Navigating Life Post Education

April 07, 2019

It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was sitting down to write my post all about completing my undergraduate degree from Edinburgh and even chatting about my graduation. In fact, I still vividly remember reflecting while writing a post all about completing 2nd year at uni, and looking forward to my honours years. And now, I've been out of education for half a year (okay, maybe 7 months now).

My year at Durham for my Masters Degree flew past in the blink of an eye, but didn't forget to bring about with it much stress, many tears and one or two library fines. With all that studying, as well as a healthy dose of fun thanks to some great pals, I neglected this blog and never got round to sharing a post reflecting on that year.

Well, now that this blog seems to be back in full swing (touch wood), I thought it was about time to write a more reflective piece, rather than just sharing all my fun exploring the city of Edinburgh.

When the final deadline of my Masters crept closer, I knew it was time to take a break from education. I'm not saying its not something I won't go back to - in fact, I really miss some aspects of student life (not only the student discount and council tax exemption). But, I knew it was time to give myself some time out and experience the world outside of academia. I packed my bags and moved back up to my favourite place - Edinburgh - where I naively thought the city was waiting for a gal like me, and I would have absolutely no problem landing my dream job in mere minutes of stepping foot in the city.

I've been quick to realise job hunting isn't quite that simple, and job postings are SO much more competitive than I could have ever realised. Seven months on, and I'm still facing lots of rejection emails - or the worst - literally no reply. It's the not-so-glamourous life of post-education, that you're never quite ready for, despite the constant reminders from your parents. Little did I realise that I would be exchanging a life of essay deadlines and awaiting results with a life of job deadlines and rejection emails.

Constantly seeing tweets saying us 'millennials' are expecting too much, or haven't worked hard enough if we're not in our dream job yet, is not only frustrating, its also very demoralising. My CV is full of experiences within different organisations and roles, and yet it appears to never be enough. I'm either over-qualified for jobs, or under-qualified. Where's the in-between? Where's the opportunity for someone who worked their butt off during university for good grades and lots of voluntary experience, but hasn't managed to achieve that desired 2-3 years industry experience?

I won't sugar coat it - I've shed more than my fair share of tears over the last few months. Trying to figure out what the 'best career move' is, when it seems impossible to even step onto the career ladder is more than a little daunting.

At the moment I'm working at a job where my managers looked at the people they were hiring rather than just their CVs, and gave me a chance to gain some customer-based experience. It's not the exactly where I thought I'd be this time last year, and I had hoped a Masters would have helped me get my foot into a few more doors by this point, but nonetheless it's helping me decide what it is that I really want to do.

I've mentioned it before, that Public Archaeology is my thing. I want to find ways to engage people with the past, in innovative and fun ways. And I've fast discovered that I'm not ready to say goodbye to the world of blogging - or else Under The Scottish Rain wouldn't have undergone its wee revamp. Working with visitors in my current role has also shown me that people will always be an important aspect of my future career - I love engaging with them, getting to know their interests, and really making them / their visit feel special.

Just the other day, I had a listen to 'A Medieval Podcast', with Christine Morgan as the guest, where they spoke about alternate ways to being a historian. Christine has a fantastic Youtube channel, which I'm only just getting my nose stuck into - Untitled History Project. Christine saw an opportunity to engage with history in a new way outside of academia, which is something that really appeals to me. It was actually my dad who recommended I listen to this podcast, as it sounds exactly like what I've been wanting (but too nervous) to do.

SO,  I spoke about sharing more history on this blog - I've been focussing it more travel related to appeal to a wider audience, and don't worry I'm still planning on doing that. But I've also decided to start up some Twitter threads, sharing interesting sites both in Edinburgh and beyond. And share a lot more insights into archaeology here.

As I navigate my way through graduate life, and find my spot in the archaeology - engagement world, I'm looking to YOU. Got any burning questions you'd like answered, nervous about your first dig or wanting to know what to expect? Maybe you've never had an interest in archaeology but want to know more. If you've any questions at all, then leave a comment below, or get in touch on social media and I'll be sure to answer any of your questions in a post.

Outfit Details:
Jumper - H&M
Skirt - New Look
Boots - Marks & Spencers


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  1. you are soooo adorable my friend- this time can be difficult for sure trying to figure out what makes you super happy and excited in life- you got this and i cant wait to see where it takes you!

  2. Good luck in your search - it will come!

  3. Rooting for you. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. What an interesting field of study. I hope you get what you dream for!

  5. Grad is tough, and it is even tougher to figure out what you want to do and who you want to be. You dont want to make the wrong choices!

  6. Great post & Good luck! I am also a senior in college

  7. I loved this post so much! I know the struggle too well of receiving rejection emails and it is a real stab to the heart. Sending you my well wishes for the future and in your navigation!

    Love Casey x