This week I’ve been anxiously waiting on a phone call to tell me whether or not I have a full-time job. It’s something I really want, and it would mean I could start my career as a writer / editor. Then I’d planned in my head this great Facebook status, listing all the achievements I’d had in 2014. I realize I was putting off that post because I wanted to know for sure that I got this full-time job. But I shouldn’t put it off, because underneath all the stress, worrying about money, my career, and living situations, 2014 has been pretty good so far…
It was something that I always thought I’d do while I was finishing off year 12. I had no idea what to do with my life, and an Arts degree would buy me three years to figure it out. I got picked on a lot by other uni kids for even taking the degree at all, but it’s given me insights and drive, and I’m (just quietly) achieving more with this apparently ‘useless’ degree than people are with their Engineering or Communications degrees. So that leads me to my next point.
I knew from the beginning that an Arts degree doesn’t hold much direction in it, and that the only real selling point is that it makes you an ‘all-rounder’. While this is a good thing to be, it didn’t propel me forward into any particular field, so I knew that I needed to work harder than usual to push it in the direction I wanted. Getting a job in the field I want is definitely hard, but I never went into it expecting it on a silver platter because I had a degree under my belt. I actually secured a job as an Editor, and I did it with just my Arts degree, and perseverance. This tells me one thing: it means nothing to have a degree, unless you back it up with good character, hard work, and passion for that work.
Monash, UNSW, and UTS. This was more than I ever expected, and if you had told me three years ago that I could be picky with where I did my Masters of Communication and Journalism, I would have laughed at you. I never had much faith in myself, as an academic or otherwise, but I’ve found that this modesty and the quiet chipping-away at ones goals gets you where you need to be with more ease than if you burnt yourself out to get somewhere quickly. Avoiding the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ clichés, a little modesty goes a long way.
I have sent out 60 job applications since June, I’ve gotten 6 phone calls, four interviews, one job (and one pending), and a taste for what the work force really wants.
While a degree is very important, it means nothing without perseverance and the ability to get up when you get knocked back. The professional workforce only wants the best, and if you’re not the best, it’s because someone else bested you in a field other than your degree.
I know there is a recurring theme with my writing when I talk about uni and jobs, but that is purely because I spent the past 3-4 years letting people tell me I wouldn’t get anywhere with the degree I chose. And whether or not I get this full-time job aside, my arts degree has given me something that a lot of (but not all) uni students don’t get out of their degree.
You have to work your ass off to get into university, then work your ass off to finish the degree. And once you’re done, you need to work your ass off to get a job: because nobody is going to hire a university graduate who thinks all their work is done.