lifestyle

"Excuse me for crying Gen Y, but I'm going to."

She can’t get a job…. (Note: This is not Madeline)

 

Excuse me for crying Gen-Y, but I’m going to. I am absolutely a product of my generation and I’m actually annoyed.

I am tech savvy, degreed, enthusiastic, never settled and forever searching for something ‘more’. These are all characteristics associated with being a gen-y (dickhead, as some call us) and for better or for worse I encompass many of these things. So recently when I decided to resign from my quite great job and move states for love, I rather naively thought everything would be ok. No plan, no job to slide into, no idea really.

So here I am, sitting on the couch for the fifth week in a row wondering why it is that I can’t even get a fucking interview. I have always done the right thing, I went to uni, studied something I loved but then didn’t pursue it as a career. Instead I wound up in finance, and had a great job, got fantastic (what I thought was priceless) experience stayed for over two years and got a pay rise and a promotion after just 12 months.

I moved to Melbourne with a great work ethic, experience and a pretty good head on my shoulders and yet now all I look forward to in a day is the Million Dollar Minute and Grant Denyer’s overwrought facial expressions.

How did this happen to me? Was my experience really that valuable? Is my resume terrible? Am I just a failure? The answer is that I probably didn’t plan very well.

I was actually burnt out from working at 24. Whether I deserved to be, I’m not sure. I’m usually pretty skeptical about my initial thoughts about myself and situation, but that’s a whole other topic. Either way, I felt tired, stressed, sick and anxious either all at the same time or at least one after the other. The strain of a long distance relationship and countless plane rides was starting to take its toll on both my de-facto (the wonderful man in my life) and myself. One day I walked into work and resigned, just like that, simply because I was tired.

Now I am not so tired because I get to sleep in most days, I am healthy because I am walking a lot and eating properly. My wallet is pretty skinny, in fact as we speak it holds just $54. I am lucky because my de-facto and my parents have supported me during this time. And I have some upcoming writing work as well as tax to tie me over.

I know one day I will be employed again.

Mentally, I am faring the worst. My sense of confidence in terms of work is at its lowest. I often wonder what I’ve done wrong and why I can’t get even one interview. I am by no means a rocket scientist but I am hardworking and resourceful but these things don’t seem to count for anything. I thought the baby boomers (who I assume are employing me) were the ones to save us from our gen-y-selves! Instead I get a stream of emails telling me I don’t fit the ‘specific requirements’ and I’m at a lost as to how I fit them.

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There is a positive to being unemployed at the moment though! It has given me time to ponder what success actually is. As a female raised in a home with two working parents, I have always wanted to work and I guess I have linked success to that. Now that I don’t have a workplace, I feel very unsuccessful indeed. Naturally I have started to think about whether success how we are viewed at work, or how many degrees we have. I think everyone knows the answer deep down is no. So why is it that inherently we jump to answer that questions with a yes.

I know my parents don’t judge their success by work. Why is it that I do? And when I delve deeper into that question, I find myself thinking, is that actually what I, me, myself, value? Well no. It’s not.

This then leads to me wondering what is feminism. What is modern feminism and what does it look like? Who are our modern feminist? Is it the CEOs, or the politicians or the doctors? What about the admin workers, bus drivers and post office workers?

I don’t believe that feminism is beating men at their own game, changing our qualities to be more masculine or hiding what it is that makes us female. I also don’t believe anymore that modern feminism is success in a ‘man’s world’ or a ‘boy’s club’. Isn’t being a feminist choosing your own destiny with conviction and passion? I chose to give up my professional life to be with a man and I did this with little thought.

To me the choice for success in life was pretty simple, and I chose to be with my de-facto. If I am to be a strong woman, I must now stick to my guns, have conviction in my decision and move forward.

Some days I feel like a housewife, something I never considered I would be. And to my surprise, I have found some great joy in being at home, being able to experiment with cooking and baking and reading. Some days I feel like I am more educated just by being at home. Is the key to success in my mind constant learning and growth? #epiphany

I know one day I will be employed again and contributing to the world in that way. Being unemployed now does not make me less successful as a person, or as a woman. Neither does enjoying being at home, cooking and reading. Really, truly believing that I will create and determine the path I want for myself in life is what makes me a strong woman and possibly even a modern day feminist.

Let me just say it, unabashedly, unapologetically being yourself, being a woman, being feminine, being masculine, growing as a woman, going after what you want is success. I will endeavor to remember this everyday and shut up the gen-y notions in my mind. I will not be conflicted by my situation anymore, I will embrace it. Now, excuse me while I unpack the dishwasher.

Madeline is a constant searcher and amateur social commentator, but only to those who will listen, which is mostly just her Mum. She enjoys walking, trash television and biographies. Writing mostly when mad, Madeline‘s outlet is taking her anger out on the keyboard. She is an expert at rambling. You can find her on Instagram here.

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