9
   

Stuck in a pattern of dead end jobs

 
 
nofoc
 
Sun 29 May, 2022 06:21 am
I am almost 40 and have no career or real skills. In order to survive I have to work low paying jobs.

These jobs are horrible. People are abusive and unfriendly because of your low status, and nobody wants to train you. The job itself is simple and unskilled, and the managers will expect you to stay on the bottom, forever.

My best opportunity to develop workplace skills are at work. There's nowhere else to do this. I've tried endless courses, both inperson and online, volunteering for strangers and employers. I've moved around a lot but only because it has been the best way to increase my tiny salary. No one trains, no one gives a chance at something more complicated than the lowest jobs.

If anyone has any ideas please share. It is so humiliating to be unskilled and barely able to survive at this age and I hate these jobs. I won't work them anymore
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 1,414 • Replies: 32
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jespah
 
  2  
Sun 29 May, 2022 06:56 am
@nofoc,
You've clearly not tried for every training possible under the sun. Because if you were doing that, well, you'd still be at it.

But step back for a moment.

Instead of lurching toward any possible training or job, start to consider what you, personally, like to do. Not work-wise. I mean life-wise.

Use paper and a pencil or pen. This always seems to work better when you're physically writing versus tapping a screen.

Write down everything you enjoy. Yes, you can include stuff like sex, video games, eating, etc. if anything like that applies. This list isn't meant to be practical. Right now, you're just gathering information.

Once you have utterly exhausted the topic, start grouping things together. Group under rough categories that should be something like:
  • Artistic (put eating here, particularly if you also cook)
  • Athletic (put sex here if it's on your list)
  • Academic
  • Helping people
  • Organizing
  • Entertainment (video games go here)
These categories aren't meant to be exhaustive, but the first 3 or 4 are probably a must.

Now order them by preference, within each grouping. If stuff is close then it's a tie, and that's okay.

Now look at the activities practically. Put a star next to anything which looks more like a job. But also do some Googling.

Your search should be jobs where you ____. And fill in the blank with any preferred activity. For example, you can actually find jobs where you get paid to eat.

Once you have a list together of stuff you like to do where there can be an actual career behind it, start to Google training opportunities for those jobs. Determine what is most practical for you. Maybe cost or location or length of time for training will be the deciding factor. You do you.

Go through the training and give it all you've got. As in, do way more than the bare minimum. Go for the gusto. This means extra credit and reading more books than you're assigned (if applicable). Throw yourself into it with enthusiasm, pride, and ambition. Your goal, in all seriousness, is to be #1. A+ student. 4.0 GPA. Head of the class. Valedictorian. You get the idea.

Even if you don't become the absolute top of your class, that's okay. I'm not saying that anything less than summa cum laude is unacceptable. What I am saying is you're trying to improve your future self. And if you won't commit to that, then you need to rethink things.

Finish your training. Start looking for work. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Update your work history/resume, put it on LinkedIn. Apply for jobs. Be prepared to start at the bottom.

And see where it all leads you. In short, I am suggesting that you take charge of your own destiny. Don't let the world batter you around.

Oh and finally, if you're feeling hopeless, you may want to consider counseling. Being depressed at all (IANAD) will make this feel impossible-- and you need to embrace this sort of a plan by believing that you can do anything.
nofoc
 
  1  
Sun 29 May, 2022 09:16 am
@jespah,
You're talking as if I've never heard of google, and everyone there is throwing opportunities around, you're so surrounded with choices and options that all you need is to think for a second, google up the job and the internet will provide. It's ironic because the internet is so lacking that I can't even have a good conversation about the problem.

The problem is that there are no opportunities. My options are 1.) Dead end job or 2.) Unemployment. Both are terrible for long-term prospects and prevent me from affording a house, car, family or decent pension. I am not afraid of long hours and hard work and there are many potential routes. However, all are extremely competitive or completely unrealistic. Getting training to be a HVAC engineer or plumber would be as impossible as becoming an astronaut for instance. No one is going to train.

The alternative is self-training, however to be an engineer or tradesperson you need your own equipment and laboratory. That's not available to me, and no one would employ a self-trained surgeon, train conductor or professional of any kind. There are government schemes here, but they aren't happy with my age or circumstances. In corporations, promotions go to the friends and relatives of the management, and smaller companies are too busy to notice you.

Over the last several years I applied to literally thousands of jobs and perhaps got 10-15 interviews. Not one company cared about the studying, the overtime, the amount of effort put in. I can't even find someone who will admit this is not 100% my fault and all it needs is more bullying then 5 minutes on google to solve. This is a disgusting situation and the lack of help makes me furious. There has to be something out there.
jespah
 
  2  
Sun 29 May, 2022 10:11 am
@nofoc,
My father is a retired engineer. My late FIL was an engineer. They didn't need their own labs. Neither do you. If you want to be an engineer, you need to go to college.

