Hundreds of applications, almost a dozen interviews, plenty of rejection. But this is possibly the hardest to accept.
This time I’ve been rejected for a volunteering opportunity. Yes, I’ve been rejected for an opportunity that I was willing to work wage-free.
I see volunteering as a last resort in a way; if no-one will take a chance on employing a graduate due to a lack of experience, surely someone will welcome me as a volunteer, so that I can gain that experience that most companies/organisations so badly crave, whilst giving something back to them and also to the community.
I’ve long been wondering why I actually bothered with University. Sure, I made some fantastic friends, I somehow managed to get myself a wonderful girlfriend, and I had the time of my life. But have I got a career and a future out of it yet? No.
Maybe it was the wrong course, maybe it was the wrong University… Or maybe something is desperately wrong with the education system in this country. I’ve got plenty of friends in a pretty similar position to myself. At best they’re in jobs that they see no future or career in for themselves, at worst they’re unemployed and desperate for that one chance such as myself. Why are we pushed towards University like it’s the holy grail of education, and the only chance of a very bright future? I’m sure it pays dividends for many people, but they appear to be very far and between from people I know.
What’s most ironic and twisted about this whole farce is that the no hopers from school (meant in the nicest possible way), many of whom failed to get into University, or were wise enough to avoid it, find themselves in stable jobs, progressing and developing their careers. Fair play to them, they obviously knew foresaw the problems that us stupid graduates would have, and gave themselves a head start. Experience seems to shit all over education at the moment.
Before, during, and since University (2005-2008) I’ve had three jobs. A part time job in retail which spanned from June 2004 until April 2009, a temporary job in the same store from September 2009 until December 2009, and a telesales job for two months after that. Since then, I’ve been unemployed.
Whilst unemployed I’ve had 8 interviews (2 bar jobs, 3 retail, 2 lettings/estate agents, 1 telesales); on 3 occasions I’ve ‘not had the experience required’, in 2 interviews (both of which stated that no experience was required!) the interviewer actually asked if I think I’m ‘overqualified’ (with my degree), later contacting me explaining that I’ve been unsuccessful. In the other 3 of those interviews they haven’t had the decency to get back to me afterwards.
It just seems that companies, in my case certainly, appear to either 1) require experience regardless of educational background, or 2) need someone who they can train up, without fearing for them leaving the company due to their academic background. It's a catch 22 situation.
I’m pretty much at a loss as to where to go from here. I’m confident that volunteering is the way forwards, whilst still applying for jobs as I have been. There’s a job at Bedford magistrates going, seems to be right up my street. Fingers crossed for that.