I have been searching for a job since the middle of March this year. I was at University undergoing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Environmental Studies but ceased my studies. The reason I decided to stop wasn’t one that I could control.
In the last few years there have been cuts to the Humanities department and fortunately as a student I hadn’t been affected until now. In my third year at Uni with only a handful of papers to complete the ones I wanted/needed to finish my degree became unavailable because staff were made redundant.
I’m sure some people will say, “Just do the ones that are available and get your degree over and done with” But I was starting to specialise in Environmental History, and wanted to take the environmental history papers that were offered. In my head doing papers that
1) I wasn’t interested in
2) They weren’t tailored to my specialised subject
3) They cost approx. $851.85
is not what I want to be doing. Plus doing academic study in subjects your not interested in will not motivate you in any way, and I don’t want to risk failing any papers.
So I decided to put my studies on hold and go in to the workforce to gain some real-life experience. Alas, it is definitely harder than I thought it would be.
Skip forward to today, the 29th of May. Over two months have passed since I started looking for jobs and I still am unemployed.
I have applied for 60 jobs in total. I have heard back from less than a third of them. I’m even still waiting to hear back from the first job I applied for, although I assume I was unsuccessful.
I have applied for everything I possibly can, from retail to hospitality to office work, to working in the Dunedin Library or at a Bank. I have had one interview with a pharmacy who said they were very impressed with me and my CV and would love if I came in for a trial day. Thrilled of course I accepted, only it didn’t last long. The night before my trial day I received an email stating that circumstances had changed and that I was no longer needed. It was a huge blow to my confidence and also I was confused. Had I done something wrong? It also seemed rude not to ring me and apologize for any inconvenience but that’s how it happened. I’ve moved on.
I went to a recruitment agency who signed me up and said there wasn’t much they could do for me.
I was told my CV didn’t have enough experience on it so they couldn’t really help me at all. I felt like yelling “of course I have no experience, I haven’t been given the chance! I haven’t had the opportunity. I’ve been at school and University for 16 years!” (Note* I do have experience in a Dental Surgery, Gift Shop and as an Au Pair but I guess none of these count??)
I left feeling stupid and inadequate, where I should have left with a sense that this company could help and potentially set me up with a future career. But instead it felt like a backwards step.
I am considering going back to University in second semester of 2017. It’s a very hard decision to make. Yes on one hand I am getting a tertiary education at one of the best universities in the country and hopefully coming out of it with a Degree. But how valuable is that piece of paper? How much will it really change employers perspective of me? I am very likely to be back in the same position I am now, looking for work and hearing nothing back but being another $10’000 in debt.
All throughout the media politicians and business owners are saying that the job market in New Zealand is booming. Steven Joyce the Minister of Finance was quoted by Scoop.co.nz saying “The New Zealand economy has added 35,000 more jobs in the last quarter alone”.
Scoop.co.nz also reported that “The New Zealand employment market remains extremely strong with job listings surging by more than 15 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, according to the analysis of over 65,000 vacancies advertised on Trade Me Jobs.”
Quoted in Stuff.co.nz, Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English is blaming young Kiwis inability to pass a workplace drug test as one of the reasons why they are unemployed. Another reason being that they failed their education and have been lost to the system.
His comments came on the back of a question about why the 140,000 unemployed people in New Zealand couldn’t fill jobs in areas where there are skills shortages.
“They’re telling me they just can’t get people,” he said.
I am in the age bracket of 19-24. I am one of the 140,000 unemployed people in New Zealand. I have never touched drugs in my life and will happily take any drug test. I finished my education with endorsements and University Entrance. I have studied at University for three years. I feel that the government really has no idea what is going on the job market and they are just dismissing the facts and only focusing on those they can make look bad, the easy targets, the unemployed.
I may be under-skilled in many areas. I may not be the ideal candidate. But I think the media and the politicians are kidding themselves when they say the job market is booming but no young Kiwi is willing to work.
Every young Kiwi I know is willing to work hard, and learn and do the best job they can. Many of us are considering staying at University for longer and racking up higher debt to the government because there is simply no one wanting to employ us. There is something seriously wrong with the system and you’d be having a laugh to say otherwise.
Note* I do apologize for my ramblings, but still I hope you enjoyed reading it! Let me know your own experiences in the comments or any tips and tricks you have for CV and Cover letter writing or even in job interviews!
Thanks as always!