A Post Of A More Personal Variety…


I don’t normally post stuff like this, normally my blog is reserved for books, sometimes video games – my interests, but not me. But I need somewhere to post this and I don’t know where else.

I am really, really not happy with things as they are now. And I don’t know what to do.

Everywhere I look, people I know are getting engaged, married, having kids, buying a house, getting a promotion, working their ideal job. And I can’t help but compare myself to others, even though I know it’s completely stupid. Despite the fact that I have two degrees under my belt, plus plenty of experience within museums and archaeology, I feel like I haven’t accomplished much with my life.

I really don’t like my job. It’s boring, I can’t stand customer service for a second longer, and it’s not at all what I thought I’d be doing after completing my Master’s degree. I hate the public and how so many people treat customer service employees as though they are nothing but something on the bottom of their shoe. The way that so many people act all high and mighty around me and my colleagues, how they get angry with us over the stupidest things – and in a place that they paid absolutely NOTHING to enter, I might add. I know I only graduated last summer and it will take me a while to get on my feet, but I need something that keeps me stimulated and provides a challenge, rather than walking around the same galleries again and again, day after day after day. Sure, the museum is great. Sure, it has amazing stuff. But that painting isn’t quite so amazing once you’ve walked past it thousands of times.

I’ve been applying for other jobs. I don’t want to leave Oxford just yet, and since museum jobs are hard to come by, I’ve been looking at higher education administration. I’ve had two interviews from countless applications, one at Christ Church College in December, which went really well but went to someone else. I was, however, chosen as the reserve candidate in case the person they chose turned it down. They didn’t, and over the Christmas holidays I applied to countless more jobs. I was offered one interview, at Hertford College, this month. I went along, felt really great and confident, and was asked back for a second interview. It went so well, and I felt so good – but again, I didn’t get it. It went to someone with more experience in that particular field.

Getting so close to escaping, but not quite making it, has really gotten me down. My current job has caused a LOT of problems. I get more migraines, because I can’t just grab a glass of water when I need one. I now have a problem with my feet, which hurt all the time, regardless of whether I’m stood up or not. It’s also aggravating another medical condition of mine and all of this combined together is so overwhelming, and makes every day at work a real challenge. I wake up each morning dreading the day, knowing that it’s going to be boring, frustrating and I could possibly get ill, so add anxiety to the mix.

I’ve never, ever been one of those people who really wants to get engaged, married, have kids and all that. All I want is the museum career I’ve always dreamed of, and I’ll be happy. But I cannot believe how little difference having a MA in Museum Studies has made. For the job we do, myself and all of my colleagues are ridiculously overqualified. All we do is walk around a museum all day, giving people directions, and almost all of us have one degree, if not two. Despite the fact that the post requires no qualifications, the museum seems to only hire people with them, because it shows we have an interest. But it also means that we’re wasting our degrees.

What frustrates me even more is how difficult it is to find an entry level museum job. I spent a while today looking through museum jobs, and almost everything was either volunteer work (how would I afford to live?) or required about five years experience of PAID museum work (how do I get the experience if I can’t get a single job without it?). The only jobs I could find that were suitable for me had some ridiculous limitations – you had to be 18-24 years old (so now I’m too old) and unemployed. Which makes me wonder why I even spent all this time and money on two degrees in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have a job. I’m just incredibly frustrated by this field that I’ve chosen to fall in love with and set my heart on. It’s so, so difficult to progress, and it really gets me down. I feel like I’m completely stuck in a rut and won’t ever be able to get out of this monotonous job, where I can’t even save the money so I can afford to relocate for another job. It is so important to me, what I end up doing for a living. I don’t want a job that makes me feel like I’m wasting my time. I want something that I can be passionate about, that I love doing, that I know is making a difference somewhere.

