When Olivia Crowley graduated from university last year, she found it impossible to find a job.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the United Kingdom jobs market had come to a halt- hardly any firms were hiring.
Young people like Olivia were badly affected, as figures showed. While the United Kingdom unemployment rate was 5% from May to August 2020, it escalated to 14.2% for 18 to 24-year-olds.
“It was so hard, and I just didn’t know how I was going to find a job,” says Crowley, from Essex, who got graduated in creative media practice from Bath Spa University.
She wanted to get a job in marketing, and for a few months, she took a very conventional approach- sending out her CV and expecting the best. Unfortunately, all she got was 28 rejections. And there were no unpaid internships obtainable either.
“I felt alone trying to figure out how to make a mark in the industry, but without anyone to turn to,” Crowley said.
Eventually, Olivia realised that she would have to take things into her own hands and think out of the box. So she set up her own social media marketing company on Instagram, called Living Lavish Social. It gives suggestions to business owners about how to expand their companies on Instagram.
Within months she had got her first client, and her second followed soon after. “I would break up my day with upskilling, job hunting, and then working on the business.”
An expert on graduate job hunting, Gemma Stephenson, says that using social media to set up your own business or find work has been a growing trend among graduates during the pandemic.
“There’s been so much competition for graduates,” says Gemma, who is also the host of a careers podcast with the impudent title of Let’s Get You a Job.