My favourite hobby is stalking people on LinkedIn.
Not people I know, that is. Not my ex-boyfriend or that girl who was mean to me at school. No, I only stalk people whose jobs I want.
Every time I send yet another postulating email to yet another company asking for job openings, I first make it my mission to discover who already works there. Who already has the job that I want and, more importantly, how they got there.
Like how my dear friend who spent the majority of her final year of university glued to her phone’s calculator, trying to work out what percentage she needed in her next essay to get a 2.1, I spend my evenings plotting my route to the jobs I crave through the career timelines of Linked In.
A few internships and then a lucky break at a top-name magazine? Lucky b*tch.
A few years out in the provincial wilderness doing *something in marketing* and then a career change to being a successful writer? There’s still hope for me.
A Master’s degree in journalism followed by said internships and then a full time job? Shit, maybe my route’s all wrong.
I use Linked In like a Lucky 8 ball; refreshing and refreshing in order to prophesise my (currently stagnating) career. If it is possible for that girl, with her 2.2 from Southampton Solent (I hypothesize) it must surely be possible for me, as I clutch my BA Hons First Class like a totem of hope.
I theorise that this habit of mine is because, for the first time in my life, my life isn’t mapped out before me. From the ages of 4 to 18 life school, from 9am to 3.30pm daily. At 18 you decide the next course, but then that pattern is laid out for you in a repetitive haze of lectures, library, nights out.
Now at 23 years of age, the lesson timetable has been ripped up and the signposts have been taken down. I’m not sure where my life (and by life I mean career, being inexorably interlinked) is heading now. I look to Linked In to reassure myself that others are taking the same path as me, or at least ones that are pointing in the same general direction.
Otherwise, how else are you supposed to know?