Sorry for the rant, I just have to get it out somehow…

20 thoughts on “A Post Of A More Personal Variety…”

  1. I’ve been there Rinn. Happy to say things are going great now and loving my job but it took me eight years since getting a masters to get there.
    i did some annoying jobs along the way. I had to do surveys cycling a bike in the most dangerous part of Dublin, I did data control on spreadsheets and got shit on by bosses who had little of my skillset but robbed any achievement from me. It will get better and something will come up thats perfect for you and the will want you so its just a matter of a little patience sadly.
    Keep applying and keep trying and it will click eventually

    1. Thanks for commenting, Paul. I had a job interview today so hopefully… Mostly I just want something with structure, that means I can have weekends and regular working hours too. And where I’m not on my feet all day…

  2. Job qualifications that they ask for in adverts are often a wish-list rather than an absolute, so if you see something you might like, go ahead and apply anyhow. They can only say no.

    You have my sympathy for not finding that the career you set your heart on is what you expected. All you can do is keep looking, and try to think laterally. There are probably obscure careers related to your degree that you haven’t thought of yet. Good luck.

    1. Thanks Ros 🙂 I’ve actually applied to quite a few things that I might not have previously, and have managed to get job interviews for ‘higher up’ jobs that I expected I could do, so that’s something!

  3. I’m sorry to hear you are going through a hard time, just keep applying for those jobs and finger crossed that you will get something, try to keep cheerful. On another topic I always look forward to reading your blog 🙂

  4. Job searching is horrible, especially when you just graduated. I’ve been in a similiar position a few years ago. I did a master in economic and consumer psychology thought I could get a good job and then I started job searching and got turned down again and again because someone else had more experience. It’s aso very demotivating and makes it feel like you’re not good enough for anything, it’s a horrible feeling. And how can you get experience if no one hires you. I tried everything from jobs that didn’t even fit my degree to job way below my degree. It seems so weird that you can’t get a job you want when you just graduate because you dont have experience, but can’t get experience as you can’t get those jobs you want.

    I hope you find a better job soon. It sounds horrible to get migraines, pain in your feet and anxiety over a job and not have a way out. Especially after thsoe two promising job interviews. I know it’s hard and I can’t really give any helpfull advice, beside keep trying and keep thinking about what you want in your life and from a job and try to get that if at all possible. Good luck!

    1. Yeah, it’s so demotivating and makes you feel like all that hard work wasn’t worth it. It’s a bit of a paradox isn’t it? No experience = no job, no job = no experience.

      Thanks for commenting, Lola. 🙂

  5. Hey there Rinn,
    Sorry to hear that you are having some problems. I have in the past work positions that were far less then mental satisfying and just flat out boring. I taught myself to look for things in the positions that would help better myself. I have in the past switched from one position to another via being offered positions. This would happen for I always pushed myself to do the best I can on any position. You would be surprised at how many employers are out there thinking about hiring their idea of the perfect employee. The trick is to use your current position as a lunching area. Be as professional and helpful as you can and always be positive with the public. Yes even if under your breath you are thinking what a pain in the a$$ they are. You never know who may be watching and it could pay off with a job offer in the future.

    During unsatisfying positions I found on my off time focusing on things that brought me joy. Be it a hobby, walking, reading whatever dive in and enjoy. PS. When you least expect it positive things can and will happen in your life. The trick is to find things to do that you enjoy during those seeming endless boring times.

  6. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Rinn, especially if your job is causing/worsening health problems. That makes everything harder to deal with. I know what you mean about wanting your job to let you make a difference, but it’s so hard these days to make that happen. Like you said, how are you supposed to find a meaningful job if you can’t afford to move and none of the existing jobs will take applicants without experience, which is nearly impossible to get? It’s easy to feel hopeless.

    I hope you don’t give up, though, because I believe there’s something better out there. Clearly you have the passion, as well as the education to back it up, and eventually that will pay off. In the meantime, I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to share your struggles on your blog. Your readers are all rooting for you. Good luck! *hugs*

    1. Yes, I’ve now given myself a deadline, and if I don’t have a job elsewhere by that point I will move home for a while, because as one of my colleagues keeps saying (and she’s 100% right), nothing is worth your mental health (or physical health really).

      Thanks for your comments and support, Maraia. 🙂

  7. I completely understand this post, as I’m in the same position as you. Two degrees and nothing to really show for it. No meaningful or even challenging job.

    I’ve been applying endlessly for jobs since last September and the only job I have is working in a clothes shop. It’s a struggle to get hours, I’m lucky when I double my contracted hours and I have to deal with the public who are convinced they have a right to shout at you and blame you for something that you haven’t done.

