20something profile: Daniella
After three years of studying English with Creative Writing, I finally graduated in July 2013. The whole day felt like a dream, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best days of my life. I had overcome so much to stay at university, and I left believing that the world owed me something. How wrong I was.
I got more and more depressed over a three month period, and I had days where I didn’t leave the house. The job centre was demoralizing, and I felt like my life was slowly falling apart.
Ever since I can remember, all I wanted to do was write. I spent my university years writing a blog and articles for a variety of publications, and I was determined to go into publishing. After a taster day at Penguin’s head office in London, I realised that a career in publishing wouldn’t be suit me. I wanted to write books, not publish them.
I sat at my desk and began drafting characters, determined to immortalise myself through creating a great work of fiction. It wasn’t long before I realised that this book would take years to finish, and I couldn’t continue to live off my parents. Drained and unoptimistic, I began my job hunt again.
Although London is a large business hub, there is still not enough work to go around. Most graduates end up in dead end retail jobs, and I was determined to find something better. I had spent my student years working in a supermarket, and I absolutely hated it.
My only other passion apart from writing was helping students. I came across a random website, applied for a job as an Academic Caseworker and hoped for the best. I had no formal experience in advice or working within a large institution, but I knew I could do the job. Three months later I am in a job that I love but still don’t feel creatively fulfilled.
I have realised that life isn’t perfect and no matter how many qualifications, nothing is guaranteed. Instead of thinking about all the things I don’t have, I focus on what I do have. My job gives me a purpose, and I know that my work affects the life of someone else. I have great colleagues and decent holiday allowance.
My lifestyle has changed dramatically, and I am slowly settling into a routine. Just because I’m not partying on a weeknight or drinking to the point of memory loss doesn’t mean that my life isn’t exciting. This is just the beginning.
As I’m sure most of you will know, it is almost impossible to begin your dream career straight way. You have to start at the bottom and appear enthusiastic when all you want to do is leave. There is more than one way to reach your ideal career, and you need to think of unique path ways in.
There is always going to be a shortage of jobs, and I believe the only way to protect yourself is become multi-skilled. Be a creative, be an academic: you are many things, so don’t limit yourself to one career.
Always remember that dreams change. We grow up, and sometimes we have a complete change of direction. That’s fine. As a modern graduate, you will need to be flexible and dynamic in order to survive. Never give up on a passion, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. You only have one life.