ellieallison
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Hi all,

I graduated with a 2.1 (64, many grades were 3rds and fails so this was lucky) in Psychology in 2020 and I have only managed to work as a supply teaching assistant since September. I have no regular hours but it's the only role I can land.

I feel like such a failure. I cant even get admin jobs. I feel like I'm never getting further in life. I've applied for over a hundred jobs in the last year and I literally can't get entry level work in retail or admin.

I dont even feel like I have any skills. Psychology is interesting but it really leads nowhere. no hard skills and not demanded at all. I wish i did a foundation year to a STEM course.

Even my time at uni was miserable. I made like 2 friends who don't even keep in contact because they have their own lives to live.

I am so fking miserable and I feel like such a waste of space. Living back at my parents' place (thankfully rent free) but they honestly drive me insane and all I want to do is get on with being an adult.

i had two interviews in the last year and in both I messed up by being so awkward. i dont even know how to prepare for interviews in the slightest since i have zero confidence in my abilites.

is there anyone out there who can offer some words of hope, wisdom, comfort or advice. I just feel like im in a pit. i cant move forward. HOW DO PEOPLE GET JOBS. WHY AM I SO USELESS.
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AlefMemYod
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Hey there, (and apologies for this essay,)

To put it bluntly, the job market at the minute sucks, so try not to let your difficulties landing a job affect your self-esteem too much. For what it's worth, you don't sound useless to me - it sounds like you've put in a lot of effort into your job hunt, and in the current situation landing two interviews is actually pretty impressive. If they invite you to interview, it means they like what they've seen. Also, don't devalue your current job - if nothing else, it can give you things to talk about in interviews. For example, have you had to encourage kids to do their work? Calm an argument down? Then you have useful skills in public-facing communication and crisis management. You just have to word it right.

From a practical perspective, there are some things you can do to boost your employability in your current situation. For example:

  • Make sure you take care of your mental health! It sounds like you're dealing with a consistently stressful situation at home, so do take time for yourself. If you're burnt out, you won't be able to perform as well as you could in a job application or interview. Self-care isn't just for snowflakes.
  • You might volunteer - anything from manning a charity shop counter, to helping an elderly neighbour, to fundraising. Whatever you find interesting and motivational. Even if it's not CV material, it can give you something to talk about in an interview - but it's probably CV material, and almost certainly less competitive than getting paid experience.
  • You could write a blog. This might not sound impressive, but if you can post regularly about something you're passionate about, that can demonstrate any number of skills if you word it right - a good work ethic, initiative, creativity, etc. - even if it isn't directly relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • You could set yourself a personal goal (e.g. running a marathon/5k/swimming/writing a book/etc.) and work to achieve it. This too could give you something potentially impressive to talk about on your CV or in an interview - even if it's not directly career-relevant, things like this can demonstrate initiative/personal drive/motivation/time management etc.
  • Try writing out any and all extracurricular activities you engaged with over your degree, if you did - including being a member of societies, being a student ambassador, playing a sport, and so on. Then have a think about what soft skills they demonstrate - like the examples I've given above.
  • It sounds like you may have struggled with nerves in your interviews, so you could practice your interview technique by recording yourself answering questions, asking someone else to ask you questions, or reading online examples of interview questions to prepare for next time, to boost your confidence.
  • Also, does your old uni provide careers advice for alumni? University careers services can provide invaluable advice and tips on the whole job seeking process. Otherwise, there are a lot of websites and YouTube channels out there that can give you pointers on how to write your CV or perform during interviews better, for example.


Overall, don't despair - you're struggling for now, but that doesn't mean you always will. You don't have to do any or all of the above right now, either (except for the self-care bit!) - lockdown has taught me at least that it's okay not to give 100% all of the time, and it's fine to allow yourself time to relax if you need it. If you do want to and you have the time, any of the above can help, and it's far from an exhaustive list.

