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Younger generation and jobs

(96 Posts)
Tedflowerybaker Wed 23-Oct-19 21:06:29

Currently helping my friends daughter look for a job. We’ve updated her C.V and cover letter, really trying to make them stand out so she’s got a fair chance at being invited to an interview.

Luckily I’ve never been out of work and have been in the same job for around 7 years now so I rarely ever look at job sites. Nothing spectacular but I earn a fairly decent wage, have weekends off and a very generous holiday allowance so all in all I’m happy. I’m early 30’s (if it’s relevant)

We’ve been scouring the job sites looking for something decent. It needs to be full time. She finished school with good A-levels but wasn’t interested in attending college. She doesn’t know what she wants to do as of yet so is willing to try her hand at anything.

AIBU to be surprised at the amount of rubbish jobs that are advertised?

There are the minimum wage roles offering 10 hours a week and the candidate needs to be fully flexible 7 days a week in order to stand a chance at getting the job. How on earth could someone afford to live off such a small wage though?

Or the care assistant roles which are two hours a day at £9.50 an hour. Surely they could stretch to £10 and just pay the poor carer £20 for the session.

The best one was a live in support worker role providing 24/7 care for an older man. The carer would be paid £120 for the day but have £30 taken off their wages for being in the clients home and using their facilities etc. I thought that was outrageous, especially since the whole point of the job was the carer had to work in the clients home, so why punish the carer for it?

Even if they attend uni and study really hard in a specific subject, their still not guaranteed a decent job afterwards.
I remember when I left school and was looking, there was so much more available and this was back when employers were actually happy to take trainees on and give them a fair chance. Now most employers want someone who already has the experience or qualifications.

I’m honestly so glad I found my job when I did and touch wood I will never have to look for work or be in such a difficult position but AIBU in feeling sorry for the younger generation when they leave school and have to look for a job?

Cantrememberpassword Wed 23-Oct-19 21:10:21

Nah, I don’t feel sorry for the younger generation, they would never have been able to stick the rubbish jobs I had to do just to survive.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 23-Oct-19 21:11:14

Thing Is A levels are mainly useful for getting into uni. So if she’s not doing that she’d probably have been better getting some vocational qualifications and learning a trade.

What does she actually want to do?

JorisBonson Wed 23-Oct-19 21:13:15

When I was starting out working many years ago I took loads of shit jobs just to earn some extra cash. Washing dishes, filing dusty old crappy files, anything, and usually for a pittance. It's part and parcel of starting out working life surely?

ColaFreezePop Wed 23-Oct-19 21:13:21

Lots of roles aren't advertised.

That's why young people apply for work experience. Some employers use work experience to take you on as a permanent employee.

If you study at a university they have a careers department and some employers target specific universities.

timshelthechoice Wed 23-Oct-19 21:14:32

YANBU. Workers rights have also gone down the swanny.

Rumboogie Wed 23-Oct-19 21:18:05

My DC (recent graduates) are looking for jobs, and I second your opinion. I never cease to be amazed at the crap minimum wage jobs that require HUGE amounts of experience and skills, but would not enable the candidate to live independently.

IMO this must be because we (ie. this country) has chosen a low wage, full employment model, unlike the Continent, where high wage but high(ish) unemployment tends to exist.

The other issue is the Catch 22 of 'you can't get a job until you have had a job'.

coldlighthappier Wed 23-Oct-19 21:19:07

‘they would never have been able to stick the rubbish jobs I had to do just to survive‘

Someone needs to get a grip

Tedflowerybaker Wed 23-Oct-19 21:19:54

She's not sure what she wants to do yet. She's not really interested in attending college or uni which I understand as I was the same when I left school. I don't think it's for everyone. I enjoyed gaining the experience in a more work based environment and I think that's exactly what she wants to do.

She's happy to do anything just to see what she enjoys first. I'm the one who's surprised after scouring through these job sites. There are hardly any full time roles (perhaps that's to do with the area that we're in though). I know for a fact I wouldn't be able to survive on the wages of some of the jobs advertised.

Maybe I'm out of touch with the real world as I said before I never hardly look at these websites. I'm just shocked at some of these jobs, the expectations when the pay is terrible, working conditions etc.

HT85 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:21:12

Is she specifically looking for care roles?

As office junior roles are a good place to start.

Tedflowerybaker Wed 23-Oct-19 21:21:45

I've noticed as well, it's always the minimum wage roles which expect their employees to go above and beyond and give up their whole life for the job. It's crazy!

june2007 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:21:51

Yep there is a lot of rubbish out there. If she is interested in care work the homes may be a better option and she can phone them direct.

