Post Graduate Depression and Unemployment

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Anonymous #1
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I graduated from my Masters a year ago this month from a top university. I hold a high 2.1 in undergrad and a borderline merit/distinction in masters (both Life/Medical Science field). For the past year, despite having sent out over 100 applications, I have not received a single interview. Not even one. I read up on 'the law of averages' to make myself feel better but constant rejection and not getting even a single interview has really really got me down. I have been trying so hard to stay positive, but it's not helping.

I have spoken to the careers service, agencies and even the job centre. I have even gotten friends to review my cover letter/CV to spot the problem. I adjusted and readjusted my CV, and I always personalise the cover letter for each job. When asked for feedback, the reply is most often the generic ‘We receive a large volume of applications, so we cannot give feedback to individual applicants.’ or ‘We hired someone more experienced.’

About 6 months ago, I got so low on money I applied for unemployment benefit, and I felt so embarrassed. I ended up cancelling it a few weeks later.

I work as a care assistant on the bank at the hospital (a job which I held while I was at university), but I feel unemployed. I really want a graduate job or a job that relates to my field. I’ve applied for so many research assistant positions with no luck. The worst part is, I am not even getting interviews for jobs that don’t require a degree (A-Levels etc). I feel like all my studies have been wasted, and I honestly feel utterly useless.

All of my friends have found jobs or moved onto do PhD’s, and I feel incredibly stuck. I try my best to not compare myself to others, but I’ve never felt this horrible about myself before. I can't help but feel sad about the state of my life. I feel like a mess.

Being unemployed, despite being ‘qualified’, or being outright rejected (without interviews) from roles I feel I would be (over)qualified to do is making me so depressed. I have developed anxiety and chronic sadness, and have been getting so stressed that it's making me physically ill. I have really bad thoughts and doubts about my ‘self-worth’ and often feel very hopeless. I feel so ashamed of myself. I don’t know what to do. It's been a year, and all I have had are rejections. What am I supposed to do?
Is it normal to feel like this?
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-Eirlys-
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I'm really sorry you're feeling like you are and it is normal to feel that way.

You're doing everything you could do but it's not enough and that can be deflating for anyone! However, it doesn't reflect you personally so try not to take it personally. It is unfortunately the economy we live in. It is simply that the opportunity hasn't arisen for you yet. You may not feel like it, but you will have to continue trying! Have you considered trying to do some voluntary work? Maybe not having experience in the field is harming your chances.

In the mean time, maybe you could see a doctor about how you're feeling; we don't want you to go down hill to the point where you give up altogether! Good luck!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by hannxm)
I'm really sorry you're feeling like you are and it is normal to feel that way.

You're doing everything you could do but it's not enough and that can be deflating for anyone! However, it doesn't reflect you personally so try not to take it personally. It is unfortunately the economy we live in. It is simply that the opportunity hasn't arisen for you yet. You may not feel like it, but you will have to continue trying! Have you considered trying to do some voluntary work? Maybe not having experience in the field is harming your chances.

In the mean time, maybe you could see a doctor about how you're feeling; we don't want you to go down hill to the point where you give up altogether! Good luck!
Thank you for the reassurance.

