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The Job Hunt Diaries: A week in the life of a fresh graduate on the search

IMAGE VIA Rouje Paris

WORDS BY MAGENTA PORTER

Documenting the awkward (and chaotic) time between finishing your degree and landing that dream role.

Thursday 7.48am

Snooze both alarms a record of seven times. Finally, I get up and shuffle to the kitchen to make coffee with a podcast thumping through my Airpods in an attempt to wake me up. Today is my final day of classes, ever.

I said that when I finished my undergrad, I am now saying it again as I round out my master’s, hoping this time I’m right. Coffee in hand, I go back up to my room, hop back into bed and whip open my laptop. The screen rudely displays an essay that is due tonight that I have barely gotten halfway through. Procrastinator till the end as they say. 

10am

Sit down for the second last class of my degree (on Zoom, à la pandemic style). Upon quickly scrolling through the module outline, I realise that I am about to spend three hours learning about how to write a 500-word reflection. Seems to me that this class could have been cancelled and replaced with a one-page how-to.  


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11.15am 

Turns out my lecturer is a legend and cuts our class short after an hour. I celebrate by making my second coffee of the day. As I stand at my Nespresso machine, I realise that I haven’t left the apartment since Tuesday and make a note to do that at some point today (even though it’s raining). Sydney’s non-locked down city is wasted on me at this point. 

5pm

Visit the fridge to grab an Aperol spritz to accompany my final class (a lecturer pre-approved beverage of course), and make a haphazard cheese platter to line the stomach. Three hours of class to go, and seven hours until I hit my final essay deadline. Another class member is drinking red wine from a martini glass in their Zoom tile, and I see a sneaky double black in another fellow celebratory hand. No judgement here, whatever floats your boat.

Friday 8.30am

I sit down at my desk, ready to start my workday as an intern here at FJ. Hesitantly, I open LinkedIn to have a quick scroll through the latest media and publishing jobs, most of which require at least two years of experience. I hastily apply for one as a lifestyle writer anyway despite not meeting all of the job requirements, and try not to freak out at the sheer lack of entry-level jobs in my field. Whatever is meant to be will be! Haha!!!!

6pm 

After receiving a surprise delivery of flowers and expensive bubbles from my parents from across the country, I realise that I should probably celebrate the end of my post-graduate studies. A very impromptu Friday night follows. After enjoying the expensive sparkling with my aunt and uncle, I continue the party with my housemates as we down an exceedingly less expensive bottle of prosecco over cheese and crackers.

Queue the ‘you out?!?’ texts to numerous friends as I realise I am far more wobbly than my housemates and must continue the party elsewhere. I end up on the High Street with my cousin, and what proceeds is a very random night of dancing on various pub dance floors. After being touched on the bum by a seedy man (so this is STILL happening) we leave in search of hot chips at about 2am. 

Saturday 5pm

After working all day at my retail job, with surprisingly little to no hangover, I declare to myself that I am not drinking again tonight. I have a karaoke night with my netball team ahead but I vow that I shall only stay for one social beverage, sing my heart out and head home. 

10.30pm

We end up going dancing, because of course. The highlight of the night was when a drag queen told me I am like one of those Energiser batteries and everyone else at the club is a Duracell. I think it was a compliment? Still unsure. Probably a reaction to my terrible dancing which consists of a lot of jumping up and down. We end the night eating pizza in a park, a great team bonding experience if I don’t say so myself. I’m home in bed, showered, by 1am. Not exactly the night I planned for but I am rather happy with the outcome. 

Monday 9.30am

After a rather large weekend of impromptu celebrating, my bank account and my head hurt. Today is my first official day ‘off’ in over a month and so naturally, I am starting to panic about my future. I decide to hit the job applications hard for an hour or so, after already applying for a few and not hearing back yet (insert nervous laugh here). After trawling through the various different job listing sites (honestly how are we supposed to keep up!)

I apply for a role as a marketing coordinator at a local firm. Although I didn’t major in marketing, I know I can do all of the key tasks outlined in the job description and so I draft a follow-up email, just to introduce myself to the company director. I hit send and immediately realise my auto-correct has changed ‘Marketing’ to ‘Marking’ in the subject headline and cringe at this rookie error and write it off as a no-reply. 

1.43pm

I am sitting in a park with my best friend enjoying some lovely black truffle cheddar and salami when I receive an email back regarding the Marketing Coordinator position. Despite my typo (let’s hope they also didn’t realise) I somehow manage to lock in an IRL ‘chat’, after sending through some more examples of my work.

Immediately, the stress that was weighing on my shoulders begins to fade. The director who I’m emailing with seems lovely and I cannot wait to meet them this coming Thursday. To say it’s been a rollercoaster of a week would be an understatement, but watch this space! Corporate working life could (potentially) be around the corner. Blazers ahoy! 

If you’re also on the job search, head here for some more useful tips on how to land a graduate role. 

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