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To think that its quite rude and pointless to keep telling someone about a lack of jobs in their chosen career if you don't have any advice?

(79 Posts)
LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 14:39:54

This one is just getting on my nerves at the moment. I am studying and training for a job I hope to get sometime next year when I finish. I know there aren't a lot of jobs out there, obviously, the economic situation being what it is. But it's beginning to get really annoying that friends feel the need to keep telling me 'oh, there aren't any jobs you know', and 'proving' their point by telling me about other people they know who've been job-hunting unsuccessfully for ages.

I would understand if they had helpful advice, or if I thought they were genuinely worried about me and wanted to encourage me to pack in my training. But they're not: they know that basically I will have wasted a shedload of money if I pack it in now, so I'm probably not going to stop.

AIBU to be irritated? And how do I get them to shut up about their unemployed friends ... I know I may well end up in the same boat but I find it really annoying that they talk as if the fact other people are unemployed proves I won't get a job ... and couldn't possibly be for other reasons.

scurryfunge Wed 31-Aug-11 14:43:55

Maybe they think you are being unrealistic about fixating on one particular job? Maybe they are suggesting you consider all options and don't want you to be disappointed. You are not unreasonable to be irritated though -everyone needs optimism.

MissPenteuth Wed 31-Aug-11 14:44:09

YANBU. It's similar to the sort of people who insist on gleefully telling pregnant women all their horrific labour and childbirth stories. Some people just like to moan and be generally pessimistic.

You just need to an upbeat but dismissive response, something like "Yes, it's a difficult time isn't it? Oh well, fingers crossed anyway!" and then change the subject.

Or you could suggest that maybe the reason their friends are unemployed is that they're a bit shit grin

TheRealTillyMinto Wed 31-Aug-11 14:46:12

they sounds like really strange comments from friends. do you think they are jealous of your studies? what is in it for them to say you have wasted your money?

TheFarSide Wed 31-Aug-11 14:48:24


Demand goes up and down in most jobs.

(Can you tell us the job?)

alwaysonthemove Wed 31-Aug-11 14:51:31

I'm a recent graduate and job hunting too, I ignore the "there's no jobs" stuff, so far I have applied for 3 jobs and got interviews for 2 of them
this tells me 2 things:
there ARE jobs otherwise I would be applying to thin air
my experience/qualifications are getting me interviews

My husband also graduated not long ago and sent 8 Cvs out "cold" to places not advertising, got 2 interviews and a job

a lot of the people I'm told about as "proof" fall into a few catagories which I feel I can mitigate against:
1: they gave up, they don't look because "there's no job" and now they have no job in their chosen field and feel that is proof that there's no jobs, but I don't agree as when quizzed they are not churning out CVs
2: they are not flexible / cannot be flexible. I'm willing/able to move/commute
3: They have not had enough guidance / help with application or interview prep.

I currently work in (and am leaving) one of those areas with lots of grads and "no jobs", I often talk to the 3rd year students and TBH a lot of them seem very resigned to the "no jobs" or "any job I can get" mentality but rarely do I meet any who take the situation and use it to motivate themselves to make them stand out (with extra work experience, volunteering, club/soc involvement etc)

My advice to you is bulk up your extra curricular activities / volunteering etc. No a qualification / degree alone is not enough these days to waltz into a cushtie grad job BUT they ARE out there - look around there are people working! as you're still studying get involved as a rep, with clubs and socs, with volunteering etc - all the recent grads I know who HAVE got nice grad jobs had extra value stuff like that on their CV, it's almost more important than grades

Greensleeves Wed 31-Aug-11 14:53:34

YANBU to want them to shut their stupid traps

I am starting a PGCE in a few weeks

I KNOW there are "no jobs", thank you very fucking much hmm

LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 14:53:57

scurry - I wouldn't mind if they actually said that though! I would love to have some advice on what other jobs they reckon might be going, but I don't think they actually know.

MissP - oh, I have come so close to snapping back that response! I do get it and I'm sure their mates aren't shit, but it just seems like they're judging me to be worse than all these unemployed people they know, you know? As if they're saying, 'well, X didn't get a job so you've no fucking chance!'