SachaStark Wed 23-Oct-19 21:23:33

“This is why young people apply for work experience”, as @ColaFreezePop says, but aside from the rich kids, who on earth can afford to work for free in the hope that they get a permanent job role? I keep thinking of the students I have previously taught (in a very deprived secondary school). They don’t have a chance to even start a career, if this is what they need to do.

Anotherlongdrive Wed 23-Oct-19 21:25:36

I am 37. My first couple of jobs were hotel work, zero hours and not great paid even with tips. Theres always been rubbish jobs about

I earn well and have a good career now but didnt start on that track straight away.

Jobs that require no qualification are always low paid. That's no different to 20 ueard ago.

Chivers53 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:28:04

It's not a great time of year to be looking to be honest, many graduates and school leavers will have also been looking, and some positions take applications months before A levels are even completed (the schemes which actually do start off relatively well paid and offer good progression opportunities). Location is also key, being prepared to travel can open up a whole host of other opportunities. For some people the very part time roles suit, admittedly not for many, but if you only need someone for 2 hours a day then you wouldn't take them on more for the sake of it. Usually places are crying out for care workers, not always paid well (they deserve a lot more!), but I'd be surprised if it was particularly challenging to find full time roles. I guess it's about being a bit flexible, but also an element of chance and luck. There are a lot of opportunities to progress on the job, so some lower paid work isn't to be sniffed at. Good luck to her.

Whatwouldbigfatfannydo Wed 23-Oct-19 21:29:35

Nah, I don’t feel sorry for the younger generation, they would never have been able to stick the rubbish jobs I had to do just to survive.

Ridiculous ageism. hmm Although I'm impressed you know every single young person well enough to judge their character! biscuit

I'm 25, have 3 jobs and minimal outgoings because I live frugally (and am disabled to boot). We live in a gig economy where roles are commonly temporary due to funding renewed annually etc. Worked all through uni (degree and postgrad). Started work at 15 (informal work before that; family business, volunteering etc.) and never just had the 1 job. I've had jobs which included personal care for severely disabled children, supporting people in criminal justice system and residential support work for homeless young people.
I'd laugh in the face of anyone who questioned my work ethic. Smacks of self importance. An ugly trait.

I don't think any generation has had it easy but there are significant perks to being older; the chance at home ownership for example that this generation just don't have.

OP, I'd strongly advice seeking the help of a careers advisor. They do a lot more than the odd school session!

Tedflowerybaker Wed 23-Oct-19 21:30:19

She's not particularly looking for care work. We typed in our location on the website just to see what would come up. As I can see they are crying out for carers which is a shame, perhaps if they paid a decent wage they wouldn't be so short staffed.

BertieBotts Wed 23-Oct-19 21:31:36

Care work should never be advertised under the conditions you're quoting IMO. I think it's a huge part of why standards in care are so low. Some carers are wonderful and dedicated and do it out of love but a frightening number are just desperate for cash. It needs to be paid much, much better.

Fine to have low pay for menial work such as pot washing and filing, not when you're dealing with someone's life.

So YANBU but for a slightly different reason - I don't think those jobs should be there.

Is your friend's DD living at home? In that case she can be a bit flexible WRT not necessarily needing loads of money to survive. I think that can be quite a good way to be because it means she can try out a few different things to see what interests her and she may decide to go on to further education in something specific.

I would also suggest she thinks about her favourite companies (could be products she uses perhaps or just something she thinks is really inspiring, could be literally anything) and looks on their website for hiring, to see what kinds of positions there are in those companies even if they are geographically too far away for now. Also looking at something like Glassdoor (get her to sign up when she has a free week because you only get a week's free trial before you have to post something) to see what people are saying about different jobs and companies.

I admire her for getting out there because it was always my problem - I just had no idea what jobs even existed to have an idea of "what I wanted to do". I had some vague ideas but nothing concrete enough to follow up.

Tedflowerybaker Wed 23-Oct-19 21:32:18

Thanks @Whatwouldbigfatfannydo we'll have a look into a careers advisor!

CherryPavlova Wed 23-Oct-19 21:32:44

Like everyone else, the young have to put the effort in, do things they don’t like early in their careers, be prepared to move around and study for additional qualifications alongside working if they want a comfortable and interesting career. The good luck some people have doesn’t fall in their laps by applying for a few post school jobs.

Has she looked at apprenticeships? Vocational degrees? Jobs that offer career progression? Armed forces?

DisneyMadeMeDoIt Wed 23-Oct-19 21:33:18

I don’t know, I’m mid 20’s and haven’t struggled. I was coming into the job market for the first time following the 2008 crash - when 40 yo trained professionals were competing with 16yo’s for Saturday supermarket jobs.

I don’t think it’s harder now. I don’t think it’s easy though.

