This is a blog post that I’ve been wanting to put together for a while now and was recently inspired by Sophie‘s blog post on ‘job-hopping‘. Six years ago I graduated from University College Birmingham with a 2:1 degree in Tourism Business Management (don’t ask). A long time ago now! Once I had finished my three years of studying I spent a summer season working in Disney World Florida at Blizzard Beach waterpark (I blogged about it here) and started blogging ‘properly’.
Me graduating in 2011, and me in my snazzy Disney work uniform compete with baseball cap!
Once I returned from my magical job in Disney World I thought being a grown up would be easy and I could just jump into any job I fancied. After all, I had a degree! How wrong I was.. I found that having a degree (especially mine!) didn’t really mean much to employers. So many young people these days have a degree, and I felt like mine was almost worthless and I was up against so much competition.
I thought I’d do a little blog post on all the crappy jobs I went through before finally discovering what career path I wanted to follow and how I managed to bag a job I actually like…
- High Street Department Store – I spent two months unemployed after graduating before I managed to get a job. I worked only 20 hours a week on the fragrance counter of a well known department store over Christmas as a temp. It wasn’t my dream job, nor the type of job I thought I would get, but it was all I managed to secure at the time. Job hunting was hard!
- Independent Cake Shop – Once my Christmas contract ended at the department store I was once again unemployed for another two months or so. But I felt super lucky when I was offered a job working for an independent cake shop who made amazing cakes! My role was to do their admin, take orders, and update the social media pages and website. Unfortunately, this job wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and I was never paid properly, wasn’t given a contract or any payslips, and was eventually made redundant when the business closed 8 months later.
- Local Council – After the cake shop fiasco, a few more months of unemployment came along! I was gutted that I had graduated a whole year before and yet I still hadn’t found my first proper job. Whilst I was job hunting, I started my own part time baking business making cakes from my parents kitchen and I went to what felt like loads of interviews but I wasn’t getting anywhere.I was eventually offered a job working as a Customer Service Advisor for my local council. I didn’t want this job, but I was pretty desperate for a stable and secure job. I basically hated this job, but I ended up staying there for over 2 years because it was full time and it paid reasonably well.
- Outdoor Clothing Company Head Office – The council offices moved and my 15 minute journey started taking over 1 hour and I’d had enough. Through blogging (I surprised myself that I kept it up!) I’d discovered that I was interested in working within Marketing and so I started applying for jobs within that area. I was looking locally and even looking for jobs in London online as I thought I’d have a better chance of finding one there.I had an interview for a Marketing Assistant at a local clothing company Head Office which sounded perfect. Unfortunately I didn’t get the job, but they did offer me a role in their customer service department instead! As this job was closer to home and the council role was making me so miserable, I took a bit of a pay cut and started working there where I was so happy. I loved my team and my job, even though it wasn’t in marketing.
- Digital Marketing Agency – After working at the clothing company for over 2 years I decided that I still wanted to try to pursue my desire to work in marketing, and so I applied for more roles once again. I was offered a job as an SEO Executive for a small digital marketing company for a lovely company. The only drawback was that it was 30 miles away.This wasn’t really a problem to begin with, but it cost me a lot in petrol and meant that I had to get up so early and would get back so late in the evening that I basically just went to bed to do it all over again the next day. Although I was happy with my role there, it was beginning to take its toll on me!
- Back to the outdoor clothing company! I feel extremely fortunate that I left the outdoor clothing company on good terms and I was then offered a role in their marketing team when the position came up 6 months after I had left the company. My first day was yesterday and so far so good! The job is now only 3 miles from my flat, better pay, and a lovely team in a company that I am familiar with. I’m now a Marketing Executive and my role will consist of designing emails and catalogue mailers which will be sent out to the customer database. An exciting step at the start of my marketing career!
The main point of this blog post is to highlight that things don’t always go smoothly when you leave school/university. Don’t feel disheartened if you don’t get your dream job straight away or if you don’t know what you want your future career to be. I was clueless for years and I feel like it’s only this year (6 years after graduating) that I feel like I finally have things on track.
I feel like ‘job hopping’ is an important part of personal development and you shouldn’t be put off looking for a new job just because you’re already settled in a role. If you want more money or want to learn new skills or do something totally different, don’t be afraid to go for it! Working in different roles gives you a great skill set which you can keep transferring into new jobs. Best of luck to anyone job hunting! It’s tough but you’ll get there.