Long shadows following me

selfie shadow
©Mia Salminen 2021

I just can’t catch a break, can I? It’s nothing bad or anything like that. It only feels long shadows are following me whatever I do. Especially when it comes to education and job search. They say you should study, but what is the point when you’re not giving a change in the working world. You need job experience, but then internships are not one of them. Maybe that’s the problem, I only have them and that one part-time job. I can never find any jobs to apply to because they need people with experience. I haven’t had the time to do any job search since my dad still needs certain help. I have tried to look at jobs ads, but I haven’t found anything to apply to. Writing cover letters is not my favourite thing. LinkedIn is a weird place to look for a job. I get quite silly suggested from job alerts too. Jobs that I don’t even have training for. I wouldn’t search for a job there anyway. I did apply for one, but it was a bit strange. I didn’t even know if it was real.

I wrote about this in this post. It’s about Helsinki Design School, where I studied both photography and graphic design. They asked former students about what they have done after school. So far, none of my schoolmates has come up in the student’s stories. Most of the stories so far has been about interior designers and visual designers. There have been some photographers and graphic designers too. They write about, e.g. networking and about the pros who teach there. Well, I haven’t had any of that. Especially in the photography course in 2014-2015. Maybe it has become better after I went there. It was new at the time. There were a few students who were disappointed. They didn’t get what they were looking for. I didn’t either, but I didn’t expect anything special. I’ve probably forgotten all about what was taught there by now. The same probably goes with the graphic design one in 2018-2019. Former students who have studied in school have found their strengths during their education, but I haven’t. I’m still looking. So in that way, I am disappointed at the education. But also I got something out of it. It doesn’t get me a job, but still, I didn’t want to study something for 4 years when I already had for 2. Graphic design is not science, after all. I am a bit envy of the former students who have had the courage to become entrepreneurs. If you have clients already, it’s much easier to start.

I think I want to be my own president because then I can be my own boss. I wish I was brave enough to start something on my own because I wish I didn’t have to stress about the job search. I’m not an actor so I can’t be something the employers expect me to be. This month is ending soon but the year is long, so we’ll see what will happen.

“How do you expect me to grow if you won’t let me blow”

sprout growing through a ground
Made in Canva

That’s a quote by Rachel Green in a Friends episode. You could say the same about gathering work experience. It’s like trying to grow a sprout several times but it keeps dying on you. How can you get better at things you do, if no one wants to give you a chance. Just look at the internship I applied to. Even if it wasn’t paid I still didn’t get it. On the companies site, it said something like, we want you. Well, they didn’t want me. It would have been a great opportunity to get some experience. But OK then. Suit yourself. I can move on and accept it. I got at least an interview which I didn’t expect. A company who doesn’t even inform you that you didn’t get picked is not worth working for. I’m better off.

I wish I could say, thank you for this great opportunity, but that will probably never happen. Things have never happened “accidentally” to me. At least nothing good. You can’t grow if you don’t get the opportunity. Learning in school and learning in a real working environment are two different things. I’m not looking for fame and fortune. I just want to get better at what I do but not by practising by myself. A job should do that. As usual, I’m left to my own advice because I get no help from others.

New door do not open

old keys
Made in Canva

You know the saying, when one door closes, another opens. Well, I’ve tried to open a lot of doors but they still remain closed. I’m speaking in metaphors of course. Mostly doors about opportunities. Or lack of them that is. Sometimes it feels like I’m being lied to so I don’t take chances because of that. I have never got anything in life easy. I didn’t even get away from household chores when I was a child. My mother always said to me to clean up but she only wanted to teach me responsibility. When other kids got pocket money without having to do anything, I actually had to work for it. She also taught me to save money for a rainy day. I just wish I could earn that money instead of living on benefits. That’s where this open door thing comes in.

I opened doors to studying and thought that would open another door. But instead, it hasn’t brought me any opportunities. No matter how strong you are mentally it still bothers you what’s wrong with you that not even Lady Luck knocks on your door. You know you can do things but no one really pays you any attention. It doesn’t help in what school you attended and how many educations you have. That door just won’t open. I’ve started to think why the reason might be and I came to the conclusion it’s work experience. I have it but they’re internships. Some don’t see that has experience. Sorry but that’s all I have been given. Just because I haven’t got paid a real salary, it doesn’t mean it isn’t work experience. Should I find a time machine so I can go back in time to find a “real job”? I don’t think so. It seems some employers are idiots. OK, fine don’t give me a chance. Your loss. It shouldn’t matter if you got paid for the job or not. I don’t know what internships should be called then if not work experience. They’re done in a real working environment and not done at home. An internship is better than nothing. Some don’t even have that.

Those internships haven’t helped much. All of those places haven’t opened any doors. So when people say internships will help to get a job is just nonsense. Employers only want to exploit cheap labour. All this propaganda that unemployment has decreased are just fillers in the media. Whoever believes in that are fools. Only the people with good connections will open the next door. All those unlucky ones have to settle for what they got. Most people have dreams and goals but they don’t have a chance to make them true because they have so many other issues to handle. Everyone can’t become entrepreneurs or be at the right place at the right time.

Sometimes I want to give up and not even try to open another door. But then motivation kicks in and I’m full of hope. It doesn’t take long but at least I see it. Failing is part of life but it’s like the heatwave, it’s only temporarily. Even successful people have had it rough but they didn’t give up. If they had, they wouldn’t be here to courage people. Intentionally or unintentionally. Everyone has doubts. A lot of athletes have had injuries and they thought they wouldn’t be as good as they were before it. They believed in themselves and they made a comeback (like Novak Djokovic who won Wimbledon yesterday) Things like that lifts up my spirit. Believing in yourself when no one else seems to is the best revenge. I will try to open every door until I find the door that opens. It must out there somewhere.