Move over Cliff Richard, this year we’ve launched our own festive lyrics to spread Christmas cheer… and we have more than just some Christian rhyme to offer, let us tell you.
That’s right folks, it’s our birthday and we’ll cry if we want to (and you will be too when you see these snaps)!
As a 22-year-old graduate, I’ve been guilty of a most common mistake. In a time where over 40% of working adults are degree-educated, I wrongly assumed a career would simply fall out of the sky and into my lap.
“I’ve got a degree! Obviously I’ll get a decent job eventually.”
Except it doesn’t quite work like that.
It’s not just me; after nearly 20 years of education, a lot of university graduates – perhaps rightfully – feel as if they’re owed a decent job on a decent wage. Hours spent fine tuning essays in the library and sticking to all those clustered deadlines had to count for something, right?
In a bygone time, perhaps that was the case. In the early eighties, fresh from university, my dad – unemployed at the time – walked into a bank and landed a mortgage; it was just assumed he’d be able to afford the repayments because of his degree.
Granted; he did a degree in Engineering – a solid choice – and I elected to study English Literature – not so solid. Also, the house cost a grand total of £17,000 – I know, sickening isn’t it?
Thirty years, one education inflation later and now I’d get laughed out of the bank if I walked in waving a fancy piece of paper around.
So how do you find that job you’ve been priming yourself for all those years?
From a happy new Manifestee, who’s finally fallen on his feet, here’s a ten-step guide to opening the gate to your career-path…
1. Pick a path and run with it
Start at the beginning. Try and work out what you would like to do. For some people, this part is very simple; students of Law and Medicine have clear career paths outlined well in advance of graduation. For others, leaving university can bring a lot of uncertainty.
What next? Foolishly, I hadn’t got a plan at this point either; which brings me to my first tip – pick a path and run with it. You’re young! If you follow your nose down an alleyway you later realise you don’t like the smell of, there’s still plenty of time to turn around.
2. Find a casual job
You’ve heard it a million times – “employers would rather hire somebody who’s already got a job than somebody who hasn’t”.
It’s true; being in work – whether it’s at Microsoft or McDonalds – is undoubtedly the better option. Applying to jobs when you’ve already got a job will make your interviewer see you as a person in demand with a good work ethic.
3. Network till your net works no more
“It’s not what you know but who you know”
Without diminishing the importance of what you know, it can really aid your job hunt to spread the word. Using social media and websites like LinkedIn can really make a difference. You never know whose brother might be a cameraman at the BBC, whose mum might run a record label or whose cousin might work in a fashion studio.
4. Search high and low
a) Look everywhere
Exclusively searching the web for hours on end, applying for the odd speculative job – which your fully aware you haven’t got the experience for – isn’t the best idea. Research your local area and try to find a few companies you’d love to work for, then write to them speculatively – what have you got to lose?
Be realistic, but don’t rule yourself out; a big salary doesn’t always mean the job is out of reach. On the flipside; if your applications are falling on deaf ears, it might be time to bite the bullet and invest some time in yourself, your CV and your job prospects; roll on point number five…
5. Work for free
Unpaid work has developed a certain stigma amongst young people – it’s understandable; I’ve heard of six-month internships that end in a handshake and a half-decent reference. There are those unscrupulous companies that run off intern-labour; be especially wary of places where the interns outnumber the paid staff!
For me, my options were clear: work in a coffee shop for the foreseeable future, or sacrifice three months for the chance of a genuine career – it was a no-brainer!
6. Go back to school
One way of combating increased job competition is to once again hit the books. It might seem daunting but a master’s degree will put you in good stead when it comes to standing out from the crowd.
But it’s not for everyone, and if you’re like me – and you’d rather crack on – getting some hands-on experience could be a better idea. You’ve been in school for the best part of 20 years; don’t go back unless there’s clear reason for doing so.
7. Do Your Research
“At last, a response!”
That’s right, some absolute hero has seen fit to give you an interview – now what? Researching the company will help you to feel more comfortable in your interview. They’re unlikely to grill you with silly questions but if you go in without the basics, you will get caught out.
8. Dress smart
This is common sense – you’re only as good as you present yourself.
No matter how nice your new trainers are, or how hip you think your ‘brogues without socks’ look is, there’s a strong argument for shined shoes, an ironed shirt and a fresh shave.
And for the love of god – make sure you’re wearing (preferably matching) socks.
9. Be confident, not cocky
It’s a tough middle ground to find but falling either side of the confidence/arrogance line can be a real bummer. Be confident about your potential but remember that you’ve just left university: claiming you have the ability to come in and revolutionise the company is a bit disrespectful. And anyway, if you were that great, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article.
10. Keep your chin up
You wore socks, turned up on time and came across well – but this time there was another candidate that just edged it on experience. It’s not the end of the world and there is literally no point beating yourself up about it.
“What do we do when we fall down?”
Drafting a new cover letter wasn’t what Michael Caine had in mind, but that’s the best idea. A fresh approach and a frenzy of applications will get you back on the horse in no time at all.
With England letting down the nation this summer, Manifest FC pulled its socks up to show the big boys how it’s done. With league two and three successes under their belt, Manifest FC went in for a clean sweep this year, and boy did they leave the other lads weeping.
Working at a PR agency, it is not uncommon to be juggling several clients at once and have tasks thrown at you left, right and centre. So it is important during busy periods to remain productive and ultimately GET SHIT DONE.
Below are my top tips that I used to help keep myself productive and working efficiently…
1. Step away from the computer
No matter how busy you feel you are it is important to take breaks throughout the day. I often go for a quick walk around the block to get moving and to focus myself. You can’t always be working at optimum productivity so aim for working in short bursts at productive times. The important thing is to give your head a breather, especially if you are working on multiple accounts. You will be surprised at how much more productive you feel after a five minute break. Read the full story