I have done since the age of 15, where I was offered a job with an Interior Designer after I had completed a period of work experience arranged by the high school. I highly enjoyed this position, had many responsibilities and gained many skills. I then progressed onto being studio and venue photographer with Bourne Leisure which was brilliant experience for the career I wished to achieve.
Here came my first break in employment at the age of 17 which was purely so I could attend college full time to study for a National Diploma in photography. After returning to my home town I worked another 3 jobs, as well as taking the steps to start up my own photographic business, that took me from age 18 to the present and my current break in employment.
I did leave my previous job. I moved from the area due to circumstances that I may address in a future post but that job was seasonal and would of ended in the same outcome. I now live in a lovely but modest little flat with my partner who was not from this area either hence his status being currently unemployed too.
Now, too often I hear the stereotype that people on benefits are lazy and better off than people working! Yes, we are living off housing benefit and job seekers allowance but no, we are defiantly not a lot better off than if we were working (if this were true, then why do we struggle to even afford enough food and gas/electric each month?!), nor are we lazy...we are trying to find work, both of us apply for countless jobs a month and have attended courses etc to help us into employment, however people seem not to realize that for every job vacancy there are on average 23 people applying.
I cannot see why people think we are not entitled to any government help when we have both contributed to the country and taxes since we were teens.
Everyone that is claiming job seekers allowance is not the same. We are not all addicted to drugs or alcohol. We are not all teen parents or school drop outs. We don't spend all day in bed and all evening in a pub. Neither of us drink, therefore aren’t spending unnecessary money going on nights out. We are just people, normal people who have worked all their lives, have skills and qualifications but unfortunately have been caught in the economic struggle the world is in right now.
I have seen middle aged men and women in the Job Centre who have been made redundant after years in a steady job, is that their fault? Should they have to give up the home they have been paying for for years or should they be given a little help until they’re given their next shot at employment?
I’m not saying that there aren’t some people that are scamming the system. Claiming certain benefits when they aren’t entitled etc, but they are not the majority, people should not be so quick to judge.
There are some unbelievable cases of people claiming hundreds of thousands in benefits a year. These aren't people like us though. They claim everything from job seekers, housing benefit, tax credits and child benefits. Most have no intention of working and no motivation to. These are the people who need to be cracked down on and not rewarded for each time they reproduce.
Moving onto the opinions that I mentioned at the beginning of this post - those of my apparent 'old fashioned' self. Jake shares my opinions that we would be happy for him to work a full time job and I would stay at home to take care of the house - if financially it was viable. In no way am I saying that I don’t want to work, but if we could run the home on that one wage comfortably I see no reason that means I couldn’t live as a proper housewife and have his dinner on the table every night for him returning from work. Why, if we could afford to live with Jakes wage, should I take a job that another family needs? In reality, when the time comes that Jake does start in full time work I plan on working harder to push my photography services. Not only is it something I enjoy but being self-employed would mean working hours around my own and customer’s needs.
Anyways, right now I volunteer 2 days a week at a charity mini bus firm which gets me out the house, I really suggest it to anyone sick of the same four walls. Its great to be contributing to the community somehow.
I wish those fellow job seekers the best of luck in finding your new job and hope that it is not much longer until Jake or I have some luck! It'd be nice to not have to worry about money, even though were not alone in that situation (and I’m very lucky to have parents I love very much, that can help out when times are tough…even if I hate doing so).