Rachel Grey, 23, Middlesbrough, UK
I’ve been unemployed since finishing university in July 2011. My hopes after graduating [with a 2:1 in sociology from a Russell Group university] weren’t unrealistic. I was prepared to take any job to build up enough experience to find a job in London. Instead, I’ve ended up living at home with my parents. I feel incredibly guilty about still having to live with my parents and like I’ve let them and my partner down by not being able to get a job. I never imagined I could feel as worthless as being unemployed has made me feel. I dread talking to friends and family because I’ll have to explain that I still haven’t found a job.
I’ve sent well over 400 applications and I’ve had only a few job interviews, as well as a handful for work experience and internship placements. On the whole, I’ve had very little feedback, bar the generic “the standard of applicants was very high … tough decision … regret to inform you”. Ironically, none of the interviews I’ve had have been for the admin-type roles I’m required to apply for by the jobcentre – which decided admin was the most suitable route. Most entry-level admin positions are advertised as apprenticeships because of government funding which allows employers to pay £2.65/hr as opposed to the national minimum wage of £6.19/hr. The problem is that government funding is not available if the employee holds a degree…
Salva Camarasa, 30, Barcelona, Spain
I’ve been looking for work in a motion graphics studio or as a video editor or camera operator since I started university in 2006. But since 2011, I’ve been looking for anything because I barely earn enough money to make repayments on my student loan.
On average I apply for three to four jobs a day but since March 2012 I haven’t had a single interview, not even a phone call or email. I once took the Yellow Pages and went to every studio I found to deliver my CV in person. The only feedback I’ve ever had are from jobs outside Spain who politely told me to keep going. But hey, at least they gave me some feedback!
I’ve got a degree in media and communications as well as training in digital graphic design. My hopes were focused on working in something I could deliver all my motivation, skills and knowledge, more than just having an economical motivation: I felt I was wasting my time and others’ working in an office or in retail…
Panayiotis Christodoulou, 26, Nicosia, Cyprus
I’m worried that my degree will soon have no value. When the economy recovers I’ll be 35 years old and unable to find work as a junior and without the experience for a more senior position.
I knew things weren’t going to be ideal and getting a job was going to be a hard task – I graduated from the University of Nicosia with a communications degree. During my studies I worked as a DIY sales adviser but had to leave after one-and-a-half years as my course demanded a practical exam of a month’s work in a newspaper and I was unable to take the time off work.
Since graduating I’ve sent on average about 25-30 applications a month, and I’d welcome any position related to my degree, such as a journalist, presenter, writer or PR adviser. During the past two to three years a lot of media organisations have been shrinking with news websites finding it difficult to attract adverts to survive…
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