Helping you get through tough times

Becoming one of Ireland’s youth unemployment statistics

Graduation was a day I’d pictured many times during my university years. The sense of achievement as I stepped up to collect my degree made the years of hard work completely worth it. All I needed now was a job.

newspapers from sxc.huEven after many career talks, tutor meetings and Google searches, when I graduated in 2012, I still wasn’t sure what to do next. My anthropology degree had given me an insight into many things. A solid career plan wasn’t one of them.

Job search

My career search began. I spent days in front of a computer applying for jobs. I sent out endless CVs with no joy. Every job rejection chipped away bit by bit at my self-esteem.

I seemed to be overrun with rejections, it was a pleasant relief if a day went by with nothing to open but a Groupon email.

Part-time job

Days turned into weeks and when my money reached an all time low I decided to go back to my part-time job as a nanny. Although this lifted me out of my financial black hole, I soon found after a long day entertaining a toddler the last thing I wanted to do was start back on the job search.

Anxiety set in

I began to feel incredibly anxious. Every newspaper I picked up seemed to be centered around the “poor economy” or “youth unemployment” a subject I was by now all too familiar with.

The more anxious I became the more motivation I lost. It seemed as if all my friends knew exactly what they wanted to do and were well on their way to achieving it, making me feel like even more of a failure.

Regaining control

Having been a runner for years I decided to sign up for the Dublin Marathon. I felt it would be good to focus my energy on raising money for something I was passionate about. Completing the marathon gave me exactly the kick I needed to get me out of my rut.

It gave me back the confidence I had lost after all the job rejections. A marathon might seem like an extreme way of building back esteem. But, working towards a goal unrelated to my career reminded me I was well able to achieve something if I worked hard.

Talking about it

In the midst of my joyless job hunt I had begun to dread any kind of career conversation with friends or family, but achieving something I was proud of took away that anxiety. Being able to talk openly about how stressful I was finding everything soothed my worry.

I found most of my friends were in similar situations. Like me they felt everyone else had made the transition from student to working adult with complete ease.

Gaining focus

The more time I spent focusing on what interested me the more ways I found to gain skills making me more employable.

I began volunteering which focused my mind in a way endless hours in front of a computer looking for jobs had not.

Stepping back

Stepping back and putting my energy into small projects has given me a clearer idea of what I want to do. I now look at job hunting in the same way as my degree.

Each small assignment brought me one step closer to graduation day.
Now each small goal and each project I complete brings me closer to a career I can enjoy and succeed in.

Read don’t let unemployment get you down.

What can I do now?

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