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26 years old and have never had a job...feel hopeless

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by corrina, Aug 18, 2010.

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  1. corrina

    corrina Member

    I don't know if this is the appropriate place to put this, so please forgive me if it isn't.

    I'm in a bit of a bind. I am 26 years old and have never been employed...ever. I have never even done an interview. I have applied for jobs in the past, but I never got a call back. I just got discouraged and gave up looking. When I was younger, I didn't think it was that big of a deal since my mom supported me. But now that I'm getting older, I realize how big of a mistake I made by not trying harder to find a job. Now I am too embarrassed to apply for a job because of my lack of work experience. I have no idea how I would explain to a potential employer why I have never had a job at my age. I'm sure "because I was too shy and scared to go out in the real world" wouldn't go over very well. Nobody is going to want to hire a 26 year old who has never had a job before, not even for a menial job. Does anybody have any advice for me? I feel like a loser and a failure at life, and I know my mom resents me for having to take care of me all these years. Besides, my mom isn't going to be around forever, and I need a way to take care of myself. God knows I don't want to be homeless, but that is what is going to happen if I don't find a job. What am I going to do?? I have thought about making up a fake employment history to put on applications, but I'm afraid that I will get caught. Please help me.
  2. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Chat Buddy

    I have fears of people and the real world too, so I can understand where you are coming from :hug:
    May I ask where you live? here in the UK you can go on job seekers and they can help you find any type of job or a course or apprenticeship that will lead to a job.
    The other option is (possibly through the job centre if you are in the UK) signing up with an agency. They will find you work for you - it will be minimum wage but its still a start and better than nothing as it will get you started and give you some confidence. Many people use this route over here just to get work more easily especially foreign people as it can be harder for them to find work. You get interviewed with the agency only not with each work post as I understand it.
  3. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Get volunteering! Volunteering does a lot, it gives you experience and something to put on your CV, and it also builds confidence and self esteem, self worth and self belief. That really is your best place to start alongside applying for jobs of course.

    What country are you in?
  4. TJ

    TJ Staff Alumni

    hey there ,

    have u ever thought of doing some volunteer work ? this could get u some experince for free without having to do courses etc , and then a potental job might come from that it also looks awesome on CVs etc .
    we also have the job agentcys over here in NZ and all u have to do is go in and have a talk with them about what ud like to be doing .
    still for me if i was in this situation i would go with volunteering becausse it gives u some skills etc for applying elsewhere when ur ready to start working.
    hope this helps
  5. corrina

    corrina Member

    I live in the United States, Texas to be exact. I have thought about going to the state employment agency for help getting a job. Also, a religious organization near me offers job placement services. I will probably go to them first since they are probably used to dealing with socially maladjusted people like me, lol. Maybe I won't feel as awkward. I will still be really embarrassed when I have to tell them that I have never had a job; I hope they won't think I'm too much of a weirdo.

    I am also extremely shy, quiet, and introverted, and most jobs out there require "smiling faces" and extroverted personalities. I am anxious and incompetent in social situations. In fact, I am so shy that I used to think that I might be autistic (actually sometimes I still do). I know I have undiagnosed social anxiety disorder, and probably avoidant personality disorder, too. I need a job where I will not have to interact with many people. A job as a housekeeper, mail clerk, or security camera monitor would be perfect for me.

    I guess I should also mention that I don't drive, so I have to depend on others for my transportation. That's always been an obstacle for me, too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  6. corrina

    corrina Member

    I have thought about volunteering, too, like at an animal shelter. I'm a little scared to bring that desire up to my mom and cousin (who lives with us), though, because they will think it's a waste of time since I wouldn't get paid, and since I'm dependent on them for rides, I probably wouldn't have any way to get there. :sad:
  7. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Could you cycle? Or use public transport? You could look for a part time job and volunteer as well.

    There will always be reasons not to do something, but there are also many reasons to do it too. Maybe fight your fear and just explain to them why you want to do it and why you think it will be beneficial.

    I used to volunteer with animals and its an amazing thing to do.
  8. jenniferelaine

    jenniferelaine Well-Known Member

    Yup. Volunteer.

    I can't read minds, but as a supervisor, if I saw a resume come accross my desk of a 26-yr old with no previous work experience, I'd wonder about that person's initiative to get out and do things. (I'd wonder other things too, but its illegal to ask those questions).

