99 trials and tribulations of a graduate dietitian.

  1. Woo, I’m a dietitian
  2. Goodbye student life, hello new car.
  3. Right, time to get a job
  4. Where are the jobs?
  5. Okay cover letter number one. You. Can. Do. This. Fist pump
  6. ‘We’d like to offer you an interview’
  7. How good is life right now?
  8. Okay, interview gold let’s go
  9. This. is. so. awkward.
  10. Right, what are their values?
  11. What can I bring to this role?
  12. I’m a country girl. Yep, that will work
  13. Oh man, I’m so nervous.
  14. That wasn’t so bad.
  15. Oh my god, it was actually horrendous. Why did I even say that?
  16. Oh well, didn’t actually want to move there anyway. Where would I brunch?
  17. ‘Unfortunately, you were unsuccessful this time. We were really impressed with your personality though’
  18. Okay, next one. You. Can. Do. This. Fist pump.
  19. I need a job
  20. There are no jobs
  21. Pete Evans is going to stop our jobs.
  22. Oh look, the perfect job!
  23. Damn, experience
  24. Does clinical placement count?
  25. So many jobs to apply for
  26. Being unemployed is a full time job
  27. ‘How’s the job hunt?’
  28. It’s Dietitian, not dietition
  29. How do I pronounce the managers name?
  30. ‘Your application was really good, but we chose someone with more experience’
  31. Damn, experience.
  32. Yes, same selection criteria. I just got my afternoon back. Fist pump
  33. ‘We’d like to offer you a skype interview’
  34. Yes, I don’t have to wear pants. What happens if it drops out?
  35. Oh man, it dropped out.
  36. ‘You nailed the clinical questions, we couldn’t fault you. But we can’t take you’
  37. That damn physiology unit
  38. It’s okay, not many people have jobs yet
  39. ‘Have you got a job yet?’
  40. Locum work with potential on going? Sounds fabulous
  41. Yay, I have a job. Things will snow ball now. Fist pump.
  42. Being a dietitian is so fun.
  43. Wow, so many graduate positions to apply for.
  44. Summer off & start as a clinical dietitian next year – life is going to be sooooo sweet.
  45. Why so many key selection criteria?
  46. Just hire me already
  47. ‘Have you got a job yet?’
  48. Believe me, you’d know. Cue over the top Facebook statuses and super excited snap chats
  49. Ugh, why does no one want dietitians?
  50. Maybe I’ll just become a housewife
  51. ‘What is your five year goal?’
  52. Budddddy, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
  53. ‘Maybe you should consider moving interstate’
  54. Oh my god, now this job is made for me
  55. Right, heart and soul into this one
  56. ‘We’d like you to offer you an interview’
  57. Oh my god, yes. Fist pump
  58. ‘There will be a short writing task involved’
  59. Am I going to have to critique an article?
  60. Oh man. Should I call Tim Crowe?
  61. That’s it. I’m opening a bakery.
  62. Oh no, I know her. What does she have that I don’t?
  63. ‘How does this fit within your 5 year goal?’
  64. Nailed it. Fist pump.
  65. What does she even mean? Can you please repeat the question?
  66. Well that felt good. Got this one in the bag
  67. One step closer to being the next Susie Burrell
  68. Still haven’t called. No, positive thoughts Emma
  69. ‘I’m really sorry but you were unsuccessful. You interviewed really well but it came down to experience.’
  70. Experience, again.
  71. That’s it. I’m buying a one way ticket to the first available destination.
  72. ‘Em, you are very employable’
  73. Now, this role is made for me
  74. How do I address Competent level of patient assessment and treatment?
  75. I have my degree. I therefore clearly passed clinical placement, and therefore am clearly competent. Right?
  76. Yay another interview
  77. How? That was the quickest application I’ve ever done.
  78. Right, everything on hold. Must prepare.
  79. Why did I apply?
  80. Have you read my HECS debt?
  81. Okay, no really. Educating individuals and the community about food and nutrition and food is my passion. It’s my jam. The jam to my peanut butter.
  82. Referee is on holidays. Didn’t put mobile on resume. Emma, why!
  83. Remember to tell interviewee mobile number.
  84. Potential husband in Woolworths. Good start
  85. ‘Tell me about a time you made a mistake and what would you do now looking back?’
  86. ‘Well I forgot to book an interpreter.’
  87. Oh no, does that demonstrate poor organisational skills?
  88. I hope not, I’m not. I have four to do lists, a daily planner, a weekly planner and an a monthly planner to prove it.
  89. ‘We don’t really use interpreters.’
  90. Phew, did that just work in my favour?
  91. Damn it, forgot to give her mobile number
  92. Oh my god, what happens if this is the deal breaker?
  93. I feel like everyone else has job
  94. I want different things though
  95. The next bunch of graduates will be out soon.
  96. ‘I have the pleasure of offering you the position.’
  97. I have never been so happy in my life
  98. But it’s only part time
  99. It’s a start

We go to university to learn the nitty gritty. The what and the why and the how to be a dietitian. It’s the real life that really tests you. It’s outside of the textbook and in the clinical environment and in the job search. They are challenging times but the way you approach and deal with it can really attest to your resilience, optimism and motivation.

