Graduating was a complete mix of emotions. My first thought was ‘yes, finally’, but then it dawned on me… it was time to enter the adult world! It was actually a really confusing time, I found it really hard to work out what I wanted to do, as most young people do.
I graduated with a First Class Honours in Communication, Media and Culture and genuinely thought I would just walk into a job. However, I quickly realised that I needed experience. It was time to think outside the box and look for a job that would give me ‘that’ experience.
Throughout my life, I have always been a very confident person. I danced for 12 years competing in Irish dancing competitions globally and travelled up and down the country every weekend. Unfortunately, at the age of 16, I had to give up dancing due to medical reasons. I knew this affected me, but I didn’t realise the drastic change in my confidence. Suddenly, I became very anxious in new situations and when I first started University, this was when I realised my confidence was at an all time low.
I’ve always loved education and I have a real passion for learning. Initially I wanted to study for my Masters, but instead, I decided to look for a full-time job. After researching into lots of different careers, roles and industries, I stumbled across recruitment. One of my friends (who had graduated the previous year) had also gone into recruitment and really believed it developed her professionally and that the skills she attained really added to her CV. So that was it! I set my focus on recruitment.
I started searching for recruitment consultant vacancies, of which I found several, but with any job it is so important that you do your research on each company. Quite honestly, I began looking for who paid the most money – like most people, you naturally gravitate to the highest paid role. Then I found Thompson & Terry Recruitment, who were offering a business graduate scheme, rather than just recruitment.
When you graduate, it is really hard working out what you want to do. Most University students will have been struggling financially for 3 years, so you are just desperate to earn money. But I really advise focusing on experience and gaining practical skills that will build up your CV and benefit you more in the long run. Even if you have a degree, companies really want you to have experience too and recruitment is a brilliant way to gain experience in sales, customer service and administration within an office environment, all of which will help you open doors to kicktstart your career.
Although I have only been working in recruitment for 3 months, this was the best decision I made. I chose to work for a smaller company, for slightly less money – but with many more opportunities to learn, develop and progress through a graduate programme. If you can find a graduate scheme, I really recommend it – my role is so much more than recruitment, I now manage the marketing, finance and administration of the business.
I have began networking every month, which has developed my confidence massively! Every day I am talking to candidates and clients on the phone, in person, via email and I have seen the biggest difference in myself. I can’t believe the opportunities and experiences I have gained already from recruitment, I don’t believe I would have got these in any other job – I even enjoy presenting now – not that I tell my manager that!
Recruitment is a fantastic first job after graduation, not only will it develop you professionally and teach you many practical skills, it will open so many doors for you, significantly enhance your confidence and most importantly get you ‘that’ experience!