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Graduated with a high first (89%) in mechanical engineering and can't find any job

Idk what to do with my life, I graduated 2 years ago with a first class bachelors in mechanical engineering and I feel like either uni was a scam or I messed my life up hard. I spent my first year partying and failed it so I had to repeat it then after finishing second year I was just in a bad place mentally I had attempted suicide at the time and chose to take a year out to focus on my health. Then in third year I finally got myself together and stopped the partying and hard drugs, I didnt leave the house for 2 years and aced all my units and ended up with a high first.

Unfortunately i could never find an internship after second year so I have no work experience apart from the basic job I did in a factory before studying where I was just assembling car parts on a production line. After graduating I was just overwhelmed with nihilism I could see no point in working or in life altogether, my parents got divorced at the same time and I just seen all the damage it had caused. I would think to myself why bother getting a good job just so that I can end up a divorcee and have my future house and savings and children taken away from me after 20 years of marriage for me to become a miserable alcoholic. I had no interest in working just for material pleasures to me the only reason to work was to have the oppurtunity to have a family.

I was still addicted to soft drugs if you can call them that I would spend half of my unemployment cheque on weed and smoke myself silly everyday from the moment I woke up to numb the pain of my life that had seemingly no purpose. I had no driving license and no money to learn to drive. I spent about 12months after graduation in this state and unemployed not even bothering to apply and then found God and was baptised. I could finally find a worldview that makes sense to me, purpose and direction in my life again and a reason to live. I gave up all the drugs and alcohol and have been sober almost a year now, I am still depressed with my situation but have no urges to end my life. I managed to find the money to get my driving license and a car and now I have started to look for a graduate job but feel like maybe it is too late.

I have applied to about 1000 jobs so far in the last 5 months since i started and had over 50 interviews for graduate jobs some very well paid (£38k starting salary) but then I keep getting rejected. I have been offered minimum wage jobs packing boxes and one slightly more technical min wage job but rotating shifts and refused them both hoping that something better will come along.

I dont know where to go from here. Do I accept the min wage box packer job and hope I can be promoted to supervisor or something some point down the line? Or do I keep on applying another 6 months and hope to eventually find a grad job? Or do I sign up to the army for 4 years and get my experience and then leave? Or wait till Sep 24 and go back to uni and do a masters or a phd? Take some short online courses or try get an internship to boost skills? Or do I just give up and accept that i failed at life and rot on benefits for the rest of my days?
Original post by danielaj777
Idk what to do with my life, I graduated 2 years ago with a first class bachelors in mechanical engineering and I feel like either uni was a scam or I messed my life up hard. I spent my first year partying and failed it so I had to repeat it then after finishing second year I was just in a bad place mentally I had attempted suicide at the time and chose to take a year out to focus on my health. Then in third year I finally got myself together and stopped the partying and hard drugs, I didnt leave the house for 2 years and aced all my units and ended up with a high first.

Unfortunately i could never find an internship after second year so I have no work experience apart from the basic job I did in a factory before studying where I was just assembling car parts on a production line. After graduating I was just overwhelmed with nihilism I could see no point in working or in life altogether, my parents got divorced at the same time and I just seen all the damage it had caused. I would think to myself why bother getting a good job just so that I can end up a divorcee and have my future house and savings and children taken away from me after 20 years of marriage for me to become a miserable alcoholic. I had no interest in working just for material pleasures to me the only reason to work was to have the oppurtunity to have a family.

I was still addicted to soft drugs if you can call them that I would spend half of my unemployment cheque on weed and smoke myself silly everyday from the moment I woke up to numb the pain of my life that had seemingly no purpose. I had no driving license and no money to learn to drive. I spent about 12months after graduation in this state and unemployed not even bothering to apply and then found God and was baptised. I could finally find a worldview that makes sense to me, purpose and direction in my life again and a reason to live. I gave up all the drugs and alcohol and have been sober almost a year now, I am still depressed with my situation but have no urges to end my life. I managed to find the money to get my driving license and a car and now I have started to look for a graduate job but feel like maybe it is too late.