‘Flexibility’ is something every retail job demands now but in my brief retail experience it’s because there are ‘long standing’ part time workers who are genuinely inflexible and will ONLY work certain hours on certain days. The nature of a shop means sick days/annual leave NEED to be covered so shops end up actively recruiting a ‘stand in’ who is contracted to low hours but always available. It’s not ideal but equally if everyone was a ‘little bit’ flexible then there would be no need for some to be ‘totally flexible’

BertieBotts Wed 23-Oct-19 21:33:26

Connexions is the service. They are better out of school than in school I think.

What does she like to do in her spare time?

overnightangel Wed 23-Oct-19 21:34:34

Unfortunately that’s always been the case with care work

mindutopia Wed 23-Oct-19 21:34:46

My mum did a little business/accounting qualification at college (like a 1-2 year course) at 18. She had no more education than that. She worked in a finance department of a large multinational biochemical company. She managed to buy not one but two houses in her 20s (2nd house was for my grandparents to retire in). At 60, she retired earning about £50,000-60,000 with no university education. My stepdad did go to uni, but no more than that. He was a scientist before he retired. Both had private pensions from their employers. Together they get about £6000 a month in pension. I have a good salary (in late 30s), but a lot of postgraduate education. It will never be as high as my mum's and we will never have a pension pot like that. Things are definitely different now. I certainly see it in my field. We offer a lot of less than FT fixed term posts. It's very hard to find a permanent job (my mum worked for the same company for 35 years!) and people end up doing a lot of hustling, a few hours here on this project, a bit of extra salary from there, even while working for the same employer.

ColaFreezePop Wed 23-Oct-19 21:35:38

@SachaStark some work experience roles are now paid. Though the OP's young friend has the disadvantage of not having a degree and also no work/volunteering experience.

One of my friends' currently teaches and another use to teach apprentices in technology. Depending on who is running the scheme and the vocational area is whether they find a job for you or you have to find the apprenticeship yourself.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 23-Oct-19 21:37:02

I agree A levels probably weren't the best qualifications for her if she doesn't want to go to uni but she is where she is and I'm sure she'll find something.

It does sound a bit scattergun for now. What really appeals to her?

An apprenticeship could be a great option especially if she's living at home so can manage on a relatively low wage for a short time.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 23-Oct-19 21:38:53

Sorry if you've already answered this but did she work while she was studying, and what aspects of that did she like. Any good employers?

demelza82 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:39:28

In the 15 years that I've been working I've noticed that entry level jobs in my field have barely gone up in salary and the demands/person specifications incorporating several different job roles and are so much broader than when I started.

user1497207191 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:39:42

Lots of employers don't put job vacancies on job directories. They advertise jobs, apprenticeships etc on their own websites. It's part one of the "selection" process - i.e. they want people with the initiative to actually look for opportunities, preferably in industries that they've got a particular interest in, and at employers they've done some research into - i.e. they need to have done all that to find the website and jobs.

They don't want "lazy" people who want everything spoon fed for them, i.e. those who look no further than job/vacancy directories which these days are usually for casual/low paid work as the OP has found.

user1497207191 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:41:33

In the 15 years that I've been working I've noticed that entry level jobs in my field have barely gone up in salary and the demands/person specifications incorporating several different job roles and are so much broader than when I started.

Not just entry level jobs. Exactly the same has happened in the accountancy market. Salaries have remained pretty much static for the last 15/20 years, even for fully qualified roles requiring x number of years, and yes, a wider range of experience is usually required these days.

PortiaCastis Wed 23-Oct-19 21:41:43

My younger generation student (dd 20) is a fully trained RNLI lifeguard and as we live in Cornwall she's not short of work in her holidays, however I take issue with people stereotyping her age group as she's out there in the summer saving lives going out on a board saving people's children because they've gone out to sea on a blow up unicorn or suchlike and got caught in a rip. So those who demean the younger generation can get lost

OUwhatnext Wed 23-Oct-19 21:43:12

NMW is crap, especially for under 25's. I recently spoke to an employer who was complaining about putting his employee's hourly rate up from £6.15 to £7.70 when they turned 21. Their complaint was that the employee still lived at home and didn't deserve it. I asked where the fuck else are they going to live on £230 a week!

ColaFreezePop Wed 23-Oct-19 21:44:32

You've just reminded me that I know a lot of people who did care work in their late teens/early 20s. They did it as a stepping stone which they have used in a wide variety of people focused careers. They were nearly all studying something at the time so couldn't do any job that demanded full flexibility.

CurbsideProphet Wed 23-Oct-19 21:44:57

@Tedflowerybaker the NHS has an apprenticeship scheme that might be worth her looking into? The job market is similar where I live. Low paid zero hour contracts.

Whatwouldbigfatfannydo Wed 23-Oct-19 21:45:15

I don't think there's any issue with being disinterested in academic pursuits at this stage. Some life experience might change that and if she's paying course fees then it's really not worth the debt for 'something to do'.

