This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
To think that job hunting is really hard when you are young?(16 Posts)
This is my first post on mumsnet (I’m not a mum though) so hopefully I’m doing it right. I left school at 18 and instead of going to uni I just went straight and got a job and have worked at the same place ever since (admin in a small independent company). I’m 24 now so I’ve been there 6 years. I do enjoy working there but I desperately want to do something different. I’ve been applying for loads of different jobs over the past 18 months and I’ve had 4 interviews in total (obviously haven’t got any of those jobs). I’ve applied for everything from retail to care to cleaning and I just never seem to get anywhere. I understand that it’s going to be so much harder to move jobs now because of coronavirus but I just feel really sad that I’m stuck in the same job when I would love to be getting different experience. I’ve volunteered a lot (in a charity shop, at a food bank and befriending elderly citizens that don’t have much contact with others) but it doesn’t seem to get me any further forward. I often wonder if it’s because I am younger and therefore don’t have varied experience in the workplace and am perhaps still not sure of myself as a person. At the beginning of the year I did a mock interview with a careers adviser at a local careers centre and she seemed positive about my interview answers and said that I came across well. I do understand that it’s hard for everyone but it just makes me feel like I’ll be stuck in my current job forever. I also understand and appreciate how lucky I am to have a job
What do you want to do/are qualified for? The jobs you've applied for are very varied.
Also, are you putting 'pull factors' ie why you want that industry in particular (even if you don't) rather than push factors (boredom etc with your current role). If there's a way you can convey a particular career plan that might help too.
Do you live in a small town or smaller place? Sometimes it can be harder to get jobs in smaller places. You are still young, would you consider going abroad for a while to get experience (this may have to wait for the forseeable future with all thats going on) but native English speakers are in demand for teaching English and not all places insist on a degree ( you have to do alot of research into this) Also I know it sounds silly but do you have a professional email address when sending CV (not everyone does and this can put employers off) Also employers do check social media and Google now so make sure that's all in check and there is no crazy photos or things that are public that you would rather be kept private. It may also be worth seeing if you can get some help with your CV to enhance it, for example specify your IT skills or customer service skills (many applications have a screening process where they pick out certain words on the CV)
It is hard. I didn't go to Uni either as although I had good grades I got distracted at secondary school and basically bombed out. I worked a dead end job and applied for loads, it was soul destroying being turned down again and again.
What do you WANT to do? As PP said, you've applied for lots of different things, I understand that can be through desperation rather than choice. I decided what I wanted to do, went back to college while working full time, to get qualifications in the area of work I wanted. And then I got a lucky break.
Not everyone (most!) have no idea what they want to do but think about what interests you and what you would enjoy. You'll be working a long time so choose wisely. Maybe look at getting qualifications or relevant experience. Volunteering is great but if you want to work in law then helping elderly people probably won't help (although it's a very admirable thing to do and an extra on your CV).
Your job search needs to use the transferrable skills you already have. Applying for care or cleaning work, for example, is no good if you don’t have the relevant experience. Perhaps you need to widen your search geography-wise to include more admin or office jobs. You will be expected to commute I think in this market.
@Pippin2028 yes I live in quite a small area (seaside town) but can drive and have a car so am able to apply for jobs slightly further afield. My email address is my first name the first letter of my middle name and then my last name so it’s quite tame! I’m not on social media so there shouldn’t really be anything about me online. That’s a good idea about working abroad, thank you
In some ways I actually found it harder at almost 40 than I did in my 20s (IME a lot of employers seem to want younger people who are less likely to need time off for family reasons, and I’ve found that middle-aged or older people are often seen as more set in their ways and therefore make less malleable employees). Obviously this is only my personal experience, so many will have found the opposite. It is definitely a tough time to be young and looking to get a foot on the ladder though - I really sympathise. My advice is to really think about what your own values are and try and apply to organisations whose values align with yours. I wasted a lot of time in my 20s by not considering this, and only found a job I loved once I actively started looking for something that was a good fit with my own outlook/worldview. Good luck
@GingerFigs i thought i’d like to work in retail so I volunteered in a charity shop to get some experience but I never even had an interview for a retail job. I would really like to work in care (which was why I did the befriending and food bank volunteering). I’ve had two care related interviews but didn’t get them.
Did you ask why you didn’t get them?
@cherrypavlova yes- they said they had more qualified/experienced applicants
I think up to an hours commute each will give you good options. Most offices in places where people commute tend to allow some work from home so you wouldn’t do it everyday.
It is difficult - and more so now.
Admin covers a lot of ground - in some jobs it is filing and answering the phone in others it is preparing accounts or project management. The good thing is because it is so varied it allows you to gain experience of loads of different things.
What I suggest is sit down and have a think about what you want to do and what attracts you to that type of job - this is really hard to do so spend time to get it right. When you know what type of job you want look at the job you have now and see what skills you have that that type of job needs - things like communication, organisational skills. Also look at the soft attribute you have that the job needs - things like empathy, problem solving, commercial acumen. Match them to the experience you have. If you don't have those skills - look for opportunities to gain those skills. It isn't enough to volunteer - you need to volunteer in the job that gives you the skills you need to get the job you want. Does that make sense?
There are organisations that offer career mentoring - google for them or visit your job centre or library.
Ah....more qualified/experienced people. There's the thing. What you can't do is change the opposition. If they are more qualified and/or have more relevant experience then there's the rub.
Well done on the volunteering in the charity shop for experience when you are interested in retail, that probably did get you brownie points but maybe not enough to outweigh other candidates.
If you are really keen on a particular avenue (eg care) then look into qualifications and as others have said, maybe widen your location search, or consider working abroad (not easy just now!). It is tough. You don't have experience, but nobody will give you the chance to get some. It's so frustrating!!
Some great advice from other posters. Keep trying, think about what you want to do, research research research on qualifications or alternative routes in (could you go into nursing first?), think outside the box. If you get interviews and no job offer, ask for feedback, specific feedback or what you could have done differently. Good luck! You sound like you want to progress so good for you
Here’s a link to an AMA that a careers coach started. Good advice in that. Good luck.
If you want to work in care have you thought about studying to get an nvq in care ?
Have you tried agency work ?
Ime care is one of the easiest jobs to get, they are crying out for people to work night shifts etc
Whereabouts do you live ?
I would contact employment agencies that offer your preferred job to see if they can give you feedback on your CV. You will need more than one CV highlighting your transferable skillset for each job direction you are trying for.
Your personal profile should explain what you can bring to the role and why you want to change roles too. The profile must concise yet be personal to you, don't use clichés... Hard working, reliable etc, as everyone says that, try to show a little of your personality too. Get a friend to read you CV and see if they think it demonstrates all your skills / attributes.
Working on your CV is the best investment in your time for each and every job application you are serious about, tailoring it to show you meet each job ads personal specification.
If you get an interview, practice as many responses to questions that they could ask - reading the job spec fully. Focus on 'I' not 'we' in your answers, if you can't think of relevant work based examples to a question, use something from your personal life, or 'If I were in that position I would...' answers.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.