CONFESSIONS OF A DOLE BLUDGER

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There’s a misconception that everyone on Newstart Allowance, or “The Dole” as the majority of society so lovingly refer to it, is a drop-kick who bums around all day, sponging off the government, and needs to disappear. I acknowledge that there are people taking advantage of the system, but there are also plenty of people who are doing everything they can to find a job.

While I’m sure the idea of earning $540 a fortnight (which doesn’t even cover the cost of living) and not having anything to do all day sounds appealing, I would imagine that a fair percentage of these people are actually ‘suffering’ from unemployment. I say suffering because that is how I see it. I am sitting here, writing this piece with two university degrees and I’m going out of my mind. I’m sitting at home most days looking through job advertisements, constantly being shot down – over and over again. Being constantly reminded that I am unemployed is not fun.

Why can I not get a job, you may wonder? The reason is not because I won’t get off my lazy arse and find one, but because the job market is currently flooded with ex-employees who have experience in my chosen field and are vying for the same positions that I am.

Now let me ask you something. If you were an employer looking to hire someone and were presented with two resumes with the same skill-sets, but only one applicant had experience in a similar type of role to the one you were currently advertising to fill, which one would you choose? Exactly!

I will admit that there are a fair few graduate jobs I could have applied for if I had achieved higher than a ‘credit’ average in my studies, like I really should have, and that’s on me. As for getting another job in a different field, well any job I apply for in the area of retail or warehouse logistics seem to draw the same response – you’re overqualified for this job – if they respond at all. I’m sure some of you may be thinking “well they probably want someone with experience”, and in terms of warehouse logistics you may be right, but I have 10 year’s experience in retail and yet no one seems to be interested in hiring me. Why?

I’m not telling you this because I want attention or need you to feel sorry for me, if it was up to me I wouldn’t be doing this at all, but I’m telling you this so maybe people will understand that it is a struggle. Even for someone who, for the most part, has done everything in their power to find gainful employment.

So next time the topic of unemployment comes up maybe remember that there are plenty of people out there like myself who are unemployed and trying to do everything in their power to fix it.

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