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Work after uni

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm in a real twist about this one...

I've just graduated with a 2:1 in Commercial Music, and I'm really not sure what to do with it. I couldn't work in the inner sanctums of the music industry, and I need to find something that I can be done part time, not be totally office based, and preferably freelance. I got 79% for my thesis (the highest mark of the year), and I really enjoyed it. I would love to further my research at MA/PhD level, and it possible i'd get funding because of the specialism and my background.

I was hoping to do a make-up artistry course at my local college next year, so I can look to setting myself as a artist image consultant (styling, branding and marketing up and coming artists of all mediums). But this would mean I could only work 2 days a week. I've also just been signed off for 2 months for anxiety and depression by my doctor, and I've put in a claim for ESA, but whether or not I'll actually get it is a totally different matter.

So I have 2 dilemmas. The first being not sure of what to do with myself, and secondly, not really knowing how to go about it. I'm quite down about this issue, because most of the people I've graduated with have walked into jobs, or have set themselves up as freelancers or started their own business. I kinda feel like i've failed a bit, because I'm in a total mess about what to do with my life and really depressed, where everyone else seems to be flying high...

I'm not even sure about how to go about seeking work for either of these jobs, or how I'd present myself...or even if I'm ready for them. I haven't even done more than part time work, and I'm quite frankly a bit scared about the prospect of trying to balance work and my mental health.

Any ideas?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can you talk to the careers adviser at uni?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They are really quite pointless. You get given a factsheet and sent on your merry way. Plus Going back to uni would involve a 4 hr round trip and waiting until september for someone to be there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Work will help you mental health. What jobs are available locally? Where have you been job searching?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You should be able to get extra help for job searching due to mental health.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    a fair bit of warehouse work, construction, aerospace, and some secretarial stuff. Nothing I'm actually qualified or experienced in, but I'm willing to commute. Where would I get help for job searching from? I've been signed off for 2 months anyway, and the job centre don't want to know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You need to work out what skills you gained at university that can transfer well to a work environment. Tailor your CV to include these things to highlight your employability. If you apply for the secretarial stuff, you can say that you're well spoken and presented, and can communicate well- use uni presentations as demonstration of this. You can say that you are used to working under pressure and producing high standards of work to deadlines- all assignments as examples. Used to working by yourself- dissy, and in groups- group projects? Organised- juggling different assignments with work and extra curricular activities etc etc.

    For the warehouse jobs you can stress how reliable you are- attendance at uni and all work done to high standard on time. You're good with learning new skills, and doing practical work with your hands- singing and musical instruments as examples.

    Another way of job hunting is to do a search on al the workplaces you'd like to work, make a list. Phone them up and have a chat to see if they have any current vacancies or ones coming up. Get the email address and phone number for whoever is in charge of hiring. Then, one by one, tailor your CV for each organisation and send them out. Follow each CV up with a phone call to discuss. Perhaps tell them you'd like to start in any position in the company, that you really want to work with them and why, and stress the skills and enthusiasm you can bring.

    Sign up with a few agencies, even if you don't get a job- you should get some interview experience. Again, after you send them your CV call them the next day to go over it. You need to phone agencies pretty frequently, then they have you at the front of their minds when a job comes up, and then they put you forward for it. If you don't call them, they're not so hot on replying or making any effort.

    Um, does that help or give you any ideas at all?

    Also, don't stress. IT might seem like everyone on your course has finished and magically landed on their feet but I don't believe it for one second. Yes, some people will land the perfect grad job but most people are in the same position as you- no idea what it is they even want to do, needing money and entering into a difficult job market. Don't worry if it doesn't happen for you straight away, no one can ever take your degree away from you now, and it will pay off for you in the long run if you keep believing in yourself. x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    working links?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm wanting a career not just a job to pay the bills. I'll give working links a try, I'm not sure what the situation would be with ESA and being signed off for 2 months though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You have little work experience, no direction and a whole list of fussy requirements. Just got over yourself, get a job, and then think about how you can get a career.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How is finding work that allows me to look after my various health issues, being fussy? Surely thats being sensible! I've burned myself out before I know that if I go head-first into something that doesn't work for me I'm going to do it again and end up in hospital. Getting experience in something thats totally irrelevant to what i want to do isn't going to help me in the long run.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    work experience in anything is better than the massive gap you're going to get on your CV by thinking you're above a secretarial job. Why isn't that good enough for you- because you've got a degree? You have a 2:1 in Music- what the hell job do you think you're going to get? And if you already know, then go get it and quit whining on here. How are you going to support yourself financially while you wait for the perfect career?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's much easier to get a job, and get started on a career, when you're currently in employment.

