Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Got a job? On yer bike

The story of journalism student Lindsey Cole's plan to cycle through Africa in time for the World Cup Finals was a little sad, given that the only reason she's doing it is because she hasn't found a job since graduating with a Masters last year.

But her appeal for someone to go with her will probably not go unheeded as she’s hardly alone in her plight.

Whether through a sense of pastoral care or to fuel my own suspicions, I recently enquired after some of my students when one got in touch for a reference, having failed to secure anything approaching a proper reporting job for the best part of a year.

At a rough count, and after a bit of Facebooking on his part, we estimated that of about 12, three had found work on papers, two had gone back into education and the rest had variously, completed endless intern placements while living at home or working part-time in offices and two had quit to travel or given up and changed career.

Sadly, none of them were privileged enough to be able to live for free in London while looking, or the family connections that enabled them to coast their way through a graduate scheme on a national.

Worse still, all my advice about packing a bag and being prepared to travel “to any local paper in the country” seemed to rebound when he told me of the applications he'd made.

My only dread is that he ends up taking a job on one of those awful council-run freesheets that are at the heart of the demise of these newspapers.

Got a job anyone? He comes with a reference.

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