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Pulled a sickie- now feel neurotic about work situation Watch

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    Okay so before you all jump all over me with abuse let me explain.

    I've been unhappy with my job for a while- albeit- I've only worked there since Mid-March of this year, and it was only intended as a way of making money. Prior to that I was working in the catering industry as a kitchen porter and similarly unhappy due to the dead-endness, the min wage and the controlling boss. I left that job to be here for personal reasons.

    Feels like out of the frying pan and into the fire now...

    I've suffered from depression and social anxiety for a very long time, and it comes and goes- I've had therapy private and NHS. I'm in process of registering with GP, but they are taking their time in getting back to me- as they want to do a health assessment pre-registration. I want to get back on meds and sort myself out.

    Anyhow, on to my job; I've been miserable with it, and sort of settled because I can't find anything in my degree area. It is hard, as many grads can relate. I'm still sending job applications off as we speak. The job is degrading, managers are horrible and I detest going in everyday. Its hard getting up in morning and wish I could pause time and sleep eternally.

    Every morning is a battle to not phone in sick.

    Any how, last night I had a few drinks on my own (perhaps one to many)- this morning I felt rough. Not massively hung over, but sick. This coupled with the notion of not wanting to go in, and feeling down was enough.

    I rang up and told work I was ill. I've got my upcoming shifts covered. I just feel so guilty because others now have to pick up my slack so to speak- and while I feel its unfair, I just cant be asked with work anymore.

    I guess its guilt really. Despite what it may seem, I have a good work ethic, I'm just massively screwed up.

    What would you all suggest?

    p.s. please keep anonymous as I don't want to risk anything.
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    BUMP...
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    not much you can do about it now... personally I think if you hate your job you just can't allow yourself to take days off just because you can't be bothered or it will turn into a habit... so try and fix it now, stop worrying about the repercussions and just focus on not doing it again... also, try and find the positives in your workplace, nowhere is perfect and many people are stuck in jobs that are less than ideal but you'll be much happier if you focus on what is good rather than bad
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    1. Stop drinking on your own. It's a recipe for disaster.

    2. Apply for new jobs NOW and get out of your current one ASAP. It doesn't have to be a grad job that you go to next - baby steps! Just get another job doing something that doesn't make you this miserable.

    3. Look ahead to the future and decide what you want to do long term and work on moving towards a goal. You're a graduate - you deserve better than this. I know because I've experienced similar things as a graduate and now I'm doing something better. Don't let anyone tell you that it's wrong to aspire to more ''just because you have a degree'' - be ambitious, know your worth, and don't apologize for it.

    It's really hard but you have to motivate yourself to get out of this situation before it overpowers you and you end up doing jobs you hate for the long term. Break the cycle and do your best to use your degree. There are grad schemes that only take 'recent' grads but there are also schemes that don't care how long ago you graduated or even if you got a 2:2 - look at the Civil Service and TfL. KEEP TRYING. In the mean time, get relevant experience - arrange your own work experience for roles that interest you.

    I hope things improve for you, but you really need to look after yourself - quit the drinking, get enough sleep and good food/exercise and plan what you're going to do to get out of this situation.
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    (Original post by KatieBlogger)
    1. Stop drinking on your own. It's a recipe for disaster.

    2. Apply for new jobs NOW and get out of your current one ASAP. It doesn't have to be a grad job that you go to next - baby steps! Just get another job doing something that doesn't make you this miserable.

    3. Look ahead to the future and decide what you want to do long term and work on moving towards a goal. You're a graduate - you deserve better than this. I know because I've experienced similar things as a graduate and now I'm doing something better. Don't let anyone tell you that it's wrong to aspire to more ''just because you have a degree'' - be ambitious, know your worth, and don't apologize for it.

    It's really hard but you have to motivate yourself to get out of this situation before it overpowers you and you end up doing jobs you hate for the long term. Break the cycle and do your best to use your degree. There are grad schemes that only take 'recent' grads but there are also schemes that don't care how long ago you graduated or even if you got a 2:2 - look at the Civil Service and TfL. KEEP TRYING. In the mean time, get relevant experience - arrange your own work experience for roles that interest you.

    I hope things improve for you, but you really need to look after yourself - quit the drinking, get enough sleep and good food/exercise and plan what you're going to do to get out of this situation.
    Thank you so much for your kind words- it means a lot to not have someone jump down my throat and simply judge me.

    I guess I am a bit fed up really, and want to get on the ladder and do a job that is related to my degree. I've had other jobs like the one I'm in before and it just seems like an endless cycle of these sorts of jobs, and the feeling I get is becoming insurmountable.

