I’ve been home for more than a month now and I suddenly realised that the plan I’d made for myself before I left the country has completely been ignored. Not entirely ignored but not exactly carried out.
The first issue on my return was my realisation that I’m no longer in a gap year. I haven’t settled into an apprenticeship, an internship or more education, let alone a career. I haven’t even entirely decided what I want to do over the coming years. Unfortunately, this is the time when my friends have started to make decisions for the rest of their lives and I feel pretty much left behind.
My second issue involves my lack of career choice. I wanted to find a job quickly, almost regardless of what it actually involved. I’m still young so it’s not as though I can’t experiment with career paths so I’m not overly concerned with what field I work in. Working with young people is obviously preferable and, for a good couple of weeks, I felt like this had put a set of blinkers on me. Although I’ve since applied to plenty (and have a few interviews already), when I first started applying, if I didn’t think I could do one or two of the job aspects I wouldn’t apply. This has meant that I must have missed out on several opportunities. It took a long talk with my parents about it being alright to not be certain right now to encourage my confidence.
I suppose that’s what a lot of job applications are about. If you haven’t got the confidence to apply to something you want to do then you’re not going to get it. Faking confidence is something that I’ve been doing since I was sixteen and it helps if nothing else. This fake confidence lead to me applying for positions I’d never have dreamed about even looking into a year ago. Self belief is a great thing and even pretending that you have it can make a difference.
My third issue is money. Not really having a job means that I haven’t got any income. The tiny amount of cash flow I have was actually generated by my birthday. You need money for the obvious reasons but I want to finally move out of my parent’s house, I want to buy a new car, I want to get a new computer, I want to travel more… it’s pretty selfish. I also want to get rid of that student debt though. Although it’s not a major issue and I know it’ll be paid off when I’m earning a reasonable amount, it’s something that I’m accutely aware of. That’s probably because of my family’s debts though; I know that they’re better paid off sooner rather than later.
The forth and final issue pretty much encompasses all the problems. As I looked into youth work, it became apparent that although I have a Bachelers Degree, I haven’t got the right qualifications for working in certain sectors with young people. This could mean that I’ll have to either take another NVQ, which feels like taking a step back on the education ladder, or going back to university. Neither of these options make me feel especially enthused. I’ve spent a year out of learning and I don’t particularly want to end up back in a classroom. I’ve also spent more than year building on my work experience voluntarily and, although I know otherwise, it almost feels wasted.
It’s been an awkward month, filled primarily with unknowing. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more positive things as they come to light.