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Looking for a lifeline

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hello all - I think most of you know me a little but here's a bit more about me and my current problem.

I'm 21, I've had depression since I was 17 which has, at varying levels, been pretty debilitating. I took a year out after sixth form because my depression held me back, I dropped out of my first BA in english literature a year in because I came close to a nervous breakdown. I took a year out and started the course I'm currently doing: intercalating my second year of an Early Years BA because it got bad again.

So far this seems like a health and well being thread so I'll get to the point. It is becoming more and more apparent that I probably won't be able to complete a qualification in the near future- it makes my depression/anxiety act up like nothing else. I have worked as nursery staff and as bar staff in the past, and I find that, when I'm working, it is so much better. I am so much happier. But I don't think I want to do bar work the rest of my life, I think one day when I'm better I might want to use my brain. When I don't have the brain fog and the concentration issues I am a smart girl. I want to have options. I feel like a burden to my parents right now and I hate it.

So really I'm asking this - what the fuck do with my life? Where can I find out about entry level jobs? Am I doomed to minimum wage tedium? In this day and age, is there such a thing as a career for an unqualified worker who is judged on their intelligence and merits, rather than the place and grade of the irrelevant qualification undertook years, if not decades before? Am I fucked?

Thank you for reading. Can I just say that by posting that I hope to 'climb the ladder', I mean no disrespect to workers that are unqualified or on minimum wage - quite the opposite. Having been one for some years, I have the utmost respect for you.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Evenstar wrote: »
    In this day and age, is there such a thing as a career for an unqualified worker who is judged on their intelligence and merits, rather than the place and grade of the irrelevant qualification undertook years, if not decades before?

    Sure there is, just look Stella English, the most recent winner of 'The Apprentice'.

    However, I think to start at the bottom and rise to the top, you have to know what you want to do; I think it would be impossible to maintain the perseverance required without a clear vision of where you want to end up.

    As far as finding out about entry level jobs, I think you have to take a pragmatic approach, looking at different sources of job adverts, focusing on the most sources that provide the most desirable jobs. Also, find out how the organisations in your intended field of work do their recruitment; and maintain different version of your CV tailored to job profiles you're interested in and specific organisations.

    What you say about not wanting to be stuck in a menial job for the rest of your life is spot on, who would? In my opinion the best way to get a degree from a traditional university is to get a job and convince your employer to pay for you to do a degree to benefit the business.

    The other option is of course the Open University which is an amazing institution and is highly affordable compared to traditional university. In many cases, they will contribute towards your course fees. I think one of the main advantage of studying with the Open University is that you can study for an open degree, which means that you don't have to specialise in any field beyond what you're interested in.

    I think what you say about feeling free of your issues with depression and anxiety when you are working rather than studying full time is interesting. I think studying full time can give you too much time to ruminate on things that have gone wrong or could wrong, but when you're working your mood is improved and your anxiety is reduced by the steady series of tangible achievements.

    Keep posting, and I hope things work out for you :)
  • LauraOLauraO Posts: 535 Incredible Poster
    Hi Evenstar,

    Sorry to hear that studying at University has not worked out for you *hug*

    As Adogwithsunglasses says, a great place to start might be to think about what you ideally see yourself doing? You mentioned childcare and Early years teaching, is this something you would like to pursue further? Or do you have a different career in mind now?

    If you have a goal then you can start to explore the ways to get there which don't involve full-time study. Adogwithsunglasses also mentioned the Open University which is an option for more flexible study. Have you also thought about the option of Learning on the job e.g. a childcare apprenticeship? You mentioned that you are happier when working, so learning in a work environment might suit you.

    You mentioned that you think you would like to go back to study one day, so perhaps this is a good opportunity to get some experience working in a role that is related to what you would ideally like to study. For example, you could look at teaching assistant roles?

    I hope this helps, and remember that there are lots of different options available to you even though it may not seem so at times :)

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Reading what you wrote I was wondering about learning on the job type qualifications. Kind of depends where the problem lies for you, which might be a pretty big question in itself. If it's the performing bit, then maybe that wouldn't be any better. If it's the lack of structure etc from being a student then on the job might work a whole lot better.

    What are you doing at the moment? Nursery work and NVQs could be one line to look at. Then you can progress up to preschool type stuff, I'm pretty sure there are lines there you can follow that don't need degree type teaching qualifications.

    In the short term, sounds like some kind of job would be a good start, one you enjoy. Then if you look at most of them you can see some kind of progression avaliable, be it shift leader, first aider, HSSE co ordinator, records keeping person in the nursery, team leader, that kind of thing.
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