    I’m grateful that I have a job, as lets be honest it would be worse to have nothing. But I ‘d love to have something that was actually relevant to my degree, or at least something where I could test myself?
    I’ve been applying so much for jobs and the advice I was given is if you can tick seven out of their ten criteria then you are a good candidate, the next hurdle is making yourself the only candidate.

    This is a great post, so honest and I’m sorry your jobs not quite want you want and isn’t helping with health problems. Keep believing in yourself because you are great and it will happen very soon!

    1. Oh, I didn’t realise you were in this position too! It sucks. 😦

      Yes, it would be frustrating to be unemployed – but there is some creative arts scheme for museum jobs that only apply to people who are unemployed, as I mentioned above. Soooo annoying.

      Thanks for your comments and support, and I hope you can sort something out soon too. ❤

  8. Oh man, your post really resonated with me because I’ve been there. I did anthropology and biology degrees. Wanted a similar position in museums or fieldwork in archaeology, but by senior year it hit me that unless I got lucky, getting that future was looking tougher and tougher. The problem is that the jobs we want are limited in the first place, and worse, majority of those positions that exist are already filled by people who are going to be there forever. And I remember it being a real kick in the head too, knowing you’re over qualified but still can’t get in, simply because there just aren’t enough of those jobs out there.

    But I say if you are passionate about something though, do not give up. Hopefully you’ll find ways to increase your opportunities. You sound like you could really use a change, even if it’s just a weekend trip away to lift your spirits. No matter what though, I wish you the best, and I hope you find your path. If it’s something you truly want, it’s worth going all the way. For me, I ultimately used the courses that I took for my degrees to got into healthcare. It wasn’t originally what I’d planned, but it’s hard to regret that choice since it has led me to my place now where I am very happy. No matter what, know that life will always work out and it will be okay 🙂

    1. I didn’t realise you’d studied those subjects! It’s such a competitive field. Luckily, I do have another interest in higher education administration – now it’s just a case of getting a job in that and building up experience. I had another interview today, so fingers crossed…

      Thanks, Mogsy. 🙂

  9. Job hunting and trying to navigate my life after college was easily some of my least favorite times ever. I could tell you a long story about all my experiences but instead I’ll just say this: keep working hard, keep pushing forward, and keep in mind things don’t happen overnight… yet one day you’ll look back and the job you didn’t love will feel like a distant memory. I’m not working my dream job now, but I have come a long way from the frustrated and disheartened 22 year old I was 7 years ago. And it’s crazy for me to even say it was 7 years ago, because while it feels like a lifetime in some ways, in other ways it’s like wait, I’m nearly 30?! What happened?! But I have found contentment being in a good work environment and working on my dream on the side. You’re not alone and it’s going to get better!

    1. I guess we have this image of things being so easy after uni once we’re qualified, even though deep down we know it’s not the truth (my uni even got someone to come in and tell us that, pretty much!). I’m so glad you’ve found your dream job, Amy! I’d like to be in a career (rather than just a job) I enjoy by the time I am 30.

      Thanks for your comment. ❤ 🙂

  10. I am sorry to hear this. I am 37 and I only became happy in my job last year having been working since the age of 16. I didnt go to Uni but I found myself being told I needed experience or I need qualifications and at 16 I didn’t have any. Thankfully I did get a job that I didn’t like but it got a foot in the door and much need experience.

    However in 2012 I was made redundant and I applied for tons of jobs, never got a single reply, no feedback nothing. I ended up getting head hunted in the end which was amazing but it took a while and my now boss said that the reason I wasn’t getting any replies from other people was I was too over experienced. There is no happy medium it seems.

    It will get better, I know that is easy to say but don’t give up. You are obviously very passionate about what you do and to work in Oxford especially must be amazing with all that history.

    Don’t give up your dream, it will happen.

    1. Soooo frustrating. Where is the perfect inbetween? You’re either overexperienced or underexperienced, what do you have to do to be perfectly experience? It makes no sense. 😛

      Oxford is amazing. I just haven’t had much of a chance to explore it yet, so hopefully when I find a new job I’ll make the most of living here. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Heather. ❤

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