    Work out what kind of jobs you think you could actually do - to get used to being in employment as a starting point. Then once you've got some experience of working you'll be in a better position to work out what you want to do as a career.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    FFS, I was asking for advice not a lecture!

    I don't think I'm above a secretarial job - I'm dyslexic, I think I'll get fired within a week. I was hoping someone would be able to suggest some entry-level positions that I might be able to do. My degree didn't cover music performance, it covered music business (so i've got marketing experience), music production, and music sociology (so I know my way around a library, and how to research and some sociological ideologies). I've got OSX & windows 7, office 07/08 for mac, logic 9, bento, mindmapping software experience. I've got a lot of volunteer experience, with hospital radio, student services, and working with kids from difficult backgrounds on art projects.

    I have some savings which I've been living off of so far, but my doctor has asked me to stop looking for work and consentrate on looking after myself, because I've been getting so depressed. So I've been told I should be claiming ESA whilst I'm still signed off, and after that either go back to college and study make-up artistry or work part-time. I'd just like an idea of where to look, rather than applying for things that I've got not chance of getting, so I have less chance of getting totally dispondant at constant rejection.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You ignored most of the advice I gave you and just got your arse in your hand over my suggestion that you apply for the jobs that are currently available locally. Good luck in your search :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I could work in retail, but I haven't done shop work in 4+ years, and I'm not till trained. I'd love to work in a Library, but trying to find a part-time paid position when libraries are closing down left right and centre is going to be nigh on impossible (unless I find a job within a school or a university). I'm not sure what else I could do with my experience.

    Does anything spring to mind with the info I've given?

    I did one of those job suitablity questionairres, but it just came back with research-based jobs...which there aren't very many entry level jobs available.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Secretarial type work within a business you might be interested in? Classroom assisstant?

    I know you ruled out secretarial work because you're dyslexic, but in reality it's pretty much all computer based - so depending on how your dyslexia affects you and how you compensate it may not actually be a problem.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd quite like to be a classroom assistant, but wouldn't I need further qualifications to do it?

    Its the organisational side of secretarial work that I think would be difficult. I have dyspraxia as well, and I'm terrible at trying to organise myself, let alone anyone else.

    Maybe I'm downplaying my strengths and up-playing my weak spots. I've been adviced to go on some assertiveness training, but I'm having trouble trying to find one in my area thats not going to be expencive. My self-esteem is really low, so looking at potencial careers is not easy when I feel I don't have a huge amount to offer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Check out the classroom assisstant thing, most places you don't need any qualifications at all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    I could work in retail, but I haven't done shop work in 4+ years, and I'm not till trained. I'd love to work in a Library, but trying to find a part-time paid position when libraries are closing down left right and centre is going to be nigh on impossible (unless I find a job within a school or a university). I'm not sure what else I could do with my experience.

    Does anything spring to mind with the info I've given?

    I did one of those job suitablity questionairres, but it just came back with research-based jobs...which there aren't very many entry level jobs available.

    Bear in mind that many shops use quite different till sofware, or even if its the same software, its that highly customized that they usually expect to have to train some new staff members in how to use it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Few people come out of University with their career all mapped out, most people who say they do are just blagging it. Most people come out of uni, temp a bit, muddle about a bit and then work out what they're doing a bit later. Don't worry so much, but don't be sniffy about work. Any work is better than no work. IME you'd probably find that your mental health would improve in work rather than sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've been looking after my mum because she suffers from ME and then ended up having an emergency appendix op, so not much time for Jeremy Kyle!

    What should I do in terms of being signed off? Am I not allowed to be working during that time, or is it up to me? I've still be adviced to at least start off part-time...is that reasonable? I'm quite worried about it all, especially since I've just put in a claim for ESA. Don't get me wrong! I want to be working and contributing to society, but I've been suffering from mental health issues throughout my uni course, and I'm scared that throwing myself into work will make it worse, but at the same time I need to make money to pay the bills...I kind of feel I'm scrounging on ESA...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You won't get ESA for mental ill-health, I'll tell you that much now. The test is onerous and about 70% of applications are turned down.
  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in
    Hi People,

    Let's remember that these boards are intended to support others - please keep your advice friendly and positive and, because we only know the barest of details of someone's circumstances, so be careful not to prejudge.

