Every time I feel depressed about being out of work, there is one song that always lifts my spirit!
“I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love”,
sang the Beatles back in 1964. What a great song! I know what you are thinking. Another boring motivational essay filled with pseudo-optimism. Absolutely no. I’m writing this post to express my lack of luck (pun intended) and if you don’t have a job either and find yourself feeling good after reading this, it will be because you’ll realize that people (me) have it way worse than you, so take it easy.
But first let’s chill out with the song! The Beatles- Can’t Buy Me Love
Quite ironical isn’t it? The Beatles singing a song like that when they were like millionaires? But this is not the point and I love the Beatles anyhow; they worked hard and took risks to make it, so I leave no room for judgment here. But let’s get back to my story. Everything started back in 2011, the year I graduated high school and started college. It was the year that the Greek economical crisis surfaced (I am Greek by the way). Little did I understand about all these, so I started my academic education more optimistic than ever. My major was English Language and Literature.
I used to dream about an English literature master in a British university or postgraduate studies on theatre and cinema (a huge Shakespeare devotee!). I was so naïve. My parents explained to me over and over again that after college I would have to find a job. I was OK with that, but “that” was not OK with me. My ideal plan was to finish college, find a job (any job), raise some money, since I would be living under my parents’ roof and protection, and then try my luck abroad. I even subscribed to a British job research site to receive job applications from the UK. I was so over the top and couldn’t care less.
So for 3 years I rocked and rolled, not worrying about a thing, only dreaming of my bright future! I travelled a lot, I joined a theatrical group, met new people and life was so fabulous!!! On my senior year my mum made it clear that I had to start looking for a job or at least filling in my resume. I did not fight her; instead I took up a volunteering position as an English teacher for a few months to please her. Then I completed my college internship, again as an English teacher. I never dreamed of becoming a teacher in the first place, but at least I got something to put in my resume and a few money deposits on my bank account.
The end to the most exciting period in my life was coming down on me really fast. That summer of 2015 was the summer that I started looking for a job. A few months went by, a bunch of resumes were sent and I got not a single response. I start panicking. What the fuck? I thought it would be pretty easy. I had such confidence when I gave my first resume to BENETTON for the position of the sales assistant. I was young, good-natured, educated and easy on the eyes. I thought that was all it would take. Then, followed ZARA, TOMMY HILFIGER and many others, but still I got nothing. I started answering ads, but still nothing came out of it.
I decided to postpone my graduation for one last semester. I needed more time; I couldn’t face adult life yet. I took up some more theatre classes and started fashion design seminars, anything to keep me busy and make me feel useful, creative and productive. My first interview came in late November of the same year from an electronic chain store. I was so nervous I totally blew it. They called me back for a try-out which I also messed up and of course I didn’t get the job. I continued searching and applying non-stop. I attended job fairs, worked on my resume and explored new options. I got an interview with INDITEX and I even auditioned a couple times for TV commercials (don’t get excited- they were supermarket commercials and even there, I didn’t get picked).
However, little by little all these obstacles made me stronger. I started finding myself and acknowledging my talents and potentials. Fashion Design became my obsession and my ultimate dream. I created four collections, did tons of amazing fashion research and even created my first very own garment! But I had no means to pursue fashion studies; I needed a job and I needed it fast.
And then, I got my first job or better else, I experienced a complete failure. This experience made me hate employers, sales and work in general. I was hired after three interviews in an eyewear store, only to be fired a week later. I was crushed. I couldn’t understand what I did wrong since they spent no time training me or even explaining anything to me. I performed every little task they asked me to. Soon enough I found out that it was a common procedure for them to hire a new girl every week and then giving her the sacks, so that she wouldn’t have any working rights (health insurance, etc.). It made me sick. It took a while to find myself and get back on track.
Meanwhile, I graduated from college and decided to search for a teaching job now that I had my degree. I had the experience and the qualifications and considered that the conditions would be much better if I worked as a teacher. I have already told you about my luck so you can easily imagine that the only interview I got was from a small English private school run by horrible unprofessional people with no work ethic at all. They knew nothing about teaching, asked me inappropriate questions (how much money do you think you deserve? And how good do you think you are?), offered me the humiliating salary of 60 Euros per month and informed me that I could receive generous bonuses if and only if every single student of mine would come hug me and kiss me during the breaks and offer me presents such as flowers, drawings, etc. I thought they were kidding, but alas they weren’t. Then, they left me in a classroom waiting for 2 hours because they simply forgot about me. They called me after a month to offer me the job and provided me with a book (a student’s not a teacher’s book and without any PC software material) and asked me to make a syllabus for the whole year. I struggled to do it and when I asked them for some clarifications, they couldn’t give me any. They told me on which date I would start teaching, but they never called me back. And when I called them, they said they wouldn’t work with me without giving me any explanations. I was devastated but also relieved.
A few weeks later I started working as a private tutor and a translator which meant little money, tons of work and no security, but I had no other choice (it was over a year now since I had entered the job hunt). If you think that’s the end of my troubles you couldn’t be more wrong. A few weeks after I started teaching, I lost my father. I’m not gonna talk about the loss and the pain, I am not writing a melodrama here. Let’s just say that this is the black year 2016, where all the rock stars drop like flies and my father was definitely rock star material! The only thing I will say is that I started looking for a job again, but not to fulfill my dreams anymore, only to support my family.
The story goes on pretty much the same. I gave a couple of interviews in another English private school. It was a little boost for my confidence, but nothing more. And then I got another fake interview. I answered an ad asking for a secretary. They called me back and gave me instructions for their office that led me to a deserted place. Literary, I followed their instructions and found myself in an abandoned place, surrounded by demolished buildings and a couple of whore houses. They had told me to call them back if I couldn’t find it. I just ran. I know… It would make a fine script, wouldn’t it?
What I mean to tell you is that it’s perfectly fine if you keep failing to find a job. You are not the only one and really it’s not your fault. We are living in very strange times but even if life is hard, we are harder. I didn’t just fail; I learnt a lot and became much stronger. It takes determination, courage and self-confidence to achieve your dreams. I honestly believe that having a job while lacking these wouldn’t do me any good. Money means nothing if you don’t have a purpose in life. All these difficulties gave me time to realize what I want and to find more meaningful reasons to be happy. I won’t lose my smile or any more time feeling bad about myself. I won’t give up, because the more good vibes you put out, the more good vibes you get back.
And that is the meaning of a swinging rock and roll lifestyle! Because the most important thing is how you see yourself, not how others view you. If you feel like a failure, then everyone will feel sorry for you. I am fabulous with or without a job and strong enough to face any future difficulties. And even if life is not good to you, be good to yourself. Put yourself out there, take risks, smile, be generous, appreciate and enjoy all the beautiful little things you are blessed to have in your life. And above all, love passionately and admirably.