Let’s talk about your future

A note from our editors on the launch of Future.

It’s October, there’s still the end of semester sprint ahead, and then a glorious Australian summer awaits on the other side…

Or, if you’re a penultimate or graduating student without any concrete plans, the panic-inducing chasm of an unknown future is staring you in the face, creeping into your dreams late at night, and dominating conversation with your parents. Dozens of job applications are continually open on your laptop, and the endless iteration of cover letters is doing your head in.

First, a quick update: It’s been a busy period for Et Cetera, as we worked with the Union of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Students to launch their publication Songlines. It’s hosted on our website, we encourage you to explore some of the important topics raised in its launch edition.

Now, back to the future, our editors here at Et Cetera hope that we are generalising, and know that a lot of our friends and peers are either confident in their current journey down a defined path towards a fulfilling career, or are easy-going and have some perspective; knowing that life does tend to work out, though often in the ways we least expect.

Nonetheless, when the writing team discussed what was on everyone’s minds on this issue, it was immediately apparent that a generalised feeling of anxiety, as well as enthusiastic anticipation of our futures seemed to be the common thread.

We don’t think enough attention or credit is given to just how hard it can be for young people to figure out what moves to make after university, especially in 2018, where the job market is constantly changing and skills required may be less and less aligned with our degrees. (Check out Bridget Rumball’s article on exactly this!)

Despite the general angst that is to be expected from a group of 20-something-year-olds who don’t really feel like we can speak with authority on anything yet, we hope that this edition is ultimately optimistic and starts some conversation.

Many of us will end up in jobs that do not even exist yet, and we are all incredibly lucky to be living in these exciting times, in the opportunity of Australia, where the economy is quickly adapting to a whole range of new service industries and professions. Being flexible and dynamic in responding to these changes is key, and is a totally new experience in comparison to graduates even half a generation ago.

As one anonymous author says: “Nobody knows of, or counts, your failures … It only takes one win to sweep all the rejections under a very plush rug, and all those rejections probably have something to do with you finally getting somewhere.”

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