles and the more you work, the more responsibilities you'll be given and the more you'll start to 'find yourself'.