To anyone feeling like everybody else has landed their dream job and is giddily climbing the ladder of success, you should realize this is such a huge cry from reality. Scrolling through social media might give you that impression – all the while making you feel increasingly envious, wallowing, and self-doubting, but know that it’s about as real as Made in Chelsea.
From having real conversations with real friends, I know that behind every shiny exterior is a mirror that’s been broken into smithereens — from countless rejections, people shitting all over their dreams, and complete and utter injustice at the work place.
What really hardens the blow is that early on we’re lulled into a sense of false security. The idea is presented that if you work hard, achieve well academically, and show determination, you will of course find yourself in a good job.
In reality, however, jobs aren’t always what you expected — or what they were portrayed to be. Even when it appears someone has ‘made it,’ the reality might very well be that they are bitterly miserable inside and dream of an escape. Remember, there are so many reasons for someone to be unhappy in their job, from salary and general working conditions to work bullies or a system of favoritism.
My post university employment has been nothing short of career chaos. The highest paying job I’ve had to date bored me to insanity. I now know how unbelievably shit it feels to contribute nothing and get paid for it.
I actually found myself to be highly stressed at this period, because I felt like my life was just fluttering away before my eyes – and being young, energetic, and filled with enthusiasm, my urge to flee that situation and start using any ounce of potential I possessed was all-consuming.
In my desperation, I took an absolutely diabolical job on the streets of Manchester. What was described as ‘Events Marketing’ translated to harassing pedestrians for their contact details to forward onto companies.
I then took a waitressing job and the hard, honest work felt a lot better than my previous two positions. Not long after, I landed a glamorous marketing job in which after a few months I was cut, because a senior employee who never even worked with me complained to the CEO about my attitude. I’ve since found work which I’m grateful to have, although I can’t lie and say I’ve found my ‘dream job’.
One thing I know for sure after my whirlwind year of post-university employment is that anybody who thinks they’re better than someone in a lower status job is a complete and utter deluded douchebag.
Having jobs at the ‘bottom of the pile’ and seeing how intelligent, witty, and hard-working people at that level are, is most definitely humbling. And in all honesty, if I ever get a ‘high status’ job, I will know it’s because I was economically privileged enough to go to university, I kept driving for it, and I got lucky – not because I’m the slightest bit better than someone lower down the chain.
The world of work is rife with bureaucracy, prejudice, shallowness, exploitation, and to be honest a lot of other negative things. I don’t want to sound bitter and I don’t want to scare anybody, but it’s just the reality, and maybe if those entering the world of work know all the injustices they will have to tackle, they will be all the better for it.
Expect to have to face a shitstorm of challenges. It’s a battlefield and every single person will need courage, faith, and resilience just to float above water.
Never give up pursuing your deepest ambitions, just be prepared for a bumpy ride. And maybe you won’t end up where you originally wanted to be, but as long as you keep believing in yourself and striving for what makes you happy, you will most definitely have many achievements to look back on.