Hear the inspirational story of Sehaj, who joined the Get Hired team to volunteer during the coronavirus
Having always had the impression that having a university degree made it certain I would get a job, I quickly felt alone after graduating, not knowing what to do next.
After graduating with a degree in Architecture in 2017, I knew I needed to gain some experience before getting on the career ladder. I opened a small business on Instagram called “Personalised Print” where I designed personalised framed prints with quotes, wedding vows with floral designs.
I decided to open the business to keep my design skills sharp and to keep myself busy while I was job hunting. My business is still running and I have the flexibility to close the shop when I get too busy at work.
I found the Get Started with Web Design programme whilst looking for a job on the ASOS website. The Get Started programme was an amazing experience not only did I learn basic coding and set up my own blog but I also met other young people who were in the same boat as me. After a long time of feeling alone, for the first time I felt there were people out there I could relate to, who knew what it felt like to be a university graduate struggling to secure a job.
After completing the Get Started programme I was given great support from the The Prince’s Trust staff with other programmes, events and suitable job roles. I felt like I had the support and guidance which I didn’t have before. Having done one programme with The Prince’s Trust I was very eager to see what else the Trust could offer and that’s when I found the amazing Get Hired event where we, the young people, could pick which companies to interview for.
This was a game changer for me. For a year of being rejected from jobs with minimal feedback, this event brought hope of me finding my first job. When I attended a Get Hired event I saw myself grow and get more confident and visited amazing locations such as The Gherkin
The format of day was one I was very familiar with but somehow I came out of it learning something new, meeting new volunteers and young people and feeling ever more ready to give it my all for the interviews. The first workshop of the day was focused on confidence and even though everyone was shy and nervous, it was a great icebreaker. This was followed by interview practice in small groups with one volunteer. This workshop helped me gain much-needed confidence to do well in the interviews. I have always come out of these workshops with great interview tips.
On the day of the Get Hired event I was feeling a little demotivated and I wanted to keep hope that in this one I would secure a job. Some young people would lose hope but the reason I kept in touch with the Trust is because of the support and motivation of the staff and the variety of support available to get a job. By the end of this event I would secure my first role at Studio Lambert an amazing TV production company in Central London.
Studio Lambert were offering two weeks of work experience which at first didn’t appeal to me but it was in TV and as a creative, I saw the potential for it to create a lot of design opportunities. I was very hesitant in going for an interview, but a little friendly nudge from the staff made me realise there was no harm in going for an interview and seeing what happened. .I smashed the interview and impressed the talent team from Studio Lambert, so I was offered two weeks of work experience with the social media producer.
Working on social media content to promote shows such as The Circle, Gogglebox, Race Across the World and Four in A Bed were the main tasks during my work experience.
I became very comfortable with the work and working with the amazing development team who let me sit in on creative meetings, join in with the TV discussion and express my content ideas. My confidence grew and I knew this is where I wanted to work. Staying in contact with the talent team who were helping me make my CV more TV savvy helped me secure a role just a few weeks after finishing work experience.
I was offered an office runner role which was contracted for six months. This was my first ever paid role, and I was so thankful that I went to interview with them at the Get Hired event. I enjoyed every minute, made amazing professional contacts and gained so much TV knowledge. After my six-month contract I was promoted to Production Executive Assistant in October 2019.
At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, I was furloughed which this left me with a lot of free time, and this led to worrying about the future and how uncertain everything was. It was hard to adjust to what looked like a new normal, as I was furloughed and couldn’t work for Studio Lambert during this time, I worked on my small business. I was worried about loved ones, the NHS and all the frontline workers, and worried about being unemployed again. Having more restrictions than we have ever had, I started appreciating the smaller things in life.
I started volunteering for The Prince’s Trust Get Hired team in early May. Volunteering means I’m contributing to supporting other young people who are looking for work just like I was a year ago, which makes me so proud.
Meeting a new team over Microsoft Teams was a little daunting at the beginning but the Get Hired team made me feel so welcomed. The team understood my strengths in design and allowed me to help design content to promote the online programmes and events. This became my new norm.
Looking back on this journey I know it’s made me a much stronger person, more confident and more resilient. These first few steps on the career ladder have been amazing and it’s only uphill from now. My journey is mine to own and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Looking into the future I know with my resilience and hard work it looks very bright.