All aboard the job hunt express!

I have been unemployed for at least 3 years now and it’s not something I am OK with – but at the same time I am. Back in 2014 I would say it was a major source of stress, embarrassment and shame, I was only 22 at the time so it’s possible I didn’t quite understand that there really is no shame in not being employed. Fast forward 3 years, I had moved out of home and I began to adopt an entirely new attitude towards my employment status, it was a huge paradigm shift for me. I think it began when I met my  best friend, the encouragement and support I recieved from her was simply fantastic. I can still remember sitting down at the computers at uni and creating all these different accounts for different jobs. Before my best friend came along, I was very very unmotivated to do any of this and I’d hate to think how many jobs I would have applied for had she not been around to encourage me.Before too long, I began to think that so long as I actively searched websites like Seek, Indeed, my university’s jobs and internships board among others and with the aim of applying for at least 1 job per week I will be doing just fine, and will be on my way to a job interview! The process of applying for work taught me something important. Jobs were not going to fall right into my lap! Even after applying for many many jobs I just wasn’t getting anywhere! So then my expectations shifted with this realisation. As expectations became more realistic —  the constant rejections were no longer disappointing, they were expected!

I have had other people say to me that applying for jobs is a job in and of it self. I think there is a good deal of truth in that. When I had to write up my first “key selection criteria” for a job, I was very surprised by how much detail it demanded of me. Fortunately, not all jobs that I have applied for ask for a KSC, some jobs though require you filling out questionnaires, some jobs require cover letters and CVs, other jobs require emails to be sent off with your CV and cover letter – and I haven’t even mentioned the whole cold canvassing gig!

Over the past year my efforts towards finding work have absolutely tripled; some weeks see me applying for no jobs at all, but other weeks multiple jobs suitable for someone with my (limited) experience are emailed to me. Just over a week ago now, I was very pleased to have finally heard back from one employer in relation to a position I had applied for at my university, they wanted me to come in for an interview! It almost goes without saying, I was overjoyed with this news. For so long had I waited for this outcome – and when it finally arrived the catharsis that found its way inside me was truly refreshing! Unfortunately though, this job wasn’t to be mine. This wasn’t the end of all things for me —the experience of being able to sit in that interview room; of experiencing a panel interview and giving myself an indication of where my interview skills currently sat was what mattered most to me. As some of you may well know, having that conversation with your employer and getting feedback on your performance is without a doubt one of the best things you can do!

As always lady’s and gentleman, I would very much like to hear about your experiences in applying for work. Perhaps some of you haven’t spent as much time unemployed as me and maybe some of you are lucky enough to hear from employers on the same day you apply for the job!

I will leave you with a quote that I think does an excellent job in summarising my job hunt:

In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.

Let’s be friends?

As a student of psychology, perhaps it isn’t surprising that I wonder what it is that makes people connect. Lately I have just been thinking there are many factors and variables involved when people try to establish a relation, in our case though beyond a mere relation. What I am interested to know is, how can we be sure it is those characteristics or those similar interests that is bringing us closer together. Because one way I know I can put those theories to the test, is by considering a personal friendship of my own where our interests in things diverge. Personally, I think there is an entire gamut of variables at play, that determine whether or not a friendship will flounder or flourish.

The candidates:

You have likely heard people at some point suggest what sorts of things help people come closer to one another. Things like: similar interests, valuing the same kinds of things (social justice, animal rights, your political beliefs etc). Liking the same foods, having the same hobbies, similar personal characteristics. As I touched on in the opening paragraph, how do we know it is those particular factors and not others?

What I find really interesting, in my own life at least, is that there have definitely been times where I have met people who I really got along well with and the friendship was sustainable for a period of time. But then my friend said to me that they no longer wanted to continue being friends (which of course is OK!). This forms part of a very normal experience, not all friendships are “matches made in heaven”. But was this friendship flawed in some way? For the most part, I would say no because the friendship lasted several months, I enjoyed the time I spent with this friend and I’m sure she felt the same.

There are certain things that we can point to and say with full certainty “that contributed a lot to the demise of our friendship”. Perhaps there was violence in the relationship; perhaps there were power struggles and dominance. But when these things aren’t present at all, why did the friendship have to end? Importantly, can we ever really know? I get a sense that we cannot. But I think that is fine, sometimes our friend will be honest with us and let us know why – wouldn’t that be painful!?