PP have shown that a good career doesn't always require a degree.

Her path will only be fulfilling if it's the one she wants to take. I hope she finds something suitable!

Sunshine1239 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:47:19

Agree it’s harder but these days kids get to 17/18 and haven’t worked a day in their life which doesn’t help. I had Saturday job from 15 as did everyone I know. By time I was doing A-levels I worked 26 hours a week on evenings and weekends. Kids these days are going to uni having never worked! It’s the basic skills of working that kids don’t seem to have which is what’s causing the issue too - far too often they’re not willing to start at rock bottom

Tedflowerybaker Wed 23-Oct-19 21:47:32

From what I can gather after speaking to her she's not interested in care roles so I think that means anything to do with children and older people.

She did work in the local chip shop last summer which I think she enjoyed so she does have a little bit of experience in a customer facing role. I'm thinking she may suit an office role perhaps?

We've had a look at apprenticeships but can't see any at the moment which involve office roles unfortunately.

Whatwouldbigfatfannydo Wed 23-Oct-19 21:49:01

And PPs suggestion of an apprenticeship is a good one! A lot of these industries value time served more than academic qualifications so she'd have every chance of working her way up and getting a good salary eventually.

Rainbowsomewhere Wed 23-Oct-19 21:51:32

Go to retailers websites or even banks and apply directly.

Also check out local hotels career pages on their website as there is nearly always housekeeping, waitressing or reception jobs going. Once she has a job it will be easier to move on to the next one.

MissCharleyP Wed 23-Oct-19 21:54:43

Do you live near an airport? They quite often have a variety of roles, the airports themselves and the shops in there. Obviously it means shift work but that can suit some people better. Or the railway? A variety of roles and very interesting career. Network Rail were advertising for apprenticeships not that long ago.

Ylvamoon Wed 23-Oct-19 22:02:09

I think it's a difficult one. A lot will depend on the area - where I live it's mostly warehouse type jobs, shift work for £8.50 -£10.- depending on shift pattern. Not great if you are young and ready to "fly".
Is she able to travel a bit further and widen her search area?
As for wages, I'd expect min wage being the norm for a first job with little / no experience and training.
At my place, there are entry level positions for min wage, yes we ask a lot from potential employee's. But it's simply to ensure that they have what it takes to do the job further down the line...

7125r Wed 23-Oct-19 22:07:39

Care work should never be advertised under the conditions you're quoting IMO. I think it's a huge part of why standards in care are so low. Some carers are wonderful and dedicated and do it out of love but a frightening number are just desperate for cash. It needs to be paid much, much better.

I agree carers absolutely deserve a better wage for what they do, but I’m not sure I follow your logic. Surely if wages were higher you’d get even more people doing it who are desperate for cash?

Not that that’s an issue imo, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to do jobs like care work ‘out of love’, it’s back breaking work and deserves to be rewarded as such. You can volunteer out of the goodness of your heart. If you’re working to earn to live you deserve to be fairly remunerated for that. Can’t pay your rent with the warm glow of having helped someone. I kinda hate the idea that people should do care work out of love and dedication to others, it devalues it, it should be treated like a professional role requiring specific skills and knowledge, whereas painting it as a calling makes it seem like anyone with a good heart could do it.

Cam77 Wed 23-Oct-19 22:07:49

When I graduated from university I signed up with a care agency which mainly specialized in providing agency staff for places which provided care for people with various kinds of learning disabilities. Got offered loads of work, pay wasn’t bad, and I could be flexible with what positions I wanted to take. Interview was basically
nonexistent, just showed them proof of my qualification and said what kind of roles I’d be happy doing. Care residential centers and homes were always understaffed so work was as much as I wanted. I only did it for a year, but learnt loads and met some wonderful people.

ICouldBeSomebodyYouKnow Wed 23-Oct-19 22:15:17

I recommend apprenticeships. We've had a few through our hands - office based. Most went on to do something else, having decided it wasn't for them in the end. One got promoted into a 'proper' role, and left 6 months later to go to uni to become a teacher.

Anyway. My DD, now 28, was going through the 'first job' thing just a few years ago (yes, with a degree, but bear with me). To cut a long story short, she started volunteering with a charity that meant a lot to her, one thing led to another including her first paid job. That gave her enough experience to get a role where she was able to use her degree.

Apologies if you don't need this tip, but please can she make sure her applications address, in turn, each of the essential requirements of the jobs she is applying for? Too many ramble and ignore what was requested, making it hard for the recruiting manager.

BuffaloBiff Wed 23-Oct-19 22:24:34

If she wants office roles, I would send speculative CVs and covering letter to the office/ HR manager and see if anything comes of it.

