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Old 21-01-2020, 10:52 PM   #1
Clea's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2020
Scared of never getting a job

Dear people, thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. I appreciate your willingness to help and I will try to keep it short.

I am 28 years old and getting more and more desperate. I have a Bachelor's degree in literature with not so stellar grades and only a minimum of work experience. This combined with my history of social anxiety means it's very difficult for me to get a "proper" job. Yes, there's always places where people are needed, like retail or geriatric care, where I probably would be able to find a job if I really wanted to. But: I didn't spend years fighting against my fears and waste thousands of euros just to end up doing something entirely different that I am not even interested in.

I know what I want to do... what I've always wanted to do. I want to work in a library. As a librarian or just a library assistant, I honestly don't even care. All I want is a full time job in a library, to do some kind of work that I am interested in and earn enough money to get my own flat and not having to worry about how to pay the next rent.

I got my degree at 27 because for years my social phobia was so bad that I was unable to finish my studies. I eventually handed in my thesis in 2018 (and surprisingly got a decent grade for it). After that I only did a two month internship at a bookstore and four months of retail work (I lost that job because I repeatedly made mistakes with the till). In addition I have been working for the student council for the past four years but that's 90% just collecting and sorting flyers.

I look up job offers every week and they almost exclusively ask for people who either have a specific degree or did a specific apprenticeship.
It makes me feel hopeless and up until last week I never even sent out applications because: what's the point anyway? Who would give me a chance?

And then something kind of miraculous happened. I found a job offer: full time library job, experience in a related field desirable but not a necessity. And I was thinking, what's even the point in sending them my application, I don't even have any useful letters of recommendations or other proof of me not being completely useless? But at the same time... I don't have anything to lose, right? So I went to their website and uploaded my documents.
Twelve hours later I got a phone call: we really liked your application, are you up for a phone interview tomorrow? Of course I said yes. I was incredibly nervous during that interview and I know it was noticeable. But still at the end they invited me for a proper interview. It will be this Thursday.

I guess at this point whoever is reading this will be thinking: what the hell even is your problem? You never send out applications but then you do and you get invited for an interview right away? And yet you whine about not getting a job? That makes no sense!

I know I tend to overthink things. It's just that I look at my cv and I look at the job market and all I feel is desperation. Of course I will do my best at that interview this Thursday but... what even are my chances?

- no useful work experience at 28
- took five years to get a degree because I was "sick"
- no certificates or references
- incredibly self-conscious

The only things that speak for me are my motivation to actually learn things, my work ethic and the fact that my English isn't too bad, which would actually be useful for that specific position.

Getting invited for that interview gave me hope in a way because even if I completely mess it up there will still be proof that there's people out there who are willing to give me a chance - despite everything. I just need to find them. I should be hopeful but at the same time it makes me more desperate. The number of positions that I can apply for are very limited, so when I get invited for an interview, I can't exactly afford to mess up. And how am I supposed to not mess up? And even in the very unlikely scenario that the interview isn't a complete disaster... there'll always be people who are better than me. More confident, with relevant experience and no gaping holes in their cv.

I know I'm overthinking things. I just don't know how to stop.

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Old 22-01-2020, 11:18 AM   #2
Mike_Drave's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Mid Wales
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A bachelors degree is a measure of personal commitment and information assimilation.

How long it took you to gain your BA is actually immaterial. Personally I would say fighting through your issues shows great determination on your part and a drive to finish what you start. They are fantastic qualities in any prospective employee.

If someone arrives at a BA/BSc degree via the UK Open University then it would take them 6 years anyway, as all OU bachelor degrees are part time. An OU degree is just as valued as any other... a degree is a degree, the time taken in it's acquisition is immaterial.

From your writing you seem to assume that everyone else has skills, talents and experience which you do not ... You cannot possibly know that. Rather I suspect, it is another wall which you have built for yourself.

It is very difficult obviously, because your issues would seem to spring from childhood ..... There was/is I suspect a parent who constantly undermined you and told you that you were wanting. Nothing was ever good enough for them. So you look for reasons for failure before any event, which is perfectly understandable, to alleviate any possible blame.

All any of us can do in this life, is our best with the tools we have available. It is an inevitable reality that some people are better at some activities than others ... but that does not make any one useless. We all have our talents.

You are very much the age of both our daughter and son. The advice we'd would give them is this ... Get a job, any job, because from that your life will grow and change.... because your view of self will change.

Our daughter complete her BA degree in English Literature & Sociology. Then she worked in a shop and did her Masters part time for two years in Sociology. Next she worked as a shop manager and now at 28 yr old is on her fully funded/waged Sociology PhD.

Your lack of flexibility is again I suspect about your fears. It is about someone saying "All that money wasted on a degree to work in a shop!" ... That is just not how life works. When needs must one does anything available to keep working.

Myself I have degrees, that hasn't stopped me from owning a garage. It didn't stop my Dr of Psychology wife and I from running a camp site just for the life experience in France.

Truly, open your wings and let yourself fly before life passes you by.

One can only wish you all good fortune, whichever path you choose in life.

On any form of social media, no matter where we reside on life's great food chain; we are all exposed to the thoughts of people whom we would never interact with in physical life

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