Recently I’ve been going through a weird phase in my life so far. The typical questions of: “Where am I going?” Will my life ever work out?” to “Please give me money. I hate being poor” have been bubbling away in my skull. It’s like a witch’s cauldron at times. All I’d need now is a broomstick, a cat named Moggy and I’d be sorted.
Naturally I’ve been losing sleep, ranting and raving, crying and seeking comfort in copious amounts of tea over this palava until yesterday morning. I would describe it as a beam of light shining upon a dark, forgotten corner. Or my tired brain giving me a slap attack and making me look at things with perspective.
Up and down the country and around the world, millions of people are unemployed and fed up of it. Being unemployed and looking for work has ironically become a full time job. In addition, every year a new batch of bright-eyed graduates leave the bubble of university and are thrust into the cold, harsh reality of an economic downturn. It’s not that people don’t want work, of course there are those who use and abuse a system, but the majority of people are qualified, ready and eager to learn. There’s not much out there, or maybe we’re not looking in the right places. Who knows.
This isn’t a blog about the woes of post-university life. I’m done with reading about that stuff because most of it is self pity and not constructive.This is something I’ve wanted to pen down and put out there for people (regardless of job status, class, nationality etc) to read. Entering, re-entering or trying to enter the workforce at a time like this is actually a good thing. Why? Because it forces you to sit up and think about things practically. There isn’t time to immerse yourself in a sea of silk and dream your life away (there’s a time and place for that!). In fact, this the perfect time for serious thought, action and working out your priorities. The game has fundamentally changed; if things are hard now imagine what the next few generations will have to go through. We can sit and complain about a useless government, the state of our education system, heinous bankers who put us in this mess, “bloody immigrants” stealing our jobs until the cows come home. The fact is that complaining won’t change anything. After all, actions speak louder then words.
It sounds harsh, but we really have to just get on with it and take what we can from our current environment. I firmly believe that nothing and no one is useless – everything has value, even if we don’t see or appreciate it at first. In my never ending quest to become a journalist, I have done innumerable amounts of internships and work experience where I didn’t get paid, worked ridiculous hours for nothing and even had my own work, ideas and articles put in someone else’s name. Call it what you want: bad luck, naivety but it’s a learning experience. And a harsh one.
I cannot begin to describe how disheartening it was to see someone else’s name on an article I’d written, researched and sent in for printing. However, I quickly learnt that such people are everywhere; like potatoes and creepy spiders. For a while I couldn’t work out why they were so difficult to work with and be around. To be honest, I’ve noticed that most people are in jobs that they hate with a passion. I suppose it’s natural for them to take it out on the young, newcomers because to them we present a threat. After all, Generation Y is the tech savvy bunch that will propel itself and others into a more technologically reliant advanced society.
I view it as an exercise in learning how to accommodate difficult people and that it’s good (in a horrible way) to get this at a young age. It just prepares me for the hordes of such individuals I will encounter later in life; I’ll know how to deal with them. That’s how you take a negative situation and turn into something constructive. We’re sold a dream that doesn’t exist anymore and when reality collides with that sugar coated vision, it’s a rude awakening. But it’s also a chance to rethink about what you want from life and that if you have a dream: you either realise how badly you want it to happen or you go back to the drawing board.