 

As is the norm with my blog posts, let me know what you think in the comments below. Feel free to share your experiences if you would like and maybe we can move one step closer to working out what makes friendships last!

Are we privileged to be lucky, or lucky to be privileged?

“Privilege is luck”

 

I was watching an interview with Ricky Gervais and Richard Dawkins just last week, where they were discussing Christianity and sharing their criticisms of it. They reflected and discussed the monotheistic religion, discussing fundamental tenets of Chrstianity – and critiquing them at times. But Gervais made a comment that I found particularly interesting, and apt. He observed “privilege is luck”, this just resonated with me for some reason, as an insight in some respects that makes a lot of sense. That aside though,  the purpose of this blog post is to see what you think Gervais meant when he said this, please feel free to contribute your thoughts if you like. If you aren’t sure what he means, perhaps as a starting point think about what kinds of things are privileges, are we privileged to live in conditions that are “first world”, are we privileged to have access to a welfare system that is accessible and all-inclusive? Is it a privilege that we are born into countries where conditions are particularly favorable ; little or no terrorism, clean drinking water, infrastructure such as health care and education, enough food and so on.

For myself, I do agree with Gervais that privilege is luck. To me a privilege can be understood to be something that we didn’t ask for and is outside of our immediate influence, take for instance where we are born. None of us had the opportunity to choose where we were born, it was a purely random occurrence.  I was lucky enough to be born in Australia, I say I am lucky because there is plenty of opportunity here for me; there are many different industries I can choose to work in, I have access to a good healthcare system, and I can receive a good education here almost certainly.  I am lucky in that terrorism isn’t a serious problem, I have access to clean drinking water, and there is enough food for me! I do acknowledge though that my country isn’t perfect – but that’s OK. I know that there are people who are dangerous in my community, I know there are illicit drugs being peddled, and I recognise the significant disparity in life expectancy between myself (a non-indigenous Australian), and my Indigenous Australian counterparts. But I am an individual, and I try to focus on the positives – because overall, I think I have it pretty good.

Thank you for taking the time to tune into my blog again, and I look forward to talking with you about what you consider to be a privilege! And for the sake of sharing what looks good, please enjoy a photo of the beach near where I live!

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Do I Wheelie Have To?!

I have poured so much thought into buying a car for at least a year now.  It is amazing how much I have deliberated really!

Naturally I have wondered why I can’t just make up my mind, and while it took me some time to really convince myself why I haven’t made a decisive move – I deduced that there are several factors working against me, let me share with you what I uncovered:

  • I was being inundated with assignments from uni. Plain and simple!
  • Driving lessons were really expensive, the last time I finished taking driving lessons I was paying about $70 a lesson every fortnight. And for this uni student, that was very expensive indeed!
  • I had a pretty full schedule to begin with: I was volunteering 3hrs a week, I had to commit around 10hrs of study a week to all my subjects. I had to write assignments, read, read, and read some more. I had to attend lectures and tutorials. But outside of uni, I had to keep my house clean, get the house ready for inspections, do the groceries, pay bills, eat, cook, attend doctor appointments.
  • With all of the above going on, I just didn’t have the space to allocate driving lessons, and to save money.
  • One of the more interesting factors contributing, was that I saw many disadvantages to owning a car. My mind was very quick to remind me why it might not be a very good idea to get a car. And I was reminded quite often by people who did own cars that they can indeed be a significant financial liability – and just an overall nuisance. I was reminded of the running costs, that is: petrol, maintenance, registration each year, accident repairs, insurance etc. One friend commented how it was making her lazy, and preventing her from getting enough exercise; I recall her saying she would drive 5 minutes down the road to just get a couple of items and then drive back. But obviously, it is so easy to just do something like that – instead of going for a relaxing walk down the street!
  • A friend of mine also reminded me of the statistics around probationary drivers (for those over the pond, this refers to those who have just transitioned from being a learner driver).
    It is argued that out of all road users on the road, probationary drivers are at greatest risk of being involved in car accidents, compared to all other road users. This of course has me a little concerned, but as far as I am concerned no statistic can predict what is really in store for me, when I set out to drive on the road for the first time.  And above all, practice will serve as the very best protective factor in this sense!
  • I also thought whether or not I would even use the car. Since I moved out of home, (and before I moved out of home) I rode my bicycle. And I loved riding my bike. My bike was my car, and over time riding just grew on me – and I developed a serious passion for cycling. So eventually this led me to think will I use the bicycle more, or will I use the car? Is it possible the car will take a “back seat”!

