In my last post I shared some really good news! I started a new job last week after what seemed like a relentless slog of job applications, rejection emails and failed interviews. But enough of the negatives, I want to share with you all the good energy and vibes 🌟
I am working at an incredible and inspiring charity called Evolve. They are based predominantly in South London, and are doing amazing work to end homelessness. I am their new Junior Content Producer ✨ which means I am assisting primarily with their social media, but I’m also hoping to get involved with other communication aspects like their website, newsletter and internal communications. It’s all very exciting and I can’t wait to get stuck in.
It’s only been a week or so but I already feel like it’s where I’m supposed to be. It’s a really great opportunity because I get to use my creative skills and my social media know-how to raise awareness for such a worthy cause. I am incredibly happy that the work I am doing will be able to have a positive impact and that is so important to me. Especially since whilst I was applying for jobs, I had lost sight of that. I was being selective about the roles I applied for, but at times I was a little desperate because I just wanted to get on with something.
It’s very easy to get caught up in things and forget our values and what we want out of the life we live. I like to keep lists, old notebooks filled with thoughts… I’ve even sent emails to my future self as little reminders for what I wanted to achieve or do. Sometimes priorities change, and we shift the trajectory we’re going on but often, what we wanted before is still relevant today. I actually found an old forum post that I had made when I was 18 years old, it was a bucket list of some things I wanted to do with my life and number one on the list was having a career that I enjoyed and helped people. I’m not on the frontlines working with homeless people because I don’t think I have what it takes to do that, but I am happy knowing that I can contribute to the efforts by raising awareness of all the hard work being done.
HOW I GOT THE ROLE
Around late October/early November, I was feeling quite distraught about job prospects. It didn’t seem like it was going anywhere and I had started to give up on finding my dream job. I started looking for other job roles that I could be good at, something to tide me over until the job market became less hostile. It was during this time I got quite down, but luckily I hadn’t completely withdrawn and I was still talking to some friends about my experience. It was through this, my best friend Eve suggested that I do an apprenticeship.
I had known about apprenticeships but had always assumed it was for people who didn’t/hadn’t gone to university. Which isn’t always the case. Admittedly, at the time it did feel like a bit of step back applying for an apprenticeship role since I had a degree. But I had to remind myself that times were difficult, it’s way more competitive now than ever to find meaningful employment and if I really wanted to pursue my dream job, I needed to do it by any means necessary. A lot of the feedback I received from my interviews was that I didn’t have enough experience. An apprenticeship would give me a year (minimum) of experience, plus an additional qualification and it could lead to a permanent role. It was a no-brainer.
Next was sending my CV off to apprenticeship providers. I used the official government website to search for roles. That’s because the way it works with apprenticeships, is that you have to find a job role first before you can start. Apprenticeship providers will advertise the various job roles they have for the accompanying apprenticeship and it’s up to you to secure the job by acing the interview. My top tip for this stage is to really inspect the job description and ask all the questions in the interview, to make sure that you’re happy with what is expected of you. Some of the Digital Marketing roles I found were really heavy with the admin side of things, and I knew I didn’t want to be doing too much of that.
After I found the perfect role, I worked closely with the apprenticeship provider, which for me was Croydon College. They provided me with a mock interview which was super useful and I definitely think it helped me secure the role because I felt a lot more confident after it.
Some things to note if/when applying for an apprenticeship
- If you have a degree like I did, the apprenticeship needs to be in an unrelated field to what you studied in order for you to be funded
- Read through the different apprenticeships out there, especially the standards to see what you will be expected to do. I initially applied for Digital Marketing apprenticeships, but then found that the Junior Content Producer apprenticeship catered to the specific skills I wanted to develop and the tasks I wanted to be doing
- Apprenticeships aren’t paid as highly as graduate level roles, which is something to consider if you are living independently
After my first week I’m exhausted. It’s a good kind of exhaustion though. I feel so content and really purposeful for the first time in a long time 😊
If you are still searching for that dream role, don’t give up! It will happen, so don’t lose hope.