    I mean, most people they just get up in a morning and get on with it- whether they are a fast food worker (like me) or a refuse collector. It doesn't phase them, they collect a pay-check by the end of the week- buys the necessities and a bit extra. This is a way of life that many are okay with, and I guess it was okay for the Sixteen year old me, I'm now Twenty-Five post university, a graduate, struggling to navigate in the real world.

    Yeah, I've had the coffee shop jobs, the hotelier/housekeeping ones, and now I'm in fast food. I'm just wondering when this will end- i'm sat thinking 'is this life'- philosophically.

    In real terms, I am struggling with finding work due to my lack of experience, and also social anxiety is preventing me from pushing myself, as I don't feel good enough, or feeling like I will embarrass myself. Something has switched in my head since University- I guess in part, the realisation that the real world and what I was taught does not align- and a 16 year old school leaver has more practicable work experience than me.

    With regard my current job, yes it is dire. The worst kind there is. Managers shout at you in the most possible degrading way. People are illiterate and lack intelligence, and working in such an environment saps the energy from you. People do not listen to me at all, and like the sound of their own voices, and don't realise that it is important to listen to others view to form a much better understanding- they might arrive to a better conclusion- whereas University encouraged that.

    There was that criticality involved, and I just feel i'm working with a load of uninformed idiots. The most exciting thing they did last night is win a bet down the betting shop, or got smashed at a works do.

    As much as I'd like to apply for another coffee shop job, or hotel job- I'm just sick of meeting people- such as in the aforementioned- that it gets like old news. My last job wasn't so bad because the hotel was in an affluent area, and many of the adolescence working there were Uni students, A-level students who had dreams of going on to med school or whatever- so the conversation was intelligible and interesting. Not just about mundane rubbish or whether Man Utd won over the weekend.

    What I'm saying is I'm more of the intellectual sort, but not so much on the extreme end. I'm not a Mathematician or a Scientist- I'm in the Arts- but I thrive off of intellectual debate, enjoy politics and talking about matters that matter.

    I agree, I do deserve better- and not to sound entitled I reckon I have had my fair share of work experience (speaking for many others too) in such jobs- that, I think its time I tried to push the boat out more and not have to suffer any longer.

    Sorry I sound so depressive and hopeless here- but seriously this is how I feel.

    I looked into Civil Service schemes and they sound rather interesting. I have a degree in the creative arts, and while this could be attributed to the reason why I feel many employers outside my field won't take me on- 'Mickey Mouse'- I have tried looking into schemes that are both relevant and flexible. One or two of those schemes within the CS such as communications did appeal to me, however the deadline has passed.

    I think what I'm saying is that- I feel a bit hopeless at getting a job in my own field, through the fact I lack experience, so I've briefly thought about going outside my industry. But with a liberal/creative arts degree I feel i'd have less chance. I.e. most people that take career changes that are successful usually come from having degrees or solid experience in Business, Banking, Sciences, or Law.

    The other side to that is that, I feel in moving outside industry my degree is a waste or rather was.

    I haven't looked into TfL yet- as I reside in the North- but I'll take a look over that.

    I have considered going back into education for postgraduate study since I'm the intellectual sort, however, to be a lecturer would require confidence that I don't have. That added to social anxiety would be a bad idea. I had seriously considered research roles within academia, lecturer roles, research assistant etc., although because of a previous blemish on my criminal record I think it'd be hard to get a job within that 'ivory tower'. Surprised I got this far to be honest.

    I may try my luck with a grad scheme in something completely unrelated.

    Thank you for your kindness again, I'm hoping to make headway with my mood, and expect to feel better soon.
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    You don't have to apologize for your mood - it's completely understandable in the circumstances that you're in and I can really empathize. Reading your post just then was like listening to myself a few years ago. I was in this situation. I absolutely loathed my job and ultimately my life and like you I was an arts grad working on minimum wage surrounded by people who were nothing like me at all.

    As for that feeling you have of ''this is life'' - I felt that very profoundly too and I'd become so convinced about that thought that I became very depressive. What I learned since then was that, no - that wasn't life or how most other people feel. I don't think 99% of people are really joyful about going to work each day - only some people get to do a 'dream job' but most people are okay about it. Feeling dread/anxiety/upset about the prospect of another day at work is not something that you ought to equate with real life - it's just the situation you're currently in. I don't have the best paid/most glamorous job now but I enjoy it and it makes me feel good - I was convinced that was an impossibility a few years ago.


