Monday, October 24, 2011

And then I spent a year unemployed

I formally completed my MA a year ago this month. Let's have a look at what I've accomplished since then.

I have applied for nearly 300 jobs.
I have landed 2, both short-contract and painfully underpaid.
I have been formally rejected from about 20, and never heard back from another 278.

Since October of 2010 I have had approximately 6 weeks worth of work.
Of that, 2 weeks have been spent volunteering. 1 week has been more akin to "volunteering" (e.g. I was told I'd be paid, but then wasn't.)

I have been highly qualified for everything I've applied for.  Some things I may have been over-qualified for but I gave it a shot anyway. I've applied for positions that offered a fair deal less than minimum wage, internships, very short contracts, permanent contracts, seasonal contracts, casual, ad-hoc, and even online gigs. Near home, far from home, impossible to get to, upstairs, downstairs, but not in my night-gown.

I gave up on applying for theatre positions a while ago and have been seeking development, administrative and reception-type work in pretty much any industry. Today I broke down and applied for three gigs in retail, as well as another half-dozen clerical positions. One of the retail applications asked me to confirm that I was at least 14 years old.

I need a drink.

I also need to get paid more than £1.50 an hour for the work I actually do, so I can afford to drink.

Even selling myself short has gotten me nowhere. This is absurd. I'm losing gigs to teenagers. In London it would appear that if it's not at one of the big 10 theatres it's simply not paid, and administrators should feel privileged to earn minimum wage--something I've always found stupid, because if you don't pay the people who handle the money enough to not be tempted by the money, you're begging for trouble.

My student loans are entering their 8th month of forbearance (after the initial 6-month grace period.) I can't apply for deferment because I'm not in the US and therefore can't register for unemployment. So they're just accruing interest while my MA gathers dust.

If I actually do find a position that offers minimum wage I may be able to start paying my fair share of the rent and the interest on the loans, but not the capital, and I will not be able to save anything. Whee.

I give it back.  The degree, the education, the year.  The waste of money and time and intellect. It wasn't worth it at the time, it isn't worth it now. I would have better luck finding a gig if I was still working on my GED. I'm not qualified to flip burgers.

Update: I have now also been rejected from all of the retail positions mentioned earlier. Woo!

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