By Charlotte Jones.
“You do realise your options have to be realistic,” said a personal adviser at the Jobcentre, whilst scanning the career options I had written down on a piece of paper. Not only did she pick up her shiny black shoe and stamp on my self-worth, she demeaned my ambitions and made me feel smaller than a ‘Borrower.’
The personal adviser shoved another piece of paper in front of me and said: “You may have to consider other options such as these.” I read in astonishment, retail, cleaning, kitchen assistant, bar work, and so forth. I am in no way disrespecting these jobs at all, but I studied hard for three years and graduated with a 2:1 degree in English literature, journalism, media cultures and creative writing, to be told I should be considering options that have no relevance to my degree. My expectations to break into the media industry are not unrealistic, for I have relevant experience in this area.
This woman is paid to encourage and help people into jobs, but she certainly wasn’t very encouraging, which is worrying for future generations. Unstable advice given to young people will only demean their aspirations and knock their confidence.
As we hoped during the Olympics, to ‘inspire a generation,’ the Jobecentre should also be. Hopeful career prospects are important to building a positive young generation. The personal adviser’s advice was rather expiring young people’s aspirations. Placing young people in jobs that they won’t enjoy will only result in quitting after a few days or months, increasing unemployment and creating a constant cycle.
Whether you have finished college, university, or been made redundant, lost your job, everyone needs positive encouragement.
Inspire, not expire a generation…