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    I recently graduated from a respected “Red Brick” university with a first in history. Having never given my career a thought at any point in the past three years, however, I’m now faced – for the first time – with a very real dilemma: deciding what it is I want to do.


    I don’t know whether I should apply for a ‘graduate’ job or apply for some menial, low-paying job. If I were to do the former, I’d get a better salary and the work wouldn’t be as degrading (compared, that is, to a menial job). However, the disadvantages are that I may get stuck in a job that I won’t enjoy – given that I haven’t decided what area I want to work in – and may also have to relocate away from friends and family. If, on the other hand, I were to get a menial job, locally, then I could take time to decide what it is I want to do in the long-term, without getting locked down or having to move away. Yet I’m not sure I could stand the indignity of taking a job like this, having spent three years getting a degree in order to prevent such an eventuality.


    Even if I were to get a job stacking shelves etc to give myself time to figure out what it is I want to do, I can’t see an epiphany coming any time soon. In truth, I’m not really a ‘people person’. In fact, I’m something of a misanthrope. This is the problem. I mean, am I wasting my time wishing for an occupation that allows me to be creative, offers stable employment, is relatively well-paid, and – most importantly – spares me the awkwardness of working amongst lots of other people?


    Answers on a postcard, please.
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    I can't offer you solutions - only you can decide what you want for yourself, but my background might give you some ideas. I was in your position when I graduated 2 years ago, and partly to give myself some time to decide, build up my work experience and people skills I got through teacher training then did some supply teaching and admin work to get through my Masters, which I'm currently doing. Now I'm more independent and looking forward to moving away, getting a graduate job and starting afresh even though it'll mean tearing myself away from my family and friends!

    It sounds like you're not quite ready to make the break into a graduate job yet - I'd recommend taking a year or two out to build up your work skills and build up the confidence to make that leap into the as yet unknown
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    The Grad Market is very competitive at the moment. Also, you will stuggle to get on a Grad programme until September 2010 as they will have already have had their intake of Graduates for the year.

    I don't know what field you can go into with a history degree. What are your friends doing?
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    Boid.
    Should have dun a real degree.
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    I've just graduated as well, and though I think I do know what area I want to go into, I'm not ready to just yet as it would most likely involve moving to another continent and getting my career started. I'm looking for any job I can get at the moment so I can go travelling - once you get into a career it's much harder to get 6 months or so off, plus a lot of people say they come back feeling more mature, capable and confident. Maybe some time out somewhere new and exciting is what you need to get your head sorted, even if you do have to work somewhere you'd rather not for a while?
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    Thanks for the advice, pikaboo. I was considering doing a Masters. I wish I had done, now, if only to give me another year to think about things.

    Nick: my friends who went to uni (both history grads, also) are in the same situation I am, albeit with worse degree classifications.
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    Shortarse: what you suggest is certainly what I'm leaning towards.

    The TEFL opportunities I've seen look interesting, as you get to experience another country and get paid whilst you do it. But I'm not that keen on teaching, having been educated at a fairly grim comprehensive (plus the misanthropy, of course).
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    (Original post by schrodingers_dog)
    Thanks for the advice, pikaboo. I was considering doing a Masters. I wish I had done, now, if only to give me another year to think about things.

    Nick: my friends who went to uni (both history grads, also) are in the same situation I am, albeit with worse degree classifications.
    Maybe you should get a real qualification?

    Oh, I know, even better idea, waste another year of earnings and take on some more debt by doing a masters that will not make you more employable. :rolleyes:

    History degree, rofl. Tool.
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    (Original post by schrodingers_dog)
    I recently graduated from a respected “Red Brick” university with a first in history. Having never given my career a thought at any point in the past three years, however, I’m now faced – for the first time – with a very real dilemma: deciding what it is I want to do.


    I don’t know whether I should apply for a ‘graduate’ job or apply for some menial, low-paying job. If I were to do the former, I’d get a better salary and the work wouldn’t be as degrading (compared, that is, to a menial job). However, the disadvantages are that I may get stuck in a job that I won’t enjoy – given that I haven’t decided what area I want to work in – and may also have to relocate away from friends and family. If, on the other hand, I were to get a menial job, locally, then I could take time to decide what it is I want to do in the long-term, without getting locked down or having to move away. Yet I’m not sure I could stand the indignity of taking a job like this, having spent three years getting a degree in order to prevent such an eventuality.


