We at BEG share a burning belief in work as a one-way street to liberty, equality and universal brotherhood. We are passionate about this because we speak from experience. We have steady jobs and want to spread the glad tidings to those in Bafflesby who haven’t – work can set you free!
As social creatures our deepest desire is to be part of a winning team firing on all cylinders. We yearn to belong, knowing that together we are greater than the sum of our parts. But when we – or rather, you – are still on the lowest rung of the ladder, our – well, your – first taste of teamwork will be as a mere cog on a big wheel.
Those at the bottom often perform their tasks without knowing why and seldom see the end product of their labours. School-leavers are familiar with this and will feel at home right away, of course, but if you have experienced the world of work you may have soaked up other attitudes. Perhaps you’ve heard that old folk mantra, ‘Find a job that suits you.’
We say, ‘Nice work if you can get it, Granny, but youngsters in today’s competitive marketplace should suit themselves to the job.’
Put bluntly, you can’t be a square peg in a round hole. You have to fit in. You must be ready to work all hours, wear an embarrassing uniform, change work practices at the drop of a hat, do whatever you’re told without demur and smile no matter what. Employers want a happy workforce and are happy to sack anyone who isn’t.
Fortunately, there are many ways to prepare yourself for this brave new world. Cook a meal but don’t eat it. Get ready for a party but don’t invite anyone. Decorate a room, lock the door and throw away the key. Remember you live in a 24/7 world, so set your wake-alarm for random times day and night. If you can’t stop hitting Snooze, consider a GPS-generated klaxon-implant. Prepare for zero-hours contracts by doing absolutely nothing for ages and ages followed by sudden, brief, random bursts of activity. If prolonged inaction bores you, give your CV yet another tweak.
For help untweaking your CV, call our Testimonial Rewrite Assist Secure Hotline (TRASH) to find out about our award-winning gold-star emergency-rescue service.
We recommend wearing clown costumes around the house. Once you pluck up the courage to answer the door in them, you’ll soon be walking the streets without a single stab of shame. Drop objects of increasing weight on your bare toes while monitoring your smile in a mirror. Tie shoelaces with unfamiliar knots. Perform routine acts blindfolded. Practise getting dressed in the dark.
Remember that all these exercises are dummy-runs for the real thing, so expect to feel like a dummy. You may also feel:
sick confused humiliated weird isolated alienated
lonely peculiar rejected lost broken invisible
stupid unappreciated forgotten hopeless feeble useless
Don’t worry. It’s normal to experience one or more of these symptoms during your acclimatisation to the world of work. Feel them all simultaneously and you may be close to despair, however, at which point cut out the homework and watch an escapist movie. Avoid hobbies with a carefully-crafted finished product, because they can lead to dissatisfaction with a working day where you produce nothing of any value. Don’t attempt original or unorthodox leisure activities in case they interfere with dull and repetitive work routines. Far safer to consume crap on TV and surf the net for amusing pictures of cats!
Watching Breaking News cycle endlessly with no analysis is the perfect way to prepare for a job you don’t understand and can never complete. Ignore complicated questions about vanishing species, melting icesheets, acid oceans, weather disruptions, arid farmlands and toxic air. None of these is your fault. In fact, forget all about sustainable ecology. Just remember that your only chance of sustainable employment is full-steam-ahead economic growth which encourages the rich to go out and spend their buried treasure.
Try to forget how hard you worked during your education. Academic values count for little in the real world. Graduates can become excellent baristas. And most anthropology graduates work for corporations that employ their knowledge to sell goods and services to the human lab-rats and guinea pigs they once studied with wide-eyed wonder. Wake up and smell the coffee.
Perhaps you already have. If your coffee break is the only thing you look forward to at work, wait until nobody’s looking and take a discreet internet trawl through The World’s Worst Jobs. This should help you count your blessings … but if any of them are better than yours, consider applying.
Bafflesby Employability Guidance (BEG)
an Offshaw & Gonn jobseekers service