I'm really not sure what else I can do. I am applying everywhere, and am prepared to move anywhere if someone would just hire me. I have done lots of volunteering and was involved in a lot of extracurricular stuff while I was at university. My masters involved a lot of hands on experience and research. I'm not even just looking at 'high paid' jobs. I am applying to everything, despite the pay. I can't get further experience if no one hires me.
I've had to move back home with my parents (huge restrictions on freedom on top of the stress) and I feel like a burden on them. I feel like I've let myself down, and I've let them down massively. I've always had a 'next step' planned, but now I'm not moving forward at all and I feel helpless. I've been spiralling hard, and just want 1 good thing to happen. Even just 1 interview.
I don't think I want to speak to a doctor non-anonymously. I don't want it to be on the medical record, and further damage my already poor chances at being employed.
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jpow
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Have you applied to scientific journal editing positions? They employ people with no work experience but require a science background.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by jpow)
Have you applied to scientific journal editing positions? They employ people with no work experience but require a science background.
Yes I have, I've applied to a variety (assistant publishing/editing/R&D/manuscripts positions) of scientific journal positions with no interviews.
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jpow
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Yes I have, I've applied to a variety (assistant publishing/editing/R&D/manuscripts positions) of scientific journal positions with no interviews.
want me to look at your cv? You can edit out your personal details obviously
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by jpow)
want me to look at your cv? You can edit out your personal details obviously
Yes, if you're happy to do so, I would appreciate it very much. I can edit out identifiable information and send it to you. Thank you!
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jpow
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Yes, if you're happy to do so, I would appreciate it very much. I can edit out identifiable information and send it to you. Thank you!
yep just PM me!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by jpow)
yep just PM me!
Ok, shall do.
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juwayriyahshabir
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HeyI could not help but relate to this. i understand you completely because I am going through a similar situation. All I can say is you are not alone. I graduated with a 2:1 in cellular and molecular medicine from a red brick uni this summer. Been applying to jobs and have not gotten a single interview. Even getting rejected by jobs that do not need a degree because I don't have experience in anything and to get experience I need a job. It is a vicious cycle. I have clinical depression and that has caused to to stop looking fro jobs, stay in bed all day with negative and suicidal thoughts. It kills me to talk to my parents because I have let them down and I feel like a parasite living off of them. I'm sorry I can't help. But just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. You are probably better off then me because you have some experience and extracurricular stuff. I have nothing. Not even an internship. I can't even get an unpaid internship.
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Ang_Li
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Hey guys, I’m on the same boat! I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters, both from good Unis. I have been applying jobs for 5 months now and have been to 9 interviews so far. It seems like even admin jobs that don’t require degrees seem to be rejecting me. I’ve practised my interview skills and done everything that I could but still don’t get offered a job and the reason is always that someone has more direct experience than me. I was an ambitious and high achieving student, I have done internships and voluntary work while at uni. However, I’m really starting to doubt myself and my abilities. All the rejections are only crippling my anxiety and depression. I’ve been getting panic attacks just siting in front of the Laptop and applying for jobs. I have no motivation to do anything, let alone get out of the house. Obviously moving back with parents and not having income is difficult on my freedom too. There are many grads in our situation. Competition is fierce. I’d suggest taking any jobs and keep applying for anything related to your field, I guess. It’s better to have a job in your CV than have a huge gap. I’m thinking of doing anything I get. Retail, reception, admin etc anything really. I think the main point is to not loose hope and keep applying, networking with the right people and talking to close family and friends if it helps with the depression. Good luck
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Ang_Li)
Hey guys, I’m on the same boat! I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters, both from good Unis. I have been applying jobs for 5 months now and have been to 9 interviews so far. It seems like even admin jobs that don’t require degrees seem to be rejecting me. I’ve practised my interview skills and done everything that I could but still don’t get offered a job and the reason is always that someone has more direct experience than me. I was an ambitious and high achieving student, I have done internships and voluntary work while at uni. However, I’m really starting to doubt myself and my abilities. All the rejections are only crippling my anxiety and depression. I’ve been getting panic attacks just siting in front of the Laptop and applying for jobs. I have no motivation to do anything, let alone get out of the house. Obviously moving back with parents and not having income is difficult on my freedom too. There are many grads in our situation. Competition is fierce. I’d suggest taking any jobs and keep applying for anything related to your field, I guess. It’s better to have a job in your CV than have a huge gap. I’m thinking of doing anything I get. Retail, reception, admin etc anything really. I think the main point is to not loose hope and keep applying, networking with the right people and talking to close family and friends if it helps with the depression. Good luck
Do you get the response that you are overqualified for non graduate jobs?

I don't even have any work exerience I am considering going to the job centre tbh.

I am not surprised so many people's mental health is suffering after university.
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Ang_Li
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Do you get the response that you are overqualified for non graduate jobs?

I don't even have any work exerience I am considering going to the job centre tbh.
I am not surprised so many people's mental health is suffering after university.
I’ve only just started applying for those non degree related jobs. They mostly just say they selected people with more experience in that area. It is really frustrating. My mental heath is going on a downward spiral. I’ll just have to stay positive, keep going, do any job to get solid office experience and then try to get into my field stating from the bottom.