Besides which, you do have skills - if you got a 2:1, that means you've got a pretty good work ethic; it means you can manage your time; it means you can communicate well through writing (possibly also verbally, if you did group projects or presentations); it means you can think critically. You are far from useless. Take care of yourself, and I hope you can find your feet in this harsh jobs market sometime soon.
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ellieallison
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(Original post by AlefMemYod)
Hey there, (and apologies for this essay,)

To put it bluntly, the job market at the minute sucks, so try not to let your difficulties landing a job affect your self-esteem too much. For what it's worth, you don't sound useless to me - it sounds like you've put in a lot of effort into your job hunt, and in the current situation landing two interviews is actually pretty impressive. If they invite you to interview, it means they like what they've seen. Also, don't devalue your current job - if nothing else, it can give you things to talk about in interviews. For example, have you had to encourage kids to do their work? Calm an argument down? Then you have useful skills in public-facing communication and crisis management. You just have to word it right.

From a practical perspective, there are some things you can do to boost your employability in your current situation. For example:

  • Make sure you take care of your mental health! It sounds like you're dealing with a consistently stressful situation at home, so do take time for yourself. If you're burnt out, you won't be able to perform as well as you could in a job application or interview. Self-care isn't just for snowflakes.
  • You might volunteer - anything from manning a charity shop counter, to helping an elderly neighbour, to fundraising. Whatever you find interesting and motivational. Even if it's not CV material, it can give you something to talk about in an interview - but it's probably CV material, and almost certainly less competitive than getting paid experience.
  • You could write a blog. This might not sound impressive, but if you can post regularly about something you're passionate about, that can demonstrate any number of skills if you word it right - a good work ethic, initiative, creativity, etc. - even if it isn't directly relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • You could set yourself a personal goal (e.g. running a marathon/5k/swimming/writing a book/etc.) and work to achieve it. This too could give you something potentially impressive to talk about on your CV or in an interview - even if it's not directly career-relevant, things like this can demonstrate initiative/personal drive/motivation/time management etc.
  • Try writing out any and all extracurricular activities you engaged with over your degree, if you did - including being a member of societies, being a student ambassador, playing a sport, and so on. Then have a think about what soft skills they demonstrate - like the examples I've given above.
  • It sounds like you may have struggled with nerves in your interviews, so you could practice your interview technique by recording yourself answering questions, asking someone else to ask you questions, or reading online examples of interview questions to prepare for next time, to boost your confidence.
  • Also, does your old uni provide careers advice for alumni? University careers services can provide invaluable advice and tips on the whole job seeking process. Otherwise, there are a lot of websites and YouTube channels out there that can give you pointers on how to write your CV or perform during interviews better, for example.


Overall, don't despair - you're struggling for now, but that doesn't mean you always will. You don't have to do any or all of the above right now, either (except for the self-care bit!) - lockdown has taught me at least that it's okay not to give 100% all of the time, and it's fine to allow yourself time to relax if you need it. If you do want to and you have the time, any of the above can help, and it's far from an exhaustive list.

Besides which, you do have skills - if you got a 2:1, that means you've got a pretty good work ethic; it means you can manage your time; it means you can communicate well through writing (possibly also verbally, if you did group projects or presentations); it means you can think critically. You are far from useless. Take care of yourself, and I hope you can find your feet in this harsh jobs market sometime soon.
I am so overwhelmed right now, I am so thankful for your comment. You've honestly helped me calm down a lot. Genuinely I'm so thankful for this. I've felt like crap for so long and I'm comforted by this a lot.

I've been quite harsh with myself and in the end I still feel like it's for a good reason, it's difficult to be kind to yourself when you feel like you don't deserve it. Having this mindset isn't healthy for the job process though, maybe that's why I'm falling flat in interviews

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write that, I am straight up sobbing because this is just so kind. I really thought no one would reply. All the best.
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AlefMemYod
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(Original post by ellieallison)
I am so overwhelmed right now, I am so thankful for your comment. You've honestly helped me calm down a lot. Genuinely I'm so thankful for this. I've felt like crap for so long and I'm comforted by this a lot.

I've been quite harsh with myself and in the end I still feel like it's for a good reason, it's difficult to be kind to yourself when you feel like you don't deserve it. Having this mindset isn't healthy for the job process though, maybe that's why I'm falling flat in interviews

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write that, I am straight up sobbing because this is just so kind. I really thought no one would reply. All the best.
That's okay! You're right too, unhelpful mindsets are both unhappily easy to develop and hard to identify - and harder to change, as I know from experience. I wish you all the best for the future
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