*where Lolita is the diminutive form of Lola, itself a diminutive form of Dolores. Dolores = suffering.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Down with the system?

This endless tirade of job and university applications is getting dull, and it's really old news.

Should it be this hard for a young person to do something with his or her life?

I've got a theory. It goes like this:

We've been made to believe that doing all of our boss' donkey work during an unpaid internship will get us places. We've been made to genuinely think that we have to go through hours of filing and handling crates and staring blankly at a computer screen till our eyes hurt before we can actually put any real skills to work. We've been made to think that we HAVE to work unpaid overtime without complaining or asking not to (sometimes) in case we might get 'sacked' or told off.

So it's really fine, they tell us, if our jobs are boring as f***, tedious as hell, and use approximately 5% of our skill set, the 5% that was acquired way before our graduation from decent universities, round about the time we learnt to write an essay at primary school.

I've always been a hard worker. I don't mind hard work. I like it.
But this process just seems to be asking too much while often offering very little.
The applications are harder than the job itself.

And also, what stupid applications.

How on earth will you figure out whether I'm a suitable candidate for a job, if I tell you that 'I was president of the Pain-In-the-Ass society at university where I learnt how to manage a team and honed my leadership skills'? Or that 'I enjoy eating food, going to the cinema, and alpine skiing'. Everyone does, you idiot. Do these people want banality and uniformity? 'Cause I can't imagine how there could be an interesting answer to the question: 'Tell us of a time when you worked in a team'. Unless you're a fucking NASA astronaut, in which case you don't need their 'Analyst' job to excite you in the first place.

Note that  words that indicate the slightest glimmer of passion on the applicant's behalf are disposed of - I often find myself censoring the word 'love' from applications even if it is an accurate reflection of my feelings about rope-skipping-in-my-underwear-at-4am-in-the-morning, which I FUCKING LOVE AND COULD AT LEAST HANDLE DOING ALL DAY BY THE WAY THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

'I was attracted to Capital-Markets-Analysts-Forever-Finance-Bank-LLP because of its longstanding reputation and its work ethic' basically translates to 'You're rich I want your money'. Isn't the former what everyone says, and the latter what everyone actually means? Unless you're applying for something mega-cool, like being an underwater photographer for National Geographic in Belize in which case your application is genuine PASSION.

Why aren't there more jobs like that or, to be more precise, why are people being PUT OFF from applying for something less conventional, more artsy or more adventurous? Is it because anything other than a City firm is deemed to be a failure? Is an entry-level journalist less successful than an entry-level accountant? And what is this obsession with big firms that will give your CV that extra umph that will make the next big firm hire you easily? Is that my sole option? Rationally thinking, I know it isn't. But it often seems to be the only choice!

Some may say that I'm part of that disgruntled group of people that moan because I haven't got a job and that if I had one I'd be perfectly content and actually doing what I have just said I hate doing. But I've tried answering the questions, I've tried saying 'why I want to be a lawyer', or 'why I want to be a consultant' and failed miserably at it. It's not an issue of incompetency. I've been deemed quite competent on a few occasions. The problem seems to lie within what it is that I am competent in, or what I am willing to become competent in. And I find myself inflexible when faced with options such as banking, legal services, audit, consultancy, marketing etc. I might not remain so for long - time and years of unemployment may break me at some point.

But for now I want to try and be what I want to be. What I really want to be, what I've always wanted to be. I might not have found what that is yet, but that is irrelevant. All I know is that there's a world of alternative possibilities out there that might seem 'risky' and 'stupid' and occasion comments such as 'what the hell is she doing she is wasting herself', but hey, somebody's got to do it.

If they didn't, we wouldn't have brilliant journalists to admire, or film stars to marvel at, or dancers to be fascinated with, or musicians to passionately listen to, or writers to be inspired by. And what kind of world would that be anyway?


  1. Hi all,
    have a great day.


  2. argyro mou I really enjoyed reading your blog! keep it up and keep posting :)