‘My Career in Lockdown’: The podcast helping lost graduates

Staying positive, standing out and finding a job

We’re all on this corona-coaster together, merely trying to get from one day to the next. But once you get to the tenth banana bread, the “I really need a job” mentality definitely kicks in.

I went for the less conventional cheesecake #trendsetter

2020 graduates in particular are having to plan the rest of their lives without really knowing what’s around the corner, and life is more unpredictable than ever. One Cardiff student told The Cardiff Tab, “I never realised how hard it would actually be. I applied for scheme after scheme and just haven’t got anywhere. It’s definitely not as smooth-sailing as I pictured”.

The podcast that will answer your questions

We reached out to the Cardiff careers team, whose advice to graduates was “not to despair” but most of all to listen to their student-run podcast calledMy Career in Lockdown which aims to help the unemployed student. And here’s what they have to say…

“pull the positives in all the doom and gloom”

“It’s about really trying to pull out the positives in all the doom and gloom” said Chloe, the post grad Journalism student who was asked to set up the podcast along with Mike Staines. In an interview, we spoke about the current job market and being unemployed – challenges they too were facing. The two post-graduates understand that being “stuck at home, you start looking for jobs and that pressure comes a lot sooner” than it would in an ideal, pandemic-free world. Chloe told The Cardiff Tab that what “keeps me sane is just knowing there’s so many people in the same boat”.

Use the university careers services

Most university students neglect their careers services either because they’re too busy or have other ways to find jobs. Chloe and Mike told The Cardiff Tab, “people don’t use it enough because you’re so focused on getting a degree and having fun”. They added, “there’s lots of fun stuff that I didn’t know was there like the personality quizzes” which are apparently like fun quizzes posted by news sites. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you what character from ‘Friends’ you’re going to be but it can tell you a lot about your future, and give you some kind of clarity on what you should be doing.

Losing placements and jobs is a hard knock

The pair told The Cardiff Tab that “everyone has sort of had this time taken from them” and they’re no strangers to this. Chloe was awaiting her placement this summer, which she, like many others, hoped would lead them to full time employment. “We didn’t have that because everything came crashing down”.  Mike also added that “normally, you’d graduate uni, some of you would apply for jobs, some of you would go do your masters, some of you would go backpacking for a year”, but due to the pandemic “it feels like you have to go straight into work”.

The Podcast Conversation

Each week, a new episode is released and titled with a question, turning it into “a conversation and from the student’s point of view”.  The pair told The Cardiff Tab that experts are brought in to “answer that question with a little more expertise”.

One episode was on mental health, which I’m sure many of us could find useful after being in isolation for so long. A London-based therapist speaks to Chloe and Mike about mental health and coping with job rejections. “When we both came into this we were like, look, we need to talk about mental health, like we need to have a whole episode on mental health”, Chloe told The Cardiff Tab.

Current episodes

The episodes that are currently available for you are ‘What should we be doing?‘, ‘How Can I Stay Positive?’, ‘Where Can I Find A Job?‘, and ‘How Can I Stand Out In An Interview?’. If you’ve been asking yourself any of these questions over quarantine, this is definitely the resource for you.

I’m also told that they’re going to bring in what happens post-university. I always thought once you’ve left uni, that’s it, “we’ve taken all your money and we don’t care anymore”. Surprisingly, your careers team can still help you when you’ve left uni. It’s reassuring to know that after spending £9,000, they don’t just forget about you.

Check out Chloe and Mike’s podcast (released every Friday) by searching for ‘My Career in Lockdown’ on Spotify, or follow this link. (You don’t even have to put in any effort, just click for your career problems to be solved).

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