I’ve had a few interesting experiences recently where I’ve found myself comparing what happens to students now vs. what I experienced at the same age. I’m the grand ‘old’ age of 37 which isn’t ancient but I’m obviously a few years on compared to the 18 – 21 year olds I commonly sit down with now. So, given exams are looming, I figured any young Victoria students reading this could do with something lighthearted to learn how things went down in the ‘olden days’….
Writing a CV
My Day: Go to Whitcoulls to buy expensive “special paper”. Be fussy about formatting so you don’t waste paper. Ensure the printer doesn’t eat the paper.
These Days: Use Microsoft Word.
Who gets it better: You guys. Who wants to go buy paper?
Applying for Jobs
My Day: Find a postshop to buy an envelope and stamps. Post CV.
These Days: CV, Cover Letter, Online application forms including answering written or video based interview questions (usually with a word or time limit), Psychometric tests – cognitive and personality – and if it’s a creative job a Portfolio or Video of you doing something creative….
Who gets it better: Me. I’m exhausted reading what happens these days. In all seriousness, I don’t know if my young self would have handled all of that so you have my utmost respect.
My Day: Chat for half hour with one person.
These Days: Thorough preparation on job description and company values, mission statement, products and services. Have a video or phone interview before the ‘actual’ interview (maybe with a real person, maybe just a computer). Go to the actual interview and be interviewed by three or so people, maybe with another interviewer on a conference call. Do a presentation on the state of the world…
Who gets it better: Me. Again, exhausted. Of course I did eventually have to go through some of that but not for a few years after Uni.
Getting a job
My Day: Get a degree. Ask your mum’s friend for a job.
These Days: Get a degree with excellent grades. Have several work experiences including volunteering. Cultivate hobbies, interests and other extra-curricular activities. Do something Achievement worthy. Learn to network…
Who gets it better: Me. In reality I did actually work and volunteer throughout my degree in different environments so even though a degree possibly was enough back in my day, I was most likely hired for everything else as well as my degree. Despite the extra effort students need to put in these days to stand out amongst the thousands of additional people achieving similar degrees, I think it’s great to test out different experiences and environments to see what it’s like in ‘the real world’. Plus it’s excellent content for your CV and material for your interviews.
First office job
My Day: My very own computer, desk and landline.
These Days: Laptop or tablet. Standing Desk or Hot Desk. Skype or cell phone…
Who gets it better: Many of you will still actually have a desk, computer and landline (I do today) but many offices are embracing the changes in technology. Since I experienced the excitement of being at a computer that was just for me (no tablets or laptops when I was young!) I’m going to say I had it better, simply for that.
What job can I do?
My Day: Maybe I want to work with dolphins, or be a librarian, or maybe write the answers to the Agony Aunt columns? Be a teacher? Oh, so much choice.
These Days: Who knows? Loads of jobs will be obsolete in 20 years anyway….
Who gets it better: Obviously I’m being over dramatic but you can’t avoid the fact that our world is changing and technology advances are making it a lot harder for students to figure out where they’ll be in 20 years time. This doesn’t have to mean doom and gloom though. It also means that loads of new jobs will be created in 20 years time too. Hurrah!
I know it appears that I ‘won’ but this is my blog post so I was always going to make that happen (joys of creative license!). I know there will be plenty more things out there, especially from people of a slightly older age than myself *ahem* so feel free to share in the comments below!