Birdsgottafly Wed 31-Aug-11 14:55:14

Just because you can gain the qualifications doesn't mean that you can do the job, or can take a job that doesn't have a fixed contract/unsociable hours etc. There are lots of reasons why people remain unemployed.

My DP has just been made redundant but he has got agency work straight away, he can work any hours and lives with a family member so his overheads are not alot. Some of his friends cannot take the same work as they would not earn enough to cover their rent and live.

When i was doing my SW BA i was amazed that some people had got on the course, as there was no way they would make good SW's. I know that two of them have had to retrain to do other roles, thankfully.

There are jobs, things will pick up, i lived through the 1980's, then we had a period of growth, things are bad again, but that will change. If your qualifications can be taken to other countries, then you have even more options.

In all honesty not everyone uses the degree that they have, but it gets them a job, that someone without qualifications wouldn't get, because it shows commitment.

I thought this was going to be about careers advice, because i find that universities tend to exaggerate what students will be able to do with their degrees, in some subjects.

LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 14:55:33

green - you and I are in very similar areas, no wonder we both get this! I want to do research and teaching at university when I finish. It is depressing, isn't it?! Best of luck with yours!

LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 14:57:49

always and birds, thanks so much for taking the time to write those long posts. It's really good to get a balanced view, not a blank negative one!

LineRunner Wed 31-Aug-11 15:02:08

I graduated and post-graduated into recession and into a work area with 'no jobs' in the 80s and 90s. I had short periods of unemployment in which I wrote research papers or small articles for the media, and did some tuition, but mostly I was in work. I took on quite a few short-term contracts, made contacts and stayed current. It all worked out in the end.

Ignore the harbingers of doom, and tell them to toll their bells at someone else.

alwaysonthemove Wed 31-Aug-11 15:04:52

p.s. while I needed my degree for the basic requirements of the jobs I applied for, without my extra curricular stuff I wouldn't have been able to demonstrate the skills asked for on the application forms. Universities offer SO much in terms of personal development - free language courses, oportunities to run clubs and socs showing you have massive amounts of transferable skills etc. I think that students need to think in terms of becomming a well rounded grad rather than just getting a 1:1 or a 2:1 etc. Its all there on offer if you are Uni based and its either cheap or free. I know grads with 2:1s who have jobs that grads with 1:1s lust after because they had more to show for their time at uni than "just" the degree. Its not too late, I only cottoned on in my 3rd year and am so glad I did! get involved AS MUCH as you can. good luck

Birdsgottafly Wed 31-Aug-11 15:07:51

OP i have met people who say they are looking for work and when you start to talk to them, they don't want any early starts, travelling time etc. I am not talking about people with family commitments etc. It is those that have had an easy life and don't want to have to put effort into working. It is important to come across as motivated.

When i worked in care homes (many moons ago), women would leave because they wouldn't wear their hair tied up, no makeup etc. Yet claimed they wanted to be in health care.

I had a student on placement who had switched from nursing to SW because she wanted to wear false eyelashes, but still didn't want to follow the dress code, tbh, she wasn't suited to any social care work but her parents were paying for her degree and if she quit they were going to take her car off her.

SiamoFottuti Wed 31-Aug-11 15:08:23

its just small talk though isn't it? And there are fuck all jobs, might as well get used to the fact! <says the woman about to start another post-grad to put off the job-hunting even further wink>

LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 15:09:36

That is really good to hear, linerunner. smile

always - TBH, there is a limit to how much extra-curricular stuff I can do at my university - it's miles away. But I take your point, and I've done a fair amount of stuff to show I can teach, so hopefully that will count. Maybe I ought to think about languages more too.

LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 15:11:21

birds - grin I don't think I'm a false eyelash girl! But yes, that makes sense, especially about travelling.

siamo - yes, I guess. Just it's kind of rude small talk IMO.

