Is there anything I can do to get out of my situation?

Hi Helen,

I am 24 years old, and I have graduated from university a couple of years ago. I went for a degree that is “safe” as opposed to something I am passionate about, and I ended up with a 2:2. This has closed many doors for me, such as getting funding for an MA or graduate schemes or internships. Since graduating, I have been in dead-end jobs – I currently work in a call centre – and despite sending out applications for jobs and internships every day, I am not getting anything. My friends from university live in central London and have well paid jobs; we rarely speak to each other as I don’t fit in with their glamorous lifestyles.

Is there anything I can do to get out of my situation?

Thank you in advance,


Helen Brown

Helen Brown

Dear P,

I am really sorry to hear about your current circumstances, it is a situation shared by many students who for one reason or another, left University with a degree grade that hasn’t opened as many doors asthey’d hoped for.

Without knowing more about the degree you left with, or the degree you wished you had taken, it’s difficult to offer really constructive advice but there does seem to be a solution that whilst not the most comfortable personally, maybe the easiest to instigate quickly.

You say you have friends in London who were on the same course as you at University? I assume therefore that they are in businesses relevant to your degree and are in the perfect position to give you contacts with their current or past employer?

I understand from your email that you may have drifted apart but this is not a time to worry about possibly offending them – you need to swallow your pride and contact all of them directly. Be clear you need their help and want to utilise their existing contacts to open up career opportunities for you. Ask them for the name and contact details of the hiring department (probably HR) and if you can, the name of the person who hired them so you can make reference to it in your covering letter or email.

In addition, you can improve your employability where you currently live by offering local businesses/agencies some of your free time (assuming you are on shifts at the call centre) to work on projects. Whilst this won’t immediately get you to the bright lights of London, it will at least give you a relevant company name on your CV and prove to prospective employers that not only do you have industry experience, you recognise a 2:2 isn’t enough on its own and are prepared now to commit your time and effort to get what you want.

Kind Regards,


My name is Helen Brown and I’m your Careers Agony Aunt for Brand Republic.  I’m also the Chief Talent Officer for Mediacom.  Maybe you’re frustrated about losing that promotion or not sure whether to accept a tempting job offer?  You might be suffering from a lack of development or struggling with management. Whatever the problem, email here and I’ll do my best to help.

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