How to Compete in the Job Market

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/noun/ The Job Market

Description: a ceaseless carousel of laborious tasks that is almost impossible to get on board but is also a necessary obligation of life.

So, how do we do it? How do we jump on board that carousel and seize the floating horses, so to speak? If you’re not already conquering the job market then, clearly, you’re doing something wrong. Let’s retrace the steps so you can pinpoint your failures. OR! If you’re one of the few people lucky enough to be young AND eager, here are the necessary actions to take to becoming a successful career person.

Step 1 – Start Early

If you’re not a fourteen-year-old school pupil then unfortunately you’ve already missed the boat on this one *boo*! By the time you’ve reached high-school age, you should start planning for your future career prospects. This should include:

  • Visiting the school careers advisor that the Head of Year frequently mentions but no one bats an eyelid at because you guessed it… you’re still a CHILD! Well, let me tell you, my friend, that one lost soul who made frequent appointments with the careers advisor is now earning 100k a year and is sunning it up in St. Tropez. Don’t miss out. Start NOW.
  • Putting some shifts in at a local job. Something that takes up 80% of your weekends and bank holidays should be sufficient.
  • Practising a musical instrument and becoming part of a band (which demonstrates dedication to a hobby, and you never know, you might make a career as a concert pianist out of it).
  • Getting a gold Duke of Edinburgh award and being asked to a meet-and-greet with the man himself. (Do this early in the morning before putting in your weekend shift at the local abattoir).

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Step 2 – The College Years

By the time college age rolls around (and hurrah if you’re reading this and are 17-years-old – you’ve still got chance not to fluff it all up!), you ought to be well on your way to career success.

Besides the horror of 8-5 days of back-to-back A-Level studies, the peer pressure to wear the same £40 Topshop jeans that all the other girls are wearing but you can’t afford because you’ve just finished your part-time waitressing job to do an unpaid internship, you should be making sure you’re gaining as much adult experience as possible.

This would include *surprise surprise* taking on more free work (to be done during holiday times), and networking with friends’ parents in the hopes that they’re well connected enough to GET you the unpaid work in the first place.

Step 3 – Uni Days

This is when things really start to crunch. During your time at uni, you should have cemented down a solid career plan (and maybe have started saving up for a mortgage). Five, ten, even thirty years down the line you should know where you want to be.

Once this is secured, you can make appropriate steps to achieving said dream career. This would include more unpaid work and paid work under the minimum wage in at least three different aspects of your future career. But, you can do this during all the free time you have during the week because students don’t have anything else to do, right?

When it comes to the end of your educational career you should have a similar experience level to that of a 42-year-old CEO.

The Conclusion

Failing this, you could muddle along with career move to career move in your twenties, hoping for some sort of break through but really just drowning in your own misery and anxiety. The chances of succeeding at this age are slim when you’re up against Pandora who became a fully qualified accountant aged 17 (shout-out to that careers advisor).

But remember, when you do come across your dream job, it’s helpful to bear in mind that it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to afford a mortgage or to buy your own car outright, so you were probably better off not even bothering in the first place!

Good Luck!

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What I’m Wearing


Dress | Zara, here

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