I have applied to about 1000 jobs so far in the last 5 months since i started and had over 50 interviews for graduate jobs some very well paid (£38k starting salary) but then I keep getting rejected. I have been offered minimum wage jobs packing boxes and one slightly more technical min wage job but rotating shifts and refused them both hoping that something better will come along.

I dont know where to go from here. Do I accept the min wage box packer job and hope I can be promoted to supervisor or something some point down the line? Or do I keep on applying another 6 months and hope to eventually find a grad job? Or do I sign up to the army for 4 years and get my experience and then leave? Or wait till Sep 24 and go back to uni and do a masters or a phd? Take some short online courses or try get an internship to boost skills? Or do I just give up and accept that i failed at life and rot on benefits for the rest of my days?


You should have taken the min wage technical job, if nothing else it gives your days purpose and structure, but it also demonstrates to 'better' employers that you can hold down a job, at the moment that's an unknown and something employers worry about with graduates.

Review why you have failed to get offers out of interviews. Ask for feedback every time you have an interview and no offer, and even if that isn't given, you should be able to self-review and see patterns you can improve on.

Your medical/drug history will almost certainly preclude you from the Armed Forces. Don't obsess about 'graduate' jobs - just look for entry level jobs where you have evidence of relevant skills.

Start networking at church. Ask around and find the engineers, project managers, logisticians, anything you can do with your degree. Ask if you can have a coffee with them and then quiz them on how they got into their careers, who they worked for, what skills they used and ask them if they know people you could talk to. You'll get more ideas and opinions form that, if not direct leads.

But above all, take anything you are offered, get structure in life and evidence of workplace skills and organisation, and keep applying for the better roles at the same time. You've done the harder part of sorting your life out, don't give up with the easier part.
Reply 2
Just a thought but you must have a portfolio of your work from using Cad design or programming. Why not be a contractor ?
Reply 3
masters in chem eng. took 3 years and 366 applications to find a grad scheme. i didn't apply for engineering roles tho because salary sucks in uk
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by danielaj777
Idk what to do with my life, I graduated 2 years ago with a first class bachelors in mechanical engineering and I feel like either uni was a scam or I messed my life up hard. I spent my first year partying and failed it so I had to repeat it then after finishing second year I was just in a bad place mentally I had attempted suicide at the time and chose to take a year out to focus on my health. Then in third year I finally got myself together and stopped the partying and hard drugs, I didnt leave the house for 2 years and aced all my units and ended up with a high first.

Unfortunately i could never find an internship after second year so I have no work experience apart from the basic job I did in a factory before studying where I was just assembling car parts on a production line. After graduating I was just overwhelmed with nihilism I could see no point in working or in life altogether, my parents got divorced at the same time and I just seen all the damage it had caused. I would think to myself why bother getting a good job just so that I can end up a divorcee and have my future house and savings and children taken away from me after 20 years of marriage for me to become a miserable alcoholic. I had no interest in working just for material pleasures to me the only reason to work was to have the oppurtunity to have a family.

I was still addicted to soft drugs if you can call them that I would spend half of my unemployment cheque on weed and smoke myself silly everyday from the moment I woke up to numb the pain of my life that had seemingly no purpose. I had no driving license and no money to learn to drive. I spent about 12months after graduation in this state and unemployed not even bothering to apply and then found God and was baptised. I could finally find a worldview that makes sense to me, purpose and direction in my life again and a reason to live. I gave up all the drugs and alcohol and have been sober almost a year now, I am still depressed with my situation but have no urges to end my life. I managed to find the money to get my driving license and a car and now I have started to look for a graduate job but feel like maybe it is too late.

I have applied to about 1000 jobs so far in the last 5 months since i started and had over 50 interviews for graduate jobs some very well paid (£38k starting salary) but then I keep getting rejected. I have been offered minimum wage jobs packing boxes and one slightly more technical min wage job but rotating shifts and refused them both hoping that something better will come along.

I dont know where to go from here. Do I accept the min wage box packer job and hope I can be promoted to supervisor or something some point down the line? Or do I keep on applying another 6 months and hope to eventually find a grad job? Or do I sign up to the army for 4 years and get my experience and then leave? Or wait till Sep 24 and go back to uni and do a masters or a phd? Take some short online courses or try get an internship to boost skills? Or do I just give up and accept that i failed at life and rot on benefits for the rest of my days?

