Not too sure the answer of this question right yet, but I feel as though this cliche is really being proven at the moment. All the way through university me and my partner and my friends, all creatives in one form or another, were talking about getting into the industry. We spoke of that lucky one in the million that gets picked up by someone and shot striaght to the top, or the kids with parents already in the business so they get the shoe in, and for the rest of us it is the beginning of a very long mountain hike.
I expected difficulties, always have, I know many struggle to make it as a writer, it takes years of rebounding rejection letters, writing to a page as your only audience, or just bumming around social media hoping at least one person can still be arsed to read your long winded article. But expecting this does not seem to be making the reality any easier.
I graduated university roughly a year and a half ago. I got a decent grade, worked hard. I ran a society and a newspaper alongside study and have taken on more online internships than I can count. So did a lot of my other classmates, we had had it drummed into us the importance of experience if you want a career in journalism.
You hope that, though it my not get you your dream job, it may be enough for someone to at least give you a chance, just a peep at the world behind the great red door that has stayed shut in my face for all of the months since graduating.
Even now I am writing as an arts reviewer in Norwich for a good magazine, I publish online content and it gives me a constant source of bylines to keep going with and reminds me I am not completely out of touch with it all. But of course, as for amyn graduates, this is unpaid and so not sustainable as a way of life. For the best part of these past 18 months I have been in full time employment within Insurance. Though recently I made the decision to, while relatively financially stable with my partner and still living communally as a group of five, take my hours down to part time. So I began a normal job search, thus enabling me to have more time to put back to writing; both the personal creative stuff and the journalism.
I today, in the fruits of this labour, just received a response from a content writers job that I applied for. Now Norwich is not the most oppurtune city for writing positions so when ones come up, I do my best to just go for them and give it a try, and like I said mainly my focus has been on just getting a part time job first to keep up alongside the writing.
Anyways all went well, they were impressed by my trial content and my interview, but then they said they do not have enough work to offer me at the moment as they had hoped…. what does that mean? Just tell me someone else got the job and that they have more industry experience than I do, not that you do not have enough work available – I mean if you do not why are you advertising a position in the first place?
I got the same remarks or at least similar for a content writers job I went for with a publishing company a couple of months back. They too seemed impressed, but again I could tell were not wishing to take on a graduate that they were going to have to teach things to.
It is so much more disappointing when you do not get a job that is in the creative industry where you want to work. It is even more infuriating when they do not give proper reasons as to why you did not get the position and instead send brush off emails commending all that you did. Well if it was so good why do I not have the job? And most of all the age old classic…. how the hell am I meant to get any experience when no one appears willing to give any?
I know this is a common issue experienced by many graduates, and that they tell us we must be thick skinned and resilient in the pursuit of a job within the creative industry, however this makes it no less frustrating and no less difficult when you feel also the ones in the interviewing positions have entirely forgotten what it feels like to be starting out!
My advice for anyone currently seeking employment is to do your best to keep spirits up, rant when you need to, and if you do get turned down for a job but they seem to have sent wish washy reasoning as to why, do not be scared to reply and ask for some feedback on your performance. Granted some of them will not acknowledge this message at all, but some may, and that will prompt them to either give a real answer as to why you did not get their position and could offer some help for the next job that you will have the chance to interview for.