She might get some work experience for a week or two at the least and then she can rule in or out that type of work.

It was different circumstances but that so what I did and a few companies replied and offered me experience. I used that to get a paid role.

Or what about retail? If she's good then not too hard to process through the ranks and the larger shops have loads of different roles (eg M&S, John Lewis).

LemonPrism Wed 23-Oct-19 23:08:08

So she only has A-levels? She needs to think what career she wants. I suppose admin could be the way to go if she doesn't want to train in a vocation. Or an apprenticeship?

I took an apprenticeship after finishing my MA degree from a top 10 uni. 3 months of applications and barely any even replied with a no.

What about retail? Receptionist?

LemonPrism Wed 23-Oct-19 23:10:35

@DisneyMadeMeDoIt how can you be mid 20s if you were looking for jobs in 2008? I'm nearly 25 and was in year 9 in 2008....

LemonPrism Wed 23-Oct-19 23:15:27

What area are you in? We may be able to recommend companies

cactusthief Wed 23-Oct-19 23:26:57

Nah, I don’t feel sorry for the younger generation, they would never have been able to stick the rubbish jobs I had to do just to survive.


TheFairyCaravan Wed 23-Oct-19 23:27:13

If she knew what she wanted to do it would help. We've got 2 sons (24&22) both are earning a decent wage in the careers that they wanted to be in since primary school.

DS1 always wanted to join the army, the night before his A level results came out he said he wasn't going to uni and he was going in the army. We gave him a year to do it and he joined the following July. I know it's not for everyone but it's the best thing he's ever done. He's happy, confident, really good at his job and at the beginning of this month was promoted to Corporal so is earning a really good salary for a 24 yo.

DS2 is a nurse. He wanted to do that since he was about 4 or 5. He worked his arse off to get there, including having a part time job in Wetherspoons all through uni. He works in A&E and loves it. Every week I get a text saying he's doing this course or that course.

She needs to sort out what she wants to do and the rest will come,

cactusthief Wed 23-Oct-19 23:31:38

We had to filter through lots of crap when DD was looking for a part time job to work around her college course. She landed lucky in the end and managed to bag a 16 hour retail contract and her employer was happy to fit her shifts around her course. It is very hard to try for a job nowadays. Even Tesco rejected her because of the daft online screening thing. The job she did get involved an online test, telephone interview, group session and a one to one interview and it took 4 weeks from application to start. I remember when you went in or called and got started in many jobs the next day.

BackforGood Wed 23-Oct-19 23:38:43

What amazes me when looking at jobs is the smokescreens and creative names they make up to attract the naive into jobs that really aren't what they sound like.
Just be honest in the first place!

m00rfarm Wed 23-Oct-19 23:45:28

What about an apprenticeship? My son is the same age and has been working at an accountancy firm since January this year - he is taking exams and having training in house, whilst working full time (for a low wage, but it goes up in January and then again when he moves to the the next level). He is really enjoying it and has already recommended two of his friends into the company as apprentices. When he finishes he will be earning good money and can either continue with his qualifications with them, or stay as he is and continue working full time.

m00rfarm Wed 23-Oct-19 23:46:45

Sorry - posted too soon - he did all of this on his own - found the company, went for the interview and got the job. It was the only interview he went for, but he had several others lined up. He is in Hertfordshire (not sure where you are and where you are looking). However, he HAD to be prepared for friends to be working in supermarkets initially earning more than him.

Livelovebehappy Wed 23-Oct-19 23:51:07

Always loads of jobs going in care homes, but those are the jobs with very poor pay. It amazes me though that the care of our elderly is entrusted to unqualified people who are generally not the brightest. You get paid more for stocking the shelves at M&S than for giving adequate quality care to the elderly.

Livelovebehappy Wed 23-Oct-19 23:54:41

I second the apprentice idea. If you’re good you will move up the line pretty quickly. Daughter started at a children’s nursery three years ago as an apprentice on less than £4 an hour, and now manages it on a pretty decent wage. Apprenticeships are a good way to get your talents noticed.

Kallyderon Thu 24-Oct-19 00:05:16

Presumably she did a levels because they have to stay in education or training until 18 now. Anyway OP YANBU to think this is shit. There seems to have been a shift in the last 20 years to the point that now you have to hustle and are considered lucky if you can support yourself while working full time. Zero hours, shorts hours, bogus self employment .... this is the truth behind the historically low job seekers myth. We have become a low pay insecure employment economy with a high cost of living. As for the ludicrous suggestion upthread that prospective employees trawl through the website of every employer in the country looking for work in order to show initiative ... jfc.

