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.

A Temporary Gradult?

And all of a sudden it’s February. A month derided by most, even the Egyptians’ sacked it after 28 days, I can just imagine Tutankhamun’s calendar guy shaking his head and saying ‘were not having 31 days of this, forget it’. The leap year adds a bit of excitement every so often but all in all it’s one of the bleaker months. It’s no July put it that way. It is my birthday month though so don’t slag it off too much.

The reason I bring this up is my absolute shock that it’s already this time of year. I’ve been back in Nottingham now for almost six months and am approaching the five month mark at my current temporary job. How much longer do I have before I can even call it a temporary job? I’m slowly but surely becoming a customer service advisor, it’s not going to be long before I drop the at the moment from my current spiel of at the moment I work in a call centre. It’s not like I’m treated any differently at work because I’m a temp, if my boss glanced over to find me with my feet on the desk streaming an episode of How I Met Your Mother I couldn’t just glance up and slowly mouth ‘temp’ at him. And it’s not like I’m given any less work to do because I’m not a permanent member of staff either. Infact the only differentiating factor between me and my contract colleagues is the thousands of pounds a year extra they earn. Unlike them, I have to give a percentage of my wage to my agency whilst they just sit there in their administrative tower like a secretarial pimp.

I’m treated like any other member of staff because to my boss and her boss I am exactly that. They don’t care about my future aspirations and why should they? I’ve never asked them theirs. The truth is they have seen countless others like me passing through their doors and whilst I am there they have every right to demand commitment. After all, it is their permanent job and their future aspirations may well be affected by it. Anyone who does work in monotonous job can often find themselves looking round and wondering ‘how can they care about this stuff?’ But the answer is simple. For those in positions with responsibility the days of Gradulthood are gone.

These are the Gradults of the nineties, perhaps those who left Gradulthood just as we were beginning it. What started off as a job can become a career in any number of ways. A gradult could get comfortable and before they know it they’re the longest serving worker. They might be a natural in a role and higher opportunities may present themselves or sometimes circumstance might tap a gradult on the shoulder and dictate they stay where they are. Others might not have the wherewithal or desire to put the undoubted hours in that it takes to alter your careers direction.

These are the gradults who may well declare to you: work to live, don’t live to work. Implying that there is more to life than a career, and of course there is. But on the same note, we do only get one crack at it so is it not foolhardy to let others do the job you’d love to do whilst you look in from the outside? We spend so much of our lives at work and when we’re not there we’re travelling to and from it or talking about our jobs, so surely it’s worth going after one you actually enjoy. Gradulthood is the ideal time to make this happen, before your temporary job becomes a permanent fixture.

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