Plumber? Trade school.

If you want these opportunities, either drive to them or move to them. That's all I can tell you.

And hundreds of applications doesn't help anyone. You're spraying your shots. Concentrate on a few places and study them like you were studying for the bar. You want to know exactly who does the hiring, what they'd be looking for, what sorts of recent triumphs the company's had, etc.

You need to concentrate your ideas, ambitions, and options (as I said in my previous post, which you dismissed as thinking I was telling you that you've never heard of Google).

You need to focus.
Mame
 
  1  
Sun 29 May, 2022 10:16 am
@nofoc,
What about speaking with a career counsellor about your options? Could you get a 2 year diploma in something?

What do you enjoy doing? Is it possible for you to work at what you enjoy? You haven't said what you do, but what about working in landscaping or something outdoors? I don't know what your interests are, but as the saying goes... if you work at something you love, you never work a day in your life.

I've changed careers several times in my life and loved all of them. My last job was the best - I worked in a library helping people find books and other resources. I received on-the-job training, was paid very well and got to talk to people and discover new books. Think about things you enjoy and go from there.
nofoc
 
  1  
Sun 29 May, 2022 10:58 am
@jespah,
There are no trade schools here, no colleges to train up engineers. I don't live in the US. Neither route would help get you into a trade anyway, maybe it would get you qualified but if you wanted work you'd need connections.

These jobs I apply for, nobody cares about your knowledge of the CEO, their performance in the stock market or recent endeavours in green technology. They want to know if you can "multitask" and deal with angry contractors and customers with questions you can't answer. They don't care about tailored resumes and your cost-saving measures, they simply want someone totally replaceable. This is all I can get.
0 Replies
 
nofoc
 
  1  
Sun 29 May, 2022 11:08 am
@Mame,
Career counsellors have not helped - they are happy to provide motivation and "food for thought", but I can do that myself. Instead they cherry-pick easy questions and charge a lot of money. They don't know of leads or realistic pathways, or how other industries work from an insider perspective. Was I supposed to be born with all that information?

There are many things I enjoy - without going into them, they couldn't get me work. When the internet was first booming, I was great at web design, some backend, repair and upgrades, couldn't get work - had to work in kitchens, like Burger King washing dishes. It's not really about what I "enjoy" so much as what IS available to do. I am not picky and don't understand why I'd have to be.

I already have diplomas and qualifications, many done in my own time after work. None have got me a single job. Showing interest in different technologies doesn't work. If anything managers will shut me out of it and tell me not to take an interest!

I am not trying to slam the door shut on opportunities, far from it. But the reality is they're not there. All there are are the dead end jobs. Minimum wage or slightly above, difficult working environment and co-workers with challenging attitudes and intelligence, no prospect of advancement. This is NOT a future.
Mame
 
  1  
Sun 29 May, 2022 11:19 am
@nofoc,
You are a very articulate, intelligent person - it's quite obvious from the way you speak. May I ask where you live?
nofoc
 
  1  
Sun 29 May, 2022 10:59 pm
@Mame,
Hello Mame.

I'm in the UK. Many people call me intelligent. I scored good grades and scores with IQ at school. I'm guessing this is it. You're pretty much done without being born into the right circumstances aren't you. That was the answer all along? Isn't it? Just be born into work and you'll have work. Why couldn't I accept it before? Was I afraid?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Mon 30 May, 2022 12:58 am
@nofoc,
IQ tests at school?

In the UK?

Whereabouts would that be?

Any other tests/exams at school, or just IQ?
0 Replies
 
PoliteMight
 
  -2  
Mon 30 May, 2022 04:18 pm
@nofoc,
Ask yourself what are you good at. Build yourself a resume. Look for others resumes.

Beyond that

City-jobs ( test exams )
State-Jobs
Federal Jobs
Educational and Medical jobs

Now beyond positions you have rights like unions. I suggest actually complaining to the people above the persons mistreating you on the job.

All it takes it two people to get somebody fired. Nobody has the right to abuse anybody at all.

The least you could do is get a drivers license or some kind certificate.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  0  
Tue 31 May, 2022 07:00 am
Though it might not pay well, why not try a job in professional Whinging?