I have several family members that work in Engineering and they all say the same thing. Employers want candidates with practical experience. It’s why the government is pushing apprenticeships at the moment because on the job learning tends to be better for technical jobs. You should try to get some kind of non graduate job to get some work experience if you aren’t being successful for graduate posts,
Reply 5
Original post by threeportdrift
You should have taken the min wage technical job, if nothing else it gives your days purpose and structure, but it also demonstrates to 'better' employers that you can hold down a job, at the moment that's an unknown and something employers worry about with graduates.

Review why you have failed to get offers out of interviews. Ask for feedback every time you have an interview and no offer, and even if that isn't given, you should be able to self-review and see patterns you can improve on.

Your medical/drug history will almost certainly preclude you from the Armed Forces. Don't obsess about 'graduate' jobs - just look for entry level jobs where you have evidence of relevant skills.

Start networking at church. Ask around and find the engineers, project managers, logisticians, anything you can do with your degree. Ask if you can have a coffee with them and then quiz them on how they got into their careers, who they worked for, what skills they used and ask them if they know people you could talk to. You'll get more ideas and opinions form that, if not direct leads.

But above all, take anything you are offered, get structure in life and evidence of workplace skills and organisation, and keep applying for the better roles at the same time. You've done the harder part of sorting your life out, don't give up with the easier part.


I wish I did take it now it was a trainee maintenance engineer job but I didn't like the idea of doing rotating shifts 6-2 and 2-10, i think it is unhealthy to live like that, I would prefer something fixed hours like a 9-5. I think the reason I cant get any proper job is either because of the long gaps, I havent worked for 6 years now including time at uni or maybe it is because I am socially awkward and weird and think very lowly of myself but I dont see how I can do much about that. I wish I had just done an apprenticeship now or stayed in the job I had before studying, i regret my degree alot it did more harm than good. Do you think I would get into the armed guard if I have hard drugs like meth and mdma and suicide attempts/mental health problems on my medical record but it has been clean for over 5 years now? And should i take any job even if it is just stacking shelves in sainsburys? Or anything completely unrelated to engineering? I was offered a job as a bin man recently for just over min wage didnt even need an interview because they are that desperate but i rejected it. I am just so worried that if I accept an unskilled min wage kind of job I will be stuck in a dead end low salary position for the rest of my life, if that happens then I would have just been better off living on benefits forever because min wage workers only make £700 a year more than I would get if I was living alone and stayed on benefits.Also, should I dumb down my cv for the unskilled jobs that are unrelated to what i studied and just use my original cv for the jobs i actually want to do? I could make something up and say i studied some useless degree like art or gender studies or maybe tell them I studied engineering and didnt like it so i dropped out?
Reply 6
Original post by danielaj777
Idk what to do with my life, I graduated 2 years ago with a first class bachelors in mechanical engineering and I feel like either uni was a scam or I messed my life up hard. I spent my first year partying and failed it so I had to repeat it then after finishing second year I was just in a bad place mentally I had attempted suicide at the time and chose to take a year out to focus on my health. Then in third year I finally got myself together and stopped the partying and hard drugs, I didnt leave the house for 2 years and aced all my units and ended up with a high first.

Unfortunately i could never find an internship after second year so I have no work experience apart from the basic job I did in a factory before studying where I was just assembling car parts on a production line. After graduating I was just overwhelmed with nihilism I could see no point in working or in life altogether, my parents got divorced at the same time and I just seen all the damage it had caused. I would think to myself why bother getting a good job just so that I can end up a divorcee and have my future house and savings and children taken away from me after 20 years of marriage for me to become a miserable alcoholic. I had no interest in working just for material pleasures to me the only reason to work was to have the oppurtunity to have a family.

