Graduate Job Search Surgery – This Week: I Hate My Job and I’m Going Crazy

Every two weeks we’ll answer your graduate job hunt questions.
You ask us a question – and we’ll do our best to answer. As long as it’s about graduate recruitment.

‘I Hate My Job’

Hi Nicky,

graduate hate jobI graduated last year with a degree in Marketing. I currently work in Advertising in a job that I absolutely hate – and the pay is really bad. I feel trapped because I don’t know what I should do be doing. I want a career, not just a job. But I don’t know where to start.

What should I do?


Hi Emily,

I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a tough time right now

I have had a similar experience, of feeling trapped in a job you hate with no idea what to do next. What really helped me when I was stuck in a terrible job, was to do 4 things:
(Warning: get a pen and piece of paper)

1) Think about what you actually want to do: if you have absolutely no idea – start small and ask yourself the following questions:

What is it that you are interested in? What subjects at school/university did you gravitate towards? Get a piece of paper and write down anything and everything you can think of.

2) Look at what factors are important to you in a job: i.e. is salary the most important thing to you, are you interested in career progression, or is developing a particular skill set your goal? Perhaps it’s working in a fast-paced work environment. Or staying in a particular location. There’s loads of different factors – again write down what would be important to you in a role.

3) Research. You should have a few things written down – go out and do some research on whatever you’ve got. For example, if you are interested in Publishing and its important to you that you gain good career progression then research which careers in publishing provide good career progression.

4) Remember that you can be flexible. I used to put pressure on myself by thinking that whatever career I chose I had to follow for the rest of my life. Thankfully that’s not the case. There is no such thing as a job for life and people change their careers all the time. So look at whatever you decide as potentially being for a few years only.

I hope that helps.


‘I Feel Like I’m Going Crazy’

Hi Nicky,

I graduated last September, with a 2:1 in Psychology. Since then, I’ve applied for good strategyover 200 jobs but everyone has said no. My family and friends are encouraging and tell me its going to turn around soon but to be honest it’s really bringing me down. Some days I feel like I’m going crazy, I’m that fed up.

How do I remain positive and keep plodding on?

Hi Kiran,

Looking for a graduate job is not easy, and there will be moments of frustration.

When I was struggling to find a graduate vacancy, remembering these 4 points helped me to stay positive:

1) Acknowledge that you’re having a hard time right now and that it’s okay to feel this way; don’t beat yourself up – finding a new job is one of the most difficult things to do.

2) Understand That Failure Is A Necessary Part Of Your Journey To Success – often when we’re having a tough time, whether its a recruiter not calling you back, or when you get rejected from that job interview you thought you had in the bag – it’s easy to think it will never happen, however, rejection is part of success:

You may have heard of how JK Rowling was rejected 12 times before she published Harry Potter or how Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he invented the lightbulb. The more rejection you face, the closer you get. As Winston Churchill said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going”
3) Work On Your Self-belief: psychological studies prove that job seekers with high levels of self-belief find a new job faster than those who don’t. Develop self-belief by thinking of other moments in your life where you’ve had a tough time, but still succeeded. You did it then, you can do it now. Go from thinking “If I get a new job…” to “When I get a new job!”

4) Switch It Up

As Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results“.

einsteinIf you’ve been sticking to one or two job strategies repeatedly with no success, try other methods.

For instance, if you’ve only applied to vacancies via online job websites or recruitment agencies – try approaching the employer directly (incidentally this approach has a very high success rate: 70% of job offers are obtained this way)

Perhaps try networking (which has a 60% success rate) or use social media – even good old-fashioned Google has worked wonders for me in the past. The point is, switch it up, try something different and you’ll succeed.

Best of luck



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