student life

The reality of job hunting in the 21st century

Written by CMckay

Described as ‘away with the fairies’, my dreamer mentality was brought down to earth with a crash when finishing my NCTJ  in December when re-entering the ‘real world’&

Described as ‘away with the fairies’, my dreamer mentality was brought down to earth with a crash when finishing my NCTJ  in December when re-entering the ‘real world’  became a very real thing. Having been cocooned in a world of early starts, late finishes, exams and endless shorthand my world has been a bubble which for a while I forgot I had to leave. On leaving the comfort of NCTJ world it dawned upon my, ’it will be okay’, ‘things will work out’ mind that I actually had to get a job, school was out, forever. 

The sixty three pence in my bank account was not going to get me very far, I scrambled around in my pockets finding enough money for a bus ticket and started to ponder my future. As much I want to be a writer, it dawned upon me that success, a job does not come overnight and I may have to work for free for an infinite amount of time before I gain even an interview. All of course to generate experience and to broaden my C.V. 

So, like many other people out there I faced the reality of going back to my ‘before university job’. This is not something I minded, I have been a waitress for years and sometimes it can be fun (sometimes not).Occasionally I forget costumers orders halfway across a busy room  finding myself strapping on a winning smile asking them to repeat what they have just said. Spending a shift with a customers black coffee down my white shirt is another regrettable memory, while my pristine work colleague looked on.  I should say that 99% of time I am a perfectly competent waitress but it is always the memories where I am flushed bright pink that come to mind first. 

Finding a job in any profession now is a challenge, whether it be a waitress or journalist, there seemed to be a wall up hindering my every attempt to find employment. After checking every advert available both online and offline, ringing every pub, restaurant and cafe in my local area (sometimes twice or more.) I decided to visit the pubs in person, as if being rejected by phone wasn’t enough I thought that it might be fun to be rejected in face to face. 

Living in a remote area where there is not much employment did not help my situation so stalking all potential employers seemed like a reasonable solution. Eventually I found a pub to interview me and, after competing against three other people, having two different trials, I finally have a job as a waitress. 

Finding a job, any job is hard now, there are many people competing for the same job all willing to work just as hard, and just as desperate, all just as desperate for the money now. 

I have learnt a valuable lesson recently, money really does make the world go round and without money I will never be able to support myself, work for free and go on work experience, internships all which may lead to everything that I hope for. To anyone in the same situation I would say; if you have a job, hold onto it and don’t let go unless you really have to. And if you’re looking, be persistent and you will find a job in the end. Although I can’t promise any elegance or glamour in waiting tables or scrubbing floors or whatever you may find. It’s worth it if it is getting you to where you want to be. Finally I have learnt that everybody has to pay their dues, although some pay more dues than others.