My time as a new graduate was one of mixed feelings, one of elation and the other of a desperate need to find myself a paying job and quickly reduce the level of my mounting debts. The trouble with living in Essex is that there are not enough Essex jobs to go around for us poor graduates. The thought of commuting back and forth from London did not appeal to me one bit, but I realised that may be a necessary task considering my options were very limited.
Often, graduates of high calibre will face the prospects of unemployment for a short period before finding something 'temporary' to fill the gap of having no money and keeping up with loans repayment. It is true to a certain extent that Essex jobs in comparison to London jobs are far less paid, because of the outer London weighting considerations. London is also the capital and the heart of the UK therefore the opportunities are going to be far more appealing and available.
Although it cannot be denied that there did appear to be far more opportunities with Essex jobs, regardless of the pay scale. All throughout the six months that I was without a job, I had found plenty of opportunities to take up the offers that were being advertised in the newspapers and on the internet. However, if I was to compare these same positions with ones offered in London, I could not help but notice the difference in benefits.
My only solution was to approach a recruitment agency. For graduates out there feeling like there is no hope in the world in finding your dream job, you will have to swallow your pride and resort to something a little less prestigious and start from the bottom. This is not to say that recruitment agencies are bad at finding you good jobs, the big advantage is that you will be found something that will feel like next to no time at all and you will be paid weekly.
Finding a temporary job is a good start to getting your feet onto that coveted career ladder. Very often, you will find that approaching a generic recruitment agency will land you a job in something that is not to your first choice such as warehouse work or office admin jobs. Approaching specialised recruitment agencies within the field that you are keen on moving up with is advisable as then you are likely to find your feet more quickly.
One thing I had to learn was patience. I found that even though I was forwarding what felt like over a hundred CVs a day, revealing my entire life story and personal information to strangers, I was soon to find out that eventually someone would pick up the emails and letters and give me that phone call I desperately needed. Moreover, as I was already based in Essex, all of my interviews were with other Essex jobs who favoured well with candidates who were local.
I finally got a call from a recruitment agency who had found me a junior position in the field that I was after. I did not hesitate to take it up and found myself working the following Monday. It was big relief to finally put some money away into my bank, as it was beginning to prove difficult keeping up with bill payments and debt repayments. Five years on and I have landed a job that uses my skills in writing and has given me scope to freelance should I decide to work from home full-time.
My advice to all graduates is to persevere and keep looking. Try not to be too fussy if you are running short for money, your best solution is to take up something temporary and continue with your search. Some temporary jobs can unfold into a permanent position with good prospects. Other times it is a good way to make quick cash and it will be an advantage to you for when interviews do crop up. Employers prefer to hear that candidates are currently working so as to look like they are using their time productively.
Anna Stenning is an expert on finding the right Essex jobs having spent most of her time as a graduate searching for the right one for herself.