    Miss_Riot - given your degree, the general direction your want your career to go and the work experience you've already got, I'd suggest contacting every festival organiser under the sun and offering your services. Throughout the summer there are all kinds of festivals - from the headline ones such as Reading/v, through to local melas, fates and music festivals.

    They all need people to help 'work them', from looking after the artists, setting up staging, technical skills such as lighting, mixing music etc. Not only does this work fit in with your existing degree/skills, but it also gets you mixing with the kinds of people who can help you develop your career. If you want to do something like artist management/imaging - a small festival where you can meet not only up-coming artists, but photographers, agents etc will help you no end. Get some business cards (such as moocards) with your email/phone number and then just make sure everyone gets one. Even if you aren't working them, get yourself in to free festivals and hang around stage doors and just try and chat and meet people - get numbers/cards/company names.

    Yes, it might not immediately pay the bills, but with a bit of perservance you'll probably meet a few people who are interested in having someone helping them out, and that allows you to earn and learn about the industry without committing to a particular job or career direction.

    And, what about setting up your own local bands night? It can simply be a function room in a local pub, but it's an excellent way of not only meeting potential clients (the artists), but agents and scouts who are looking for potential talent.

    Similarly, something like a blog where you are looking at how different bands use imaging to help them sell themselves will demonstrate to people that you have real knowledge about the subject, as well as potentially helping you bring in new business.

    There isn't necessarily an advertised job that you'll find, but with a bit of ingenuity I'm sure you'll start building up your career.

    Good luck...



    Olly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Olly...

    If I do get ESA, then I'm going to go back to college in September and do this course (make-up artistry) I've been given a place in and just see how it goes. If I don't then I'll live off my savings until the end of the summer, and work part-time about 2/3 days a week, and have to just live very frugally for the next year. I'm going to try and do a few shifts volunteering in the local community store (run by local volunteers because its not cost effcient for someone to run as anything other than a community enterprise), and see how I go. If it really works, and I'm doing well then maybe I can look for something part-time until I start the course. I'm still really undecided, but I need to do something that not going to make me miserable, but still pay the bills.

    Great ideas Olly, but I'm really wanting to move away from working within the music industry (hense the re-training). I've done the festival circuit for years before uni and got no where, and I've just spent nearly 4 months managing a band, and just had it all thrown back in my face and was humiliated by the band. I don't think I could work with people like that for sometime again, my confidence is far too dented to take more of that shit without falling apart even more than I already have.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    You ignored most of the advice I gave you and just got your arse in your hand over my suggestion that you apply for the jobs that are currently available locally. Good luck in your search :D

    I thought your advice was good. So, thanks for that. :)
    Few people come out of University with their career all mapped out, most people who say they do are just blagging it. Most people come out of uni, temp a bit, muddle about a bit and then work out what they're doing a bit later. Don't worry so much, but don't be sniffy about work.

    I've been told this too and I still don't know what I really want to do as a career.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You won't get ESA for mental ill-health, I'll tell you that much now. The test is onerous and about 70% of applications are turned down.

    I know plenty of people on ESA for mental ill health.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    I know plenty of people on ESA for mental ill health.

    The criteria has now changed and it is nigh on impossible to get ESA at all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    I know plenty of people on ESA for mental ill health.

    Whereas I have clients who have severe ME and brain tumours yet were turned down for it.

    If the mental ill-health is to the extent that someone requires long term in-patient or out-patient treatment at hospital they will probably get ESA. If the mental ill-health can be treated with medication and counselling (i.e. most depression and PTSD) they won't.

    The ESA test is different to the older incapacity benefit/income support test and is much more onerous. Instead of looking at what you can't do, they look at what you can do. Most people are physically and mentally capable of doing some work, at least in the opinion of the DWP.

    Generally if you're well enough to study at college the DWP will take it to mean that you're also well enough to work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When it comes to work generally its better to do something rather than do nothing. Don't hold out for you dream job to appear, its not worth the gap on your CV. Its pretty normal to not know what kind of career you want but the best way to get some idea is to get any job. That way you work out what you enjoy and what you are good at and it will build up your confidence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JanePerson wrote: »
    When it comes to work generally its better to do something rather than do nothing. Don't hold out for you dream job to appear, its not worth the gap on your CV. Its pretty normal to not know what kind of career you want but the best way to get some idea is to get any job. That way you work out what you enjoy and what you are good at and it will build up your confidence.

    :yes: It's also easier to get a new job whilst already working.
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