Good luck with the job hunting! wink

Birdsgottafly Wed 31-Aug-11 15:12:43

X post with Always- i made sure that i attended any extra lectures/courses/workshops, which made a difference. Whilst off ill, i did a 10 week counselling course, which everyone told me was a waste of time. I went on to do the next level, of an evening, and was the only person in my office that could be offered the inhouse training and funding to do a degree level course, when we were allocated the funding, the qualification on its own, will keep me in work.

Greensleeves Wed 31-Aug-11 15:13:52

LOL at "toll their bells elsewhere"

am going to use that next time I see my dad

LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 15:15:39

birds - that's pretty impressive. When you were ill?! Wow.

RoyalWelsh Wed 31-Aug-11 15:19:36

OP I graduated this year in a profession that I was repeatedly told had no jobs going. I got 20 interviews (obviously didn't go to all of them) accepted 8 and got myself a job. I did have to send out upwasrds of 60 applications though. There are always jobs, it just depends on how much you want it/your circumstances etc etc. I haven't even done loadas of 'extras' like courses because I just couldn't due to commitments elsewhere.

Honestly, the last year has taught me you can get what you want if you want it hard enough and show employers that.

More advice - nearly 100% of people who asked me to interview commented on my personal statement. It really pays to spend time over it and make it different to everybody else.

alwaysonthemove Wed 31-Aug-11 15:20:28

I agree with birdsgootafly, I know people who "can't get a job" in the field they graduated in but wont even consider working in the next nearest town and bawk if you suggest doing an unpaid placement to get in the door or being available for slightly over 9-5 etc. There's no abundance of jobs that's for sure but the country is still running, hospitals, schools, universities are still open for business etc

I know some people are genuinely struggling and will do anything to get back to work but in general they are not the ones spouting off with the doom and gloom to anyone who will listen, the peopel who seem to ENJOY telling me as a recent grad that there are no jobs are rarely job hunters or unemployed themselves. In fact they're usually retired or else they are unhappy in their jobs and use "no jobs" as an excuse not to look elsewhere or re-train but TBH they're the type who would find an excuse to stay were they are and just moan in any economic climate.

EldritchCleavage Wed 31-Aug-11 15:20:31

On the other hand, for some people, there are no jobs, because they are not suitable candidates.

I work in a field that has become increasingly fashionable and over-subscribed in the last several years, to the point that there is now a real glut of candidates, just when the recession is causing some employers to cut back on recruitment.

However, the reality is that many of those extra candidates are not truly suitable and have no chance. Those employers still recruiting are chasing the same few good candidates that they ever were. It just takes longer to identify them by sorting the wheat from the chaff. In my workplace, we might now get 450 applications a year for 2 places, where once we got 150. But we find that the long list of people considered for interview is holding steady at 30-50. All that has increased is the number of bizarrely hopeless applicants. The number of weird 'won't take no for an answer, get mum to ring up and demand an interview' brigade is increasing too.

I completely agree with making the most of Uni and adding to your CV as much as you can. Provided you are a solid, motivated candidate not being wholly unrealistic about your appeal to employers (and you don't sound it) you will have a reduced but still decent chance of getting a job.

Parapluies Wed 31-Aug-11 15:21:18

Hello LDR, I am in research and teaching at universities and I can tell you, there are jobs to be had! But as previously said, being flexible and able to move does help. Also helps if you identify universities with big departments/lots of funding in your subject, they are likely to have more jobs for you.

Try going to jobs . ac . uk

Thumbwitch Wed 31-Aug-11 15:21:48

I think some people just like to repeat soundbites they have heard on the news/ in the local pub or read in the paper/ on the bog wall of the local pub.

They don't know definitively that there aren't any jobs - they are just negative and annoying. So next time, ask them:
So you think I should just give up my studies halfway through and waste all the money I've already spent, with no qualification at the end of it?
ANd then do what, get a job in Tesco?
What do you suggest, have you any ideas rather than blanket negativity?

Of course, they might get a bit blustery and possibly a touch offended, but so what? They're not bothered about making you feel down about it all, are they - they're just wanting to make themselves look clever.

I hope you get a good result in your studies and go on to prove all the naysayers completely wrong by getting an excellent job, straight away.

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