Monday, 6 July 2009

What's that on my shoulder?

I don't know about you, but I for one am getting quite sick of the credit crunch. It's getting the whole country down, and none more so than current graduates and soon-to-be graduates. I've got just under a year until I become a graduate. And I certainly don't see a miraculous recovery of the market by then. Big businesses certainly don't predict a recovery and unemployment is set to soar well into next year with 40% of the unemployed being under 25.

Today's article in The Times has stated that employers are receiving 49 graduate applications per vacancy. ( If you think that's depressing, try being a law student. Any law student worth their salt is reading the trade press, but it's not pretty reading. Law firm after law firm after law firm are ceasing to intake graduates onto their training schemes or deferring training contracts, or worse, canceling them altogether.

If we weren't in a recession, I would have been expected to have a training contract lined up for 2 years time. Competition for such places is always high. In recession Britain, competition is even higher. The bar is effectively being raised for application criteria. It doesn't help that training contracts are scarce and there are an ever increasing number of students taking law. It is apparent that if you're at an 'elite' university you have the highest chance of getting an offer. Indeed, a lecturer at my university reiterated this fact and made out that students such as myself (first in the family to go to uni, no legal contacts, not the greatest academic achiever in all honesty) don't stand a chance. To be honest, when university is being made out to be open to all, he made it seem the exact opposite, and that people like me didn't deserve to be there. There's nothing like a speech like that to make you feel worthless and that you've just wasted almost 2 years of your life and £12,000. It's downright depressing. But regardless, I'm two thirds of the way there. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought of alternative career paths. So, I may be disillusioned and sometimes feel like I just want to give up, but at the end of the day, a career in law was/is my dream. And I'm determined to finish my degree, maybe do a Masters, finances pending, and then move on to the LPC. I've always wanted to be a lawyer. And I'm damned determined to be one. Somehow, some day, I will get there.

Maybe passion is the key? Really show employers why you're better than everyone else. Well. We'll see. I'll tell you what does annoy me. People who are at university just for the sake of it. They slack off and they slack off, yet they're annoyingly clever and beat students like me to these highly sought after job offers. I know employers have to discriminate between applications somewhere, but surely they'd rather employ someone with a passion for the job? Rather than someone who is just after a job. I guess that's at their discretion.

To any first years reading, sorry this is probably quite depressing. But don't despair. With hard work and faith, I'm sure you'll get there. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. We may be getting a lesson at the school of hard knocks, but I guess that's life.

I read this quote a while back:

"Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder." (Henry David Thoreau)

I wonder if it applies to jobs?


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