My lecturers always warned me that a large percentage of my cohort wouldn’t find work in our field (i.e. Journalism), or we wouldn’t find any kind of role for us in our dream jobs.
I never really thought about that much – except for the amazing Simpsons memes that I might attach to it when I was actually studying – but now, I realise what they meant when they gave us their ironically grave warnings.
I graduated in March this year and seven months on I have hardly worked in Journalism at all.
Good god, my lecturers were fortune tellers (thus how they managed to keep themselves in steady jobs and not on the streets… go figure).
Over the past seven months, I’ve done unpaid work for numerous online and print publications; some that I’m unwilling to divulge despite the fact that I lovelovelooooved working for them (I have my reasons, trust me).
There have been roles that I’ve been perfect for and not ended up continuing with, others that I can’t use for my resume overall, and others that I’ve downright turned down after one day of work because I’ve been waaaay over my head.
For all you Journalism and Social Media/PR students out there, though, please don’t lose faith in your field after reading this post.
It seems hard and kind of impossible when you’re doing endless amounts of unpaid internships. However, all the hard work does pay off. I’m still working on making media work as a career and hey, even I’ve thought about throwing in the towel and admitting I freaking hate this job, but it’s worth sticking to it.
If you don’t immediately succeed in this field, keep trying. Keep doing internships. Keeping doing unpaid work. It sucks, but the build up of experience is worth it when you end up comfortably working in dream industry and people look to you for advice. Not only that, but the skills from Communication/Media degrees still come in handy in regular, everyday jobs.
There is still hope, no matter what you end up doing.
At the moment, I’m working as an Optical Assistant at an Optometrist’s office. It sounds boring, that’s for sure, but my degree still helps me out in places. I love fashion and I’ve done TONNES of fashion writing internships, so I know my shit when it comes to frame styling.
It’s nowhere near where I thought I’d be six months on from my graduation, but I guess I couldn’t really expect more from a career in Journalism. Writing is hard. The industry itself is an impenetrable as… I want to say the Death Star, but that would be a terrible example. Let’s just say it’s hard and luck (Luke?) plays a major role in breaking it down.
Media work takes a lot of heart. It may seem like a futile mission, but don’t let yourself be broken down by negative feedback and terrible internships. You have to experience every angle of the industry to figure out how to succeed.
One day, I hope, I can crack my dream job; Journalism/PR work in Newcastle, New South Wales.
I’m going to work my way up to it somehow, despite how slim my chances are in Newcastle. I will find a way.
Keep the fire of inspiration burning, my fellow post-grads. You’ll find your way.