    Volunteering will show that you have initiative, and you can use the organization you volunteer for as a reference. Plus it will give you experiences that can help you land jobs that may have previously been out of your reach. Because I volunteered at an animal shelters, I was able to land a job at a groomer/boarding facility, and another volunteer position with kids helped me land a summer camp gig. True, you won't be getting paid, but you will benefit from it in more than one way. (And you never know, I know people who have gone from volunteer to paid positions)
  9. corrina

    corrina Member

    Wow, I can't even begin to tell you how small that makes me feel. The main reasons I have never had a job are lack of transportation and crippling shyness and anxiety, not laziness or apathy. I have always wanted to get out and do things, I just haven't always had the opportunity. Besides, I am currently attending community college, so it's not as if I'm doing NOTHING with my life.
  10. corrina

    corrina Member

    I don't have a bicycle, and I'm too nervous to take public transit. (My city's public transit system sucks anyway.) When I get my financial aid check in September, I plan to use some of it to pay for driving lessons, so I can learn to drive (and thus have some degree of independence) once and for all.
  11. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Maybe get someone to plan the route with you and do some test runs on the public transport. If you can prove to yourself you can do it, it will be a huge boost, like you wouldn't believe.
  12. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Mumble something about health problems if it comes to explaining where you've been. If you're on a suicide forum it's true (mental health counts too!), and they won't inquire further. But you'll be starting at the bottom of the ladder.
  13. lachrymose27

    lachrymose27 Well-Known Member

    Try retail jobs, they seem to be the easiest, plus they will give training.. you just have to get past the social anxiety barriers and not feel embarrassed about not having any experiences in the past.. its difficult, but if you keep thinking and feeling this way, you'd only feel worse.. keep trying! :)
  14. Stray

    Stray Account Closed

    You can't really move foward until you get the anxiety sorted, get some therapy. Make up an employment history of a couple of jobs, they don't check. Keep job hunting, it takes many many applications but you will get an interview eventually, you just have to keep at it. Don't worry about your age, loads of people start afresh later in life. Good luck. x
  15. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Volunteering is a great idea

    I was sort of in the same boat...not a great job history anyhow...and internships/volunteerships saved my ass.

    Also temporary agencies are WONDERFUL. You're my age and fuck, we probably have the same job aspects, but know that you can get a job.

    Consider volunteering it's not bad. And it'll make your resume pop. I swear. :)
  16. Axiom

    Axiom Account Closed

    hi :)

    Well.. I suppose, have you graduated highschool and did you continue on with your studies if you did? Im wondering what sort of things you've been doing over the past decade, even if it is playing video games or watching tv or taking drugs.(im just throwing things out there not trying to paint a picture) You've been doing something(s), which will allow you to produce some skills in some fashion even if they don't appear to be that.

    You can tweak resumes btw. Did you travel at any point in the last decade? .. It's kind of hard to do, but if you've got enough things that are "socially" acceptable, you can create piviot points on a resume that a supervisor can bounce from and create an "understanding" of why you didn't have a job. It's a bit of false representation, but without lying, just tweaking the presentation, you can create a presentable image of yourself. Aslong as you intend to stick to the presentable image you are projecting, you won't have a problem.

    On a more directed point which I feel is extremely important for you. What do you want to do. Forget past experience, forget money, forget social obligations, forget family obligations. ... just what makes you feel happy and allows you to feel like you are achieving something and growing.

    It's just.. You're saying that you are having a tough time finding the courage and ability to find work, and would settle for a job that hides you in the background. I just worry that if you achieve this, you will become stuck in this.

    Kind of why Im wondering what you like. Because if you have an idea, you can get a basic job like this that you can sit comfortably in, save up money for courses or whatever it is that can allow you to do the things you truly want to do.

    Now would be the time to being to plan a route for yourself. Something to aim for after this target of finding a job.

    Btw the thing about your mom seeing volenterring as a waste of time. You can sincerly explain that as a way for you to finally make a way in life for yourself, but because of the lack of work experience, this is the best way to prove your commitment to a job, while achieving experience which can be applied to a resume which future employers whom will pay you can look at and actually positively bounce from, as opposed to seeing no work experience.

    If you do volunteer, maybe steer that in a field or subject that you really enjoy :)

    Just because you might feel anti social and shy, doesn't mean that you are. The more you live your own life freely and move towards your dreams and objectives, the more independent strength and determination you will find in yourself.

    The unknowns really frightening. It can also be very exciting, especially if your path into the unkown is the way you are choosing it. If you build yourself up, you can do those things that you might feel that you cant do now.

  17. yous

    yous Well-Known Member

    I'm 36 years old and have never had a job, relationship, life for that matter.
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