And as the “unprecedented crisis of trust” was revealed by the Edelmann Trust Barometer yesterday, I’m once again hit by the notion that I, as many other final year students across the UK right now, have to deal with an unnecessary amount of future anxiety.
It is one thing to graduate in a big (or small) city post-economic crisis, knowing that the time of instability and uncertain employment is not quite over, despite the best efforts of the government and the PRCA to clamp down on unpaid internships. But it is another to graduate in a city, and into your life as an adult in a country, that hasn’t quite figured out whether it wants you to work there yet.
I am looking forward to Mrs May’s statement today with a similar sense of trepidation I felt when I woke up on the morning of the 24th of June 2016, knowing that it’s not in my hands, that it’s not personal, but that it can quite possibly decide over my fate as a graduate employee in London.
Studying and trying to work in communications and PR can feel like swimming against the stream at the best of times: There are always people your age who seem to be better connected, who have gone down different routes of education, who were able to gather more experience, who have more specifically honed skills in writing or broadcasting, and trying to tell yourself that what you’ve done so far is going to be enough to get your dream job can feel an awful lot like a false friend trying to console you.
I came to London two and a half years ago because I had decided that communications was the right thing for me and after I’d identified London as the European centre for the communications industry, I knew it was also the right place to be.
“You can always go home after your degree,” I told myself, “if you don’t find anything or it doesn’t work out. At least you have that support from your family.”
Three years on, I still have that support. But three years on, moving back home and leaving the life I’ve built here and the identity of a foreigner I’ve clung to behind is unthinkable.
Yet three years on, finding a job in London might not just depend on my skills as a communications practitioner.
Studying and trying to work in communications and PR, effectively getting part-time experience while writing your dissertation and paying half a mind to internship opportunities and graduate schemes, is now sometimes clouded over by nagging thoughts about potential pointlessness.
Can I tick the “I have the right to work in the UK” button?
I do as of now, but I can’t say that’s forever, and what’s worse, no one really can.
(To anyone else writing a dissertation or bigger paper at this time, I’m sure you’ll agree that this type of thinking is most annoying and usually only serves as a hindernis.)
All I know is that I want to stay, and that I want to contribute to the English and European communications industry, but I’m afraid I’m in a little personal “crisis of trust” here.
In the end, I guess there isn’t much left to do than keep hoping working towards said goals, or in the eternal words of Billy Ocean and the phrase he’s quoting: “If the Going gets Tough, the Tough get Going.”