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“Throwing applications into the void”
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“Throwing applications into the void”

Samantha Khan, 26, a  Commonwealth Correspondent  from Trincity, Trinidad writes about the frustration so many young people face when job-hunting and argues that it requires more than hard work and perseverance.

I’m standing at the top of a cliff, flinging my job applications into a void. I scream into it sometimes but not even an echo responds. There is the bright glimmer of a city in flames in the distance. I can feel its heat billowing. My future burns with it. At one time, I had tried to ease the fire with my limited supply of water, but the fire raged on.

The “powers that be” are the ones with the influence to help tame the flames, so I do what I can and drag myself as far as possible, feeding application after application into a bottomless chasm.

Sometimes I’m tempted to jump off the cliff. I kick dirt into it, hoping my foot will slip and I’ll stumble and be swallowed. But I’m glued to the edge of the precipice, cursed to stand there in stagnancy and watch my future combust. I scream, “I’D LIKE TO ADD YOU TO MY PROFESSIONAL NETWORK ON LINKEDIN.” But the city still burns.

The other night as I lay in bed, counting anxieties instead of sheep, I came to the conclusion that it’s all about luck. The right person needs to catch the application as I throw it in, the stars need to align, the glare from the burning city needs to dim. Merit is indeed a critical factor as well, but only after a certain point. And to get to that point, you need a heaping amount of luck.I glance around beside me and, of course, I am not alone. Hundreds, thousands, even millions of other young people are standing at the cliff’s edge, throwing applications into the void, watching their futures burn. I look behind me and see countless others, not even close enough to submit their applications.

My whole job search hinges on the technology available to me. I’m only able to stand as close as I am to the cliff’s edge and shout into the distance because I am privileged enough to have access to the internet, a computer and a cellphone. I was only able to get my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees because I had the technology necessary to research and apply for them. There is still a lot that I lack and every new day brings the threat of revoked amenities, but I make the best of what I have, always with the biting knowledge that I would be much closer to stability if I had more.

I am certain, however, that there are young people out there with ten times more potential and talent than I have, who may have never had the chance to explore it, let alone apply for a job where they could use it. Among the myriad of young people around me, whose futures also burn with the city, there are so many who could have eased or even prevented the blaze that now threatens us all.

However, because of the lack of development, technology and opportunities, they never had the chance. It is a misconception to say that hard work and perseverance are enough to yield success. These factors are crucial, but without the availability of opportunities, there is only so much that hard work can accomplish.

It’s easy for me to feel sorry for myself and, if I’m honest, I spend a lot of time doing that these days. But then I think of my counterparts whose main concerns are acquiring clean drinking water and applying for minimum wage jobs in person because they can’t afford the computers, Internet, or investments in their careers.

The “powers that be” need to actively work toward an equitable world so that luck is never a factor in determining a person’s future. We need to level the playing field so that the leaders of tomorrow are those who deserve it, and not merely those who have the resources or personal connections.

We are in the midst of extreme turbulence on this planet due to climate change, corruption and megalomania. We, as one people, need to put our best collective foot forward if we want to survive. We have gone past the point of damage control. We must extinguish the fire and rebuild. The old systems are no longer effective. They are flammable, and likely to erupt into flames at a moment’s notice.

And if the city burns, we all burn with it, regardless of age, ethnicity, and annual income.

When rebuilding, we need our best people at the helm. To achieve that, we must ensure that education and technology are accessible to everyone.  We need fair and equitable systems so that we can effectively determine and position the leaders of tomorrow- leaders who will guarantee that we are not smothered in ashes but are able to rise anew.In conclusion, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

photo credit: via Pixabay

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About me:

Hello! I’m a student from Trincity, Trinidad, and I love to write, read and sometimes draw. I would live in the cinema if I had the choice. I enjoy learning about as many different cultures as I possibly can.

My dream is to become a novelist and through that, to challenge the stereotypes and constraints of society, as well as to provide thought-provoking material to shed new light on life itself. I believe that if we all shine a little light into the world, it will inevitably become a brighter place.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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