I’m currently working as a Marketing Administrator at LIFE-FORCE Counselling Service, Colchester, and volunteering with the British Heart Foundation, as a shop worker for 2 hours each week. In addition Im always looking for ad hoc work locally.
After I graduated I couldn’t get a job as employers didn’t seem interested in a degree, they all wanted you to have ‘work experience’ (typical) but eventually I offered to work a few hours a week for free at a local counselling service, in the office (I didn’t want a big gap on my cv) and eventually I was offered a paid position (part time).
I actually got frustrated at the lack of office jobs around (all stuff for shop workers…and I’d never worked in a shop in my life!) so I also volunteered at The British Heart Foundation shop in town (my dad died of heart woes during my 2nd year at uni). I’ve gained a ton of work experience and am still volunteering every week as I love it in there!
The olympic focus on volunteers has gone some way to promoting volunteering but there’s always a danger of companies hoping for free labour. I’d given myself a deadline of 12 months ‘free work’ at 2 hours a week (so as not to put anyone else out of a job) so I was fortunate to have been offered a paid position before the year was up! It did mean I had to become self-employed though (which I wasn’t keen to do) but since then I’ve set up my own webpage (see ‘My Links’ below) offering ad-hoc paid work locally (I don’t drive) to fit around my current hours. I haven’t had much response as yet but you never know….!!
Sociologically I’m interested in women’s issues, health (including mental health), disability and gender issues, while my non-academic interests are family history, gardening, writing satire and holidays!
- My website: http://www.karenwaddy.com
- My LinkedIn page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenwaddy
- My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/karen.waddy
- Some reflections on my early experiences at Essex, written at the time: Slice of Life: My First Term at Uni (Autumn 2005)
- Some photos I took around the lake at various times: University of Essex 2005-2008
- A blog about my small suburban garden: http://karenwaddy.wordpress.com/