Underemployment and the new reality

Underemployment and the new reality

I have talked about sticking out from the crowd, the indignity of constant temporary work, and the failings in the treatment of carers by family and state in previous posts, which you are welcome to go through from the news tab.


Today, I am going to talk about the years following graduation.


When I graduated, I already had a successful career under my belt, and had run a business.  This made me unemployable for several reasons:

Desperation for a new career
Being a threat to middle managers responsible for recruiting trainees
The perceived likelihood of my staying only until I found a better job
My location, even in a major city in Scotland

I can say this with confidence for several reasons:

I was obsessed with work to the point of working three jobs at a time for the sheer hell of it
I had enjoyed an almost 100 percent success rate at interview in my first career
Since I had got to the top of that rather limited career ladder it was clear that work was a priority

Several reasons were given for my lack of attractiveness as an employee:

Why would I want to work alongside graduates ten years younger than me?
Why didn’t I have a family on the go in my thirties? (they would also have rejected me if I had)
Too much experience

One employer became irate, because I quickly applied for jobs which did not require a degree, and which I would have got easily without it.  I applied for a job typing this guy’s letters twice, and eventually he chased me away on the grounds that I was more qualified than he was.


I did apply all over the UK for the first year or two, and as my father became more unwell, and my mother showed no signs of really understanding the responsibility she was attempting to bear, I eventually shrunk the geographical region to the one I was in.  Even with these restrictions, I managed to keep myself in temporary and part-time work until 2014.  Fortunately this coincided with my mother requiring more in the way of attention.


Obviously, in the course of all this mobility, I met a lot of people and worked my way through a number of industries, which made my CV rather messy.  Basically, my view was that earning money and doing something was better than focusing on one industry and being unemployed.  I am not what you would call a lazy person.  When you are fielding 30 rejection letters a day, at times, and working in jobs which will only last a week or two you have little time to do anything apart from secure more work.  It is amazing how many companies and agencies expect you to participate in not one but two interview processes for a two week job.


As you can see from this, an economy which is strictly aimed at benefit to business does not allow individuals to get a mortgage, commit themselves to loans of any kind, or to spend any money, since you have to ensure that you have enough in the bank to see you through to the next job.  On one notable occasion when this did not work, I tried to extend my credit card, which I had restricted the limit on myself, in order to get to work to pay the next month’s bills, and was told that I could not do this as I had placed a limit on my credit rating. This astonished me.  Being careful with money rules you out for money to get to work to pay the bills.


Employment agencies are yet another way of putting you another layer of administration away from gaining employment.  I was told by one agency that agreeing to temporary work meant that they would not consider you for permanent work as the bonuses for the staff would come in more frequently if you filled the small jobs.  If you are in this position, it is wise to identify the agencies in your local area which provide the most temporary work, and register for permanent work only on all the others.


Broadly speaking, however, you would be well advised to develop a second career online, using the means at your disposal.  Zoella and Pewdiepie are two examples of people who provide inane yet extremely popular videos for a living, which not only provide for them using youtube hits, but the goods and fees they can command from companies wishing to promote their product.  Bear in mind if you choose this route, that your face is your fortune.  Ina, if she had a face, would probably have another twelve thousand or so followers on youtube, but since she has no face, the hits on audio work are minimal.


Instagram is very important now, if you want to go down this route.  Mobile apps generally are winning over aging social media such as facebook and twitter, although I see that facebook has finally caught on and is vaguely threatening to let us see our friends’ and family posts again.  Personally, I do not exist under my real name online, as far as I am aware, so Ina is my primary identity these days.


From a governance perspective, having a vast number of underemployed and demotivated people is not wise, since they will inevitably spend their time looking at what is going on in the rest of the world. Telling them that it is their fault, no matter what set of circumstances affects their opportunities and future, does not actually help them get anywhere at all, in the same way that benefiting only those with savings and investments does not stimulate local economies.  Scotland is not the only part of the UK which has seen local economies decline due to a lack of interest from central government in doing anything at all for anywhere outside their personal interest area.  David Cameron’s famous letter of complaint to his local council is a case in point.  Sitting in Westminster, it simply did not occur to him that his country pile would be affected by his own cuts to local government spending.


Living in a country where your government consists of fallible people, rather than advisory teams working from accurate statistics (much of the statistics they are fond of quoting are now provided by private companies, who are unable to attain accurate samples since they are pressuring their staff to be inventive to keep the paperwork looking good) is not fun if you can see how and why the decline in your quality of life and future is happening.  It means that you seek change, and when change happens, it has the potential to improve your hopeless case.  I caught the Panorama programme on leave voters this evening, and a guy who could barely string a sentence together was complaining that 14 pounds an hour was not enough for him.  Oh how I laughed.


As I was saying in my previous few posts, the previous two decades or so have separated politics from the people they claim to represent, and the views that they hold, to the point that they have no idea how people are affected by their decisions, and they either do not care, or do not know, how people feel about those decisions.


It is my view that we should make the Brexit and Chilcott events the end of this dubious period in British history.  Understand that you are just as capable as the politicians you complain about, so that there is nothing to stop you replacing them.  Understand that the media is feeding you a line, and that it is up to you to pursue the truth.  Prepare yourselves for a more serious, and yet more progressive way of looking at the world, because ignoring what little power you have means that you only have yourself to blame when it all goes wrong.  Filling yourself full of consumer information rather than the information you need to reach your own potential will lead to the ideocracy that we should all fear.  Unless you are choosing to be the next Zoella, it is not useful to be more concerned about bath bombs than bombs in Istanbul or Bangladesh.



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