Hello my name is Lauren and I am a graduate.

Replies I often receive when imparting this piece of information range from pittiful looks and comments on slim job opportunities, to general bewilderment at what can possibly be available for a student of History. However, I would like to say, I have a job!

Emerging from the safe haven of University and leaving its encouragement and support behind was a daunting prospect. Me and my friends have all had such different experiences of the working world after leaving university, some returning to jobs they had before uni, some gaining internships and some moving straight into high powered graduate jobs. What I have learnt from this process is that there is no right way to go about it.

I began applying for lots of different jobs as soon as I moved back home to Birmingham to live with Mom and Dad. I had some luck, but was not offered something which I really saw myself loving.

Ok, applying for jobs is hard, mind numbing and disheartening at times, but in my experience you just have to keep trying. Looking every day makes sure you know what is new in the job market and keeps you up to date, but I found that it was also important to keep up your own interests too. (It always looks good when you have something interesting to say at an interview) For me it was sewing and maintaining my blog laurenwsews.blogspot.co.uk. I also found that recruitment agencies are a very valuable resourse and definitely helped me in my job search. None more so than SimkissGuy, who eventually lead me to my current job. It is great having a first step on the career ladder. I have now completed my first successful working week and have a permanent contract in a great environment.

It seemed, at first, impossible to know where to start with my first job hunt after leaving university. Newspapers can give a very grim view of the opportunities out there for graduates, but they are there. University degrees are still valuable and jobs are still available.

Ignore the horror stories graduates! Keep calm and carry on.