It can be very difficult and disheartening when you finish your university degree and then struggle to find a job in your area of expertise. There are some students who are lucky enough to walk right into a full-time job that they love, straight after graduating. Others may take a few months, some may take a year or more… but they all have the potential to get there in the end.
I graduated from university last summer (2018), I studied Social Policy and Early Childhood in the hope of moving onto the Social Work masters degree once my bachelor’s degree was complete. Sadly I did not receive a place on the masters and it left me feeling a little bit lost.
I decided to try and make something of my current degree; working with children in the early year’s sector would be really nice! As if I was to have gone into social work, I would have wanted to work with children and families. I began to apply for multiple teaching jobs, classroom assistant jobs and much more, though I did not hear back from a single one for months on end. I applied for ‘Get Into Teaching’, but positions had been filled for the current cohort. I looked into social work roles but needed higher education for such positions. I eventually started applying for care home jobs, just so that I could gain experience working with vulnerable people. But once again the replies were non-existent.
It is very disheartening when you do not hear back from jobs that you have applied for. It leaves you wondering why you were not successful or if you are not good enough. All jobs should contact their applicants to let them know whether they have been successful or not. It only takes a second to send an email letting someone know that they were not successful this time around and wishing them luck for the future!
There were many times that I wanted to give up, many times that I cried. It has been a year full of ups and downs for me, but I kept on going.
I recently applied for a role as a Nursery Practitioner at a beautiful private school called Scarisbrick Hall. I was shocked when I was invited to an informal interview with them!
I tried not to get overly excited for the interview as I know what it feels like to get your hopes up and have them ripped away from you in a heartbeat and I was not going to allow that to happen to me this time around.
I went to the informal interview and met with the head of the Nursery, who showed me around the classrooms that they have there and talked me through some of the work that they do. It was such a lovely place with a very unique feeling to it. They had multiple teachers per classroom, lots of messy play and outdoor play including a lovely forest area for woodland play.
We had a very informal chat, getting to know one another a little bit better, giving me the opportunity to ask questions about the school and the way that they do certain things, as well as giving my thoughts and sharing my knowledge. I instantly felt at home.
A couple of days later I received an email inviting me back for a second, more formal interview! I was so happy as I know I do not have a lot of experience in that area and was not expecting to have done so well.
The second interview was a little bit more daunting but once it started, the conversations were flowing freely and I felt very content.
The worst part was waiting to hear whether or not I received the job… I have never known a weekend to go so slow in all of my life and when my phone rang on Monday evening my heart was beating out of my chest. The head of the nursery kindly went through all of my interview answers on the phone, telling me what was good and what could have been better. She told me that only six people out of the initial fifty people were invited to the second interviews and she said that although the other candidates had more experience than me; she felt as though my interview answers were exactly what they were looking for and offered me the job! I was so shocked and happy that I could not hold back the tears.
In between this interview I was also offered a job at The Cooperative Bank, which I accepted while I waited to hear back from the Nursery job… It is safe to say I will be accepting the Nursery Practitioner role and revoking my application from The Cooperative Bank.
Never give up, fight for the things that you want in life as dreams only work if you do! If the Nursery Job was unsuccessful, I was going to go back to university to do my PGCE to better my chances of getting a teaching job in the future. I was not going to give up on my dream that easily, no matter how difficult things got. I am hoping to work my way up in the teaching world, which means that I may still go back to university in the future. But for now, I am over the moon to be given the opportunity to work in such a beautiful school in the Early Years sector and I cannot wait to see where that takes me.