gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

'Congradulations...(written by Oliver Kenyon)’ve got the job’. That’s not strictly what they said when I netted one of those slippery kippers, but that’s because it’s not strictly a graduate job (and somewhat because it’s not a real word). Upon graduating I landed myself a job with the Fire Service. Unfortunately though, it may well be on a ‘catch and release’ basis.

Enough with the fish analogies, let me explain.

Pre-2008 I recall living in a cosy bubble, ignorant to the vulnerabilities of the economy and unafraid of the awaiting job market. We were the New Labour generation, untouchable and chubby from being spoon-fed the idea that once you have a degree you simply walk out onto the street and someone throws a suit and company car keys at you…

Consider my bubble burst. One Tyler Durden said we’re ‘pissed off’ because we’re finding out we can’t be ‘rock stars’ or ‘movie gods’ and although my naivety doesn’t stretch that far, a good accountancy job would’ve sufficed! Years of high expectations or rather assumptions we would all be high-flyers post-university have left me looking down my nose at the very respectable job I have. I sometimes play The Rakes lyrics over in my head; “In the city it’s alright, 22 grand job”, feeling fraudulent as I sneak off to my public sector job in the ‘city’ (read: outskirts of Bradford). I dodge the suited and booted as I go, feeling jealous of the shiny corporate locations which await them. My Doc Martins feel about as Italian as Bernard Manning-and just as heavy. I want in!

When I left primary school they extended the adventure playground; when I left high school they built a new gym. Admittedly falling out of University into a recession is not, and never will be as bad as missing out on an all-weather pitch (primary-school again), but I find myself pissed off at this succession of bad timing. Fortunately, this anger is eclipsed by the disdain I feel for thinking so haughtily when every man and his dog are in a worse position than I am. As graduates of the recession-era, we should accept the fact we have no divine right to our dream jobs, get our heads down and get stuck in. Besides, this pomposity doesn’t go well with a regional accent.

Written by Oliver Kenyon

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