Coronavirus job-hunting: ‘All I received was rejection emails...but now I’ve bagged a new job’
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How Megan, 20, found work with the help of charity Inspire Suffolk.
With job cuts and recruitment freezes in the wake of Covid-19, you could be forgiven for thinking that finding work in the current climate is a difficult task.
But one 20-year-old has spoken of how she overcame rejection after rejection to find employment - with the support of a Suffolk charity urging people to “believe in youth”.
Megan graduated from London’s Fashion Retail Academy last year.
Like many people her age, she decided to set off on a five-month trip around south-east Asia before returning the start her career.
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But the outbreak of the global pandemic meant she had to come back to Suffolk two months early.
When she returned. Megan was suddenly thrown into trying to find work in what is said to be the most challenging economic climate since the Great Depression nearly a century ago.
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Many can perhaps relate to Megan when she says: “I spent all day, every day applying for jobs, but all I received was rejection emails.”
A lot of people might’ve lost heart - but Megan contacted Ipswich-based young people’s charity Inspire Suffolk for support, and has never looked back since.
“Inspire helped me look at my goals and really delve into the specifics of how I wanted my career to look like,” she said.
“They introduced me to people within the marketing industry, who helped me edit my CV to sound more professional and provided me with interview tips.
“I have now bagged myself a new job working within marketing and sales for a stationery company.”
Earlier this year, Inspire Suffolk launched its ground-breaking We Believe in YOUth campaign to help young people like Megan cope with the aftershock of coronavirus.
It said the pandemic “poses a serious risk of scarring young people’s prospects” - and that it wanted to tackle “head-on” the grave and serious threat posed by Covid-19 to young people’s wellbeing and the youth jobs market.
Its stirring campaign aims not only to alert young people to “innovative new services” the charity can offer to support them but also share inspiring stories of “how others have found the path to a more positive future”.
Since the launch, the national situation has got ever more challenging for young people, with the Office of National Statistics announcing the largest fall in employment since 2009.
Circumstances are just as challenging locally - unemployment benefit claims in Ipswich have nearly doubled in the space of a few months, with 3,005 more people claiming out of work benefits between March and July this year.
That means 6,280 people - 1,205 of them young people - in Suffolk’s county town are claiming unemployment benefits, with Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere saying it is the “largest it has ever been”.
Inspire Suffolk said that: “The future seems uncertain for young people just starting their working lives.”
However, it said it is “encouraging young people to not be discouraged” in spite of the recent furore over exam results, which has still left a lot of uncertainty despite this week’s government U-turn.
Terry Baxter, chief executive of Inspire Suffolk, said: “The important thing to remember is that, whatever your results, there are many options.
“This is the beginning of the next stage of your life, not the end.
“Organisations like Inspire Suffolk can help our young people make the next steps in your journey and we are ready to help you.”
Deputy chief executive Andy Crump added that the drive of young people should not be underestimated.
“The young people we work with are determined to not let their circumstances hold them back,” he said.
“We are proud to work at the forefront of helping them further their aspirations, build resilience and shape their futures.
“We believe the young people in our county are worth fighting for and they shouldn’t be held back on the basis of exam results.”