    There are likely other factors that I am neglecting to mention,  But for brevity’s sake, I’ll leave it at those 7 points.

 

Time was on my side though, and I trusted that it would reveal to me the most appropriate course of action. And when uni finished up for the year, I would take a different approach by deciding to focus purely on getting my license and cutting uni right out of the picture. Like anything though, the success of this approach will remain to be seen.  I know and accept that when I purchase a car, my living expenses will obviously increase a bit; the car will be a source of additional frustration when it isn’t working properly. But, like many other things in life there are obvious benefits to owning a car!

 

I look forward to the day I purchase my car, I have a number of things to look forward to: the day I go and pick the car up and drive away with it, I have the selection itself to look forward to – and as so many people keep telling me, I have the freedom of being able to drive wherever I want, whenever I want. And this is certainly a great thing – you won’t receive any argument from me on that one! At this point I still don’t know what kind of car I want, but I am aiming for a vehicle that is no more than 20 years old.

 

That should just about do it for me on this post, but can you relate to this post to some extent – have you ever been really stuck on making a decision that you thought should be an easier decision that it turned out to be. Have you spent months (perhaps even years!) trying to make up your mind on something? How did you resolve to make a decision?

Giving thanks for today!

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Today I am especially grateful!

 

I have been pretty blessed today, lots of little things just fell into place at the right time and in the right way. Today wasn’t an absolutely perfect day, but I don’t want a perfect day – I want a day that is good enough. And that’s what I got! This prompted me to take to WordPress and express my gratitude. Let’s see how many blessings I can get up to!

  1. I am very grateful for my busses turning up on time. I kid you not, every bus -1  I sought to catch, was there just as I turned up to the stop. You don’t have absolutely flawless days with public transport like these very often at all, so I have much to be grateful for here!
  2. I am grateful for all the opportunities that volunteering provided me with today. I enjoyed the chance to go for a walk around my old neighborhood (Corio) putting flyers in people’s letterboxes for the upcoming market at the neighborhood center. I must also add that I was really pleased to have been introduced to the new youth worker. I got to speak to her about who I am, where I grew up and what I’m doing now. On top of that, when my manager introduced me she threw in the “Jake’s at uni studying psychology” – which as I am well aware, places the spotlight right on me. This time though, I was fine sitting under that spotlight…Towards the end of my shift I was asked by one of the students at the center doing her placement, to be interviewed for one of her assignments. I was delighted to be invited.
  3. I am grateful for the always magnificent Barwon River, and the chance to walk past it at least once a week! The river is very popular among the locals, I have seen people kayak down the river walk their dogs down near it, run near it, cycle near it. You name it! I only moved nearby less than a year ago now, and I walk past the river a couple of times a week.

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  4. I am certainly grateful for a more stable internet connection. Lately it has been terrible!
  5. I am grateful to have been alive to enjoy this day.
  6.  I am above all grateful for the thoroughly productive day I had, above all I was pleased to have gotten everything done that needed to get done.

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone!

Welcome to my blog. I’ve never written a blog before in my life! So please forgive me if it’s a little… lacking!

I decided to write a blog because I really wanted to connect more with the world – and share my life with the world. I hope it doesn’t come across as egocentric when I say I want to share my life with you, because when I share my life with you I’ll share my experiences, my insights and certainly the lessons that I have learnt through doing what I do in my life. And that ties into a theme that may dominate through my blog. Helping others learn! There’s a very big, dangerous, scary, magnificent and exciting world out there, and I would love nothing more than to share a blog with someone that (hopefully) inspires, reassures and educates people on how to live life as optimally as possible!

Now for an introduction,

My name is Jake, I live in Victoria, Australia. I am 24 years old and I am currently studying a bachelor of psychology at Deakin University. I commenced my undergraduate study back in 2014 and I still have quite a ways to go. My uni commitments certainly form a big part of my life – and I take them very seriously! I am also volunteering two days a week  at my local neighborhood. I really enjoy it, and have been doing it since January this year. I live alone, and have been for about 3 years now. It’s certainly very quiet – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I really keep myself busy outside of uni, I love to read – and I read very widely. I love watching movies, I love walking, going to the library and getting lost in a book. I love bike riding, have been cycling my heart out for 3 years now and haven’t looked back.I love playing video games when I get the chance. And above all, I love writing – and intend to channel all the writing love into this blog!

Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog post, I hope my future blog posts will help you out in your life!