If March was the month of stress, and April was the month of things getting back on track, then May is shaping up to be the month where everything works out.
March: The Panic Days
March was a very stressful time. We’d just moved into our new (bloody lovely) flat, which was wonderful but also so terrifying. Whilst we were at our AirB&B, things still felt temporary, like a bit of a holiday. Moving into a flat where you pay rent, pay the bills, have to set up things like internet and gas, and have a lease saying it’s yours for the next 12 months, definitely makes things feel more permanent. Which was great, but also really, really stressful. I didn’t have any work at the start of March, and the stress of trying to find a job became a tad all-consuming. I obviously wasn’t alone, and never will be alone. The job market, wherever you go, is absolutely fucked, and coming into it as a young, newly-graduated 22 year old with minimal ‘real world’ work experience is a challenge. Even entry level jobs (yes, jobs advertised as entry level) wanted 3 years work experience in a similar profession. On month 3.5 of the job hunt (I started looking around mid-December, though not very seriously) the pressure was beginning to get to me. I knew, realistically, that I wasn’t alone. Most of Alex and my friends struggled to get into the workforce, and in reality spending 3 months trying to find a post-uni job is pretty standard. But try using that as a method of reassurance when you’re trying to live as a real life adult, in a different country. (Hint: it doesn’t work). My stress was somewhat compounded by the spontaneous decision to return to Australia for a friend’s wedding. Whilst an amazing trip and definitely what Alex and I needed, a 2 week semi-holiday to the other side of the world isn’t what you need when you’re tight on money.
April: It Gets Better
Thankfully, a week before we were due to leave for Aus, I heard back (with good news) from a potential employer. I came in for an interview, spent a week shadowing tours, and, the day before we left for London, I passed my tour guide interview test and finally found a job. Huzzah! Two days after getting back from Australia, I had my first shift, and began working giving history and ghost tours of Edinburgh. At the same time though, I was considering applying for a second part time job, just to make sure there was enough money at the end of every week to cover rent/bills/food and still leave some for Starbucks and the occasional treat. I planned on giving myself the rest of April to see how guiding worked out, before making my decision. Then, out of the blue on the Friday after we got back to Edinburgh, my phone rang. It was someone calling about a job I’d applied for in March, which I’d never heard back from and assumed hadn’t worked out, as the original interview date was set for April 6th. They wanted to know if I was still interested in the position (I was), and if I could answer a few quick questions to make sure I was suitable (I could). 10 minutes later, they said they’d pass on my details and my resume to the company, and I’d probably hear back from them on Monday or Tuesday regarding an interview. About 2 hours later my phone rang again. The company wanted to know if I could come in for an interview first thing Monday morning. I could. Monday morning comes, and I head up to the company’s office in my brand new bootleg business pants and my bright red Strathberry of Scotland bag (my ‘take me seriously’ bag). I thought the interview went well, the three of us (myself and the two interviewers) nerded out over Walter Scott (one of my favourite hobbies), and I left. They’d told me they had interviews for the rest of the day, and I’d probably hear back about the position by the end of the day, or first thing the next morning. Feeling relatively content (but not optimistic), I went off to work. On my way to my tour, a full 50 minutes after I’d left the office, my phone rang. The company wanted me, and wanted to know if I could start straight away (after passing the necessary background checks). I could.
So here we are, May 2nd at 7pm. Tomorrow morning, I start my first day as a Senior Museum Assistant at the Museum on the Mound. This is the museum of the Bank of Scotland, and contains exhibits about the history of the bank, the history of Edinburgh and Scotland, and the history of banking and money in general. Suffice to say, I’m very excited.
A month ago I was arriving in Australia, relieved to at least have some form of employment, but still very stressed about money, and particularly whether I’d make enough to support myself in Scotland. Now, I have the two jobs I wanted to have when I left for Edinburgh: a tour guide and working in a museum. As a history graduate, and one who wants to continue studying and eventually work in history, I’m over the moon.
It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it.
TL;DR: Rachel now has two jobs, a tour guide and a museum assistant, and has therefore fully engaged history nerd status.