No motivation to get a full-time job (help)

So I graduated 3-4 months ago and I currently have a part-time job as a teacher assistant, which I’ve been doing for over a year now. It doesn’t pay well (i.e. for me to be able to move out and stuff, and actually have some sort of life), it can be frustrating and the commute is a real pain.

The thing is… I just don’t have any kind of motivation to look for something else. I’m filled with dread before even looking for jobs. Everything I read about employment these days is so incredibly pessimistic, I always end up thinking ‘what’s the point’?

I guess it doesn’t help that I still don’t have a clue what I want to do career-wise, but I guess this is normal when you’re in your 20s? (with an English degree).

I feel like I’m supposed to be looking for ‘the perfect job’ or something, and that I’ve somehow messed things up by not figuring this out earlier. Is there anyway to overcome this feeling, and just fucking do it?

Do you have any stories about work after graduation?

I’d probably advise just to take whatever full time job you can get and use it as a jumping off point for thinking about the future. No point aiming for perfect job right away.

What about making the leap from assistant to actual teacher?


Applying for jobs, interviewing and being on JSA is the worst. Geniunely some of the most depressing and worst periods of my life have been the years after uni, the unemployment -> temporary/insecure job -> unemployment cycle

It’s completely normal IMO to lack motivation to apply for something else especially as you say it feels like there’s nothing else out there/the future is bleak.


edit: thought i’d add a time frame as well. 3-4 months isn’t that long! I was doing this shit for 3 years before going back to uni


I had no motivation to find proper work after my post-uni data entry job, which I saved up quite a bit from (and then spent the next 2 years blowing all of it on travelling/holidays, a postgrad course, an expensive laptop, countless Countdown tournaments and keeping up with friends’ lifestyles…). By doing very little of substance I left myself in a position where I was several years behind most of my friends careerwise with little to show for it apart from some good travel stories and 5/7ths of a journalism qualification which I can no longer really be arsed with. There were positives and negatives from the whole thing but ultimately I feel a bit inadequate because of how little I’ve achieved since graduating and as a result I wouldn’t really encourage anyone else to go down that path. Mind you, fruitless job hunting is absolutely crushing as well, so… :confused:

If you don’t know what you want to do career-wise, try stuff out. Even if the job is dull or unrewarding you can use the money to explore/further any interests you may have, which may help you with ideas for careers. I now regret going for my journalism course… I think I should have gone back to uni and done an Int’l Relations Masters course, learned Russian and, idk, done some charity shit. I dunno. Can’t do anything about it now, I guess, and if I’d done that I very probably wouldn’t have done so well in Champion of Champions and I would’ve regretted that forever.


Graduate recruitment schemes can be a good starting point. Full time work, get moved around the business every 6 months so you get a feel for different parts of the business. Opportunity to develop.

guess I should get a job soon.

ah shit.

Your life doesn’t have to be defined by what job you do. I could never really think of anything in particular i wanted to do, ended up just kind of falling into one line of work and have gently progressed up the ladder, postgrad along the way. It’s nothing I’m mad passionate about, but pays the bills, I can do it relatively easy and I go home at 4pm and enjoy my evening, weekends and annual leave.

Suppose it’s nice for people who do have some kind of calling and go off and make tons of money doing amazing stuff, but for most people I think it’s perfectly cool just finding something to do, doing it well, going home and getting sozzled with your pals.

One bit of advice: some people like the idea of a set 9-5, others hate it, so if you can;t work out what kind of profession, maybe have a think about the general lifestyle that would make you most chirpy.


Pretty much this.

Never had any idea what I want to do with my life and still don’t. Got sucked into a job that was a “career” then realised it was a load of bollocks and I was doing what I felt was expected of me rather than what I wanted… or in this case really didn’t want.

Best job I’ve had was being a Postman. No career prospects at all but it paid well and was zero stress.

In your early twenties I’d just focus on finding a job that let’s you enjoy your life at that age. Go teach English abroad or something. My cousins did it after Uni and are making loads of money in Hong Kong and living ridiculously.


and if you find yourself either interviewing for a small firm, or working at an entry level at a small firm, then it could be worth suggesting some form of flexible scheme where you work alongside different teams on a flexible/rotation system. That way they can look for a good fit for you, along with you working out what they want. I’m in the middle of sorting an internal business case for this type of analyst entry-level model for my company.

