Hello all. I’ve had a bit of a break as once again the pressures of society and their rules have prompted a ‘glitch in the matrix’. It’s the second meltdown I’ve had of late, and the second time I’ve sat and cried this year. I am mainly here to tell you how fabulous volunteering is, and I’m hoping that you’ve picked up on my love for it through my posts. As you know I’m writing about my experiences from doing volunteer work and what there is to gain out of it, I’ve told you about a bad experience I’ve had doing one volunteer role, but what I haven’t really touched upon are the feelings and doubts that you get when you are job seeking and fail to get employers to recognise your abundance of skills, as volunteering brings no qualifications or certificates to impress employers.
I was going to continue on my volunteer journey, but I feel that I have to say what’s in my head and heart about this subject. My post today is not to detract from the benefits of volunteering, but to highlight what other people may have experienced, or are going through. These are simply my thoughts, and I’m hoping that somebody somewhere can relate to them, and if they do, that’s great, it’s not always a smooth road in life, and I’m trying to be patient and figure out what I’m meant to be doing, and this is where I am struggling.
I’ve learnt numerous skills since last July, many of which I’ve not touched upon yet. I’ve gone full circle from having no confidence to having a lot, but I now find I’m back at the start and thinking the same things that I did last year.
I am an unemployed jobseeker and I have been for over 18 months, my youngest is 7 and so I turned to volunteering not only for the skills that I could gain, and for what I could give to the community, but also for the flexibility of it all, I can chose my hours to fit in with me and my family. I have no brothers or sisters and both my parents are retired and have always said that they’d not look after my children whilst I was at work, a harsh statement to some, but a matter of responsibility for me. They are my children to look after, I chose to have them all, so it’s my duty to make sure they are looked after. Being single also adds to the problem, so the world of volunteering has proved very beneficial to me for many reasons. My CV has also been enhanced, I have no gaps to justify, I am using my time wisely, and although I cannot record all my volunteering achievements, I’ve learnt to ‘bullet point’ the best ones. Recently I have started doing different tasks in my volunteer work, and it’s been really interesting, I’m now helping to start promote people and will be setting up a Twitter page for one charity to help promote them further, and I’m also helping to recruit new volunteers, I guess I could add ‘social media wizz’ to my CV also. It’s really rewarding to learn new things, and to have people tell you that you are good at certain tasks, but with this boost also comes a reality check.
I’M STILL NOT QUALIFIED ON PAPER
My work provider bought this home to me this week when she said ‘But your volunteer work isn’t getting you anywhere is it!’
It was kick in the teeth for me, I already feel fragile enough when I enter the building, a statistic to them, a number in the system. Trouble is, half of me allows me to believe it, and the other half still waits patiently for the world to do it’s work and for me to meet that right person, at the right time, at the right place, but will I ? My confidence on finding a job is dwindling fast, my self esteem is fading, and to be honest I’m struggling on many levels with it. I will admit that I’ve not applied for enough jobs because I know that I’m not qualified, I don’t have those pieces of paper and certificates to prove that I am capable, all I have is my knowledge and personality and enthusiasm, that’s all very well in the world of volunteering, but it means nothing when attempting to fill in a job application.
I find myself stuck and back to where I was originally, an unemployed single mother with no qualifications to do the jobs that I’d most like to do. It’s a hard hitting sentence isn’t it, a sentence I’ve tried to ignore for a while now, but it keeps nudging me more and more, a sign perhaps that I should stop aiming so high at what I want to do and use my skills where I know that I’d find a job easier……. but isn’t that just giving in… isn’t that just letting the government and system control me…. isn’t that totally against everything I believe in..YES IT IS, so what do I do.?
I’ve applied to become a volunteer for Public Health.
A decision made out of being inspired by one of their courses, a last ditch attempt at proving that volunteering can lead to employment, and having the chance to help even more people on a wider scale, and because I’m becoming more and more worried about being rejected for jobs again. I love my volunteer work, I like the various things that I do, it’s a mixture of everything that I’d like to do in a paid job, but it’s time to face the reality that it isn’t a paid job, and am I just hiding behind it all, have I gone that much full circle and are using volunteering as my safety net. My spiritual hippy side of me says ‘keep volunteering, keep giving, keep sharing the love’. But my other side says, ‘you’re not getting any results, you are unemployed, you have to find work, stop being so picky and take any job’.
Truth is, I don’t know anymore apart from the fact that I’m not qualified on paper to apply for the jobs that I really want to do, and that I’m being pressured and made to feel useless by the system..
Maybe I’ve reached the point were I have to say Volunteering VS Reality.
Thank you for your time, and I hope that this post made sense to you all.