If you read my previous post last week, you’ll know that I have now finished my counselling course. This post is a (kind of) follow on from that and a post I sure would’ve loved to have read back when I finished my undergraduate degree. It’s for all you graduates (or soon to be) that have hit that brick wall, been rejected or are panicking about that big old question: what now?
So I guess starting at the beginning would be a good idea: before I did a masters in counselling, I did an undergraduate psychology degree that lasted 3 years. The course was accredited by the BPS (British Psychological Society, something to look out for if you’re thinking about doing a psychology degree yourself) which basically means it was a recognised course. We covered a LOT in those 3 years, we even had an option of doing a placement year halfway through. I actually didn’t do this for various reasons which now, with hindsight, could’ve been more helpful than I ever imagined…
I left university after the third year (which was bloody difficult all round) and moved back home with a 2:1 and the pictures in my cap and gown to prove it. I remember feeling happy to be home and hopeful for all those potential jobs coming my way. But quite the opposite ended up happening.
It may not be the case for everyone, but I think a lot of graduates do struggle to get into employment. Sometimes people can get lucky and land a great job but equally, some graduates end up going into a job completely unrelated to their degree. Or in other instances, no job for months.
From my own personal experience, I was one of those people who did manage to get a job but not one I could use my degree I’d worked so hard for. Although this first job was of interest to me, it just wasn’t what I’d always seen myself doing. I left after just over half a year to fully commit to finding that “dream psychology job”. I was so determined, hopeful and enthusiastic I would find it, I spent pretty much every day searching and applying online. It was a huge reality check for me; I was so sure I was going to find something straight away but I was constantly met with rejection or, even more disheartening, no response at all.
I will admit, it was difficult. It left me feeling like nothing good was going to come my way. I felt at a dead end, I just couldn’t get to where I wanted to be no matter how hard I tried. I was miserable and was beginning to lose hope.
After months of feeling down, frustrated and worried I was never going to get to where I wanted to be, I noticed that more places had been introduced on a counselling course not far from where I lived. I applied and the rest all happened very fast! Before I knew it, I had been offered a place and was sitting in the lecture room on my first day of the course suddenly with new hope and excitement for what lay ahead.
My point is (after spinning that long-winded life story of mine), so much can change. This time last year, I wasn’t in a “dream psychology job” where I was using my degree; I couldn’t see a future in one anytime soon and I was facing bucket loads of rejection. Now, I’ve completed a counselling course, have secured a placement in a counselling service with my own caseload of clients and have refreshed hope for the future.
When it feels like you’re at a dead end, I really believe that it can and it will get better. I’m living proof of that. The only way is up. We can feel defeated but this can change in ways we just don’t expect when we least expect it.
During that period of really struggling to find a job, my mum bought me a decoration for my room to spur me on that reads:
“The best is yet to come”
At the time, that seemed so far out of reach but now, I can believe that it will happen. I’ve seen it can happen. I hope, that if you are in that same position that I was, or you are just really struggling in general right now, that you can believe it too.