Actually, it’s more like 10 years.
This is because 10 years ago I began a whirlwind journey that I call my twenties.
They were filled with everything that a twenty-something year old dreams of doing. And it’s those exact things that made me ‘unemployable’.
I’m using quotation marks here not for sarcasm but –ahem- to show possible future employers that I can still possibly be employable if they’ll ever have that job that will tick all my checkboxes.
You should also know that it’s a real word.
I heard it being perfectly used on a podcast with the same name which you might want to subscribe to.
Brian Clark defines me or us weirdos as “people who can get a job; they’re just not inclined to take one”.
Here’s what’s happening now. I am a freelancer writing for clients online and doing the occasional social media management for people too. I am also running this website and blog plus everything else related to it, which takes time – believe me.
Definitely not what my mum wants me to be doing. Definitely not what my wallet enjoys too – because it’s confused with the intermittent irregularities.
But back to the story.
In my twenties I did all the things possible to make me as ‘unemployable’, in my five years of being employed, as I could ever be.
A trifecta of ‘unemployability’ as I now like to call it.
Here they are:
1. I Joined AIESEC
AIESEC if you don’t know is an organization that’s much like a nifty factory. Students from tertiary institutions go in and they come out as leaders. Or at least that’s what AIESEC hopes.
I joined AIESEC back in first year and stuck with it all the way ‘till after fourth year.
I was once in a job interview and the HR guy told me I had mentioned “AIESEC” more than 10 times in my answers.
And it makes sense.
5 years and 24 countries later, AIESEC gave me a lot and it still is what makes me who I am.
It taught me all the hard and soft skills I needed for the employable and ‘unemployable’ jungle
It taught me how to be a self-starter.
It taught me how to start projects.
It taught me how to start out on my own.
And, of course, it ‘unfortunately’ taught me how to speak my mind. Or -- maybe that’s just me – because that trait would go on to cause the loss of my third job.
AIESEC also threw me into the world.
It took me to Nigeria for a year; Venezuela for ten months and Colombia for six. And I can’t tell you how much you can learn about yourself and the world with one year stuck in Lagos and another one and a half in Cabimas and Bogota.
2. I Dabbled in 'Other' Things
Before AIESEC, I dabbled in modelling while at the art institute, BIFA (Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts) and during my first years in University.
Not to downplay this time of the life, but the only thing it taught me was how to hide my tomboy and goofy nature at will.
It also taught me poise, how to catwalk and table manners. All things I could learn with a couple of Youtube videos and an instagram account.
This dabbling also took me outside the continent of Africa for the first time. And for that I am grateful.
3. I started and stopped too many jobs….in too many countries
This one is a serious one that even a HR guy has advised me about.
Thanks HR Guy.
So here’s the thing: In five years, I have worked at 7 jobs in 4 countries. And the longest I stayed at a specific job was 1 year.
It all looks great in a CV but it’s not exactly a good look for a CV in a HR’s perspective.
And why have I moved around so much? Well, that’s definitely a story for another day.
So there you have it.
Three things that make my CV a grand document.
Three things that make HRs run my way but also -- run away.
This is kind of like saying I look good in theory but not in practice.
It's like saying my great decade counts for too much and that makes me almost totally ‘unemployable’.
Don't worry. This is not at all a pity party.
I have come to terms with my current 'fate'.
Perhaps in the near future I will actively be in search of a job.
Perhaps I won’t.
Either way, I will strive to stick to what makes me feel alive. What I wake up and do even on my worst days and still feel better after it.
So far, that’s been writing and teaching. Period.