Future, Job hunting, Student, Uni services

Purple Door Are So Underrated

If you are a student at the University of Portsmouth there is no way you’ve got this far and not heard about Purple Door. Just in case you have managed to miss their existence altogether (really where have you been?) Purple Door offer support to students, and even graduates, on career planning, work experience, volunteering, part-time jobs, placements, business startup and graduate jobs. They will do anything from helping you find a little job for a few hours a week, to just chatting about what you think you might want to do, to helping you write or polish up a CV, to working towards that all-important application to your dream graduate job.

The classic phrase I seem to come back to time and time again is I am a worrier by nature. I am a worrier by nature and so the idea of graduating in a few short months is just terrifying! I am so scared of ending up with no job or, perhaps even worse, a job I absolutely can’t stand and feel trapped in. I don’t want to be living off my parents in my childhood bedroom for the next 10 years. I am determined to succeed!

So, last week I went to Purple Door. I had been once before to discuss part-time work but it had only been rather brief. You can book in-depth 40 minute meetings for careers advice and the like but also it is probably easier to just walk in. On both occasions I have just walked in. They’ll ask for your student number and name and then you’ll sit and wait for a couple of minutes whilst someone becomes available.

The man I spoke to was incredibly patient and listened to me babble about my uncertain future. I had brought in a recent CV which I knew needed a little makeover. I thought this would help him to assess where I needed to go from here before applying for jobs, in terms of experience. He went through it thoroughly, bit by bit and we redrafted a new one.

He told me that the nature of my field means I can’t start applying yet. Employers who are recruiting now for my industry will need someone who cans start pretty much immediately. Jobs in other fields like law or engineering have graduate schemes and will begin scouting and interviewing around this time, and even earlier! As a writer and aspiring editor/publisher there is little I can do in terms of graduate jobs right now. In a few months I was advised back to Purple Door with my newly formatted CV and I can begin the job hunt!

For now, I just need to keep on doing what I’m doing. I need to keep my eye on job websites to help me see what is out there and the kind of things I would like to be applying for. The Guardian Jobs is a great one, as well as using the Purple Door search itself. I need to calm down and remember I still have time to get my life all figured out. I’m only 20! It is comforting to know that Purple Door will be there for me for the next 5 and a half years if I need help. Going there restored a confidence in myself and my achievements. It made me excited to start the next chapter of my life as a graduate. I can’t wait to see what the future will hold.

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Clubs and societies, Free time, Home, Job hunting, Nightlife, Other University Factors

10 things year 1 has taught me…

Seeing as it is almost easter and almost the end of our teaching time for year 1 (how has that happened?!?!) I thought I would reflect on my time as a fresher and tell you 10 things year 1 has taught me….so far.

  1. To make gravy….you need HOT water….(yes I tried to add cold water to the granules and wondered why it wasn’t working….#fail)
  2. ALWAYS carry your key with you….like ALWAYS! There was a time where I got locked out and my key was in my room and I had to wait about 45 mins to be let in my room!
  3. Make good use of all the support you are offered the wellbeing service, student support managers…even the SABBS want to make sure you are doing okay!
  4. Make your room as homely as you can! I always feel so at home in my room thanks to the pictures an the little quotations and the fairy lights, it is a lot easier to settle at uni if you enjoy spending time in your room!
  5. Stay in touch with old school friends. Making new friends is great but I have had many a conversation with some old school friends. It helps if you or they are struggling as you are able to give them advice as you probably know them best.
  6. Buy food for lunch/dinner you enjoy making and eating, you are more likely to want to cook after a long day at university if this is the case. (see my last blog post; https://studentblog.port.ac.uk/2016/03/10/easy-meals-for-university/)
  7. Get involved! I was elected deputy faculty rep at the start of the year and I have made so many contacts through this. It has given me a great opportunity to meet some third years and masters students who are all lovely. I have also just been elected National events officer for RAG and Donor Recruitment officer for Portsmouth Marrow, I hope to be elected as  Faculty rep next year…..phew!
  8. Try new things! One thing I was adamant about when I came to uni was that I wasn’t going to go out. However supported by my UAB family I managed to stay out for almost 2 hours ….now I want to go out again!!
  9. Volunteer- but not just for your CV! I emailed a lot of performing arts schools to see if they would give me a job- I found a company looking for a volunteer and I took that on instead. It was honestly the best thing I have done. The director (Bekki) is so lovely and I really enjoy going there every Wednesday.
  10. Andddd 10. Get the balance of going home right. When I first started university I was told by my violin teacher not to go home for at least 3 weeks. It worked a treat as I was homesick but not too much. I kept myself busy and looked forward to going home. I have also made little surprises home as well this year which are a really nice thing to do and make you feel really good about yourself.
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Job hunting

