[Opinion] The jobless agenda
I still remember myself 3 years ago, dressed in my black gown and velvet cap, shaking hands with the vice-chancellor of the University of Mauritius. That look on my father’s face; priceless, so proud of his daughter. Then, after for the group photo, we were standing there, my friends and I, eager to start a bright new future.
Graduation is definitely an important god-gifted phase of an individual’s life. It is that moment when you realise that you have been endowed with a fantastic chance of being able to study and achieve your dreams. For me, even though it is hard to admit today, my graduation was the scariest day of my life. No feeling of joy, pride or excitement. I was sad. The only thought haunting me was “How was I going to find a job?”
During those years, even today, securing a stable job was not a challenge but a real battle. Fresh graduates became ancient warriors disguised in suits and high heels. A battle where instead of swords, our weapons were our application forms and CVs. I was fighting to find an opportunity to practice as a nutritionist. A field with scarce opportunities where surprisingly not even The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life wants us.
My days as a jobless were mostly classic. I woke up at 10 in the morning (very early for a jobless), had a rapid breakfast (meaning a cup of coffee) and sat in front my laptop. Browsed through myjob.mu after deleting the dozens of rejected job applications in my inbox. At some point, I completely lost interest in physical fitness, forgot my long addiction to yoga and even spent days eating chocolates and chips which I remind you, dear readers, is a big sin to the profession I’ve signed for.
It was not intentional, I swear, but I happened to be able to recite ALL the programmed schedules on ALL the TV channels proposed on Canal Sat starting from Canal + to depressing Star Plus serials. I knew all the jingles of commercial breaks on M6 and knew all the cities of the United States of America, thanks to Man Vs Food. Anthony Bourdain from No Reservations taught me that Finland is among the most upsetting country and Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods taught me that people eat frog’s beating heart in Tokyo.
Meeting family and friends was a real torture where I had to listen to their busy schedule, these hectic days spent at the office swamped with work. They have those days where they successfully managed to skip a meeting for a proper lunch while my only achievement that day was getting out of bed. My sometimes mere contribution to the conversation would eventually be “Sent my application to this company too. They didn’t call. Did I tell you about Jamie Oliver’s Roasted Chicken? Saw that on Cuisine TV yesterday.”
No need to tell you that after those months of idleness, I gained a few pounds. I had lost my sense of purpose, felt really useless and I did not care anymore how much weight I could eventually put on. At some point, I even thought at night before going to bed after a typical day, devoid of any achievement whatsoever, if my absence to this world would ever be felt. Do we call that depression? That strong fear that the supposedly looming better days ahead is just an illusion.
There on my bed, I will see myself the following day sitting in a waiting room for an interview or looking at old individuals yawning to my face while I am sharing my internships experiences and interest in life. Then while I could not see further than the next week or the next day for that matter, I would be confronted with the most annoying HR’s question ever; “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” ALIVE. I hoped so.
One day, I was overqualified with my Master’s degree and the other day I was inexperienced for the job. It was all so confusing. I became lost. All I knew that I was jobless and nobody seemed to value what I had to offer. There I was spending money, with a bankrupted account, on hundreds on photocopies on my CV and certificates, walking miles to drop them in companies and waiting for a call.
Even now, those words from my late grandmother still resonate; “the worst obstacles of life were destined to the strongest soldiers of God”. She told me to never lose hope for I became on Earth for a reason. I fought and I’m still fighting everyday for a brighter future. So if ever you lose faith in yourself, always remember that something special will eventually happen. All you need is a little bit of patience. You are tougher than you think. Don’t stop dreaming!
By Divya Ruhee