Well folks, it’s done! I finally finished my journalism degree! Towards the end it all became a bit of a caffeine-filled, sleep-deprived whirlwind what with final projects, the dissertation and a media law exam to study for (I’ll post about these later). It’s been three weeks since I returned to ‘normality’ – to my office and usual 9 to 5 routine – and university strangely now seems like a wonderful, hazy memory. While we await our final results (hopefully due out next month) there is one question which weighs heavily on my mind: Now what?
I’m not naive, yet a silly little part of me fantasised that as I walked out of my university campus for the final time I’d be greeted by fan fare and my own marching band while a group of editors vied for my attention as I sorted through a pile of permanent job offers.
The harsh reality is that I’ve now found myself at a very interesting cross-roads, and one that I think is a little trickier for the more mature student to navigate. And that, my friends, is the question of money.
One of my fellow mature peeps laughed when I told him this. “Well, we didn’t go into journalism for the money, did we? We knew this before we even started.” Indeed we did. Nope. Journalism – for the average journalist in London – isn’t highly-paid at all. It isn’t even well paid. And a quick career search in Google confirms that it’s not just about salaries – there simply aren’t that many jobs; at least, not that many jobs if you actually want to be paid or you have no prior experience. The media industry does like its unpaid internships - but who can afford to do that in this big, bright, colourful (EXPENSIVE) city?
It doesn’t help that my work experience thus far has been in the delightful world of finance and investment. If I play my cards right, it has the potential to pay big bucks, which makes it awfully tempting to remain in this industry. Money isn’t everything of course, but it sure is pretty awesome, particularly when you have your eye on a couple of pairs of designer shoes.
So while I make up my mind as to who wins my future career battle – will it be the non-materialistic creative heart? Or the practical, shoe-obsessed brain? – here’s something to think about. What the heck do I put as my new blog banner?
Posh Banter: The discombobulations of
a ‘mature’aged student…
…to be continued…