Sunday, 5 July 2015

现实 | Boyz n the workplace

Posted by: Ryan O'Riordan

This week, instead of going into school every day as we usually do, my year spent the week doing work experience at various companies. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with what it is, work experience is basically an extremely well organised and committed game of dress-up for people around my age.

It’s designed to allow young people to see what life after education is like, and hopefully to decide on a career. Even if neither of these things happen for you, hey, at least you have something to put on your CV.

Where my work experience, um... experience fell down is that I unfortunately have absolutely no idea of what I want to do in the future. As much as I love doing thunk, I’m not sure that writing about my life is very viable as a career. Of course, those of you who want to prove me wrong are welcome to send your credit card details in to the thunk email address at the bottom of this page.

Although I started my week's work experience with a determination to gain some kind of idea of what I want to do with my life, I finished it with the same sense of aimlessness I’ve always had.

Some of you might dismiss this as a non-issue, because who cares what you do as long as you’re making bank?

My response to that question is that I care. I don’t want to wake up in my nice flat or house one morning, and realise that I’ve hated every second it took me to earn my way there. I don’t want to live for the moment I leave the office. And while I admit that it’s extremely unlikely to work a job you love and be well off, I’d like to at least not start my weekday mornings with a sense of dread.

I suppose one reason why my lack of direction in terms of a dream job has started to bother me is that all my friends seem 100% sure of theirs. If you were to speak to some of them, you would walk away not only with the impression that they know what they want to do; you would understand that they were in fact born to be an accountant or whatever. Their future isn’t just set in stone, it’s been carved into a slab of diamond 10 miles high by a laser with the power of 1000 suns.

In comparison, my dream job vaguely involves being given free money, and I don’t even think I know enough about football to get a job at FIFA (I’m here all week folks). In fact, the last time I remember being really sure of what I wanted to do was when I was a kid, and I wanted to be Spider Man. Sadly, I have had to file that particular ambition in the ‘unlikely’ section, and I’m no longer allowed to go into the garage without adult supervision after the last few rounds of treatment for spider bites. Don’t worry though, I’m okay now.

Another unfortunate side effect of my lack of a dream job is that it makes any conversation with an adult around 23.5 times shorter. And although I spend quite a bit of my free time trying to come up with new and exciting variations on the theme of “I don’t really know to be honest”, the well is running dry pretty quickly. Soon I might have to resort to memorising Trivial Pursuit cards and using them to divert conversations away from discussing my future, which may involve becoming a professional pub quizzer if I'm forced to put that plan into action.

So although I remain pretty clueless about a career - as I am about most things - my work experience was definitely valuable. It made me realise things such as what I don’t want to do, the possibility of me drifting into a job I’m not that interested in and the impossibility of me getting super powers of any kind.

Maybe one day I’ll have it all figured out, but until then I suppose I’ll keep doing whatever this is.

Thanks for reading by the way.

Ryan’s listening to: 'Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)' by Kate Bush

Read my previous post here.

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