For second year history students you will be overwhelmed with the question of ‘what do you want to after university?’, a question that though simple never seems easy to answer. When I am asked this I am always overcome with the fear that I don’t know what I want to do once I have graduated in 2013.
Unlike some of the other careers helps that we have had this year that have been about interviews and somehow managing to get a good job straight away, the course specific History Apprentice aims to show that there may be struggle in finding the right job for you, but that is okay.
On Wednesday my friend and I went to one of these talks to try and make sense of the chaotic employment business in front of us, and to hear from someone who has done a History degree how he finally found satisfaction in a job.
Robert Colls, my tutor for my Victorian module and the organiser of the event, started off the presentation by explaining what the History Apprentice was about and put it simply as- ‘an attempt to give something real about jobs’.
As students, we live in somewhat of a trance thinking that we work through this stage of our lives, get a job and stay with that job, but even if that was possibly the case before, it is not anymore. There is now no single track to employability and instead lots of different routes and steps that have to be explored to find the right job.
He then introduced our speaker Joe, who went on to tell us how he went through a series of jobs until he found his current job as a Web Editor. After his small talk we all had a discussion about what we have done with our lives, what we want to do, what we are expecting from the future and what he thinks are the best things to do when applying for a job.
The whole event was really interesting because it did not sugarcoat the experience of graduates trying to find not only the right job, but a job at all. Joe told us of how he spent five years ‘floundering’ through numerous jobs, searching to not give up the student life, while also looking for something that made him want to work.
Eventually he realised that the student life is not how he wanted to be living when he was older and decided to really set out and apply for jobs.
The experience was not one I felt he wanted to relive as it was time consuming, and at times soul destroying, but his advice on this period of his life was vital. He told us not to give up, and if you really want to do it, put in the work to apply to as many places as you can and really think about the application forms and your CV.
For anyone who is worried, interested or unsure about their future employment I would strongly recommend attending the History Apprentice events that Robert Colls has been putting on throughout this year, and will hopefully continue to do next year. They may seem daunting but they offer a real incite to the employability market that could benefit you, even if you don’t think it will.