Post-Uni Lifestyle

Why I’m Having Trouble Finding a Position

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Originally written on 01/09/2019 – previously unreleased due to fear of reception. Lightly edited for clarity.

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Am I searching in the wrong place? I’m not getting any reception. Maybe I need a signal boost?

Photo by Kamaji Ogino from Pexels

So I haven’t had a full time job since February 2019 and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have had the time to go on courses, build myself in my personal time and make this site. I just don’t like the idea of not having a stable income. In truth, the past few months have been rough because I have never had enough money to live on.

Financial Context

I receive Universal Credit, but due to my age and family status, my housing benefit allowance doesn’t cover my rent. My total allowance doesn’t even cover my rent. So each month I hope for money from online user testing and market research groups to save me. I hope for a good job to show up so I can finally stop being a financial burden on my family and on society.

Now with all of this weighing down on me, it gets overwhelming for me to search for work. I want to earn money, but I do not want to work for a company that doesn’t align with my values. There are also concerns if a company has bad business practices or if the work environment makes me miserable.

I’m stuck between applying for dream jobs in digital marketing/social media management, and getting a job for now to build skills and gain income – possibly at the expense of my own physical and mental health.

No Other Choice

I used to have a job that involved lifting heavy objects. Due to tight deadlines and large volumes of work to complete, I sometimes disregarded health and safety protocols when lifting those heavy items. I injured my back and now even go through some discomfort while sitting at my desk using my computer. Yet, I still apply for jobs that involve active tasks and heavy lifting because I feel like I have no other choice.

I don’t want to feel helpless in building my future. I hate feeling useless to the world and having no sense of direction because I don’t have firm career goals. Getting a job “for now” is definitely a good approach to deal with my current income issues. Usually, I apply for roles that should be easy for me to learn as I work, but I am hit with the good ol’ “You don’t have enough experience to be considered for this position.”

I cannot express how frustrating it is to receive this message again and again. It’s the age-old problem of wanting to gain experience but not having enough experience to gain said experience.

Now mind you, I am applying for entry level jobs, internships and apprenticeships; so the whole experience thing shouldn’t be an issue. These are positions that should be designed for people with little to no industry experience. Apprenticeships especially are meant to provide on the job training towards a certification or two.

Take a Chance and Freelance

I applied to become a freelance writer on a well-known website. Having gained writing experience on this site, as well as any of the assignments I completed during my degree, I thought this would be a good fit. I also have experience and transferable skills from my previous roles along with writing skills involved within them.

Granted, you may not like the way I write and think it’s not very good, but that doesn’t dispute the fact that I can get a message across… I think.

I selected an option that said I was at an entry level in the industry, which is true. Expecting simple projects for my level and that they would be few and far between due to my lack of experience, I waited for a response. I got nothing. In fact, the site just rejected my application outright.

Justifying the Pain

To be fair, they mentioned that they get thousands of applications, so it was a lot more competitive than applying for a job online elsewhere. It still felt like a slap in the face. I can write. I CAN write. Telling me I don’t have enough experience for an entry level role is stupid. Of course I don’t have enough experience, it’s entry level.

The needs of the company and my prospective contribution did not align this time. This doesn’t mean that they cannot align in the future or that my current skill-set isn’t applicable to another company. That’s why it’s called a job SEARCH. You are actively looking for the right position for your career, values and personality.

Job Searching – More Like Soul Searching

It doesn’t come easy, no matter what other people say. Some people are better equipped for getting a job in terms of applications and interview skills. Others have excellent professional connections. And some people just have a societal advantage, but I won’t delve too much into that.

All I can say is that, we may have all been created equal, but that doesn’t mean we are treated as such, even by systems that are meant to be impartial and unbiased.

Hope for the Future

I want my luck to change and for a company I apply to work for to consider me fairly and give me a chance. You cannot possibly know a person from three interactions, one of which is written.

I would love one week to trial a job and see if it can work for both me and the company. Hopefully the next one is the one, and if not that job, then the next. I will stay positive and the worst answer I can get is no. The way I interpret that “no” will shape my outlook on my job hunt.

I was negative on myself and the company for the answer I got, but I cannot change their decision for now. All I can do is look forward, work hard on everything I do and keep it moving.


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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.