I was still addicted to soft drugs if you can call them that I would spend half of my unemployment cheque on weed and smoke myself silly everyday from the moment I woke up to numb the pain of my life that had seemingly no purpose. I had no driving license and no money to learn to drive. I spent about 12months after graduation in this state and unemployed not even bothering to apply and then found God and was baptised. I could finally find a worldview that makes sense to me, purpose and direction in my life again and a reason to live. I gave up all the drugs and alcohol and have been sober almost a year now, I am still depressed with my situation but have no urges to end my life. I managed to find the money to get my driving license and a car and now I have started to look for a graduate job but feel like maybe it is too late.

I have applied to about 1000 jobs so far in the last 5 months since i started and had over 50 interviews for graduate jobs some very well paid (£38k starting salary) but then I keep getting rejected. I have been offered minimum wage jobs packing boxes and one slightly more technical min wage job but rotating shifts and refused them both hoping that something better will come along.

I dont know where to go from here. Do I accept the min wage box packer job and hope I can be promoted to supervisor or something some point down the line? Or do I keep on applying another 6 months and hope to eventually find a grad job? Or do I sign up to the army for 4 years and get my experience and then leave? Or wait till Sep 24 and go back to uni and do a masters or a phd? Take some short online courses or try get an internship to boost skills? Or do I just give up and accept that i failed at life and rot on benefits for the rest of my days?

Well I think unless we have clarity qualifications are just a piece of paper. I achieved a first class degree in mechanical engineering from UCL in 2021 and A*A*A in alevels. Those qualifications didn't even help me much as well even after writing a fair CV it was tough luck. Now doing a data analysis course and hoping that helps in getting a proper job.
Original post by danielaj777
Idk what to do with my life, I graduated 2 years ago with a first class bachelors in mechanical engineering and I feel like either uni was a scam or I messed my life up hard. I spent my first year partying and failed it so I had to repeat it then after finishing second year I was just in a bad place mentally I had attempted suicide at the time and chose to take a year out to focus on my health. Then in third year I finally got myself together and stopped the partying and hard drugs, I didnt leave the house for 2 years and aced all my units and ended up with a high first.

Unfortunately i could never find an internship after second year so I have no work experience apart from the basic job I did in a factory before studying where I was just assembling car parts on a production line. After graduating I was just overwhelmed with nihilism I could see no point in working or in life altogether, my parents got divorced at the same time and I just seen all the damage it had caused. I would think to myself why bother getting a good job just so that I can end up a divorcee and have my future house and savings and children taken away from me after 20 years of marriage for me to become a miserable alcoholic. I had no interest in working just for material pleasures to me the only reason to work was to have the oppurtunity to have a family.

I was still addicted to soft drugs if you can call them that I would spend half of my unemployment cheque on weed and smoke myself silly everyday from the moment I woke up to numb the pain of my life that had seemingly no purpose. I had no driving license and no money to learn to drive. I spent about 12months after graduation in this state and unemployed not even bothering to apply and then found God and was baptised. I could finally find a worldview that makes sense to me, purpose and direction in my life again and a reason to live. I gave up all the drugs and alcohol and have been sober almost a year now, I am still depressed with my situation but have no urges to end my life. I managed to find the money to get my driving license and a car and now I have started to look for a graduate job but feel like maybe it is too late.

I have applied to about 1000 jobs so far in the last 5 months since i started and had over 50 interviews for graduate jobs some very well paid (£38k starting salary) but then I keep getting rejected. I have been offered minimum wage jobs packing boxes and one slightly more technical min wage job but rotating shifts and refused them both hoping that something better will come along.

I dont know where to go from here. Do I accept the min wage box packer job and hope I can be promoted to supervisor or something some point down the line? Or do I keep on applying another 6 months and hope to eventually find a grad job? Or do I sign up to the army for 4 years and get my experience and then leave? Or wait till Sep 24 and go back to uni and do a masters or a phd? Take some short online courses or try get an internship to boost skills? Or do I just give up and accept that i failed at life and rot on benefits for the rest of my days?

Hold in there! Job hunting can be extremely challenging especially in markets such as the current ones. Try reaching our to the connections you already have in place to do an internship or volunteer experience. The hardest job to find is always the first, afterwords it just gets easier. Most importably, don't shy away from showing your full enthusiasm. In fact, this is really the most important as employers know were well that a grad student have limited experience in the field. Best of luck, Daniel

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