To all of you who have been following me since the beginning you know I’ve been struggling to find work. This is one reason I haven’t been able to work on the blog or even my book writing at the moment. You know for me stress = lack of writing mood for me.
I know I’m lucky, blessed, whatever for the situation I’m living in right now. I’m in a good position with a partner who supports us and works hard doing so. I’m thankful that it is so easy for him to find work being in the tech field.
Still that doesn’t change the fact that I am not so lucky with employment. I’ve struggled finding work all my life and why would it change now. The point I’m trying to make is I do not have to work but I want/ love working.
I love the social aspect working gives me. I love the challenges work forces me to face and most of all I like the money I get. I’m sure I’m not alone on the last one.
This is why I’m so fracking frustrated with how messed up the world is right now. It isn’t that my generation isn’t wanting to work… it is the fact that we can’t find work. Or, at least are having a terribly frustrating time trying to find work…
Many of my friends and myself are educated. We are more educated than the generation before us, with more debt, and no opportunity. We were told to go to school, get a degree, and get a job. Most of us followed those instructions, racked up debt we will never be able to pay back, only to be told that we expect too much and we should be thankful our parents are willing to put up with us living in their house. I know I’m lucky… I’m one of few that aren’t sleeping on my father’s couch… but can we please admit there is a youth employment issue in this country – nah – this world?
If you don’t believe that then here’s my graduate unemployment adventure:
January 2015 I posted on my cooking blog (COOKING CANADA) that I had reached 400 resumes.
I had graduated university with a BA (English) and BEd, was on the Dean’s List, took a Medical Terminology course, was trained in Mental Health First Aid, safeTalk, and IPad/Apple products in a teaching setting, along with a crop load of other things at the ready to break into the working world. I had working experience with being a Digital Photo Lab Technician, Sales Intern, and Tutor (paid and volunteer). I had my years of volunteering with youth clubs, the Student Ambassadors (a university based group), and volunteering with camps in my home town. I even mentioned my volunteer service reward for getting over 500 hours of community service and volunteering with the town since the age of 11. My resume was checked by professionals, double-checked by hr experts, and triple-checked by working professionals that hired people for a living. My resume was changed, shaped, and polished for each job I applied for. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed. I was excited to be free of the education institution and thrilled to be becoming an official working member of adulthood.
Yet, I got nothing.
Nothing from the school boards (public, catholic, and private) I applied to. Nothing from the organizations I applied to and the tutoring organizations either. Nothing. Notta. Zilch.
It was when I applied for my 200th job application that I decided to try my own thing.
I started a tutoring business that didn’t go anywhere. I had one student who’s grade point average went from a D to B+… but that was it. I knew at that point I needed something… anything.
I applied for a position with a call centre… not my first call centre I applied to… and to my surprise they called me for an interview. I started working for them after impressing them in the interview. Went through training and made some good friends but none of it prepared me for the phones.
Lack of experience, lack of support, and the ‘interesting’ customers I had on the phones drove me to panic attacks and becoming physically sick during my shifts. When everyone else was getting old ladies I was getting the angry person blaming me for the service they forgot to pay for. People at the centre knew I had a bad customer by the sound of my ‘teaching voice’, where I apparently became zen and used my hands a lot. I even surprised my team lead when he hooked up to my phone during one of my calls. He complimented me on my professionalism after the call and told me he would have lost it if he was the one answering.
Unfortunately I take my work personally and my health took the hit so I had to go. Even if that meant I wouldn’t have a job in the end and I had to deal with the stress of resume making again.
Yes, I said stress because there is.
If you write resumes every day as unique as the jobs you’re applying to and no one calls you back it’s stressful. You start hearing that voice in your head saying that ‘you aren’t worth the time’, ‘you’re a failure’, ‘you aren’t good enough’, ‘what’s the point of applying, they aren’t going to hire you’. Those thoughts make it hard to keep motivated. They wear you down and when you write about 199 resumes only to get no reply even with the call centre experience on that page showing you’ve got something after school… you begin to believe those voices.
It was at this point I went to an employment councillor who helped confirm it wasn’t me. She felt terrible that she couldn’t find me work. Every week we would sit in her office and fire off resumes/ cover letters to job posts. Every week I could see her getting disheartened that no one was giving me a chance. Her answer was: I was over qualified and too accomplished for my age. She also believed I came across as intimidating in job interviews because I hold myself in a more mature manner than others my age, which surprises people.
I never thought any of those were a bad things. My parents pushed me to strive in my schooling, get involved in my community, and be dedicated to my work. They taught me manners and to respect others. When the heck did those values become a bad thing?
Any ways, after a while she and I decided that a placement was the way to go. That’s how I ended up with my last job. I liked the office work and the people. I loved the small family business feel and how close it was to where I lived. Eating lunch on the steps and looking out at the highway was the highlight of my day. I even spent my lunches working on my first book on the picnic table in the hot summer sun or sitting in my car watching the planes take off from the airport.
The work was repetitive and it took time to learn the processes but I felt appreciated there. I worked there for eight months before we had to relocate to London for Mr. Canuck’s work. I was happy to be moving closer to my father but at the same time I wasn’t looking forward to trying to find work again. I had finally found my place of work that checked so many boxes but I was forced to leave it.
Now, here I am… three months living in London, Ontario with one job interview that led nowhere and zero prospects. I’ve reached 700 resumes as of today and will probably write 700 more before hearing from someone. In the mean time I will have to try and force myself to write… force myself not to feel guilty for taking a break from job hunting to try and enjoy life. I love southern Ontario. I love living closer to family. I just hate having to be back looking for work… again.