So first of all, before you drive out of university and feel relieved at never having to find a car spot at Deakin again, accept that you will be applying for the same jobs as your friends. It really sucks, but that’s what going to happen. You think the same. You all share a passion for delicious food, nutrition and helping others. And you know that they’ll rally with you when a celebrity chef decides to take on the nutrition world. You’ve been through a heck of a lot together and this is just another challenge in your dietetics pursuit. Be happy, support them and don’t you dare let the job game ruin those wonderful friendships. Some of my best friends are Dietitians. I’m rooting for them, and they’re rooting for me. And within the past three weeks, myself and two of the besties gained positions. Good things do in fact come in threes.

There will be days when you want to become a housewife and bake cakes. You may have started planning a café menu and considered staffing, or even started a Melbourne-version of a famous board game. But remember, you are made for this. You’ve worked your butt off & you know what you’re doing. You deserve this, so believe in yourself. It will take time, but you will get a job. Casual, contract, part time, full time. It may not be your dream job but all roads lead to somewhere.

But most importantly, stay positive and have fun. Laugh with your fellow grad about those wonderful puns & memes.

Get excited about the simple things. Enjoy the break from study and spend the time catching up with your friends and family. Go out for brunch, host a dinner party, volunteer, line up for hours for that restaurant you’ve had wish listed on Urbanspoon for your entire degree, go on a day trip, go out for brunch again. Do anything that makes you remotely happy. Just don’t spend all your time scrolling through job boards and writing cover letters. Otherwise you’ll go crazy, and the nutrition world is crazy enough.

Emma Stubbs, Community Dietitian (part time). Fist pump. xo

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33 thoughts on “99 trials and tribulations of a graduate dietitian.

  1. Great post. The real world is a tough place to be lost in. And it does take a while to get there. But look at us, we’ve made it! Woot!

    Congrats on your job, I couldn’t be more excited for you. I wanted to jump in happiness and excitement for you when I found out!

    Ash x

  2. Loved your blog, a great reminder of perspective heading into third year. Good luck with the job… Fist pump!

  3. Love this honest and witty post! It is tough out there and hard to keep positive after the high of graduation. Congrats on your new role and foot in the door!

  4. Great post Emma, loved it! Job searching after finishing the degree on a high was such an ordeal – that’s exactly how it felt!!

    Congrats on the job, massive fist pump for you x

    1. Thank you lovely! Time is flying isn’t it? Do let me know when you pop back to Melbourne town, would love to hear your words of community wisdom! x

  5. Loved this post. Congratulations! Community nutrition sounds like such a fabulous role to work in! So… Just bracing myself for a crazy 5-6-7 years to come after my first week of uni has already scared me… Aallll the science, and maths!

    1. Thank you. Yes, as you may have guess – I’m very health promo & prevention focussed. You will be fabulous! Enjoy your time studying. You have so much to learn! x

  6. I am slowly getting my feet wet in the dietitian process and although I know that job searching (and grad school searching) is not the most fun, it will definitely be worth it in the end. And as you said, we have to start somewhere! Congrats on the job 🙂

  7. This gives me flashbacks! It took me 2 years to find a full time permanent job! At one point I was working 5 jobs a week, some dietetic and others I convinced myself were sort of dietetic related on my resume. It’s so tough being a new grad dietitian but congrats on getting a job! And it’s not that the you haven’t found the perfect job, the perfect job hasn’t met you yet!

  8. Just saw this, Emma. Hilarious & true & sad & hilarious. So many new grads will be thankful for this gem of a blog post. It’ll give them encouragement to keep going! And in the mean time, it’s more time to brunch, right? x

  9. About to start the dietetics journey at Deakin, fist pump! Loved this though can I say it gave me anxiety and I questioned what I’m getting myself into about 23 times while reading this? Saving this as a reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Fingers crosse!xx

    1. Congratulations on being selected!! Super exciting times ahead for you.
      It’s stressful, but so worth it! Goodluck lovely. Thanks for the comment x

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