The stigma of being unemployed after university

As a third year at university, it’s extremely easy to fall into ‘the conversation’, and by ‘the conversation’ I mean the same, boring one where everyone is so eager to know what you are doing once you graduate. And deep down, you really have no idea.

The stigma that surrounds unemployment in general is one that screams laziness, failure and then some. Being an unemployed graduate is often seen as worse, because you’ve ultimately studied for three years to get a degree, which in an ideal world should make you more employable, but realistically, it really doesn’t.

What makes things even worse is that before you even get a chance to graduate, your course-mates and friends at other universities are already landing full time jobs.

This adds to the pressure and stresses of job-hunting even more, making you feel as though you are somewhat odd for still being an ‘unemployed mess’.

“Do something you know you won’t be able to do once you’re in a 9-5”

I do understand why everybody wants to talk about plans after university, because it is daunting and exciting at the same time, but in the same breath, comparing yourself to other people and stressing about the rejection e-mail you got last week isn’t going to make you feel any better about yourself. It is a waste of time.

More importantly, I think we are perfectly entitled to simply want to have some time  to take a moment to appreciate how hard we have worked over the past three years, and to also not rush into a career path that may be a mistake, and make us more miserable in the long run.

The couple of months you spend unemployed can give you a break from university life, and allow you to process moving back home and adjusting to leaving the place you just spent the last three years of your life at.

Is it really so bad if you want to spend the day reading a book, applying for a few jobs and cooking a nice meal for yourself and not feeling guilty about it?

Being unemployed is how most of the student graduate population is going to live their life for a while, so instead of fighting it and getting just any job to make yourself feel better, use the time you have being unemployed to do something that is going to make you feel better about yourself.

Do something that you know you won’t be able to do once you’re in that 9-5. Because I can bet that your course-mate that has just started their new job is really envious of the fact that you can be free to do what you want, but instead they have to leave the bar early because their train to work is at 7am.

Enjoy the last few weeks of university instead of looking back on it thinking, I wish I spent more time enjoying my own company, and spending time with my friends rather than worrying about what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

You have the rest of your life to worry about that!



Claire Stapley

Creator of

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