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21-01-2020, 15:20   #1
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I'm at the end of my rope with my seemingly doomed career. I'm exhausted from trying to put a brave face on the fact I have been enduring the mother of all losing streaks for the best part of the last decade. I have no self esteem left and I'm watching all my medium and long term possibilities going up in smoke before my eyes. I'm single, male, pushing forty on the verge of having to move back in with my parents having already spent most of my thirties living at home. I have no job, savings, pensions, investments, property. I have nothing but my €1,000 car and little else to show for a decade of toil.

I was spat out of construction in 2011, where I worked in stores and warehousing but later junior admin but basically failed to get skilled or qualified in any kind of transferable way. The boom was no benefit to me. I went on to extended periods out of work and doing casual labour for little money. I went to get a minimum wage back-office job in a call centre while I took a four year part time degree course in an attempt to dig myself out of poverty. A tutor that liked me got me a trainee job where he worked but I became aware that my 'mentor' had a terrible reputation and had no intention of training me or even assisting. As soon as it was off her desk, she didn't want to hear about it and I really had no one else to help. Even my tutor sympathised and tried to intervene but she was determined to remain unhelpful to me. I endured what I could and I was so desperate to try and make it work, they fired me after the fifth month. This was my first time every being fired and I took it quite badly.

I spent a large block of time out of work then but I finished college in the meantime, I eventually got another job but lightning struck twice. I spent months exhausting myself trying to learn enough to mop up after the chaos that multiple predecessors had left behind - once again, I was hired as a trainee but the only inputs from my 'manager' in this job too was pressure and criticism. She expected me to know subjective things that no one could have known if they didn't work in that exact office I worked up to 70 hour weeks while my mentor sauntered home at five. I did everything I could to get around this individual but in the end I just gave up and handed in my notice, exhausted, battered and defeated. I was close to mastering the job but I had six months of dread and fear in my stomach going in there every day and for my own self respect, I really felt I needed to stand up for the way I was being treated.

I have had a lot of jobs in my time and I'm very used to being held in regard. I've always left desks better than I've gotten them and if I were to define my career, it is a parade of me leaving the place significantly better than I found it. I normally get on well with people and I'm a team player. I truly believe I've done nothing to deserve the way I've been treated and all of this angst was just born of bad luck on finding harsh colleagues.

Right now, I'm personally aware of no other person who has done as much to advance their career and their life and end up with so little in return. I am of sound mind and body but I'm stuck in this epic losing streak with nothing to give me hope of salvation. I've appealed to my family and friends. I've exploited SW services to try and help. I've become an expert on LinkedIn but all I seem to get is punishment for the 'mistakes' of the past. I've been penniless and futureless for the last decade and I'm just baffled at how everyone around me, many who don't have comparable traits, grit and credentials just seem to be moving through life incredibly easier. After a decade of mediocrity, exhaustion, pressure, hard bloody graft, I've seen my frustration, temper, outlook and hope permanently altered. I'm becoming a permanently angry, frustrated and bitter person, particularly after 8 months unemployed, literally hundreds of job applications (I've gotten just four interviews and feedback usually remarked about why I left the last job) failing to get jobs like I used to take for granted like forklift driving jobs.

I don't know how to break the cycle. I don't know where this is going to end for me. I've become overcome with shame and guilt. I am a burden to the state and to my parents and I can see the contempt that people close to me are showing. I hate to regard myself as a victim but I'm sick to death of subtle accusations that I have done or am continuing to do the wrong things - victim blaming. The call centre job was for a famously crummy employer and it was probably one of the best jobs I've had, such is the harshness of the places I worked before and after. Everywhere I've been since were simply hostile, contemptful places where I was handed to the office c*** to fend for myself and now I'm being treated by recruiters and employers like I'm tainted because of the hostility of others. These jobs are behind me but I'm still suffering as a result of them. I have no idea where to go from here. Even going back to the minimum wage call centre is starting to seem like a reality
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21-01-2020, 21:36   #2
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I hear and understand your current frustration. You indeed have had bad luck in your career to date, and are now trying to find a way to rectify this. There are elements of your past experiences to date that definitely indicate that you had no control whatsoever as to the circumstances that lead to your current situation.

However, what strikes me most, is that you’re currently completely and overwhelmingly consumed by the past. You are defining yourself based on these past experiences, and not the skill and experience which you can offer future employers. My advice would be to mindfully recognise this. I completely understand where you are coming from, but I also have personally learned that this mindset can be perpetually detrimental, but can be changed.

Practice recognising your skills & strengths. Acknowledge your weaknesses and past difficulties, but don’t carry them in your daily life. I can 99.9% assure you that your family and friends do not think you are a failure, and want the best for you no matter what. If moving back home is necessary then so be it, if it leads you to building your future then great ! You can build whatever life you want, just get out from under the overwhelming stress. Those who let you down in the past do not define you. I wish you all the very best.
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21-01-2020, 22:54   #3
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Hi op,

Sorry to hear your previous jobs have been a right dose by the sounds of things. What sort of job are you passionate about? How can you get there? If you don't know, ask...

Not sure what area your qualification is in but would you consider going back to education part time and taking that call centre job to fund it?

Think about contacting your local etb, they could give you a steer as well.

If you have good health and a *plan* to get back on the career ladder you will be well on the way. In 3 years time things could be looking very differently for you. Good luck!

