When I graduated in 2015 I imagined my future very different to how it has turned out. I don’t think anyone would have pictured me working in the industries I have. However, here I am with a new set of skills which have enabled me to finally find what I have been searching for. Despite never having worked in the Marketing/Communications sector, I managed to break into the field with the valuable experience I gained in other industries along with some creative short courses such as a Adobe Premier Pro workshop.
Insurance – Many people associate this field with being incredibly cutthroat. It is also tarred with the idea that it is boring. Admittedly, at first I found it hard to adjust to the strict guidelines of how long a customer should be kept on the phone. I was so used to providing a different kind of customer service, one that went above and beyond. I also had to put my empathy on a shelf, listening to every X-Factor style sob story you can imagine and parroting back the same lines. I was once told that by not approving an oven claim (not my decision) I was starving the client’s children. Our obligatory responses would be to the effect of “this was mentioned in the terms and conditions which all of our customers have the opportunity to read in our 21 day cooling off period.”
I like to think that despite my predicament, I put a positive spin on each situation and organised my work in such a way that all the customers I personally dealt with were not kept in the dark. I also strived to make the experience fairer, making sure the terms and conditions outlined our process in a more transparent manner, not shying away from making suggestions to superiors. I also was incredibly proud of the way I managed to tackle difficult customers by the end of my time at the company. Almost any abuse imaginable is thrown at you by the general public when you’re working in not just customer service but claims.
Demolition – Definitely not the most feminine of professions. Nor was it quite as fun as actually using a wrecking ball to wreak havoc on a building’s structure. However, I found it really rewarding representing women in this industry and learning about something out of my comfort zone. I felt surprisingly at home in this position, people in demolition tend to be very down to Earth with a wicked sense of humour. I also believe that this experience was made by my colleagues who created a sense of community amongst us, organising several social outings and making all of us feel very special with the best homemade cakes I have ever tasted (sorry Mum).
So as you can see, you can learn valuable skills that can be applied to any work you end up doing. It is also possible to have a positive experience in industries that at first you may not see as your cup of tea. It is often the people you meet that make or break it.
Don’t forget that the Employability and Careers Centre can support you with your job search and application process