SynchroSwimmer Thu 24-Oct-19 00:15:06

I could recommend trying temporary placements through a formal job agency, eg Reid?
In my case, when relocating, I got to sample the inside of lots of commercial companies and organisations, various administrative type duties, gain experience in different environments, and also see, without committing long term, places that I would actually like to work longer term, and similarly others that I would not.

wonkymonkey Thu 24-Oct-19 00:16:27

One option would be to learn to touchtype if she doesn’t know already. Maybe all schools teach it these days. That opens the door to loads of office jobs and potentially the opportunity to progress if she wants. She could do a couple of weeks unpaid work experience once she has the typing licked if that’s realistic financially to get some experience under her belt.

Ohthatsfabulousdarling Thu 24-Oct-19 01:53:06

I agree, 100%

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 24-Oct-19 02:07:32

My niece got a couple of weeks work experience at the local hospital arranged by the job centre. This led to a permanent admin job there. She has been promoted since too.

My own DD is at uni but temped with an office agency in the summer. They were very keen for her to stay on and said they mostly recruit from temps.

Hundredacrewoods Thu 24-Oct-19 02:16:18

YANBU OP. I’m often tempted to ask older generations how many unpaid internships (often supported by paid work on the side) they had to do to get an entry level job in their profession. For me it was four.

Pixxie7 Thu 24-Oct-19 02:40:01

If she wants to learn on the job how about an apprenticeship? I know pay isn’t great but it’s a start.

Passthecherrycoke Thu 24-Oct-19 02:44:40

Come to think of it all my friends who started working at 16 or 18 continued their Saturday jobs full time (ie hairdressing, bar work) or temped into permanent roles. No one really just went through job ads

TwiddleMuff Thu 24-Oct-19 02:46:53

All of these people saying there have always been shit jobs/you did shit jobs to get started ... isn't it the case that wages have actually fallen in the UK (when you take inflation into account) in the last decade or so? However, the cost of living has risen significantly. So your shit job of 2001 was a better earner than the same shit job today.

OP, yanbu. I also did the shit jobs when I was young but it's far, far harder now, especially if you don't have the support of a parent.

notangelinajolie Thu 24-Oct-19 02:52:06

You are kind to help her but she is clever enough to be doing her own CV.

Pixxie7 Thu 24-Oct-19 02:55:59

Your comments about careers not being the brightest is rather unkind. Where would society be without them, they are generally kind caring people who work hard for their money.
Nurses don’t really nurse anymore (nurse for 40 years).

malificent7 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:24:01

Im on my second degree and i work as a carer to fund it...another colleague was a lawyer in her own less educated colleagues are very intelligent thank you very much and do an amazing job. Less intelligent indeed?! confused

Starrynights86 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:31:57

Are there any call centres near you that are part of big companies? I worked a retail shift on a Saturday while at school and then at a telco call centre during uni as hours were in the evenings or at the weekend. Because we got commission at the call centre, I actually took a paycut when I moved to my first graduate role! However there was also a lot of progression at the call centre and the big company it was part of, was willing to let you do work experience in the area you wanted to get into ie HR, Comms, Finance.

DeeCeeCherry Thu 24-Oct-19 04:01:36

YANBU. Also too many people with a race to the bottom 'so what just do any old job for minimum wage then' attitude

GPatz Thu 24-Oct-19 04:30:01

'Nah, I don’t feel sorry for the younger generation, they would never have been able to stick the rubbish jobs I had to do just to survive'.

Did you have to walk seven miles to get there each day and seven miles back in the snow also?

spottygymbag Thu 24-Oct-19 04:54:42

What about the hospitality side of things through a hotel? You can start as waitress/in the bar/cleaner etc and can ask to cross train across different departments. I was a waitress through my uni days and then went on to event management and then marketing within the same company. All without having to gain specific qualifications in those areas. Eventually ended up as EA in a totally different industry but only because I have such a varied background and understanding of various business aspects. Also it's a good time of year for event companies/hotels with the Christmas season and all.

Oblomov19 Thu 24-Oct-19 05:21:31

I'm staggered by the amount of shit jobs.
Mind you, I did plenty of them myself, back in the day!

kitchensinkdrama19 Thu 24-Oct-19 05:48:41

Do a secretarial course.

schoolcook Thu 24-Oct-19 06:13:10

@Tedflowerybaker I know exactly what you mean.
I work 25 hours a week so my availability is 15:00 or later in the week and all weekend and every retail job I've gone for has been a no thank you because I'm not available weekday mornings as well.
I only want 8-12 hour a week to top up my current job but they all want full time availability. Ridiculous ask.

GhostofFrankGrimes Thu 24-Oct-19 06:42:28

I left education after a levels and got a public sector job. That was 20 years ago when there was a government investing in jobs. For the last ten years we've had a government stripping away workers rights coupled with stagnating wages.

