Anastasia, you graduated from university during the last recession. What challenges did this create for you in trying to secure a full-time role and what advice do you have to anyone seeking employment in today’s similarly tough economic environment?
Becoming a journalist was my dream and I had it all mapped out. Or so I thought.
What I hadn’t planned for was Australia going into recession in the early 1990s, while I was at university. It took almost a year to land a cadetship after graduation. It was difficult and challenging, but I have never taken employment for granted since.
My advice to graduates facing a similar situation is to do whatever you can to improve your skills, gain experience and rise above the competition.
I practised my craft as much as I could. I wrote for local newspapers and penned letters to the editor. It was unpaid work, but it was industry experience and it allowed me to build up a portfolio of published work. I also volunteered at a community centre where I learnt how to deal with members of the public and provide them with accurate, timely information. Skills every journalist needs.
When it became clear there weren’t enough jobs in my chosen city, I cast my net wider. I got my first job on a regional newspaper after driving more than two hours on a Sunday to meet the editor.
A degree will only get you so far. Go (or drive) the extra mile if you really want to stand out from the crowd.