    Even if I were to get a job stacking shelves etc to give myself time to figure out what it is I want to do, I can’t see an epiphany coming any time soon. In truth, I’m not really a ‘people person’. In fact, I’m something of a misanthrope. This is the problem. I mean, am I wasting my time wishing for an occupation that allows me to be creative, offers stable employment, is relatively well-paid, and – most importantly – spares me the awkwardness of working amongst lots of other people?


    Answers on a postcard, please.

    Excellent, but what else did you do for three years. Any work experience? Fascinating extra-curriculars? Outside interests? If you can state what else you have to offer more posters can offer better advice.

    A first alone is a great achievement but you need other qualities to put onto an application form to get an interview anywhere.
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    stop posting on a student forum as your no longer a student?

    other than that my suggestion is teach, not much else you can do with a history degree
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    unknown demon: first class degree, no work experience.

    milner: I think you'll find that should be "you're", not "your"; and, also, that history graduates do quite a lot besides teaching. May I suggest that whatever course(s) you're doing - which would not seem to include history - clearly aren't endowing you with the ability to spell. What a pity.
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    You have to find something that you're good at and then find a job which you can apply it too. If you can't do that then you won't be able to get a very good job. I suggest looking for jobs in the public sector.
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    Things you can do with a history degree, off the top of my head: obviously teaching though you stated you don't want to go into this area (have you thought about higher level teaching, e.g. teaching university students? You'd need to go back and do a masters / phd etc but it might be a thought), you could work in a library or a museum perhaps, depending on what courses you took you might have some translation / archeological possibilities....

    Finally you could look at companies that appeal to you and see if they offer graduate schemes, a lot of the bigger ones do and they rarely specify what area your degree should be in.
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    Join the military for three to four years.

    edit - You probably won't have to fight if you become an officer, and it will give you time to think about what you like - and at the end of it they will pay for your grad school, if you go to grad school.
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    (Original post by ZODUN)
    You have to find something that you're good at and then find a job which you can apply it too. If you can't do that then you won't be able to get a very good job. I suggest looking for jobs in the public sector.
    Says someone at school

    You don't need to find something you're good at to apply for private sector jobs.

    ------------------

    The poster does suggest public sector though and the fast stream is often recommended for historians, you should make a good drafts person in policy is the oft used reason given.

    However the places:applicants ratio is about 35:1 so I wouldn't hold your breath, but its a thought.
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    (Original post by milner001)
    stop posting on a student forum as your no longer a student?

    other than that my suggestion is teach, not much else you can do with a history degree
    Careers/employment would be a pile of *insert word here* if it wasn't for people actually in the jobs to give advise.

    So you're saying they couldn't go into consultancy? Or retail management? Or law?
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    (Original post by Quady)
    However the places:applicants ratio is about 35:1 so I wouldn't hold your breath, but its a thought.
    35 places to each applicant? I like those odds :p:
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    (Original post by Shortarse)
    35 places to each applicant? I like those odds :p:
    doh! tired! thought I even looked to see I had it the right way round

    Perhaps sleeping on sunday night would have been useful!
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    Although I am 18 and just going to Uni this year, so I am hardly an authority, I would be considering law were I in your position.
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    (Original post by pikaboo)
    I can't offer you solutions - only you can decide what you want for yourself, but my background might give you some ideas. I was in your position when I graduated 2 years ago, and partly to give myself some time to decide, build up my work experience and people skills I got through teacher training then did some supply teaching and admin work to get through my Masters, which I'm currently doing. Now I'm more independent and looking forward to moving away, getting a graduate job and starting afresh even though it'll mean tearing myself away from my family and friends!

    It sounds like you're not quite ready to make the break into a graduate job yet - I'd recommend taking a year or two out to build up your work skills and build up the confidence to make that leap into the as yet unknown
    Which fairy land are you living in? You don't need to take a year out, let alone two to decide if you will fit in a graduate level job! I realised accountancy was for me after completing the first 2 weeks of my 8 week internship at an accounting firm!
 
 
 
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