DisneyMadeMeDoIt Thu 24-Oct-19 06:54:06


Because I’m closer to 27 and was 16 when I was looking for supermarket jobs (as mentioned in my post). You’re two years younger than me, you were in Yr9- I was in Yr11. I was also working FT by 18 (2-3 years after the crash)

historysock Thu 24-Oct-19 06:58:13

£9.50 is actually pretty good for care unfortunately.
But yes I agree. I've actually just left a care company where I was the manager because the MD wanted to change the t and c of the carers from their contracted hours (some of which stipulated week days only) to say they had to be available 7 days a week. And increase their hourly pay by 10p but not pay them any extra at weekends. (They used to get £1.50 more weekend rate). I couldn't bring myself to even start having those conversations with my teams as I felt it was so wrong!
Those are the conditions in entry level and care work posts though. Rubbish but at least your friend there is in a position to be able to do work like that-lots of people (with families and houses to pay for) aren't.
It really galls me when the government release employment figures and drivel on about how they are up. Yes they are, because they include people having to work 2 hours a day for minimum wage as that's all there is- but they aren't making an actual living.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Thu 24-Oct-19 06:59:22

Welcome to the jobs market in 2019. It's shit. It's not much better for the experienced and more highly qualified either.

AJPTaylor Thu 24-Oct-19 07:01:31

She could do a whole lot worse than doing a business admin apprenticeship. Have a look at the apprenticeships website. Decent candidates with a levels are very welcome! It's a year but they move one with good stuff on their cv.

TheBiscuitStrikesBack Thu 24-Oct-19 07:03:38

I’ve just calculated that I was paid £3.29/hr when I left school 17 years ago. 35 hours a week as an accounts assistant. I thought I was loaded.

CAG12 Thu 24-Oct-19 07:07:26

But A levels arrnt particularly a gateway to employment. Id suggest she look up an apprentiship

Citygirl2019 Thu 24-Oct-19 08:29:29

She needs to look at what NEET initiatives there are in the area.

Another option is a traineeship (this is more like work experience), they can often lead to apprenticeships.

Also, look at training providers that offer apprenticeships alongside the training. There will be lots of these.

They will be all fairly low paid options, but she will have more chance progressing if she is in one of these schemes.

MeadowHay Thu 24-Oct-19 08:36:19

Just to share my story for a vague bit of sympathy lol. I'm mid twenties, have a first class degree in law from a 'good' uni (IE not an ex-poly, no offence to anyone - lots of my family went to ex-poly's like). I work for a law firm and my FTE salary is £18.5K (NW) although I work PT. I got the job straight after graduating and have recently had a promotion, the grad-entry role was about £15.5K FT salary. Its grim tbh and I do think if I knew what I know now about jobs etc at say 15/16 or at least by about 20/21 as a student, I may well have made very different career choices.

Becles Thu 24-Oct-19 08:54:23

Easiest way to get experience, a foot in the door and money coming in is to sign up with an agency.

Lots of agencies: Reed, Office Angels etc. She also needs to sign up to alerts from indeed and walk the local business park and high street with a cv.

Zaphodsotherhead Thu 24-Oct-19 09:04:26

I would suggest that she talks to lots of people.

Every job I've ever got has been through word of mouth rather than employment sites. Somebody knew somebody who might need an X and I turned up (or emailed or phoned) saying 'I hear you might need an X'...

apart from the job I do now. Which was advertised as 16 hours per week but I rarely work less than 30.

SansaSnark Thu 24-Oct-19 09:19:09

I agree with those who say that general jobs boards/sites tend not to be a great place to find work. There are some industry specific job sites which are better, or as others have said, you need to check individual company websites etc. Who are the big employers in your area? Have you checked their websites directly?

I disagree that it's worth sending out standard cvs- most companies want a tailored application, and often have their own application form.

If she wants to get in with a larger company, call centre work can sometimes be a way to get a foot in the door. There's often opportunities for progression with the company if you're able to stick it out for a while.

But as others have said, there aren't loads of opportunities for people who have left school with a-levels but don't want to go to uni/haven't learnt some kind of skill/trade.

schafernaker Thu 24-Oct-19 09:24:19

If I were in her shoes I’d be heading to an apprenticeship fair and having a good look there. Ok the initial money isn’t great, but it will build up and train her in a specific area

ghostyslovesheets Thu 24-Oct-19 09:51:08

is a good place to look - I'm surprised there are no office based apprenticeship local to you - usually there are loads!

Also look at the local authority job sites around you - they often have business admin opportunities.

Connexions no longer exists in most areas - ditto an accessible all age careers service but her a level provider should have offered careers advice.

ghostyslovesheets Thu 24-Oct-19 09:53:55

also -

for careers information and online idea generators try:


Jillyhilly Thu 24-Oct-19 10:11:07

She needs to sort out what she wants to do and the rest will come

I disagree with this advice. Waiting to find out what you want to do before doing it doesn’t work for many people. I’ve worked in the Careers area for years and in my experience you work out what you want to do in life by working - crap jobs, good jobs, fun jobs, boring jobs, voluntary jobs. You gain experience, skills and knowledge of yourself and the world with each role and make yourself more desirable to the next employer.

