Chloe, 27, British, Estates Officer
By Tolu Oshodi
What is your biggest struggle as a millennial?
It’s definitely getting a job in the industry that you want. That’s the biggest challenge, because you want to study something that’s practical and can get you a career in such and such, just to be able to put food on the table for yourself later. But then sometimes you feel like it comes at a cost…because if you’re someone who really likes and enjoys science and wants to become a doctor or something you’re alright because its just one straight path. You just have to make sure you pass your exams and all that kind of stuff. But if you’re a bit more creative, or just a bit different it’s quite hard to just find yourself and it’s frustrating, it really sucks. You’ve got a good job, but your heart’s just not in it so you don’t feel like you’re being challenged and this is our time, our 20’s, this decade only comes round once and you don’t want to waste your moment. Some (older) people say that you should be grateful just to have work and yes, I am, but not when it’s not motivating you to do anything and I see so many complacent people at my workplace and I can’t become one of them, it’s just not me.
What’s the worst job experience you’ve had?
I’ve done a lot of temping and I found that when you’re new to it, young, you’ll take anything you’re offered. The older I got, the more I learned not to trust recruitment agents because they’ll try and sell anything to you. There was this one occasion where one of them did just that, and when I turned up to work, everyone was just so cold and hostile. They saw that I was young and quite shy and pretty much excluded me from everything social. While I was there I had a birthday coming up and you know how it goes, unless you don’t really mind your job, you’re not going to be working on your birthday. It was agreed by the agency that I’d have the day off so the day before I reminded management and they got so funny about it and tried to make me come in, and it was so unnecessary and caused all of this tension and I feel like they were just trying to take advantage because they thought they could. It was pretty much downhill from there for the rest of the time I spent working there.
What would your ideal job be?
I really like research and studying data and trends, but I’m also trying to take more pictures so I’d like something that merges the two. In advertising for instance, in my opinion, I find that our demographic is still underrepresented in TV and media. We exist, and I know so many people like myself, who look like me yet we’re nowhere, but we’ll still buy certain things that aren’t really marketed to us just because that’s what’s widely available. Representation is a huge deal and is still quite lacking so ideally I’d like to be able to contribute to its expansion.
Do you think a degree is worth much in today’s job market?
Yes and no because coming out of university I’ve worked with people who have even more degrees than I have yet we’re doing the same job, with the same pay, sometimes I’m even on more or they’re just on a little bit more. So it really just depends, most of the time it’s usually down to luck and it’s about who you know, that really helps. But in a way I’d still say yes, because a lot of companies are still looking for graduates. One thing I do like about having a less “academic” degree is that you can apply it to loads of different fields. I studied sociology for example, but if I were really interested in taking the financial route, it would’ve been fine. Most companies do require you to pass with at least a 2:1 but I’ve still worked with people who got 3rds but because they’re able to brag or maybe they know someone, they’re able to get the job too. So it’s not always about your qualifications, if you’re good or genuinely have a passion for something then that will shine through. If you can talk the talk, that helps too.
What advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?
Be more confident. If you know me and I’m more comfortable then like most people, I can get a bit crazy and that side comes out more but for the most part I’m very shy, very reserved.
I wish I did more with my passions when I was younger because I was very artistic, I drew and wrote a lot but not anymore. I do really like photography now but I wish that I didn’t hide it so much. 5 years ago I was already taking loads of photos but I would just keep them to myself. When I started sharing things this year I would do it completely anon and even now I still quite like people not knowing exactly who you are, I like that sense of mystery. However there’s also beauty in being seen, so I would definitely say more confidence. You’ve got to start from somewhere.
How would you apply that same advice 5 years from now?
I’m really obsessed with age and time, God bless my parents but they’re really on that whole “you should be X by now” and they mean well, however they know that our time is so different from theirs. Even though they read the news and hear about unemployment and how impossible it is to get on the housing ladder etc. etc. they’re still like “well, by now you should be this and that” just because some cousin somewhere is doing it.
So it’s always good to go at your own pace and not compare yourself to anyone else’s path. My very closest friend is a pharmacist and is doing really well in her life and that’s beautiful, it’s great for her because that’s what she’s chosen but it’s not what I want, so it would be unfair for me to sit there and compare our lives. It’s human nature to compare, but it’s then about bringing yourself back to earth and realising that you’re doing a great job too. So enjoy the things that you’re passionate about, if there are some activities you enjoy doing, do them! Even if it means going on your own. If you like to dress extravagantly, do it. Wear those cactus earrings to work on a Wednesday if you feel like it, you’ve only got one life so spend it doing what you enjoy.
What has your best accomplishment been so far this year?
I’d have to say just being true to myself, I know it sounds so cliché like “I’m a new woman” but honestly, just sticking by my morals. Most people don’t like to disappoint others and I try my best not to, sometimes I wont mind inconveniencing myself a little for someone else but I find that sometimes people do take advantage when you’re too nice. So lately I’ve been standing my ground with people who overstep because they think “Ah its fine, Chloe will always be there”. None of your relationships should be a one way thing and everyone deserves friends who are concerned for you as you are for them. I hate to say it but maybe it is a Millennial thing? The truth is, at this age, everyone is just trying to find their feet and sort themselves out. You’re not after someone who has to stop traffic just to see how you’re doing, but you want to make sure that you’re actually making some genuine friends.
It doesn’t have to become an argument or turn into a fight but if someone isn’t making you feel so great then you have to know when it’s time to put that relationship aside. It doesn’t have to be war, or “when I see you, there’s gonna be hell on earth” it’s just about knowing your worth, and making sure you’re happy with the people you keep around you. As I said before, you only have one life to live and especially if you’re a good person (which most of us I’d like to think are) you deserve to be happy and feel appreciated.