When I left school I went to sixth form college for a year and I hated every minute of it! So, come the following August and we received our AS exam results, it was no surprise to me at all that I’d failed all my subjects and was subsequently told that I was not allowed to come the following year for A2, nor was I allowed to resit my first year. I then applied to do my NVQ Level 3 in Business and Administration at Wirral Metropolitan College, following that, I stayed on another year to do the Higher Diploma in Administrative Procedures (HDAP), which is basically equivalent to NVQ Level 4. Alongside college, I had a part time job in retail, working 16 hours + a week.
During my time in college I was given the option to stay on another year, and study for the HNC/ HND, but I decided I wanted to apply to university, which I did, got accepted and went on to do Business Management. The course was dry, my fellow students were boring and the complete opposite to me. I hated every minute of it. All the while, I was doing all the more shifts at work, working 32 hours a week on top of university and stressing myself to the max with it all. I decided after three months it was time to call it a day, and just went back to working full time.
That was until the recession hit, and I was back down to my contracted hours. I stupidly left the shop because I felt 16 hours just wasn’t enough for me to live on, leaving me out of work for six months. In reality, I should have stayed there until I found another job, but hey ho, nothing really works out that way. I desperately hunted for jobs and bummed around for a bit watching box sets of The OC and One Tree Hill from season one. It was depressing! Despite all the admin jobs I applied for (since I had the qualifications) nowhere would hire me without experience which was a nightmare! I walked round the shops handing my CV in everywhere. Nothing. Until one day, I had a lead and went to a recruitment company, they sent me on a “retail course” and I ended up with a temporary Christmas job.
I was kept on after my temporary position finished, but was only offered a 4 hour contract! Ridiculous. I took myself along to the local Job Centre to see what advice they could give me, they also did a job search while I was there. I was advised to look into apprenticeships, as I had qualifications, I just needed to get some experience, gave me an application form, and away I went. I understand apprenticeships aren’t the most appealing of jobs, as most people associate them with younger people, and they pay less than minimum wage for long hours. However, I got the job (I was on a proper salary as I was on a government funded scheme). It gave me experience, confidence and I learnt a lot from that place.
I did start to dislike it there though, so I started looking for another job, however, even with experience it seemed impossible for me to find another place to work! Unfortunately, I lost my job not long after I’d started looking, so the idea of starting again, knowing it was so difficult, filled me with dread!
Since then, I’ve still struggled finding a job, only getting by with the help of a recruitment agency, temping at different places. It has it’s pros, such as gaining more experience, and having some time to yourself in between jobs, but at the same time, there’s no consistency and there is no guarantee you’ll definitely have work.
I’m qualified, I have more than two years experience of working within an office environment, yet still I receive rejection after rejection. I thought there was something wrong with me, especially since all I do is try. It was only until recently when I did a day of temping for a company that is hiring a full time position that I realised the competition out there! I was fortunate enough to be invited for an interview, but later found out that 12 other applicants were also being interviewed, and there has been 637 applicants for the job!
647 applicants and 13 people were interviewed! It just goes to show how tough it is there! We’re all in the same boat, and it’s hard, but my advise would be to sign up with an agency whilst conducting your own search.