In all my 20 years of life, I don’t believe I have ever sighed as big a sigh of relief as the one I did when I saw this headline:
For once, in the impending tsunami of life’s responsibilities, I felt like there was finally someone who had said what I wanted to let everyone in my life who ever expected anything from me know – ‘I don’t know what I’m doing after university’, and I shouldn’t have to (yet)!
Coming to the end of three years at university with graduation just a mere two months away, the world of jobs, internships, apprenticeships, and actual ‘work’ (paid or unpaid) are creeping up quickly. Or they should be, as everyone else around has let me believe all these years.
Graduating with a pretty wide degree in Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, there are a plethora of avenues I could take work-wise, and work opportunities shouldn’t be hard to find considering within the UK creative occupations rose to 2.9 million in 2015.
I understand that there is a great mass of reasons and statistics that I can continue to add to the pile of why a pursuance of a job in The Arts and/or the creative industries should be the next step for me, another example being that the creative industries are apparently now worth £84.1 billion each year, generating £9.6 million per hour – that’s a lot of money I could potentially be earning a very, very, small part of.
But the problem is, in a world where many of us may be struggling with the #firstworldproblem of having too many choices, maybe the creative industries are too big.
Encompassing sectors like technology, design, and publishing, the vast landscape which is the creative industries makes it almost impossible for someone as indecisive as me to find any form of a true calling anywhere.
I have had experience in a variety of jobs within the creative industries – writing a blog for a business I knew nothing about, working on the floor of a television production, and embodying the persona of a squirrel to review quirky advertising and marketing content (complete with tree and nut puns…) – but I am yet to find something that I truly enjoy doing, that will motivate me to wake up in those early hours of the morning to do work that will not only earn me enough to finally self-sustain myself, but more importantly let me finally contribute something meaningful to society.
I know that the ‘perfect’ job will most likely never just appear unannounced and out of nowhere, no matter how much I wish and pray to land a job without ever having to leave the house. But if my experiences working ‘creatively’ within a number of different industries has taught me anything, it’s that there really is a job out there for everyone, no matter their interests, skill-set or amount of work experience.
I don’t expect to come to any sudden epiphanic realisation that I know exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life anytime soon; maybe I’ll end up being a professional graphic designer who works only in Microsoft Paint (refer to the first image in this post that I masterfully crafted), or a game developer who also produces amazing transmedia narratives on the side – who knows?!
The point is, I believe we should take our time to explore the infinite opportunities the creative industries can provide us with, before we go making any kind of permanently life-changing decisions.
So, should you (or your child) should take six months off after university? I think I’ll answer with a resounding ‘yes’.