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A Message for Mid Twenties Job Hunters

I’m very familiar with rejection. It’s something I’ve had to deal a whole heap!. There’s also anther issue that I’ve unfortunately become far too familiar with and it’s doubt – believing that those rejecting you are doing it because you don’t have what it takes, or that you’re not smart enough for the jobs you want. I’m forever trying to convince myself that I am worth employing and there is something special I can bring to a job but It gets harder as time passes and the rejections pile up.

So I take a job I don’t want and hate it whilst I keep looking for internships that require a lifetime of experience and only pay lunch expenses, or if I’m lucky the minimum wage. This makes it even harder, you start to think that every day you’re stuck in this dead end job is another day you’re not getting the experience you need for the job you want. You see no future other than the boring life that’s currently facing you whilst your dreams slip away, becoming more and more unattainable.

This is the reality for thousands of young people looking for work in the UK today. I find myself speaking to old friends and hearing how they’re getting on, surprisingly, their stories are very similar to my own, this is partly reassuring but so disheartening.

How can we allow so many young people to let their talents waste away in pointless non-jobs?

I’m currently spending my days scheduling IT engineers… I am scheduling IT Engineers. I can’t think of any possible way to make it sound less boring than it is, unless I pretend the engineers are in space, but they’re not in space, they’re on Earth working for an oil corp, just to rub salt in the wounds I’m also facilitating the destruction of the planet. Every now and again (most days/nights) I worry I’ll be stuck in IT, I can only find work in IT, as far as future employers are concerned it’s all the experience I have, yet I know there’s so much more I can do.

Every rejection makes you doubt your ability, admittedly, I’ve developed a pretty thick skin and I’m sure it’s not personal as most applications aren’t even looked at others don’t even get around to sending out a rejection email. If you’re a potential employer and you’re reading this then hello, you look great! I just wanted to say how intelligent I think you are and you have a beautiful smile. But seriously, give me an interview, you shit!

I went for dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in years the other day and she was telling me how she felt before she got her current job, it was very similar to how I feel now. She said something that’s stuck in my head ever since

‘You can’t expect to have it all’

It’s true, I’ve had some amazing experiences travelling or living abroad and I’ve grown so much as a person over the last few years, I can’t expect to be able to walk into the job of my dreams as soon as I decide I want to start work. Having life experience makes this even more difficult, I could have gone straight from uni and started on a ‘career’ path but I had no clue what I wanted to do. Now I’ve got a better idea where I want to be but it seems like I’ve got no way of getting there. I have to appreciate what I’ve done with my life already and stop seeing it as time wasted as life isn’t about working in a job.

So I’ve started to plan ahead and make lots of plans, I should hear within the next couple of weeks if I’ve been accepted to interview for a really interesting scheme, if not I’m looking at learning a language and it could be the perfect opportunity for me to move abroad and immerse myself in a culture.

What’s most difficult for me is not knowing what the next 6 or 12 months will bring but making these plans definitely help. Is there a message I can give to others in a similar position to my own? Everyone’s too unique for blanket advice, it helps me to think outside of the world I’m currently in, see how many options are open to me and start taking them. Most importantly you need to know you’re not alone! There are so many other people feeling as afraid as you and there’s a lot of time to get on the path you want so never give up.

 

I wish I knew when I was younger

I don’t like thinking too much about what I used to be like in a negative way, I like to think of it as a necessary step to becoming the person I am now. There are a few things I wish I knew when I was younger that would have made me feel a bit better, at least I imagine they would have.

1 – It gets better!

Despite the fact that all through secondary school I was told by my teachers, ‘these are the greatest days of your life’ I now know they were lying! It really does only get good once you’re older, don’t worry about how you look or what people think of you, as soon as you leave and go into the real world you can make so many different friends who are way more interesting than the few hundred people that happened to live near you. Whether it’s university or travelling that gets you into contact with new people, you’ll find that you’re a lot more interesting than you thought.

2 – Don’t plan too much

Some people always knew what they wanted to do and they grow up taking steps to live out their master plan, well these people either don’t exist, or they’re weird. Nobody wants to be one of these people! Just take life as it comes, if there’s something you want to do, start doing it, don’t be freaked out if a year later you’re not so interested in it any more – there’s always another option. It’s fine to not know what you want to be doing in 5 years time or even in 1 week, it’s more exciting that way.

3 – Your taste in music will change

You’ll look back at what you used to love and realise it was pretty mediocre, but it’s all a process. You’ll find you’re less reliant on what people say is good and you start to develop your own taste in what you like. It’s really liberating, don’t be ashamed of the fact that you thought that some corny rapper was the most fire mc alive, it’s a good way to learn what you love.

4 – Say yes

Don’t be afraid to just say yes, if someone offers you something its because they want you to have it, not because they’re just being polite. This might be a particularly British trait, we love to say no when it’s in our interest, don’t be afraid of the unknown. This applies to travelling as well, if someone wants someone to go with them and they invite you, save up what you can and get out there into the world, who doesn’t want to be friends with a yes person!

5 – Be brave

There comes a point as you get older that you realise that you’re going to die and the infinite universe will just go on without you. There’s a couple of ways you can deal with this:

– You get freaked out, hide from the reality and live like you’re never going to die just working away trying to earn enough money to pay your mortgage

or

– you get freaked out, you realise it’s best to spend the short amount of time you have on Earth doing as many things you love as possible. If you don’t think you love a lot of stuff, go out and find things you like doing!

6 – Smile

Whether people are mean or nice to you, it’s always good to smile back, people can’t work it out and it makes you remember how petty some things are.

7 – You can be sad

Considering the last point, don’t hide from you feelings. If you’re sad then, be sad! There’s nothing to be ashamed of and your friends should understand and be able to help you through it (if they don’t then chuck them!) The less you cage your emotions up the easier they become to deal with.

 

This list can be different for everyone and not every point will be good for you, but if you’re reading this and thinking that life sucks then you’re right, it does – it all depends on your perspective, if life sucks then try to change it because there are so many things to see and do out there, so stop reading this and get going!

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