(Un)employment – part 1.

When I was 18 and finishing 6th form, I was pretty certain that I didn’t want to go to university – I had no idea what I’d have studied if I went – so the only option I could choose was to get a job straight away. So that’s what I did.

My first ever job was as a Health Care Assistant in an elderly nursing home. I was only there for a month and I hated it. I didn’t particularly like the people there (no offence) or the things that happened. For instance, one colleague was dealing with a resident, helping him/her* with breakfast and they were texting and playing on their mobile phone! I was completely flabbergasted and I think this was the deal breaker. I didn’t want to work with people so ignorant, so back to the job search I went.

I received a call from a company recruiting and they offered a brilliant salary, a qualification and a secure position working in a call centre, aswell as enrolling onto their graduate scheme, studying for a diploma. To cut the long story short, I was interviewed and got the job! I was so happy. This was the same year I got my first car, so inside I felt as though I had really done well for myself.

It got to the first day, I was really nervous, not really too sure what to expect but optimistic nonetheless. I was with a group of people in the exact same position as me – enrolled onto the scheme, starting a new job etc – some of whom I made really good friends with. We had 4 weeks of training and I thought it was going really well and was excited to be ‘released into the wild’ i.e assigned a department. This was when things got tough and my optimism slowly disintegrated…

The job that the recruiter explained over the phone was nothing like the job I was working in, which was really disappointing, but I thought to myself ‘I’ve already quit 1 job, I cant quit this too’ so I stuck at it.

Being on the graduate scheme meant rotating to a new department every 6ish months. My first department was a sales department and the 2nd was also sales but a different type of call. This is the department I struggled most in and my depression became prevalent. I contemplated resigning on so many occasions. The only thing I could enjoy was the studying because it meant being out of department for a few hours.

After that department, I was put in a cancellations department. This was more accounts/admin based and I enjoyed it so much more than being in a sales department. Most of the people were really nice and I made a few good friends. The next department was a really important department and I enjoyed it so much! I was treated like an adult, we had coffee everyday and I just felt really valued. At this stage, unfortunately, my studies werent going well though. In other words, I was failing all of my exams. I really wanted to quit the scheme but stay in the department I was in but they werent looking for anymore permanent team members. I was gutted! When the time came to moving departments, I felt so down but I knew it was part of the job. I moved to a renewals department and things got horrible.

The department was such a change from the 2 previous. Studies got so bad that it was a mutual decision by myself and the grad manager to come off of the scheme and I hated the department. The people were money-hungry, and the customers seemed worse than when I was in sales. I decided it was time for me to move on. So in February 2016, after 2 and a half years, I resigned.

During those 2 and a half years, my depression had hit an all time low, I didnt feel supported and I believe that the job made things worse. I didn’t have a job to go to but I came to the conclusion that my mental health was more important than anything and I think it was the best decision I have ever made!

*I am keeping this information anonymous for the confidentiality of the resident.

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