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My life for half a year and where I am now - I, Comrade

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May 5th, 2012

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09:01 pm - My life for half a year and where I am now
The search for a proper job continues. I've grown disillusioned with almost everything in my life. I completed my Master's degree in History late in August of 2011 and have been searching for work since then.

What I got right away at an insurance company wasn't for me. If it had simply been boring, then I would have stuck it out for a few more months in order to make a bit of money to secure my life. However, I couldn't even do that. It took a physical toll on me, making me feel physically ill every day and leaving me emotionally unstable and with a shattered self confidence. I had to get out quickly. I quit after just over a month.

Next, I got a job in retail, and this is where I am now. The work is more active than the insurance work, which I appreciate, but the fact that I have a Master's degree, have three years of experience teaching in Japan, and double that experience dancing in a company and am now getting paid minimum wage to kiss customers' asses is hard to swallow. I get 4 hours of work per week if I'm lucky. One of my co-workers is a childish, misogynistic jerk, but I have to put up with him because he has seniority. I get treated rudely by some customers who obviously have no respect for other people. Nobody who works there really knows about or really care about what I am interested in, and I find myself having not much to talk about besides whatever is trending in today's world. I can't even afford to house myself or pay the majority of my own bills. I have to borrow money. It's like I'm 4 years old again.

I've been searching for jobs, applying left and right for anything a step up from the most demeaning of jobs for a 30 year old with a good education. In place of job openings I find articles in the newspaper about tens of thousands of jobs being cut after the government revealed its budget. What I do find and apply for I am not qualified to do because of some missing qualification - a TESOL certificate, fluency in French...

The only recourse I may have left is to move back in with my parents. The idea of losing my freedom makes me hurt, but a return to Toronto would take me once again to a bigger world where, one would hope, more opportunities lie in wait. But as I have been searching for work here, I have also been searching for work in Toronto. There is nothing that I am qualified to do.

I can't work in a store that sells sweatshirts for $80.00 anymore. I can't work on Bay Street where all people want is to double their wealth. I want to do something that helps people and that makes a difference in this world. A few weeks ago when I was looking through all the government agencies and companies that I could work for, the IDRC caught my eye, and since applying for that job, I can't stop thinking about what a career in International Development would feel like. Unfortunately, because neither of my degrees are in ID or even International Relations, there are few ID companies that would want to hire me.

The IDRC job app was just a shot in the dark to see if I had the guts to apply. To see if I really wanted it enough. I certainly did want it enough. I spent five hours working on a cover letter to submit for a job I knew I had a 1% chance of getting. I hold absolutely no hopes about getting that job, as I am not exactly what they are looking for. Of *course* I believe that I could do that job with training, but they will not see it that way. But now that I've seen what's out there and what I can do, I can't go back to the regular listings. The Job Bank and Workopolis, while both valuable tools that I hope will soon get me back in some sort of reasonable stream of work, do not show me what I really want to do. Searching NGO and NPO websites helps, but I am filled with dread when the only "career" I'm qualified for is that of noisy, peppy person on the street corner convincing passersby to donate money to a cause. You know, the ones that 90% of the population ignore and walk past.

I want to do work where I handle the results in my hands and am part of the solution to a problem. Where I disseminate the knowledge that helps someone put a meal on his table or gets her a job to support a family. Something that makes me believe I am doing something that is vital to somebody's life and to the world as a whole. Something where I can put my life to a useful purpose.

So here I am, sitting in my apartment on a Saturday night, wallowing in self-pity and guilt, and wishing that I had earned this relaxation after a week of hard, meaningful work. In reality, I did not work today or yesterday, and will not work again till Thursday. In the meantime, I will continue to search for that next step up and not think about how soon I will be 30, jobless, useless, and all the more miserable for it.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
Commie :( I hope you'll be able to find something worthwhile soon. Don't let this bump in the road get you down!
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
Waffle ;_; >3 Thank you! I will keep trekking forth. I have come up with some ways of cheering myself up, to be outlined in a post :P

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