It’s important, when you start a story, to figure out why you’re telling it in the first place. Maybe, I don’t know, I’m just making up things as I go along here. But let’s start with it anyway.
Q: Why were you unemployed in the first place stupid-head?
A: I had the super-original dream of getting out of my small town and travelling around Asia. So, after a fairly disaster journey around the post-graduate drain, I took a job completely unrelated to my qualifications (degree in English and politics, followed by masters in journalism), worked for 3 years and saved enough money to go gallivanting around Asia for 6 months with some of my nearest and dearest.
I didn’t have much of a contingency plan for when I came back except “I don’t want to spend another minute of my life in a call centre.” I took the savings, fled the country and landed in Mumbai with a nervous disposition and €5000.
6 months and many stories later, I flew from Hong Kong back to Cork, an act which was made in a triumphant spirit but quickly deflated to ‘so I see I’m unemployed and living in my grandparents spare room. Probably should do something about that.’
Q: So no plan?
A: Ok, I’m employing a bit of hyperbole here. By my 2nd month of travelling, I already had a sorta-plan in place.
Being honest with myself, I only got into journalism for a deep and pervading desire to help people that has uselessly dogged me since I can remember. The post-2008 media cycle being what it is (cannibalistic and depressing), combined with my innate laziness and dire financial situation at the time meant months on the dole trying to pull financially viable freelance ideas out of my disheartened little brain was simply not going to happen.
Q: Ok, so journalism is out. What next?
A: It struck me (and I’ll forgive you for thinking me stupid to take so long to realise this) that if I want to help people, perhaps I should actually work in an industry that strives to do that. Corporations; however good their salary and working environment would never really make me happy. There I was, in the middle of a recession, earning a ridiculously large amount of money and I spent a large portion of my waking hours wishing my sedentary life away.
My sorta-plan was in place; when I got home I would seek employment in the charity/NGO sector. (This is the part when some kind of revelatory music plays in the background).
It was all so simple. If you want to help people, work for people who also want to help people, not simply want to make money.
Q: So this is a proper career change for you then. Why an internship though?
A: Oh I tried to get a proper job. The charity sector is pretty limited in Ireland but I tried anyway. I also concentrated a lot of effort on what might be Europe’s charity Mecca – London – but after a couple of months of searching, nearly 100 applications (all 10-page application forms as well, job-hunting in the UK is a job in itself), I hadn’t even gotten so much of an interview. A couple of months into gainful unemployment, it was time to start applying for internships.
I was prepared for the possibility for a long time. I needed experience in a sector I didn’t have experience in and had long reconciled to the idea of living a pauper lifestyle for a while.
Q: Why are you writing this blog?
Why not? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of first-hand experiences about JobBridge out there. A lot of people are taking up internships but nobody is really talking about it. I never really felt I had anything to say in a blog that hadn’t been said dozen of times before (cannibalistic media?) but this may actually have some value. More than 20,000 JobBridge internships have been taken up but we’re remaining strangely silent.
Also fuck it, it’s winter, let’s start a blog.
Disclaimer: Due to aforementioned laziness, I can’t guarantee upkeep of blog. If you never hear from me again, know that the blog lived out its days on a beautiful farm in the country.