Life of the Unemployed Graduate

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All she wants is to get married, but she never found the right man, so she consoles herself with the marriage announcements in the Sunday supplements while you're looking at the job pages and wondering whether teabags on toast make an acceptable meal.


Last year, the average marrying age for women hit 30 for the first time , and the largest percentage increase in marriages was among those aged 30 to No surprise there — your 20s are the "skint years". You can't even afford to go out or set up a prohibitively expensive internet dating profile can someone please set up some kind of dating service for the unemployed?

Instead, you opt for a long string of brief and sexually unsatisfying one-night stands with guys who are every bit as clueless and lost as you — and don't cuddle afterwards or make you breakfast. The good news is that marrying any of these guys is about as appealing as electric shock therapy, although at least with the latter you feel something.

Great Expectations: Life as an Unemployed Graduate | HuffPost UK

If you're in your 20s and you've been putting it about a bit, the thought of the clap clinic may strike fear into your little heart, but it's time to suck it up. Take a fun friend, your real-life equivalent of Winona Ryder, and you'll be fine. Then fill your pockets to the brim with free spermicide and continue on your merry way. It's time to fly back into the nest, little bird. Except your bedroom has been turned into a gym or colonised by siblings, so you have to sleep in the washing machine.

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Suddenly there's an empty nagging feeling that you exist in a no-place and that your life is passing you by, plus you can't sleep with anyone because your parents are there, and you don't want to go to their place lest it turns out to be an ex-girlfriend taxidermy shrine. At least you're nourishing your hopelessness with three square meals a day. If you're not living with your mum, you're probably in a flat share.

Rather than resembling the high-jinks of Friends, your flatmates eat your mayonnaise, have all-night reggae drug parties that start at 4am, are late on the rent and leave passive aggressive notes when you use their posh Christmas soap. Too bad life rarely works out neatly like that.

I got stuck in job limbo instead. Today is September 14 and instead of working full time at Google or co-founding a VC backed million-dollar start-up, I am unemployed and couch-surfing until the next opportunity comes.

I, like thousands of other recent college graduates, am also stuck in transit between life stages. People often ask what I do or what I would like to be when I grow up.

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The answer is a story-teller — but in the non-traditional sense. I like to use other mediums beyond words to tell stories. My first love was in illustration so as a child, I told stories through drawings and paintings of the things I saw inside my head. One day I got my first camera, and I started telling stories through photographs — of my favourite memories, my friends , even strangers and strange places I got to travel to. I fell in love with learning the stories of other people. Later in life, I turned to the pursuit of research and design as mediums to learn these stories.

Graduated = unemployed? What did you miss in your college life?

With the help of Don Norman and my Asian tiger parents breathing down my neck to just choose a path in life already , I became interested in the field of user-centred design and its applications to creating environments that are inclusive and accessible for everyone. My first love in life was art, and that love soon blossomed into a more nuanced appreciation for the integration of aestheticism, functionality, and accessibility in the things we design. In university, I focused my interest on the design of student services.

As a freshman, bright eyed and un-cynical about the journey ahead, I had a lot of energy to dedicate to listening to the stories of other people. What I heard was really disheartening. University life was really stressful. A lot of people I met were really struggling to get through the day to day.

Often, I struggled with them. The value of mental health became apparent when I started university. So I asked myself — how can I help? As any young college freshman would do, I turned to Googling around to see what was available on campus. Then I found out about a relatively young student initiative — a peer support service that had been started by similar students like myself, who wanted to provide a supportive space for others.

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  • 1. Pursue as many options as you can.?

I applied to join the leadership team not really expecting anything and then suddenly landed a role in promoting the service to the tens of thousands of students within my school community. Turns out, building a functional service is really hard go figure. The first problem we had was that we had little institutional support and nobody knew about the service.

Our volunteers were exceptionally trained and incredibly under-utilized.

2. Let go of your sense of entitlement.

New graduates who enter the work force have done nothing wrong. They are certainly not lazy. They were simply given one path, one option in life: go to school, get a degree, and then you can get a job. They spent all of this time, effort and money working towards this goal.

The education system encouraged them to do so and their parents likely followed along.

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Again, they did nothing wrong. The problem is in the framework and in the way our economic model incentivizes people. The economy is largely controlled by companies. They have money and jobs. They decide whether or not to hire you. This previous sentence may seem so matter-of-fact that it might not warrant a second glance. We are cycled through this education system with not much option and then are at the whim of profit-seeking companies to make a living.