Victoria Beckham was hardly the picture of happiness when she turned up – late – to the launch of the Spice Girls’ musical, Viva Forever. Refusing to pose on the red carpet with Geri, Mel B, Mel C and Emma, she barely smiled and really didn’t seem to be taking part in the activities with the same gusto as the rest of them.
Although she doesn’t really need the money like the others do – brand Beckham is worth millions and has been for aeons – another string to her bow is that she’s sort of become really…cool. Her fashion line has been given awards, she’s chummed up to Anna Wintour and she hasn’t only left her pop star days behind her, but her WAG-dom is pretty historical now. Despite being a wife of David Beckham and mother to a bazillion children – she’s got another career. She’s gone against a massive stereotype, has got to meet loads of cool people, but is now forced to hang out with the people she hung out with when she was loads younger.
What’s this got to do with you and jobs, you say? Well, some of you lot are quite a bit like Victoria Beckham. Seriously. Replace ‘Spice Girls’ with ‘job in a pub’ (they were a bit like a gaggle of mini-Barbara Windsors anyway, not least with all the leopard-print and stacked heels) and ‘fashion’ with ‘university’ (both can be pretty stuffy) and plonk a great big grumpy frown on your face and you’re some way to being like Easy V.
Because of generally low employment rates, more graduates aren’t able to get the jobs they’re looking for, so settle for the type of work they would have done before they got to uni – of the 61.8% of graduates employed after six months of leaving uni in 2011, 14.7% of them were working in retail, catering waiting and bar staff roles.
Ed Towner, personal finance journalist for MoneySupermarket.com:
“I finished Cardiff Uni last year and during the seven or eight months of job hunting I went back to work in a local pub every evening. In the mornings, I worked, unpaid, for local newspapers and websites. I also attemped to get work experience and applied for every job/grad scheme under the sun. I hated going back to work at a pub. I felt that I was taking a step back after all the 'hard' work I'd put in at uni.
Despite that, I never thought a degree entitled me to a job, that’s why I did all that freelance work. I knew I needed to get a portfolio to show potential employers, and so this time gave me the opportunity to get some of my stuff published. But it became depressing. A lot of the time I was rejected from jobs because I lived to far away from London. If any internship or work experience didn't cover my travel there was no way I could afford to do it.
Luckily, a website – weknowmoney.co.uk - took a chance and offered to pay travel expenses for a month. It was a two-and-a-half-hour commute to London from West Sussex, but once the website merged with MoneySupermarket, a job opening came up and it was offered to me. I've now managed to move to move to London, too, after living with my parents until I could afford the deposit and rent.
Everyone I worked with at the pub understood that I was just waiting for my opportunity to move into journalism. They were very supportive (my manager would always let me skip work if I had an interview). But it was depressing, because after a period of time I started to lose faith in the idea that a job might come up, especially because I didn’t feel experienced enough. But now that I do have a job, I appreciate it that much more."