Why rush to spend the rest of your life behind a desk?
“Someone, somewhere, somehow has told us that fulfilment is found by going straight into a job, straight away. It’s all bullshit.”
Somewhere along the way, preconditioned by whispers in the wind about a harsh economic climate and the Universities’ obsession with corporate career fairs, I decided that I was in a race with everyone else to land my dream corporate job.
I, like so many others, found myself spending large sections of my first year applying for internships, convincing myself I wanted a job in a bank, needing to get ahead of the crowd. I ate it all up and got myself an internship in the city.
I even read an online tutorial on taking a powerful LinkedIn account photo and then forced my sister to photo-shoot me in the kitchen while I sweated under a lamp. It ended up more used car salesman than banker but it didn’t matter because I was living the dream. Supposedly.
Get a job – but don’t get one now
As it turns out, I had more fun this summer in two days getting spat at by people in the street for asking them to sign up to a charity than I did in my eight weeks in the city.
I’m not saying don’t get a job, but that pressure you feel to stay apace with everyone else, to get a job in financial services, to get a job before your bed in Notts has even gone cold, before you’ve achieved the mercurial 2.1, it’s all bullshit.
Someone, somewhere, somehow has told us that fulfilment is found by going straight into a job, straight away.
In Spain people take siestas in the middle of the day, but in Britain we pride ourselves on long hours, all year round. If we already know the inevitability of a life spent in an office, resigned to only seeing the sun on weekends, why are we in such a hurry to join the rat race?
After eight weeks living the everyday reality of 80 commuters in every tube carriage standing silently together, emptily staring at travel insurance adverts, pondering holidays they’re never going to go on, you begin to reassess whether this is what it’s all about.
When I’m old and decrepit, somehow I don’t think one of my big life regrets will be that I didn’t jump into my career after graduating. Our childhood dreams of working in audit for Deloitte can wait.
The void that exists between graduating and real life is probably the final chance you’ll ever have to explore and travel the world on your own. Fast forward a year, and your four week holiday is going to be allocated and penned in by somebody else.
It’s last chance saloon to make fun decisions for yourself, before life starts to dictate them for you.