When did ‘No Experience Required’, become a depressing code for – ‘Actually, we require three years’ experience in the field and a brilliant portfolio to prove it’? It seems that for the millennia out in the muddy trenches attempting to get a job in the brutal and highly competitive world of work they are now faced with these unrealistic expectations every day.
Of course, logically, many of us will apply for a job to gain further experience, drawing on and building upon the skills we already hold. Yet many employers now claim you need additional experience to apply for even an entry level role.
The competition to succeed in your chosen field has been stepped up a notch and a first class honours degree will no longer cut it. Claiming you volunteered when you were 15 and again on your gap year will simply not suffice in this new modern age. You must prove that this has been your dream career since you were five and as a result, have worked extensively up to this very point to prove this is the very job role for you.
In reality however, this is not always reality. Sometimes I wish that I had always wanted to be a vet, or a lawyer – a career with a stringent and focused path that I couldn’t deviate from. Instead, I chose the degree I enjoyed best and hoped this would lead me in the right direction (although there was a week or two where I was determined I wanted to become an Archaeologist, until my Mum said I was being ridiculous).
These days, more and more of us are deciding to venture further into higher education, and doing rather well in it too it seems. It was reported in January that the number of graduates achieving a first has risen from 17% to 24% in just five years and 90% of graduates are now in employment.
It was also reported this year that many employers are now said to be less focused on degree subjects, but rather evident passion and enthusiasm for the role. Perhaps then, despite the minefield that establishing a career and finding a job we will love and enjoy can present, we can all be sure of one thing: having passion for something is sometimes the most important skill you can own.