21 July 2013

late nights are the enemy

Sometimes, when it gets to stupid o' clock and most people have gone to bed, I start thinking about all the deep things that I really shouldn't. I start wondering about how I have got to this point in life without a clear plan or goal for myself. How I am still so afraid to go out and live my life and stop hiding from it.
Because realistically, most people have an idea by now. Even if they're not doing their dream job (for whatever reason) they 1, know what their dream job actually is and 2, are resigned to being in an ok job that pays the bills. I know I am making massively sweeping generalisations here, but its my blog and my thoughts, so nerr! 
And that's part of it. I am so convinced that everyone else must have it together by now. I am so envious of my friends that seem to be in jobs that, although they aren't perfect, are what they want. Or the friends who have taken that plunge and started their own business (have you met Gekoglass, their work is amazing  ). You can follow them on Twitter too.
But I am here on the side lines feeling marginalized and alone. I know that I am feeling this way mostly because I have not been in work for so long and I now question my abilities to do anything. But also society has this habit of constantly complaining about the unemployed. Making me feel that I am worthless and living this fantastic life that other people have to pay for.  

Its that same feeling that I always have when they start talking about the dumbing down of exams just before the results come out. I remember them doing it before I got my results too. And it makes you feel that all that hard work and effort isn't valued. It doesn't matter that you did the best you could, because everyone is under the impression it was all so easy.

I remember thinking how hard GCSEs were when I did them. And being so surprised by how much harder A Levels were, even though they had warned us about it, a lot. And I'm sure the teenagers I know who did their GCSEs this summer thought they were really difficult and they will have had it drummed into them just how important these exams are. 

I hate that we expect our young people to have their lives planned out from the age of 14 when they make those all important GCSE choices. Nowhere are they told that it's never to late to learn something new. That just because you are utterly convinced you are going to work as a translator in the European Union that that is what you will do. 

That by the time you've left school at 18 you'll already have realised that isn't the job for you and gone on to something else. But now you've not got the right GCSEs and A Levels. But no-one tells you it's ok to drop out and think about it for a bit. There's this constant pushing to get everyone into university and to have a degree. And I don't believe everyone needs one. I don't think academia suits everyone and in some cases it puts them off altogether.

I was so convinced at 14 that I would be a translator and no-one told me that I might change my mind. I was convinced at 18 I would be a travel agent (bit of a blip there, no idea why I was so sure of that one). And then when I was doing my degree I realised that I love museums and how they work. And what I wanted to do was go into museum management. 

But then the real world came along and informed me just how ridiculous I was to have that idea now. I couldn't get on to an MA course with my degree and if I wanted to work through the ranks instead I would need to volunteer. But all the best museums have 2/3 year waiting lists just to volunteer. And then when you do volunteer, how do you live? 

So I took a job that was supposed to be temporary, to reassess what I wanted to do. And that was in 2000 and I still don't know. I have no idea what my path really is. I really enjoyed the counselling course I did, I think I could actually be quite good at it. But I have hit the price wall. 

This year they have introduced a 2 tier system. If you are under 24 the courses are subsidised. And for if you're over, well, it's a lottery. In the case of my qualification, you're not. The price to do the Level 3 course is now £545 for 24 and under and £2545 for over 25s.

I can get a loan if I want.

Except I don't want. I still have my student loans from Uni waiting for me to pay them off. This is why they are then surprised when I am at the Jobcentre. They won't fund me for any further study because I have a degree. And so I'm left to fend for myself and I don't know what to do! The advisors are given that title for no good reason. I have never met one yet who can help me.

I tell them my qualifications and then I say, but I don't know what I want to do. I only know I don't want to go back into hospitality/catering if possible. But that's where all my on-the-job experience actually lies. And they're as stumped as me. Without me to tell them what I'm looking for, they're lost. 

They accept that I want to change my career, but on the flip side they are there to get me in work. And I can do hospitality/catering but I don't want to. So I'm sure they think that, come October when I go on to being an actual Job Seeker, I'll be a nightmare.

And I am looking for work, in schools mainly as that's where I feel I might be happy. But I haven't the right experience for that. It's all so goddam frustrating. I had hoped that we'd have gotten out of the experience trap once we'd left youth, but no... 

It's 1.30am, I should shut up and go to bed. None of this will make sense to me in the morning!    

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