• Jessica C

Graduate Job Hunting… and Angry Birds


You thought that property law was the most horrific thing you had ever done, didn’t you? You thought that after 1,000 pages of equity and trusts (excluding the cases), you could get through anything, didn’t you? Just wait until you start applying for graduate jobs.

Every government department, law firm and company in Australia now knows how good I am at working in a team, how I respond to change, and about how I just love a good challenge.

At first I found myself taking these applications very seriously, particularly with the jobs I really wanted, but I was soon catching myself writing things like, “a huge challenge in my life was getting through my legal theory textbook. Don’t believe me? Here’s a link to a picture of it.”

There were also days where the time I had dedicated to job applications was actually spent playing Angry Birds. I have completed every level of the game on both my computer and my iPad.

I decided some time ago, that actually practicing law might not be the career of my dreams. I wanted to find something in policy advisory bodies working in Indigenous or human rights. Of course, I explained this in my applications to the Commonwealth Bank corporate stream and BHP for a human resources position. I don’t hold out high hopes for these ones, given that I didn’t even study a single human resources subject. Or any banking law.

The job of my dreams however, did actually pop up in the graduate job hunt. A number of times. Every time something came up that looked like it might be of interest to me, it was the job of my dreams. In fact, there were occasions when I would be sitting in a class, applying because to wait until I got home would surely be a disadvantage. I’m certain that the people around me could smell the desperation as I frantically typed out a 200-word response to “What makes you the ideal candidate for this role” during my legal theory lecture. On my phone.

If I get an interview for those jobs, it’s a story I am going to tell them. Or maybe I will tell them about how I have wanted to be working in Indigenous and human rights law since kindergarten. I wouldn’t be lying.

Having completing a number of graduate job applications I’ve noticed that they all ask very similar questions. “Why do you want to be in this graduate program instead of other departments?” This is the most common one I’ve been given. I’m bored just reading the question. Awkward. I don’t have the heart to tell them that I don’t actually mind which job I get. As long as I get one that is good enough to sustain my online shopping addictions.

I submitted 23 serious job applications in the past month. For real jobs, in the real world. I have spent five years at university studying a degree, under what I now feel were false pretenses; that I would have a better chance at getting a job. I read textbook after textbook, I made case note after case note, sat through exam after exam and I have been the world’s biggest bore for five precious years of my life, to receive a folder full of rejection letters. Yes, take a moment to shed a tear for me.

Not too many though. I have devised an elaborate plan B. It involves moving to Hawaii…

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#careers #jobmarket #graduate #firstjob #jobapplication

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