- Graduate Jobs
- Job Advice
- Industry Profiles
- Featured Employers
"I was incredibly lucky when it came to finding my job. A few weeks before the end of my degree an email was circulated around the department advertising vacancies for Research Assistant posts on the new Infant and Toddler Language Studies team. The criteria were knowledge of phonetics, love of babies and passion for research which pretty much summed me up, and unlike all other RA posts I've seen advertised it didn't require a PhD.
Thanks to the generosity of the Professor and Research Fellow leading the team I've worked on several projects now, looking at baby babbling and 'motherese', using a variety of skills I picked up in my degree from phonetic transcription to acoustic analysis, as well as a few new ones like getting to grips with my bete-noir of 'technology'.
Originally the contract was for 18 months but, 3 years later I'm still here thanks to new funding trickling in here and there, as often seems to be the case in academia, so if job security is what you're after this isn't the job for you! I've tried to see the constant threat of redundancy as an opportunity and have always had to be on the lookout for a Plan B just in case I find myself unemployed in a month's time. The flexibility of the job (and the goodwill of the Professor!) enabled me to take a month out last year to go and do a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, and since lack of funding forced them to cut my hours to part-time I've managed to pad out my salary and my CV with jobs and voluntary work teaching English, as well as a part-time job at the university library. That's one of the joys of working for a big organization like a university, if you're facing redundancy you get first dibs on any new vacancies that come up!
When I started this job I had my eyes set on a career in academia, but after a couple of wake-up calls about how tough funding is to secure (especially without a 1st) and the daunting prospect of not graduating before the age of 30 (and still not being guaranteed a job!), I've gone off the idea and am looking for something totally new and with better career prospects! With the end of yet another temporary contract looming I'm looking into teaching and internships to see how well I cope in the 'outside world'!"