Oh how time flies!
My previous post dabbled on my feelings towards post-graduation. So? Let’s talk about post-graduation! With this being a sensitive subject, not many people are comfortable discussing the matter at hand – at least not on a large platform. For those of you who are recent-graduates seeking employment, or even novice-level contenders in The Game of Adulting, I urge you to read on!
It’s been just over a year since I’ve graduated and began actively looking for a design job. During this period last year, I was in turmoil from getting frustrated with the lack of experience I had in the design industry. In consequence, I have been unable to sustain a job in the creative field. For those who are in the same position that I was/continue to be in, just know that you’re not alone.
This past year has been a rollercoaster of emotions fuelled by lack of belief in myself. It’s disheartening to hear that thousands of post-graduates (myself included) have been unable to land a job role in something they’re truly passionate about. In the midst of countless cover letter drafts and CV applications, I’d managed to land myself a job at a GP surgery. While I knew that this wasn’t going to be a job that I saw a future in, I needed it at the time. Not for the money, no. I needed it for myself. I needed to get myself back up. I needed to get myself back out there. I needed to feel productive and I needed to feed my self-worth. Most of all, I needed to feel needed.
During my employment at the GP surgery, I’d set myself the goal of continuing to apply to design-based jobs during my hours outside of work. I had interviews here and there, but I’d never been successful in landing a sustainable creative role. As months flew by, I’d watched my classmates flutter away as they’d landed roles in our graduated degree, I began to doubt my talent. I began to doubt myself.
Huewinn Chan CV 2016 (prior to the name change)
My friends in the creative field questioned why I was still unable to make it in the design industry, and a handful of them had in fact offered an opportunity to work for the company they were employed in. My creative-fuel was at an all time low, yet I’d declined. Be it pride, lack of confidence, or not wanting to take advantage of a true friendship; I continued to leave each opportunity with a vague and uncertain reply.
I was constantly going back and forth with wondering what I’d wanted in my life in relation to career choices. I knew it was in design. Likewise, I knew that I didn’t want to go into the degree I’d graduated in. I didn’t want to be a generic spatial designer. I wanted something more conceptually based. I wanted to make! I wanted to draw! I wanted to be ‘creatively unique’.
But I wasn’t. At least I didn’t feel it, not anymore. Not after the countless ‘we regret to inform you’ emails and the ‘you’re not what we’re looking for’ replies.
I was at at my lowest when it had hit March (2017); it had been 6 months since I’d officially started to look for a job in design. Half a year, and the closest I’d been to being creative was doodling on scrap paper at work. Yet I continued to be inflexible with my career choice. I continued to relentlessly apply to design jobs that weren’t in my graduated field, and I continued to expect a different outcome from being atrociously inflexible and stubborn with my choices.
Throughout the past year, I’d been twisting and turning and contemplating the underlying reason why I’d been unsuccessful, and I’ve decided to settle on the following reason:
I never truly wanted it.
At least not enough. Like I said, I hated compromising my values. I’d grit my teeth whenever I’d introduced myself as Hannah, and that was as far as I would go. The bottom line is, if I really wanted it… if I really wanted to work for a design firm, I would have done whatever it took to get there.
But I didn’t, did I? I didn’t purge my existing values of being true to myself, and I didn’t sugarcoat my answers during loathsome Q&A interviews. Likewise, I didn’t change the layout of my CV despite receiving several feedback from others that the design had looked too architectural.
There were plenty of steps that I could have taken towards getting my foot in the door within the design industry. Heck, for one, I should have strictly applied to spatial design firms! But I didn’t.
I didn’t, and I’m glad that I didn’t! In February, I’ll be quitting my role as a GP receptionists and heading towards my own route of interest. Despite having no clear direction of the path that I’m heading towards, I’m excited and I’m eager! I’m taking control of my life bit by bit at a time, and I’m starting by opening up to you all about overcoming the fear unknown in the adult world.
No one really spends much time talking about the gruelling reality of post-graduation. Sure, there are articles here and there, and there are a few sporadic posts. However, it’s all quite hush-hush. At the end of the day, no one really enjoys talking about a fragile and ego-bruising topic.
So let me help you all out, follow me on my journey exploring life as a post-graduate taking unconventional adult routes. There’ll be ups and there’ll be downs in life, but hey, at least you’ll have someone to relate to at times of despair!
Whether you’re a new contender in the Adult World or have been playing this game for years, just know that you’re not the only one struggling to play the game. So why not go off the rails? Why not say ‘fuck you’ to the norms of society and follow what you truly want. What truly makes you feel fantastic.
So what do you want? I want to know.
Feel free to Contact me here!