5 struggles you only know trying to get a job with an English degree

Welcome to graduate life. Make yourself comfortable, you might be here for a while. First off, congratulations on your degree! Materially, it’s just a piece of paper, but what it represents is so much more – namely countless litres of cheap cider and anxiety attacks.

It’s time for you to move on and get a job but it’s never as easy as that. You can’t just waltz down to the job shop and say “one ticket to employment please”.

Go to a careers fair, have a desperate cry, bookmark job applications – there’s so much you could be doing to get a job. Unless you’re an English graduate, in which case, you might just be doomed… Perhaps. Here are 5 things you’ll only know if you did an English degree.

1. You either move into the library or move the library to you

Apart from an over-encumbering amount of emotional baggage, you’ll return from university with more books then you realise you would have to buy in three years. Mr Waterstone is laughing while you break your back trying to shove three tattered copies of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ into your desk draw.

2. No interviewer wants to ask your contentions on the writers of the 19th century

“What do you consider your greatest strength?”

“My analysis of DH Lawrence’s rabid frustration with the human condition?”

3. You can’t P.E.E.L your way out of adult problems

Point: There aren’t any jobs out there, Mum

Evidence: I’ve watched every episode of Pointless since last September

Explanation: If there were jobs out there, I would not have the time to dissect the complex and dynamite relationship between Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong.

Link: Because I have an English degree which is worth about a goose-egg in the job-market, apparently.

4. ‘Skim-reading like a boss’ isn’t considered a transferable skill

What you do get with an English degree, apart from strained eyes, is an unrivalled ability to skim-read. Most companies value care over speed so while it’s worth keeping in your arsenal, bragging about finishing Ulysses in ‘like, a night’ won’t warrant a standing ovation in an interview.

5. Everybody has an English degree

We’ve always been told from a young age: “there will always be someone better than you” which is a dreadful thing to tell children. “Settle for average, kids, it’s all you’re worth!” However, the adage unfortunately rings true in the job-market since it seems that everybody has a 2:1 in English these days…

Are they just handing them out on the street? You don’t remember there being 10,000 people in your lectures, but then again, you didn’t go to many lectures did you? The only thing you can really do is get some experience and preserver. Take inspiration from all those book characters you were meant to read about but SparkNoted instead.