Post-Uni Lifestyle

At My Wit’s End

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This post is effectively a transcript for the video below. Enjoy!

Video version (The videos and images used can be found here)

Welcome everyone, my name is Ade and this is Glass of AJ; the channel that accompanies my portfolio of the written word. I decided to make an audio-visual version of this week’s post after scrapping my original idea which was another Guaranteed Failure post. I’ll catch up with it again in the future.

But today, I’m going to talk about how frustrated I am. The past couple of weeks have been pretty hard on me. I find myself feeling more and more overwhelmed with things to do.

I think I can narrow the reason for this feeling down to my creative tendencies not being fully satiated, but also worrying about getting a job to support myself and in turn, my passions.

I feel conflicted. I want to create videos, music and write about stuff that I am interested in, but I find myself having to write applications for jobs that I’m not sure I even want.

What makes it worse is that I don’t understand what most job descriptions mean. I can only get a feel for the job when I read the candidate requirements and find some meaning from the listed responsibilities.

This, in turn, makes me feel a bit stupid for not knowing what on earth is going on. I struggle to catch up with industry terminology just to find out the job doesn’t seem to fit my personality. I don’t know what job I want to do and I get confused when trying to understand concepts for jobs that I do find some interest in.

Most of the time, I look for jobs that I can do, instead of jobs that I would like to do. This ends up being counterproductive because I make the process of writing a cover letter difficult for myself. Trying to convey passion for a role that you don’t feel enthusiastic about is a hard task. Why do I do this to myself?

I hate being unemployed and subsequently, a burden on those around me. I am fortunate enough to be friends with people who care about me and support me. I have a family that does what they can to help me out financially and emotionally.

And what do I do each and every time they ask how the job search is going? I throw it back in their faces by not having a job yet.

Another month of my mother helping me out with the rent, another month of my sister footing the bill for my expenses along with her own. More handouts and IOUs with… Every. Single. Month. I’m sick of being “that” person. The one who can’t seem to “just get a job”, or know what they want to do and just get on with it.

The one who has to say no to birthday parties and hangouts because money is always tight and they can’t make it up with overtime. I’m thankful to anyone who has ever helped me, even during uni, college, and school. But I am sorry for not doing better for myself.

I know applications take two to tango. There’s an employer on the other end of the submit button. Even if I write the best cover letter known to man, if the person on the other side doesn’t like me, that’s that.

I’ve managed to send follow-up emails recently, with the support of someone who is trying to help me get into work. This is a huge step for me because the idea of being a burden or a bother has leaked into my approach to job searching.

Every time I was about to press send, I would feel so anxious because I just didn’t want to hear “no” in a definitive form. I was somehow okay with the notion of “silence as a no” and was so used to that version of rejection. The idea of having someone take the time to email me back just to say “no” was terrifying.

But putting myself in such a situation could help me to build up resistance to rejection in a way. Many people who deal with employability and recruitment have told me the following quote, but my anxious self cannot seem to understand it:

“The worst thing they can do is say ‘no’.”

Even my work coach said:

“They aren’t going to come over and cut body parts off.”

It may seem ridiculous when you say it like that, but that’s how scary this process can be to me.

I am trying to get over it little by little, but this is what’s causing the lag in applications, along with the confusion of what I want to do as a job, as a career and the self-induced panic or SIP that I have imposed on myself from the kindness and generosity of my friends, family, and volunteers who are trying to get me into employment.

I just want everyone to know that I’m trying my best, attempting to overcome my barriers, defeat my enemies of progress and set aside my perpetual fear of rejection and making mistakes. I appreciate every single person who has given me advice, offered assistance with applications, job hunting, and interview practice. I want to thank my friends and my family for putting up with the constant disappointment I am to them.

Also just getting a job isn’t as simple as you might think. I got a rejection from a very popular supermarket recently for a Customer Assistant position in one of their stores. I got absolutely no feedback after completing the application and online test two months ago. In fact, the email they ended up sending included a link for me to give THEM feedback on their application process!

0/10, would not recommend. You didn’t give me a telephone interview so I haven’t got much to say. Maybe I did horribly on that online test and they didn’t want to embarrass me by telling me that was the case. Maybe my background wasn’t suitable for the role or I wasn’t quite the right fit for the organisation. I’ll never know. I could send a follow-up email to ask what happened, but with such a large company, it may never get answered.

Rejections probably feel worse for me because I find it hard to get a high volume of applications in. It’s a vicious cycle:

It starts with a fear of rejection, which leads to fewer applications submitted. I eventually get rejections or “non-responses” from those applications, which leads back to a fear of rejection, and you see how the rest goes…

At the moment, I’m at my wit’s end, so something has to change. Quantity over quality isn’t the best approach, but it couldn’t hurt to increase my numbers. Only time will tell.

I want to be creative and have a physical existence for my ideas and projects, but I know I need to focus on forming a stable income.

I want to do both because I am going crazy trying to choose between the two. I will have to use my organisation skills to make this work somehow. Schedule my creativity. A difficult task, sure, mainly because ideas just come to me, but I have to do something to fix this problem.

Maybe the solution lies in scheduling my job application and job searching sessions instead. That way, if ideas lend themselves to me, it would only be a quick detour from the activity I was meant to be doing in the first place! I can always keep my ideas book handy “in case of creative emergency”.

The only caveat I see so far is the possibility of getting a song idea and not being able to record it, because I may be in a public place. Humming songs to yourself in public isn’t necessarily a good look, but sometimes I don’t care. I’ll try this strategy out, then we’ll see what the future holds.

Thank you for listening to my rant about a problem that seemingly solved itself. Although the solution I ended up with should have been obvious, the integration of a strategy to allow my creativity to flow as and when was crucial to my acceptance of said solution. Sometimes talking things out yields the answer.

If you like what you heard/watched, consider liking the video, commenting, subscribing, sharing, and all that YouTube hullabaloo.

My website link is in the description and I hope you have a great day! Stay thirsty! Get it? Because Glass of AJ is refreshing. No? Okay, bye.


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By Ade

An aspiring creator in way too many areas, Ade loves to try something new, as long as it doesn't interfere with the balance of the universe too much. Trying to take each day as it comes, Ade edits videos for YouTube, occasionally records podcasts, and writes with strange mannerisms to entertain the world.