    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I guess in part, the realization that the real world and what I was taught does not align- and a 16 year old school leaver has more practicable work experience than me
    I found that a hard pill to swallow at first too and I became really annoyed each year when A-level results came out and loads of young people were talking about going to uni to do arts degrees - I felt like they'd been so misinformed by teachers/society and I felt like I was looking at a conveyor belt of more people like me. But since then I learned that the value of experience in min wage jobs doesn't increase the longer you've done the job. In other words, my one year working in a warehouse is worth the same few sentences on my CV as someone who worked there for 15 years in the same position. So don't worry about 25 year old's who've worked since 16. They may have 'more' work experience in terms of years - but not in terms of value and you can catch up pretty quickly with a year working in a min wage job because the skills are basic and they're no more complex after 5 years in the job than 1 year. Also, once you have got more experience you'll also have something extra that they don't - your degree. So you are better off even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

    In terms of the lack of intellectual conversation etc at work I found that keeping my hobbies going at home really helped me to stay relatively sane - I read a lot of books, bought those crossword books to fill in when I got a spare 5 mins, watched thought provoking things like TED talks and started to read motivational books. It doesn't sound like much but it planted the seeds of better things to come - it kept my mind active despite my mundane job and it boosted my belief in myself as a intelligent person who deserved better.

    In terms of your degree and relevant industries - I'd say play to your strengths. There are schemes that request 'any degree' and then there are grad roles that favor arts/humanities grads such as marketing/advertising and the jobs aren't completely London-centric. There's also the opportunity to retrain if it's financially viable for you - I would personally steer clear of the MA-Phd route since it looks like a huge money drain for little chance of return. But there are PGCE routes if that takes your fancy and you can do one where you specialize in college level education rather than kids (further education PGCE) but you would need a certain level of confidence for teaching. You can also retrain with the NHS - they pay for tuition fees and you are eligible for student finance and currently an NHS bursary for degree courses. It's worth having a look on the NHS website because there are hundreds of careers - some of which you may never have heard of or thought about which you may really enjoy - plus the NHS are really receptive to work experience requests (NHS is the route I've gone down by the way).

    So yes, I think some really good things focus on right now would be

    - Civil service
    - Education (this could be teaching but not necessarily - look at Dept for Education)
    - NHS
    - The forces (e.g. RAF officer etc - completely depends on personal values etc whether you consider the forces)
    - Non-specific degree grad schemes

    The final one on that list is the most tricky in my experience (I ended up ditching it but if there's something you genuinely like the look of then pursue it) because there are SO many companies with a variety of roles and unless you're passionate about the company/role it's very difficult to get your foot in the door. Government/state related jobs seem to me to have more structured/straightforward entry criteria i.e you meet the academic reqs, get the relevant work exp and you're 90% there - you just have to ace the interview. Private sector seems much more wishy washy and difficult to gauge.


    So yes, you're perfectly capable as a grad of getting into one of those 5 broad areas but just remember it won't happen over night and there will be rejection - you just have to keep going despite it and don't let any rejection ruin your confidence. If you're interested in the NHS feel free to PM me about it - I don't have much experience of the others (i.e. either wasn't interested or wasn't successful). Planning for 1 or 2 of those sectors needs to be your long term goal (e.g. 1 - 2 year time frame) and getting out of your current job into something less demoralizing needs to be your ASAP goal.
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    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by KatieBlogger)
    You don't have to apologize for your mood - it's completely understandable in the circumstances that you're in and I can really empathize. Reading your post just then was like listening to myself a few years ago. I was in this situation. I absolutely loathed my job and ultimately my life and like you I was an arts grad working on minimum wage surrounded by people who were nothing like me at all.

    As for that feeling you have of ''this is life'' - I felt that very profoundly too and I'd become so convinced about that thought that I became very depressive. What I learned since then was that, no - that wasn't life or how most other people feel. I don't think 99% of people are really joyful about going to work each day - only some people get to do a 'dream job' but most people are okay about it. Feeling dread/anxiety/upset about the prospect of another day at work is not something that you ought to equate with real life - it's just the situation you're currently in. I don't have the best paid/most glamorous job now but I enjoy it and it makes me feel good - I was convinced that was an impossibility a few years ago.


