Conditions of Human Life #1 – Rejection

Snapshot of my current life:

“Hello Lynsey, this is so-and-so from the job interview you attended this morning. I wanted to say how lovely it was to meet you and thank you for all the work you put into preparing for the interview. As you will have gathered the quality of candidates, including yourself, was extremely high. We had a really difficult decision, but unfortunately on this occasion……”

You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live.  ~William Shakespeare

UK unemployment rose by 80,000 in the three months to July this year to 2.51 million, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). That is  the largest increase in nearly two years. The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in August rose by 20,300 – a smaller rise than July’s 33,700 increase – to 1.58 million. Youth unemployment rose sharply – by 78,000 to 973,000.

Within my own folder on my computer I counted nearly one hundred completed and sent application forms, not even counting online application forms of which there have been ridiculous amounts. I started looking for work in January while still overseas at my last employment having decided not to renew my contract. Nearly ten months later, with various shortlists and interviews under my belt, not to mention obscene amounts of money having been spent to get myself to and from said interviews, I still sit here unemployed.

This is the first time I have been without work since the age of seventeen. From my waitressing and barista early days to my more professional career recently – there has always been a paycheck at the end of the month. Having gained a degree followed by a Postgraduate Professional Diploma, I am considered a professional. A fully qualified teacher with General Teaching Council registration and qualified teaching status, not to mention five years of experience, and still I cannot secure employment………because I am one of hundreds of unemployed professionals in the UK right now. Teaching is not the only profession affected –  I have heard of lawyers who were once partners now applying for paralegal positions, graduates working in McDonalds, nurses trying to get extra cash through working in bars on their days off. Somehow being ‘overqualified’ has become the biggest stumbling block and a perfect descriptor for the joys of unemployment in the UK.

The continued pattern of either rejection emails or letters, or interviews to raise your hopes followed swiftly by a rejection, has the ability to break your spirit. It is important to reflect following a rejection, but when faced with rejection #75 you can’t help but feel the introspection is turning slowly but surely into a form of self-hatred. Despite having been told you are highly skilled, a great candidate, or that you would be an asset to the company, you are still faced with no paycheck, no validation, and the same amounts of money pouring out of your quickly diminishing savings.

Cessation of work is not accompanied by cessation of expenses.  ~ Cato the Elder

As of last year, the average UK personal debt was £9731, not including mortgages.  Even when the money isn’t coming into the bank accounts at the end of the month, the reality is, with credit card repayments, student loan repayments, and the horrific increase in the cost of living over the last decade, what little money remains to tide us over in our bank accounts is draining slowly but very steadily away.

With the world in the grip of one of the worst financial crisis’ in years, it is hard to stay positive and motivated. Headlines bombard you on a daily basis. Debt consolidation companies advertise on daytime television. Not to mention the ‘quick quid’ loan schemes that hundreds of people may be falling for in the face of financial pressure.

Even so, as I open up recruitment pages for the tenth time today, and start another application process from scratch, the little voice in my head keeps telling me to not give up. And the little gremlins in my bank account remind me that I absolutely can’t give up.

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