For most of us the world does not hand you a living and never has. The reality is that she has very little to offer the job market right now, so she needs to start anywhere and be completely flexible. Why does the job “need to be full time”? 2 days a week or part-time is better than nothing when you’re trying to build up skills.

With no experience or direction right now she has to think more creatively than just sending in applications to people who don’t know her and have no reason to interview her. Her focus should be on building up skills that will make her more employable.

She could take her CV, dress up smart and go into local pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants to see what’s available. In the meantime or alongside this she could volunteer in a local Charity shop which will show future employers that she has initiative and takes on responsibility.

If she doesn’t want a carer job then she will need good computer skills. Local colleges may offer this but there’s tons of cheap or free online training and she can do this in her spare time. I taught myself excel by looking at YouTube videos.

I agree about signing up with agencies - lots of them. Go in if at all possible, take a CV, look great, smile a lot, show willingness to do anything, make a really good impression. If it’s for office work they will require good computer skills, see above. I’ve worked in recruitment and good reliable temps are hard to find - if she gets an opportunity to go to work she needs to do exactly what is asked and never let them down. They will give her better assignments if she has a reputation as a good worker.

It ain’t easy but it’s not impossible, far from it. Don’t feel sorry for her - she needs encouragement, positivity and a totally can-do attitude.

dayslikethese1 Thu 24-Oct-19 11:35:55

I agree jilly doing loads of different things when you first start out gives you different experiences and gets you interacting with different people and learning about different types of workplaces which can spark idea for the future as well.

I would suggest agencies, usually lots of temp office work available, try all the high street places via their websites (might be too late for xmas posts now but look anyway), post office take on extra workers for xmas, try looking at local bars/cafes (they often have notices in the windows). Call centres often have jobs going and sometimes you can move up (one of my friends became a trainer).

She will probably be on low wage to start as she doesn't really have quals/experience and may have to work more than one job (or can use the extra time to volunteer in something she is interested in if she's living at home and therefore low/no rent).

I agree it's a waste of money to go to uni if she has no idea what to do and isn't particularly interested in a subject. Not sure if YABU as I'm not sure whether it's harder now or not. I'm early 30s too and I certainly did lots of crap jobs at that age.

Sorry long post!

Nomad86 Thu 24-Oct-19 12:50:21

Have you tried accountancy school leaver programmes at the big four? (E&Y, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG). I know PwC used to have a great one where you work part time and study accountancy qualifications.

Have a look at other big companies have anything similar.

BertieBotts Thu 24-Oct-19 13:27:09

7125r if you offer higher pay you attract a better variety of candidates. You can screen out those who just want to do it for the money/wouldn't be very caring or patient (perhaps not all of them but you'd have less). At the moment there are people who probably would be good candidates for care work but they are put off by the low wages so go into other careers instead.

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 24-Oct-19 18:55:16

I’ve ended up with a couple of FT jobs by being in a temp pt role first. Employers feel more confident offering roles to someone they know could do the job well, who isn’t always off sick, who fits in well with the team, who is conscientious, who learns quickly and is flexible . Etc. It’s hard to get the “soft” stuff across on a CV. Anyone can claim these things on a CV but employers want to see evidence that it’s not just all talk.

If I were her now (and I’m mid 40s, work in education and see how difficult it is for young people to get a decent FT job these days) I would be taking anything in the field I thought I would like to work in. Agencies are great as others said. Temp Christmas work. Bank admin work in NHS. Casual work in the civil service. Once you have a foot in the door, if a better role comes up, employers would go for someone internal who shows potential that they KNOW well, rather than take a punt on a school leaver who sends a CV in.

You have to compromise when you’re young. Travel further than you would. You just can’t afford to be fussy or flakey when you’re trying to build up your CV.

ColaFreezePop Sun 27-Oct-19 21:16:05

Just remembered this thread.

The government offer apprenticeships. So she needs to look for civil service apprenticeships.

Also if she can work in a chip shop she can work in a pub or bar. So she should go in and see if any have any jobs.

Your young friend needs to start asking all older adults she meets that work in offices what exactly they do day-to-day at work, look and act interested e.g. ask follow up questions, then ask them if she could have work experience. It doesn't matter if she doesn't want to be an accountant, marketer or whatever they do she needs to get her foot in the door. One of the things I have noticed amongst family, friends and acquaintances is that if you are under 21 and ask people for help yourself then someone will help you. It doesn't tend to be the people you expect or know well.

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