I have a plan for everything. I’m talkin’ a 3 months in advance, hour-by-hour kind of plan. I’m genetically predisposed to this sort of dysfunction. I also have very little patience. Like hand-eye coordination, I was born without it. I am always at step 3 in my mind, before step 1 is even over.
So when my master’s programme was wrapping up (actually, about 5 months before it was wrapping up), I already had a plan. My plan was to hand in my thesis, spend about a week recuperating, then send out my CV like somebody’s payin’ me for it. I would then have a few interviews, which in my mind, would go something like this:
I walk into a state of the art research centre and shake hands with my interviewer, they take a look at my CV and, with wide eyes they gape at me, “So you’re the one who’s completed a master’s programme?! Look at all of the experience you have! You must have been working your a$$ off for years!!” And I would nod my head, and humbly accept the corner office.
Or something along those lines. The modest version was to (quickly) land an above-entry-level-job with a steady salary and paid holiday time, get a new visa, buy a new wardrobe, book some holidays and commence life.
The reality of this glorious job searching experience has been starkly different. It has involved applying to jobs like it’s my job, but for some reason, all of these companies have decided to reinvent the wheel. I took classes on how to write a CV, attended seminars, met with career counselors, had it checked by supervisors. And what does every application say?! ‘We do not accept CV’s.’ Instead, they provide nice little boxes asking all of the questions that are answered on my CV, so that you can copy and paste/rewrite alllllll of that information on there for them. WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?! I can now recite my entire CV top to bottom. I see it in my sleep. I am thinking about learning how to translate it into a new language just to mix things up a little.
It is hard not to fall into a deep dark pit of squalor in this process of slaving away over (what seems like) thousands of insignificant applications and sending them out into the oblivion, knowing that a response of any kind is unlikely. You see, I think that going into this process, I had really (and still do) underestimate just how many people there are in this city. There are over 40 universities in London. That’s so many thousands of recent grads job searching that I couldn’t even begin to count. Regardless, there is easily a few hundred people going out for every job that I am. Did I make good grades? Yes. Do I have experience? Yes. Do these other people? Probably.
BUT I have not given up. I’m still slaving away. But I’m going to have to change somethin’ up in my schedule because right now the time that I’m waking up every morning is creeping closer and closer towards the time I woke up on the weekends when I was a teenager and didn’t have bills to pay. And, as predicted, I am rewarding myself with far too many episodes of Private Practice (I finished Grey’s Anatomy and am now watching episodes as they are released like a peasant), and I am getting far too attached to these characters. I need human interaction. And a reason to put some makeup on in the morning. But at the same time…yoga pants are so good. And why go out when you can’t spend money?! I can only sit in a cafe for so long and mooch off their “Free Wifi” without feeling obligated to buy multiple lattes. It’s just not feasible.
It’s really only been a month since I’ve been slaving away. Something is bound to turn up. I refuse to admit that I live in a world where hard work does not pay off. I’m too young for that kind of cynicism.