On my way into London last weekend for a literature festival…more experience!
Sat in a conference room today learning all about Social Media work I realised something, I actually felt old and a tad confused. I’m no stranger to work experience or working in general, I had the normal experience when I was 15 in a book shop (I didn’t want to leave and cried at the thought) and then got a job that paid as soon as I turned 16. I’ve been in that position for the past 4 years and have worked various jobs, now they haven’t been glamorous or linked to what I want to do in life but then again at 16 I had no idea what to do with my life. Today I was surrounded by intelligent 17 and 18 year olds attending the same event as me, there were only 3 or 4 of us in uni.
I find this absolutely crazy, younger and younger we’re expected to know what we want to do with our lives. I know I want to get into digital media somehow and later in my life become an academic but when I was leaving school/at college my life revolved around my weekend job. The reason? It certainly wasn’t because I was in love with them. I hated my cinema and shop job, I was bored and I wanted to do something. I even offered to be a part time personal shopper for no extra money because I wanted to do more, at the time there were no positions. Even at that stage I wanted to do something that made my brain stretch.
My experience at that age, however, is very limited. Now I’m in uni I’m supposed to go for constant work experience, internships etc. Some people can do that, I cannot. I have to have a job that pays and that’s the way I also like it, don’t get me wrong if my parents could support me in doing all these internships they would but to a point I don’t want them to. I believe in work ethic and I think I gain that more in my job now which I coincidently LOVE and get incredible experience in social media with. I do worry though will employers not hire me because I don’t have the ‘right’ experience? I mean I do a lot I’m a student, an ambassador, I work on the media channels, journo society, musician, blogger, work for the Kingston Writing School and training in academic research. Will these stand out?
I do feel that it is about a position of privilege unfortunately, I know a lot of people who simply can’t afford to do work experience placements or internships, that’s where blogs come in handy. In many industries you need contacts, then you need work experience before you can do work experience and a degree. There is a lot of pressure on young people and no wonder I’ve been anxious as hell lately up late at night worrying about getting a job when I graduate.
I’ve decided to do what I want and need to do, the workshop reminded me I might not have every skill but I have some that other people don’t, I have contacts and I am in a good position. Now I need to not stress!