Last edited by Upforthematch; 21-01-2020 at 22:57.
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21-01-2020, 23:00   #4
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How did you get on with your colleagues and how did they get on with the managers?
Sometimes its not so much about hard work and grit but about how well you play the game, getting ahead requires a good amount of brown nosing.
Could you go abroad, maybe Canada or Australia could be a good place to look for work?
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21-01-2020, 23:13   #5
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I think you need to start looking forward rather than back as it appears the past is holding you back.

What is your degree in?
What roles have you done?
What skills have you?
What do you enjoy most?

When you are clearer on the above, you can then focus on the areas/opportunities that your qualifications, skills and experience are most likely to be of demand.

If there's any sense of the anger, bitterness or negativity in the interviews, perhaps that's the biggest issue?

What is your CV like?
How are your interviews skills?

This is very far from a lost causes at all, it just appears to have gone astray and clouded (understandably) by a lot of negative experiences.

Also, if the why you left the last job appears to a stumbling block repeatedly, then you need to work on a response to that that will work better for you. Maybe you just need a little bit of interview coaching.

Last edited by cannotlogin; 21-01-2020 at 23:17.
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21-01-2020, 23:18   #6
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Would you not try construction again, even temporarily?, did you enjoy it? No LinkedIn, interviews, cv gaps etc
Not as much bitching on sites as offices either.
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24-01-2020, 16:55   #7
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One thing mate -get a job even in warehousing again. Not working will do your head in.
Step two see a Councellor to work through your anger
Step 3 get a career advisor of some sort. A life coach
Don't view the past as a total diaster. It was not. You are picking out only bad bits
Even people with houses job kids etc have a huge amount of **** in their lives
Get working. Get money and take steps
What's the alternative? Claim the dole and be bitter ??
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24-01-2020, 17:22   #8
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Originally Posted by Bobtheman View Post
One thing mate -get a job even in warehousing again. Not working will do your head in.
Step two see a Councellor to work through your anger
Step 3 get a career advisor of some sort. A life coach
Don't view the past as a total diaster. It was not. You are picking out only bad bits
Even people with houses job kids etc have a huge amount of **** in their lives
Get working. Get money and take steps
What's the alternative? Claim the dole and be bitter ??
Also, don't define yourself completely by your job. How are other parts of your life going? It seems like you have put in a huge amount of effort, you should be proud of yourself for that. I really hope that things turn around for you.
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25-01-2020, 11:32   #9
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Hi OP,

Just wondering if self-employment is an option for you? I’m really bad at holding down jobs as I really struggle with office politics etc so I decided to work for myself.

I did a Springboard course funded by social welfare while I was getting started - these are available in different locations around the country.

I was also able to get the Short Term Enterprise Allowance for 9 months which is paid at the same rate as the dole but you’re allowed to earn your own money while you’re on it so it’s a good transition into self-employment.

Maybe have a think about what skills you have that you could offer as your own company.

I feel your pain. I’ve had some terrible bosses, and in the end working for myself seemed like the only viable option.

I’ve been doing that for a couple of years now and I’ve built a good bit of my confidence back. Now I’m getting ready to start applying for jobs again because I want to get a mortgage at some point. But I really needed that time to get over the trauma of working for bullies.

Good luck.
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25-01-2020, 14:05   #10
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Sorry to hear about your ****ty past experiences OP - theyre are bad work situations all about, and its hard to see past some things whete you have been treated badly or had your dreams and expectations trampled on, but to progress you need to put a line under them and move on. Not forgiving, but move on. I speak from grim experience as many of us have had.

Call centre work is known to be endlessly exhausting and difficult🦞 I would be not personally building a career in that area. Its high stress, thankless and a very demanding job with I imagine little satisfaction.

What did you do your degree in, and did you finish it? Start there - it is a great achievement and you can be proud of it, and employers will look at your background and building a future for yourself out of hard work, sacrifice and ambition and be impressed by your grit and determination.

Let us know what your degree was and we might be able to help you with proper suggestions that are relevant and helpful. Sadly, no matter how true, new employers dont want to hear how bad your old ones were - you need to rehearse a few calm sentences like ‘it was challenging but allowed me develop skills in patience and resillience while I learned new operating systems and processes. I was part of a team where I played a role that helped us fulfil our goals and company mission. Our company invested in ongoing / on the job training to help us achieve our goals. ’ Some such somethings that will refocus your thoughts and open better leading questions on development or skills etc. when you get one new job that will point you in the right direction again and then you have your next new reference and go from there.

Regarding references, Maybe you have an ally or someone who will stand for you as a generic construction reference as a subcontractor in the construction arena - say you are hardworking, reliable, good timekeeper and had good skills and were liked by your colleagues - they can cover some gap years and make life a little easier.

I have to admire you for trying to plough a new career for yourself. Its not easy but will be worth it. Dont give up. You ‘only’ need one break and one job.

People like to employ pleasant smiley hardworkers who dont gripe (ie tell the truth) and are not pedantic in interview - you need to be that - they pay you to put up with a lot of nonsense, sadly . Keep at it and dont abandon all you have worked for. It wil be worth ot in the end.

PS if it makes you feel better I have NEVER despite all my years and experience/qualifications etc got a single rsvp or message or job interciew EVER on LinkedIn. Use another medium - or or whatever your field is. Just forget LinkedIn - it just dosn’t deliver.

Last edited by JustAThought; 25-01-2020 at 14:09.
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25-01-2020, 19:38   #11
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Keep on the public sector. A lot of recruitment was done over the last couple of years. They might be recruiting again. Once you're in and passed the probation you've got a job for life.
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