After finishing College, I decided to apply for jobs instead of going to University. I applied for jobs that I’d be good at, including several Graphic Designer and Marketing Jobs.

I’ve had experience in the fields, I’ve been doing it a while, and I’ve been successful thus far.

However, due to my lack of a University Degree – I have been automatically made to feel inferior, suppressed, stupid, and all the jobs are refusing to pay me anything more than the Minimum Wage (my current job being the only exception). Which means I’d only receive £5.60 an hour.

Basically what employers are offering me is less money than what I’m worth due to my inability to attend University at this time, and also because of my age.

Employers don’t pay for quality, they only pay for experience, qualifications and age – though, not as if that guarantees anything!

The job I have now is paying me more than double my minimum wage, they didn’t know how old I was, they just looked at my portfolio and hired me.

Another job that I had applied for asked whether or not I had a University Degree when I told them no – they were quite impressed. They were also slightly shocked. I got comments like: I’ve never seen work this good without a Uni degree, but then again – some that say they have a Uni degree end up showing terrible quality… 

But, let me tell you about a job I applied for before I got my current one.

I applied for a graphic designer/web designer job – two things I can do well, web design and graphic design. The Salary was listed as competitive and they said they had an office block in which they work from. The job advertisement looked promising, although the companies website was rather bland and their portfolio was rather short.

Nevertheless, I applied for the job. It asked for a minimum of 1-year experience – which I have, as I’ve been working with clients in the field of graphic and web design for the past 5 (almost 6) years. I got an interview quickly, and it seemed promising.

They sent me the address of the Offices only to find that it was basically a warehouse. I went in – and was placed in a room where printers were being repaired… In a room the size of a shoebox. Not only did it look unprofessional but it was also rather uncomfortable.

The interview asked general questions, I gave general – but wacky – answers because I feel that if I don’t, they’re not getting to know me or my abilities.

The interview finished and I was escorted out.

There were a range of red flags:

  • The messy, unprofessional environment.
  • They didn’t have their own offices – they were sharing an office warehouse with another company.
  • The atmosphere left me feeling uncomfortable.
  • They were unorganised.
  • And, worst of all, their competitive salary was only £5.60 an hour due to my age. But, they said if I went and worked with them, they would review my pay depending on my quality of work – even though they had seen my work.

So, not only did they lie, but their business was basically still in start-up mode even though they appeared to have been doing it for years.

They told me they’d get back to me on a certain day to say whether or not they would offer me a job. But they didn’t, they actually got back to me four days later – via email – not even sent by the person I was communicating with! Then, because I rejected the offer, I was called 6 days later from the initial day and was offered the same deal but with a one month trial – meaning for the first month, I wouldn’t be getting paid.

Now, I don’t know about you, but with my experience and talent – I’d sort of want a little more than a one month of free experience wouldn’t you?

However, by the time the ‘we’ll give you a one-month free trial’ came around, I’d already accepted my current job. Why? Because it’s much better than working in a repair cupboard.

Article Written by: Elva Michaels