So I have a year to kill

PatrickXD

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Aug 13, 2009
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Greetings, my fellow Escapists!
I have recently completed my A level studies with a good set of grades. I took them a year early, as a fast track option at school. I have the grades I need to get into university, but was not allowed to apply for the course a year in advance due to the personal care placement that would fall before my 18th birthday. As a result of this I have been all but ejected from school, and therefore my comfort zone, into the wide open world.

It's been two weeks, and I hate it. I can't get a job - I'm deemed over qualified for rudimentary retail or customer service positions, and professional (office) positions don't want somebody who is both under 18 and only able to work for a year before moving ~300 miles away. I would love to be able to work as a care assistant, or at least in that field, but as stated, I'm under 18 and it is therefore questionably legal and certainly against any company policy for me to work in such a position.

I'm stuck, guys. I thought I'd be able to get a job easily enough, but I'm in an awkward 'limbo of unemployability'. I have no money and no means of acquiring money. I'm wasting away and at this rate I'm not actually going to get an offer from my universities of choice, having been not only out of school but unemployed for a year.

I need help, and everybody I ask advice from all but laughs in my face. They say I'm a smart kid in a position they wish they had when they were my age. Sitting on A and B grades, 4 of them, as a 17 year old. But it's not a good position. Any advice on what I should do this year?
 

IndomitableSam

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Sep 6, 2011
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Dumb down your resume and apply for more retail job. You're not lying, just omitting things. Don't tell people you're moving away - it's none of their business. That's how you get retail jobs and it's what managers expect (unforunately).

Do some volunteering so you can beef up your chances for a career. Career, not job. Get in shape. Change those annoying habits you have now that you've got the time and start some good ones because as you get older your body will need the extra care. Learn to cook easy, healthy meals. Figure out a budget.

Sit back and just think. See what you (right now) think you want to do for the rest of your life. Consider options.

Read a lot of books. Write a book. Take up drawing, painting, hiking, whatever you've always wanted to do but thought you couldn't.

You're free for a whole year. Don't squander it.
 

Amethyst Wind

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Apr 1, 2009
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Apply for some apprenticeships? They seem to like people of your age with those kinda qualifications.

Other than that, learn a musical instrument and join a band, just do something so that the year isn't wasted.
 

VonKlaw

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Jan 30, 2012
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What IndomitableSam said. Sadly, you've probably left it too late to find a christmas vacancy, but do some volunteering in an area that you atleast have some interest in.

Also, are you sure its because your overqualified that your not getting picked for retail jobs? If you have no actual work experience, that'll be putting companies off too.
 

Batou667

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Oct 5, 2011
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PatrickXD said:
You lucky bugger! What I wouldn't do with a year to myself.

First off: you're not overqualified. Keep applying - and maybe dumb down your CV just a tad - and you'll get jobs. I've spent years upon years of my life working in entry-level jobs when technically I have more qualifications than the manager; it doesn't matter a jot. It's not even all that uncommon, you get plenty of university students or even graduates temping or working in retail. So, please disabuse yourself of the notion that "Alas! I have A-levels! Nobody will want to employ me now" - it just isn't true.

Get a job. There are plenty of jobs out there if you cast the net wide enough, some of them even related to the sector you're interested in (although, yes, your age will count against you for a lot of "real" care sector jobs). Don't just consider retail, either - people your age are routinely employed in education and tuition, the leisure industry, lifeguarding, catering, and so on. Back when I was your age I had the vague notion that the jobs available to under-18s consisted of a) retail or b) a paper round - that's really not the case.

Failing that, look into internships and voluntary work. Not only would that keep you busy and look fantastic on your CV, but voluntary work and work placements have a tendency to turn into paid positions if your face fits.

Also, use your spare time wisely. Build skills. Learn a language, start lifting weights or jogging every morning, buy your university text books a year early and get a head-start, whatever.

The world is your oyster, my young friend. Do what the hell you want; nobody can stop you.
 

PatrickXD

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Aug 13, 2009
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Batou667 said:
PatrickXD said:
The most obvious and unnecessary advice ever.
Was all I needed. Thank you, and the other guys. I was just feeling kind of despondent. It's nice to get someone else's perspective, who just lays it out plainly. I couldn't see the wood for the trees with so many options. I feel kind of silly having asked for advice that seems so obvious now, but I did need it and you guys have helped me.
 

Suijen

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Apr 15, 2009
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You can travel the world and do odd jobs while you're there. Maybe you can teach English at a foreign country for a little bit. It'll pay the bills at least and you get to learn a new culture.
 

dmase

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Mar 12, 2009
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PatrickXD said:
While agree with some on dumbing down your resume, I'm a bit confused why a retail store would turn you down because your over qualified.

But if making money isn't important to you I'd suggest instead to talk to a adviser at your school and see if she can't get you placed in a local university working under a professor or grad student. Like at i'm at the biomedical engineering department here i'm undergrad so i work for free for a professor when I have time but there is another girl that is in high school that just started. If that works then you have a good experience working in a field your interested in if it happens to be research and a good recommendation.

Of course i'm a BME so i'm interested in research and there are research options here, If that's not what you wanna do then you need to talk to someone in the field and see if they know a solution for you. Corresponding by email to an adviser at the university your going to apply to would be a big help. They can give you programs you can do professors that have a history of working with pre college people.

One other suggestion is dependent on what exactly a personal care placement is. Community college which don't afford you the chance to get a 4 year degree can let you start taking classes(that you must confirm will transfer) so that you can get an early start on college courses. I don't think they would have requirements bases on personal care placement tests, but not knowing what it is I'm just guessing.

All of this is much better for your future than just getting a normal job, of course these suggestion won't pay more than likely.
 

Jarsh82

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Sep 17, 2012
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You should list your qualifications for the job you are applying for, not all your qualifications. You should think about what you want to get out of your time and school and prepare yourself for that. You'll probably never have another time in your life where you can just concentrate on yourself so do something good with it!