As a recent graduate who does not feel completely secure in their own job, I feel like a bit of an idiot right now.
When I was looking for a job I kept my contacts close. I didn't let any of my fellow design graduates know any name or email address that I had worked hard to get. Getting a job in design is often about the people you know, so I always felt that by giving away my contacts, I was giving away my job opportunities.
When I started to feel more secure, I allowed myself to help others. I shared email addresses, names of "easy to get" placements, I blacklisted placements not worth bothering with, I shared recruitment agency details, useful websites and blogs. I gave away all of my secrets. I was trying to help others avoid some of the pains that I went through in my long hunt for a job.
I didn't really realise how much I was "helping", until one friend called me to tell me about placements he had secured (all my contacts) and eventually a job he had secured, thanks to me. And whilst I understand that I wasn't at the interview and I didn't fill his portfolio with his work. I still feel as if I did too much to help him get that job, and I wonder if he feels that way too.
I worked hard for a solid year - I feel like I fought to get my job: I had dull placements, long placements, unpaid placements - I endured good and bad, learning a lot in my year's struggle. But by helping my friend I have potentially spared him of these pains, but I have also starved him of these experiences: and perhaps I have prevented him from becoming the junior designer he could have been.
Of course, I feel relieved for my friend, but at the same time, I hope I don't appear selfish when I say I hope they remember me when I need a helping hand. I might need it after this month.