Seriously, the economy is tough on those trying to find employment . More so, it even tougher when you don’t have certain skills and/or training. Some people in this side or your side of the pond have found a way, though. The mystery is really what has stopped/is stopping you from seeking out and obtaining that training? Methinks it’s a matter of your attitude. Relocation and Lack of funds might slow things down and is discouraging but it should not stop you.
Ragman
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 09:05 am
Looking at your choice of nicknames, your choice indicates you might have a lack of focus. Are you able to focus? If not, then what have you done about making this issue better?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 09:22 am
@nofoc,
Quote:
The problem is that there are no opportunities. My options are 1.) Dead end job or 2.) Unemployment. Both are terrible for long-term prospects and prevent me from affording a house, car, family or decent pension. I am not afraid of long hours and hard work and there are many potential routes. However, all are extremely competitive or completely unrealistic. Getting training to be a HVAC engineer or plumber would be as impossible as becoming an astronaut for instance. No one is going to train.


There is untrue - if it were true we would have no plumbers, or no HVAC engineers...everyone would be in a dead end job. But you do see people working as plumbers, those that had nothing to begin with.

We have seen people trained and moved up in other areas of the workforce.

Jespah is not saying it is easy but it is possible to do.

The one thing I can add to her very well thought out suggestions is - if and when you go to some sort of courses/training/education - utilize the college/training school whatever it may be referred to career placement office. All higher education places have such a thing (and if they don't I wouldn't go there) - they gain their reputation on the actual placement of those that they educate. They will train you on how to interview, how to put together a resume, how to get into a internship or similar.

Sorry just saw you are in the UK - I would think they have trade schools and so forth - is it where you reside in the UK? Izzy here is from the UK - he could answer better what the opportunities are like there. However, I have not heard of anyone (at least on this forum) from the UK complaining of lack of opportunities, but I am not there so I cannot tell you.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 10:40 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

Sorry just saw you are in the UK - I would think they have trade schools and so forth - is it where you reside in the UK? Izzy here is from the UK - he could answer better what the opportunities are like there. However, I have not heard of anyone (at least on this forum) from the UK complaining of lack of opportunities, but I am not there so I cannot tell you.


The only reason I'm here is because I was pmd by someone who doubts they're from the UK.

I have never known IQ tests to be conducted in UK schools which is why I axked the questions.

No answers yet so it looks like they may be bsing.
nofoc
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 03:11 pm
@Linkat,
In order to become "qualified" as a tradesperson, you study an NVQ or BTEC. What do you need for that? A job as a tradesperson. Get it?

College was never worth a penny. Last attempt I asked about placements, and received "students can get their own placements". No training on business skills, interviewing or prepping, staff didn't know the subject and googled everything a few hours beforehand. That was a "reputable" college.

There's the NCS which gives very basic advice or the local council which will fight you away. That's it. I've lived in the country my whole life and never seen anyone enter a profession purely by themselves, you always require some form of family.
nofoc
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 03:13 pm
@izzythepush,
No I didn't say IQ tests in school. I said IQ tests (meaning as an adult) and good grades (in school). Only some independent/mensa level schools are interested in a child's IQ performance
0 Replies
 
nofoc
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 03:25 pm
@Ragman,
Sure anyone willing to hire a professional whinger? Fully qualified lol

More money, relocation, attitude change etc. may seem like quick fixes, but it will not overcome barriers for attaining training. This is because there are no entries. I've explained more than once about qualifications, if I went into the amount of effort spent on getting a break that would also probably go over your head too. It has been a lot of effort for nothing.

It's strange to talk about this. I don't accept being powerless. Yet when I try to find better jobs or meaningful help, people mutter something about googling it and slam the door shut. That has been why I'm middle-aged and still doing jobs you're supposed to do right out of school. Anyone who gets to know me is amazed why I'm working there. Yet not a single person throws a bone. Isn't that crazy?
Real Music
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 03:29 pm
@nofoc,
Quote:
The problem is that there are no opportunities. My options are 1.) Dead end job or 2.) Unemployment. Both are terrible for long-term prospects and prevent me from affording a house, car, family or decent pension. I am not afraid of long hours and hard work and there are many potential routes. However, all are extremely competitive or completely unrealistic. Getting training to be a HVAC engineer or plumber would be as impossible as becoming an astronaut for instance. No one is going to train.

1. I suggest that you ask a plumber for advice on how to become a plumber.

2. I suggest that you ask an HVAC engineer for advice on how to become an HVAC engineer.

3. A plumber can tell you what he/she did to become a plumber.

4. An HVAC engineer can tell you what he/she did to become an HVAC engineer.

5. You don't have to reinvent the wheel.

6. There are others who have already done so.

7. Just seek out their personal advice from their personal experiences.
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2022 03:55 pm
@nofoc,
You have yet to specify the exact vocation you want to do. You whine about training but no one wants to hire a middle age man who knows absolutely nothing about, let's say plumbing, with no tools or experience. You have to have minimal knowledge, whether that's practical experience, schooling or even YouTube video self improvement. Buy a tool a week, use them and practice.

No on can "teach" you when you refuse to learn. Great ideas have been floated to you and your bad attitude has shot every single one of them down.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
 

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