    I found that a hard pill to swallow at first too and I became really annoyed each year when A-level results came out and loads of young people were talking about going to uni to do arts degrees - I felt like they'd been so misinformed by teachers/society and I felt like I was looking at a conveyor belt of more people like me. But since then I learned that the value of experience in min wage jobs doesn't increase the longer you've done the job. In other words, my one year working in a warehouse is worth the same few sentences on my CV as someone who worked there for 15 years in the same position. So don't worry about 25 year old's who've worked since 16. They may have 'more' work experience in terms of years - but not in terms of value and you can catch up pretty quickly with a year working in a min wage job because the skills are basic and they're no more complex after 5 years in the job than 1 year. Also, once you have got more experience you'll also have something extra that they don't - your degree. So you are better off even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

    In terms of the lack of intellectual conversation etc at work I found that keeping my hobbies going at home really helped me to stay relatively sane - I read a lot of books, bought those crossword books to fill in when I got a spare 5 mins, watched thought provoking things like TED talks and started to read motivational books. It doesn't sound like much but it planted the seeds of better things to come - it kept my mind active despite my mundane job and it boosted my belief in myself as a intelligent person who deserved better.

    In terms of your degree and relevant industries - I'd say play to your strengths. There are schemes that request 'any degree' and then there are grad roles that favor arts/humanities grads such as marketing/advertising and the jobs aren't completely London-centric. There's also the opportunity to retrain if it's financially viable for you - I would personally steer clear of the MA-Phd route since it looks like a huge money drain for little chance of return. But there are PGCE routes if that takes your fancy and you can do one where you specialize in college level education rather than kids (further education PGCE) but you would need a certain level of confidence for teaching. You can also retrain with the NHS - they pay for tuition fees and you are eligible for student finance and currently an NHS bursary for degree courses. It's worth having a look on the NHS website because there are hundreds of careers - some of which you may never have heard of or thought about which you may really enjoy - plus the NHS are really receptive to work experience requests (NHS is the route I've gone down by the way).

    So yes, I think some really good things focus on right now would be

    - Civil service
    - Education (this could be teaching but not necessarily - look at Dept for Education)
    - NHS
    - The forces (e.g. RAF officer etc - completely depends on personal values etc whether you consider the forces)
    - Non-specific degree grad schemes

    The final one on that list is the most tricky in my experience (I ended up ditching it but if there's something you genuinely like the look of then pursue it) because there are SO many companies with a variety of roles and unless you're passionate about the company/role it's very difficult to get your foot in the door. Government/state related jobs seem to me to have more structured/straightforward entry criteria i.e you meet the academic reqs, get the relevant work exp and you're 90% there - you just have to ace the interview. Private sector seems much more wishy washy and difficult to gauge.


    So yes, you're perfectly capable as a grad of getting into one of those 5 broad areas but just remember it won't happen over night and there will be rejection - you just have to keep going despite it and don't let any rejection ruin your confidence. If you're interested in the NHS feel free to PM me about it - I don't have much experience of the others (i.e. either wasn't interested or wasn't successful). Planning for 1 or 2 of those sectors needs to be your long term goal (e.g. 1 - 2 year time frame) and getting out of your current job into something less demoralizing needs to be your ASAP goal.
    I want to say first off- a massive than you for your post, as it generally lifted my mood, knowing that, there are people that have felt/feel like me.

    Apologies for my absence, I have been working these last two days- it's been eventful and in some instances full of tears. I had intended to reply sooner, however, I wanted to let your ad cud sink in. *Yesterday, I came in after having finished work, and was completely numb (emotionally).

    I can relate to so much of what you wrote, and I guess, been the idealist I am perhaps it's more a case for me that I need to be a bit more patient, but also understand and correct my *way of thinking about the world. Perhaps I've been misguided about the world of work and careers- I've always jogged along thinking that 'you can do anything if you put your mind to it'- 'work hard play hard'. But that doesn't always translate. I guess I've been caught up in a cycle of there is more out there, but not knowing.

    Your practical advice on career areas to look into was extremely helpful. Last night I looked into the NHS as a viable option. Thinking about it, I'd always wanted to work within a psychological or therapeutic environment as a psychotherapist or similar. Unfortunately I do not have the psychology background or A Levels (didn't take traditional route) to progress onto another degree course.- and so with this thought- I thought perhaps I could train at postgraduate level and retrain as an Arts Therapist. Therefore, I'm not wasting the knowledge I gained in my Design degree and its quite relevant- only problem is getting that experience, convincing others of my worth to get on a course, and the idea that therapists tend to be more mature in age.*

    I've always been an empathic and supportive person, having been born with a disability myself and it limiting me in early life, the reason why I've pushed so hard in my education and had a point to prove- and the notion I've always had an imagination is the reason I'm creative, Art therapy would be blending the two.

    In relation to gaining experience to do a registered post grad course and ultimately register with HPCC I'd need to work a particular no of hours in a support setting. As I understand, I was surprised to learn the NHS do have a minority of smaller creative support roles, but they seem few and far between.

    I shall continue to look into these areas more, but thank you very much for your help and advice,

    Could I ask you what your doing within the NHS and your degree background?*
 
 
 
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