Life Before going to the see the careers advisor I'd remarked to someone that actually I was really expecting to sit with someone and listen to them telling me many things that I already knew. It was like going to someone looking for relationship advice even though you know yourself actually what you need. She noted that actually what you end up doing is going to the person you know will give you the advice you want to hear.
And that's absolutely some of what happened when I sat down in the little office in the university careers office. That it is up to me to put myself out there, that I shouldn't be afraid to apply for jobs even if I'm not entirely qualified but more importantly that I should pick the one profession from the range of possibilities that I'm really interested in and focus on that. Otherwise my seemingly random career will continue and that I'll never find a place were I'm truly happy. But my advisor did say two things which really arrived like a smack in the face.
Although I got the feeling that the advisor I spoke to was more knowledgeable about careers in archiving and librarianship, two of the main sectors that are reflected on my cv, the most useful thing she explained was that if I really do want to become a writer, and particularly a film journalist I shouldn't be afraid to write to people in the industry, people whose work I admire or whose job looks really attractive and ask for advice, perhaps including samples of my work.
She also introduced me to Prospects, and extraordinary website that presents up to date information regarding the experience that is actually expected in vast range of jobs with potential contacts, employers and agencies that you might not necessarily have been aware of before. This is amazing stuff and really one of the best things which came out of our discussion. She also explained that often candidates for jobs will not have all of the expected experience, and that I should ring up the employer, talk enthusiastically and really ask whether it is worth applying. I remember having similar conversations before applying for both of my university degrees and why I hadn't thought of it before is mystery.
There are still barriers though which I'm sure are psychological, not helped by the fact that I won't actually know if I'm going to graduate until my dissertation mark is released in mid-November. Looking at both of the reviews I've hammered out today and my writing in general, there seems to be a country mile between my amateurism and what people are paid for in the industry. I'm hopelessly self critical about my work and although I've had some indicators that I'm not too bad, I look at the work of the people I do admire and it has an effortlessness and pithiness that I seem incapable of. Perhaps I should stop trying so hard and just go with the flow...