I second getting just any kind of job, if you don’t know what you want to do. You can scrape by on a bartender/retail salary just about. After uni I worked in a camping shop, a student bookshop and numerous bar jobs whilst trying to figure out what, if anything, I wanted to do. Just being out and about in the daytime, able to pay rent in a shared house rather than living at home, being able to have a social life and being able to meet people through work all helped me feel like the ship was at least drifting around on open seas rather than marooned on dry land, so to speak.

I’d say if you don’t know what you want to do, just choose something that’s not going to be an absolute grind. Some jobs can be fun; getting an office job that you’re not interested in, for example, can be soul destroying. Pick something with minimal responsibility and some kind of atmosphere.

Dangerously close to quoting that Baz Lurhmann song when I say I’m near the end of my 20s and I know a lot of interesting people with ‘no idea what they’re doing’, so to speak. It’s an artificial concern. Worrying too much about your career is worse than not really wanting one imo.

That’s my advice anyway :cowboy_hat_face:

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Much like others have said: I graduated from a humanitarian degree and with only the vaguest idea of what I wanted to do with my life (I quite wanted to be a journalist but tbh I’d not gained enough experience to get a job in this field). So for the sake of wanting to stay in Cardiff I took a temp job, which I ended up in for six years in all.

I was pretty miserable about it but in hindsight it gave me some decent basic skills in terms of just holding down an office job, being good to customers, writing professionally and so on.

Tbh I only really managed to get an exit out of that job because I figured out something I could get enthusiastic about: in my case, it was giving debt advice. I put in a flexible hours request and volunteered a day a week at a debt advice centre. And then got a full time job a year and a half later off the back of this.

So anyway, tl;dr. Summary: (a) I can relate to your lack of enthusiasm but (b) getting a job of any kind is a good start.

Ah I’m in the same boat - I just finished my one year masters after 5 years of working an interesting job.

Finding it really hard to get back on that ladder - especially when you realise experience counts for nothing.

Fast approaching 28 and starting to worry I should be further on in life.

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What do you mean experience counts for nothing?

The experience I had with my previous job hasn’t helped get other work when I naively thought it would. I just think it’s down to luck most of the time.

Think it’s important to realise that for our generation there’s a lot of people in this boat. Nothing worse than settling though, is there that’s what I’m coming to realise.

Pick two of the following:

  1. Enjoy your job
  2. Get paid well
  3. Enjoy where you live/lifestyle

That’s kind of the reality for most of our generation.


I’d have thought experience is key to getting most jobs, assuming you’re not having a career change. Even then, should be able to talk up how previous experience makes suitable for such and such a role.

Mate I’m in the same boat, had to leave an intolerable job earlier in the year and I’ve been scratching around ever since. Got an interview tomorrow that’s 2 hours long, complete with literacy and numeracy test, group puzzle (wtf?), group role play, 1-2-1 role play, and finally an assessment interview. It’s hard not to think it’s all a bit of a fucking joke really. Plus I’m so ridiculously shy about how I look or come across in new environments, and I haven’t worked in the private sector for 5 years, and only remember the last private sector job I had being an absolute snakepit. Got a feeling I’ll miss the friendliness of the NHS if I get this job.

So yeah, it’s depressing, bleak, fills me with dread and despair, but I’d say try to look at the positives. I’ll have money again, so I can treat my GF, buy the sweet vinyls and speakers I’ve been looking at, and get a mega holiday booked somewhere pronto. Who knows, I could even end up making some new friends or finally join a footy team. I’m willing to give up 40 hours a week for the sake of my relationship and a healthier bank account, and to finally begin properly moving on from this shitshow of a year.

Besides, it’s not like I have any idea what I want to do anyway, and tbh I feel like that ship has pretty much sailed atm.

Also I guess I have an “out” in that the mrs, who is a nurse, wants to move to Australia soon so I can tag along so to speak. So I just have to put up with at most 18 more months of the UK/lack of prospects, and I’m pretty sure I want to study a trade or something to take over there.