Job S.O.S Mini Series | Part 2: THE HUNT

Read part 1 here!
6bThe second in the job SOS series looks at the hunt for the job. Looking for a job can feel like an endless supply of rejections or, in some cases, no replies at all! Perserverence and persistence is key – it may feel demoralising but KEEP GOING! You’ll get there 🙂
1. APPLY FOR JOBS YOU WANT
Often we frantically apply for a job, fill in a form, send off our CV and we’re done. It’s very rare that, when we’re desperate, we apply for jobs that we actually want to do and read the specifications properly. Then a few days later a call comes through and, gulp, we’ve forgotten that we’ve appled for a job in a place we wouldn’t’ve have purposefully applied for had we read the listing properly!
Be wise with your job hunt. If you apply for a job you can’t see yourself working in or a place you can’t travel to then don’t apply! If you end up getting the job you might absolutely hate it and are more likely to quit or it may lead to disappointment.
Remember, it’s important to ‘go for it’ but still be selective of your job choices. It’s better to put your all into one application you love than it is to apply to copious amounts of job listings (some you might love, some you might hate) with sloppy applications.
2. GET EXPERIENCE6c
It’s the old catch 22 – can’t get a job without experience, can’t get experience without a job. But experience is key to talk about on your CV and during your interview so whilst your waiting for job applications/replies look into volunteering opportunities to enhance your job hunt.
Not only does this give you something to do rather than continually refreshing job sites but it gives you a better insight into the job industry, helps you interact with customers and also gives you relevant information to talk about and bring up in the future. Purple door, Vinspired and Portsmouth government websites are good places to look for experience.
3. USE TECHNOLOGY
Networking is key. A lot of companies now look for bloggers, on Facebook, twitter, Linked In and various other social networking websites. Some people have in fact found jobs online that weren’t necessarily advertised on websites. Remember to look on local websites or student Facebook pages for information on upcoming jobs as well..
Next time you’re on a social networking website consider how you may come across to a potential employee!
4. PURPLE DOOR, JOBSEEKERS & INDEED ARE YOUR FRIENDS
Utilise Purple Door! Not only do they help with CV writing and interviews but they post all the latest job opportunities and ensure that applying is easy!
Jobseekers are also helpful as they post a list of jobs that are updated daily that are provided by the jobcentre plus. I also recommended Indeed that few people have heard of but list jobs hourly and are frequently updated. Some of the jobs on there seem quite random and are skill specific but there are the odd glimmers that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
6a5. OLD FASHIONED CV DISTRIBUTING
It worked in the past and it can still work now. There are some ‘local’ stores that aren’t big chains that take on people based on handing in CVs rather than online applications. Have your CV prepared in a little see-through slippery file or an envelope and, if you’re feeling brave, ask to speak to the manager. Not only does this make it personal but you know that your CV is going directly to them.

Look out for part 3: THE INTERVIEW coming soon!

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Course, Exams, Free time, Future, Job hunting

Job Hunting is a real pain in the neck.

First of all, apologies for not being very active here.

Since my last post, what my life mainly consisted of was revision. And more revision, then a couple of exams and A LOT of stress. Quite honestly, I don’t remember ever being this stressed over anything! But the 28th of May marked the day of my last exam, which essentially meant end of my official student duty at the University of Portsmouth. Scary, huh?

I bet most of you just answered “meh, not really” in your student heads. But trust me, it is and you will only begin to understand it when you get to where I am right now. I feel like I am not ready to leave University yet… I have come to love my life here in Portsmouth; I feel like there’s still a lot to do, a lot to be discovered. Unfortunately, everything ends eventually and this is my cue to man up and move on.

I have previously mentioned that I applied for a Master’s course at King’s College, but unfortunately I did not get in. I am not giving up on this, however this means that I will have to find something else to do over the next year or so. So I started job hunting…

And trust me when I say this, I am already tired of this! It’s hard and discouraging. You have to make sure that the type of job you’re going for is really what you are capable of, and that you fit the person specification. So that’s what I’ve been doing, going through the person specs, getting more excited with every single point mentioned because I believe I fit in… until I get to the end, where it says “Essentials – car owner and driver”. I think it goes without saying that I don’t drive… And that, unfortunately, is my biggest disadvantage! In my current situation the experience I have is meaningless if I don’t fulfil this particular requirement.

In Year 2 I completed a module called Occupational Choice for Psychology Students, and it’s main aim was to provide us with information about what will be required of us once we leave University and choose a psychology related career path. There was a lot of talk about how important experience is (obviously) but nothing about the ability to drive! If I were told about this then, I guess I would have had a driving licence by now…Oh well, this is currently item number 1 on my to do list for when I get a job. But I need to get it first…

And this is kind of how I feel right about now…

source: http://makemethink.imgfave.com/page:5?after=15464878

But we’ll see how it goes…

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