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At the age of ten life seems simple, it's all about running jumping and climbing trees. By eighteen you have discovered the opposite sex, alcohol and nightclubs. By twenty five you are your own person, confident and full of life. Suddenly you hit thirty. You find yourself questioning your choices from the years that have past, feeling slightly left on the shelf, wondering where your life is heading, juggling family and friends and faced with ever aging parents. You are not alone, welcome to 30 years and countinga sideways look at life in your thirties.

Welcome to the scrapheap Tom

Today then marks a new start in the life of my friend Tom. Today he is quiting his job. I quit mine a few years ago and have been stuck in limbo ever since. However unlike me who quit because I was really unhappy Tom at least a plan to start a new business. Well good luck to him I say. I am sure it will all work out in the end. Meanwhile I continue on the fast track to nowhere. So what is life like when you are unemployed?

For sometime now I have been unemployed and to be honest it is horrible. There are plenty of people who are happy to live off handouts and who see being on jobseekers allowance as a career choice. Then there are the rest of us who all try really hard to find work but seem to be fighting an endless up hill battle.

I made this video a little while back as a short look at what it feels like to be in this situation (yes it is a bit long but stick with it. If you get through all of me talking the ending is much better. Trust me!).

For some people this is their job choice; living off state handouts. Sure for the first few months it was nice. You don't have to get up early, you get to play lots of computer games and take in the delights of daytime television but after a while if you are actually lookingfor a job it just becomes really frustrating and harder to keep your moral up. Despite the popular opinion of my parents I would love to get a job; the extra income alone would be nice. The trouble is it is not as easy as just going out and getting a new one. I apply for loads of jobs and most of the time you never hear anything back, not even a nice no thank you letter.

There are a number of reasons why I am struggling so much to find a new job. The most obvious is of course the fact that the world is currently going through the worst economic downturn for almost a century. Unemployment figures are still rising every week and with the talk of further government cut backs over the next year it doesn’t look like things will be getting much better soon. The job market then is an over saturated place with the simple fact being there just are not enough jobs to go round. To give an example recently a well known supermarket in the area advertised for five shop workers, they got over 15,000 applications. Enough said.

The second problem which I keep hitting time and time again is my education. In particular not the lack of it but rather that I am overly qualified. You see I have a degree in Forensic science and the moment I try and apply for any sort of shop job or manual unskilled position I simply get told that I am over qualified. On the opposite end of the scale if I try to apply for skilled positions where my education might play a role I find myself competing with the mass of university leavers from last year (dubbed by the government and press as the lost generation due to the fact there are no jobs for them) who in turn have their newly acquired knowledge fresh in their minds whereas mine is rather rusty. Not to mention of course that given the current economical situation no companies want to spend money on training.

Finally I find myself the wrong side of twenty five. It sounds kind of silly but the employment law in this country means that employers must pay over twenty fives more than those under it. As such whenever I try to apply for a basic wage position I’m already costing the employer more that it would to employ some eighteen year old. As one supermarket manager told me when I enquired about a part time job; “I wouldn’t even consider you. You are over qualified which means you won’t stay and you cost me more to employ. Save your pen ink”. Nice!

And so I find myself leaping from application to application striving to find a job. The truth is it is demoralising, frustrating and heartbreaking. You feel unwanted, useless and start to question your own self worth. So despite popular opinion I hate it.

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