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The Graduate Without a Future - Says who?

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The Guardian's recent broadcast Graduate class of 2012: A 2:1 just won't cut it anymore is just one part of an entire online series dedicated to the graduate without a future. Excuse me? Since when? I certainly don't feel doomed.

The Guardian's recent broadcast "Graduate class of 2012: A 2:1 just won't cut it anymore" is just one part of an entire online series dedicated to "the graduate without a future". Excuse me? Since when? I certainly don't feel doomed. Alongside numerous articles of a similar tone, this video emanates disillusion and despair, from the depressing personal profiles of 2012 grads, right down to their coffee cup dregs being emptied down the drain.

Nobody's about to sit and tell you it's going to be an easy ride, but to doom the entire generation to life in a call centre, "mired in debt"?

Be reasonable. 

Subtle snipes at the humanities disciplines and recruitment industry were of course the icing on the cake but we'll save that for another day... (No really, we will). None of us are strangers to a newspaper trying to drum up readership but if you're starting to get drawn into the gloomy forecast, then set a good example to them and start re-adjusting your grip on reality. Playing into their hands gives yet another higher power the satisfaction of dictating how you live and quite frankly it's about time the new generation showed them how it was done. If a 2.1 won't cut it anymore then sitting around complaining certainly won't help. Expecting others to solve our problems is what got us into this mess and trust me they have far more than our best interests at heart.

For starters, creating an atmosphere of hopelessness over the situation is not only insulting to those already celebrating success, but it's hardly motivating for the rest who've barely had a chance to try. Brought up in a society where so much is instant, easy and taken for granted, it might not necessarily be a bad thing to spark a little competitive spirit. This may mean that those with the energy and ambition to embrace it are at a slight advantage, but I hope I'm not alone in saying, kudos to them.

Still, persevering is hard enough at the best of times. Is creating a moral panic going to make anybody's lives any easier? Where's the support and encouragement from the institutions so concerned with improving the economy? Demoralising those with the most potential to regenerate it isn't exactly productive thinking. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, over nine out of ten graduates in 2011 found work within six months; that's a huge 90.3% of graduates who aren't sat around feeling doomed, so why should we?

This downbeat tone is exacerbated in every aspect of the video, cut and pasted entirely to leave you feeling miserable and disheartened. The publication even manages to put a negative spin on the infinite potential of social media and the innovative new ways to "sell yourself". Instead of celebrating the prospect of brightening up the traditional scrap of A4 summarising your entire life achievements, a girl dejectedly states "it's always about making sure youre this... perfect person which I guess doesnt really exist." Welcome to the real world.

How many years have people been tweaking their grades and talking up their supermarket job?

The internet quite literally puts the world at your feet and whilst it may not make the job market any more attractive, it can certainly improve your CV.

Perhaps we are becoming, and I quote The Guardian's video journalist John Harris, "restless ever-changing human beings", but nobody's complaining when the next iphone's on its way out or we make progress towards curing a crippling disease.

Surely the most adaptive, open-minded and technologically advanced generation to date can channel some of this energy productively towards their future?

Choose a direction, work hard and aim high. No, a 2.1 alone will not be enough, but nobody is doomed if they set their mind on success. Starting out with a negative attitude won't make you any more attractive to an employer and it's hardly out of character for the media to hype anything worth a reaction. If all of this struggling is good for anything, it will perhaps teach us to genuinely appreciate the fantastic prospects "the generation abandoned" are building for our future.

Ps. our buzzer does work.



Written by Charlee Owen, Graduate Recruitment Bureau
Graduating the University of Sussex with 2:1 in English Language, 2012

GRB Blog Author and Student - Dan Hawes

Dan Hawes is the Marketing Director at Graduate Recruitment Bureau. He hopes to enlighten students, graduates and employers with his wisdom from over 20 years in the industry.  

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