Thoughts On: Employment


Finishing your first year of Uni with good results must feel like a great achievement. Finally! You get to come home and relax over the whole Christmas and New Year holiday period, life will feel easy again: drinking, partying, hanging with friends, pursuing hobbies and all that. Some decent R&R before kicking into the next year.

But it’s then you realize… You won’t be doing a lot of that. Oh dear, it seems over the course of the entire year you’ve wracked up an awfully large sum of Student Debt, and it’s only your first year as well! You also realize as you get home, you barely have any savings left after all the money you spent on booze and take-outs. You have no money, and now is the time where you really need it. It seems like you’re going to have to go find work!

And that is precisely what I’ve been doing.

I really enjoyed my first year, things went smoothly and I gained insight into subjects I previously hadn’t paid any mind to. The trouble was, even with my tight spending, the costs of resources and other occurrences whittled away at least a grand out of my own savings. Plus now I have a pretty hefty Student Debt looming over me for the foreseeable future. I knew straight away I would be needing to find a job when I arrived home. But it had been a whole year since I was last in work, and I had gotten used to Freshman life. I grew sort of anxious at the prospect of cleaning myself up and heading out into my local area to find something. But nevertheless it had to be done.

A few weeks before arriving home, I’d already sorted out my CV and Cover Letters. I started having to search the web for work in my area, basically trying to apply where ever I could for positions that I thought would suit me. I even rung up my local book store franchise, asking if it would be okay to get my Mum to drop in a CV for me, as I was stuck in Hamilton. It was definitely one of the places I wanted to work the most out of all of my options, but I thought they would probably snub me off for not personally applying. Either way I had no choice, and hoped I’d get a response.

By the time I got home at the start of November, most of the applications I made were quiet, no responses (apart from the two Job Agencies I accidentally applied to). I carried on applying while at home, going for anything I thought viable for me. By this time my little brother had begun his first job, and was quite busy with his shifts while juggling school exams. I was left a little disheartened after the only responses left from applications were emails of polite rejection.

I saw things might turn around, when I suddenly got a phone call for an interview from one of my applications. I was all giddy and nervous, with it being my first interview in about four years. I ended up over-dressing, but the interview went well. My only trouble was that within the same afternoon I was rung up again from the same place, saying someone else had the position. What a bummer. But they wanted to keep me on to sign up for other available positions in the future. I stuck with them, did all the inductions and safety training videos. The only trouble was that it was rough looking industrial and manual labour work, at waste management sites and port warehouses. Even then, I was barely offered anything, I decided to go out for further applications elsewhere.

By now I felt I really was within the doldrums. My money was slowly whittling away as well, as I paid for car gas and groceries. Plus I could tell I was coming across as a waste of space. I had this feeling that if I didn’t get something by December, I would have to go on the dole, which I didn’t want to do. But it was an option.

Then by a miracle chance. I was rung up by the book store, almost a month after I applied. They sounded really keen to get me in for an interview. And I likewise was keen to go to it. After that, all I can say was that everything went really well. The interview was probably the most relaxed I’ve ever had, and within the next few days I was in the uniform doing my first few shifts. Suddenly the winds of opportunity had cast me out of the doldrums. I was elated.

So now I’m here, one of my days off, blabbering away on here. I realize I might come across as gloating or smug about it. And quite frankly I don’t want to offer to those still struggling to find something an empty tagline, like ‘just keep looking :)’. It’s not very helpful. I suppose all I can say is this: apply for as many places as you can; try whenever you can to personally go in or chat to the employers you’re looking to join up with; make your CV look like you’re able and keen to work; and if you can, use some good referential contacts – it doesn’t have to be job-related, just someone who knows or has seen you working hard at something.

Now the challenge is to save up what I make over the Christmas and New Year period, without spending it all before heading back to Uni. Show me the money!


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