Goodluck!
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Anonymous #1
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I'm trying to figure out what is going wrong. When I send people my CV and cover letter, they say it looks good. It really is a big spiral, and the more rejections I get, the more disheartened I feel. I got really (physically) ill from all the stress and anxiety mid-end of last year. I stopped applying altogether after. In the spirit of the new year, I'm going to start applying again. At least 1 (good) application per day. Similar to Ang_Li, moving back home and the lack of freedom really hit me like a hard brick too, it crippled my relationships with people and isolated me even further. It's so easy to feel alone in this situation.
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Anonymous #3
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I feel horrible that this is happening and that it’s affecting you this way and I’m really sorry there’s nothing I can do to help but I honestly hope and pray with all my heart that you all get what you want most because no one should have to go through such hardship after years of hard work <3
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_nim1
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I feel horrible that this happens and I’m really sorry I can’t do anything to help but I honestly hope and pray with all my heart that you all get what you want because no one deserves to suffer like this after years of late nights and hard work <3
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Anonymous #4
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I'm trying to figure out what is going wrong. When I send people my CV and cover letter, they say it looks good. It really is a big spiral, and the more rejections I get, the more disheartened I feel. I got really (physically) ill from all the stress and anxiety mid-end of last year. I stopped applying altogether after. In the spirit of the new year, I'm going to start applying again. At least 1 (good) application per day. Similar to Ang_Li, moving back home and the lack of freedom really hit me like a hard brick too, it crippled my relationships with people and isolated me even further. It's so easy to feel alone in this situation.
I’ve done the same, got recruiters to look at my CV, which they say is really good. I’ve practised my interview skills too, but I don’t seem to get any further than 1st or 2nd stages of interview. I’ve been making 2 good applications per day and hoping to hear back from them. I have a huge gap on my CV which doesn’t help.
When your life is still loading and you’re figuring things out it’s diffcut to have relationships. Broke up with my bf as he couldn’t handle my depression and anxiety anymore. It is really easy to feel alone, especially when all your friend’s careers are taking off and you’re just at at home doing nothing.
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iiLm
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Hey, I too am in the same boat. Completed my masters last year after a sounding 2:2 from my undergraduate degree and have yet to find a proper job. I have registered with all the agencies out there, but nothing has come out of it. I have lost the will to go out there and keep motivated. Am really low on funds as well, and this is just making me severely depressed.
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Gwilym101
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Don't know if anyone is still looking at this thread as the last reply was a month ago but, given a couple of years ago I was in this EXACT boat (BSc and MSc under belt, volunteer experience and getting absolutely nowhere for more than a year), I figured I'd offer up a few things.

1) You cannot let yourself spiral. We will say things to ourselves that would be prosecutable levels of abuse if we said them to anyone else. If you feel your inner monologue going down like that, do ANYTHING, no matter how silly or childish you might think it is, to take your mind off of it. Keep up with hobbies, play a game, watch a cartoon, play with a teddy, anything. Trust me, it helps. I know it is really tough.

2) Being rejected from a job application, says nothing about you. I applied for hundreds and hundreds of jobs before I got anywhere in my field, I got turned down for volunteer roles. You simply don't know who you're up against, it's the one thing you have absolutely no control over. You might have been next on the list for an interview for all you know but someone else (probably in the same boat as you) got lucky this time. It took me 18 months to get a job.

3) Do not compare yourself to your friends, especially on social media. The stuff people put on social media is in no way a balanced reflection of their actual lives, it is always skewed and usually it depicts them as happier than they actually are and they will have **** of their own to deal with. They may not be able to handle the stuff you're dealing with at all and vice versa. It gains you absolutely nothing, trying to compare, regardless of how successful you are, someone will be doing something you'd be envious of.

4) Applying for jobs you're over qualified for, do not be surprised if you get rejected. It is unbelievably frustrating but if you're legitimately over qualified for a post, most employers will pass you over. Hiring someone is investment and all investments require a big up front cost, if you're clearly over qualified they will see they're not going to get a return on their investment because you'll leave the moment something better comes up. It is not a case of "you're not good enough for this role", it's a case of "we think you'll be gone before the ink is even dry on your contract".

5) I've seen several people comment on customising their CV for jobs. This is excellent the absolute right thing to do, one thing you can consider is looking at multiple job postings and see what requirements or qualifications keep coming up. I'm sure many of you are, but make sure you can evidence these in some way, even if it is just "I'm working towards XYZ".

6) Volunteering and networking... do it. These can get you new skills, plug gaps in CVs and potentially lead you to jobs, and if nothing else can keep you busy. If you're applying try and find a named person to talk to about the role, if you have to e-mail your application to someone, talk to them first. Ask questions about the posting, read up on them first if you can and discuss current or past projects. This shows research skills, enthusiasm and is more likely to make you stick in an employers mind.
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caft29
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Im 29 and I havent had a good job since i graduated from my masters in criminology in 2014, the police arent hiring and Ive been in one terrible contract role after another, the thought of another target based or youre out job fills me with dread, im 100% not a people person in fact I hate people, is it worth doing another degree to get work or is that just a waste of time?
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