I got a job! Phew everyone breathe a sigh of relief. I tried sitting at home watching bargain hunt and eyeing up the family antiques (sadly no one would pay for my dad at the auction). Anyway I got bored, very bored. My regular routine of checking emails led to always feeling disappointed, it was a very glum way to start the day.
But not today, it’s 8am and whoosh ping, holiday is over and all of a sudden I’m back to work. By the way it’s the perfect job, I’m creating a report in the form of a comic book for my client who’s been researching the use of design in The Cabinet Office. Yes The Cabinet Office (where the civil servants work, not your mum’s kitchen cupboard) and in particular a new workshop called Policy Lab.
When looking at the email there was a process to my feelings. First there was denial, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, it felt safe to assume the job would probably fall through. Then I moved onto excitement partly because the project was interesting, but also because I was finally becoming (in my eyes) an adult. I was no longer in the limbo stage of student, graduate and unemployed.
Being a graduate feels like there’s a ticking time bomb. You’ve got this degree, you’re not sure what to do with it and you have one year to sort your life out before the next lot of students graduate and suddenly you’re classified as the unemployed.
It’s a lot of pressure and a big change. The best example I can give is a change in patronising questions coming from the family. You’re not being asked, “How’s uni?” and “That’s an interesting course..” Rather it’s now, “Congratulations on graduating, what do you plan to do now…?” I wish this glass of Pimms was vodka, no coke, just vodka.
I went to a barbecue recently, I was ready for that question and my answer was well prepared. “Well, condescending aunts, uncles and distant cousins, I am employed and guess what, it’s a job I’ve always wanted to do and relevant to the degree that you secretly thought was a waste of time.” But no one asked me the question.
Now I have to deal with my own frustrations and self doubt. I’ve processed denial, excitement and then we have fear. Oh god this is real I better do it right. The project is live and we’ve arranged a meeting in London and I’m showing my client the first draft and we’ve never met in person before. Full of butterflies, I exit the safety of my house and enter the working world.
I’m following the address on my iPhone, Number 1 Horseguards Parade. So I get the tube to Westminster and exit to Parliament Square. I find myself facing Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament. I’m thinking that this is a little weird. I follow the address to Horseguards away from Parliament, there’s less tourists and I notice more briefcases. There’s more Starbucks coffees rather than selfie sticks and union jacks.
I keep thinking, “Isn’t Horseguard’s where those horses prance up and down for the Queen?” I turn the final corner, getting a bit nervous and walk into Horseguards Parade. There’s a large white building, it’s very grand and has security standing outside. My iPhone tells me I’ve reached my destination but Number 1 is nowhere to be seen.
I spot a small gold plaque on the marble white wall… No1. Horseguards Parade… The Treasury. I immediately text my client, waiting for the response. I get the reply, she tells me to come inside. Now I could tell you what happened next, but I’d rather tell you the rest through the medium of comic strip. Enjoy.