Chronicles of the jobless student: Part I

I am currently in purgatory. And while I am here, I would like to recommend that the soundtrack be the appropriately titled “No Hay Problema – Pink Martini“. I deemed it an appropriate soundtrack to my current situation, which is DESPERATELY IN NEED OF MONEY + NO JOB.

However…. I do (and did) have a few leads. My dream summer job as a Visitor Counsellor did not work out because Tourism Langley couldn’t get government funding for the position, but I will apply to them again next year. I rocked the interview, and really liked the other employees. Mais c’est la vie.

As for potential other leads, I am trying for a “Youth Services Officer” position with Service Canada. But I’m definitely NOT getting my hopes up like I did for Tourism Langley. So I also applied for a Burger Flipper position at Fatburger – yes, I am even willing to do flip burgers. I’ve actually applied to about a million places, and have not heard anything back from them.

Let’s run through my job search plans, shall we?

PLAN A: Get high paying, dignified summer job as a Marketing Assistant

Advantages: High paying, office hours, relevant to my Marketing degree.

Disadvantages: Probable long commute, and oh yah – COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC.

Reason for failure: This job does not exist. And if it did, the competition would have surely beat me. I have relatively little experience and am only available for the summer.

PLAN B: Get unpaid Marketing internship, supplement income by waitressing

Advantages: Tips mean higher wages than most other jobs for students. Less competition for unpaid work. I have some restaurant/customer service experience, can find work close to home and use my contacts.

Disadvantage: Give up social life for summer

Reason for failure: Well, I actually do have an awesome unpaid internship right now with Study and Go Abroad Fairs Canada – so this plan only half failed. But I couldn’t/haven’t secured a waitressing job for the following reasons:

  • The restaurant business is really slow this year, according to most managers I’ve talked to.
  • My main contact – a lady I know who owns a restaurant – is not hiring at all for the summer because of slow business
  • Langley has a lot of chain restaurants. Working at these chain restaurants require I have a certain ‘body type’ that I do not have.
PLAN C: Work for unpaid internship part-time. Obtain 2 low-paying part-time jobs.

Advantages: Easier to beat out competition – I am now competing with high school students for the same jobs, and as a university student with more experience, I will be considered first. And these positions are easy to commute to.
Disadvantages: So many…. I would most likely work as a burger flipper or something as horrible. I probably have to wear a hideous uniform. I have to accept less pay. I have to work AS MANY HOURS AS POSSIBLE just to make a reasonable amount of money, so of course I won’t have a social life.
Reason for failure: Well, Plan A and B have failed so far. So Plan C better work or else I’m going to have to figure out Plan D – which is basically look for work in Ottawa and live over there this summer.
I’m sick of all the blog posts boasting about how awesome life is, how about you? Here is why my current situation is NOT awesome:
  • Living with my parents – better than living on campus in terms of cleanliness, worse in terms of freedom.
  • I lost my voice COMPLETELY because I have laryngitis. Which means that I can’t really object to anything my parents tell me to do, I can’t job hunt, and I can’t really leave the house unless I want to rasp at strangers.
  • Absolutely NO ONE has gotten back to me about my online job search, except for the Service Canada lead. But I guess I should expect that, it’s what we’re told in Sauder happens: “Employers looking for jobs will first check their current employees, then whoever their employees recommend, and then post jobs outside.”
But even as I type those reasons, I still do have some reasons to be happy.
  • FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD! I don’t have to worry about cooking for myself anymore!
  • I get to see my high school friends
  • I can enjoy Vancouver in the summer for the first time in 2 years
  • With plan C, I get ‘varied’ experience
So, I now know what it feels like to be that jobless bum that lives at home with the parents. It makes me feel useless, anxious, inferior, and scared because my future is so uncertain. I can only imagine that this is a glimpse of what it will feel like when I finish my degree and begin job-hunting, and already feel sorry for my future self.
A note to my future self:

Dear Future Shiv,
Hey! Remember how much it sucked not being able to find jobs after 3rd year for summer? I know you do. But you really are doing your best – you wake up and check your email for jobs, you make lunch and browse job postings, and spend the day throwing your resumes everywhere. But you need to remember 3 really important things:
1. Don’t lose motivation, because now is the time you REALLY need it. Browse through those Au pair agencies again, find out what you need to teach English abroad, check out cool places to travel to, or travel volunteer agencies to go to. Go find tourism companies looking for tour leaders, and see what you can do to meet the requirements. REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS!
2. Devise back up plans, but keep aiming for your first choice plans – you’ll kick yourself if you give up on it too soon, and see someone else get a position that would have fit you so perfectly. Stay vigilant!
3. Keep on improving yourself – read up on admirable people’s blogs (my latest favourite:, and I love her Tattoo Tuesdays bit), go work out, or cook something healthy and delicious to eat. And do your laundry once in a while!
I wish you good luck, future Shiv. And good luck to all my fellow jobless students too!
Shiv 🙂

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