A few weeks ago, we launched the hunt for Go Think Big’s new blogger. We wanted to find someone who could voice all the hard, infuriating and  challenging parts of job hunting faced by young people, and make us laugh too. You lot didn’t disappoint. We had over a hundred applications and after a LOT of deliberation, we managed to whittle the list down to three people that stood out to us the most;  S.J., Leila and Emily.

Now it’s up to you to decide who you want to be crowned as the voice of Go Think Big. We need you guys, the readers of Go Think Big, to take a look at S.J.’s blog post below, then check out Emily‘s and Leila‘s and vote for your favourite. The person with the most amount of votes on Monday 27th March at 12pm will be our next blogger! Got it? Let the voting begin!

S.J.’s Blog post: One step forward, two steps back

1998. I was a small child with messy hair and scuffed knees, my priorities were the careful crafting of mud pies and consuming jam sandwiches (sans butter and crusts) and I lived with the complete confidence that I’d be become something brilliant. Or a vet. Or one of the three musketeers.

Skip to 2017 and I’ve accidentally turned 25; my hips are considerably wider, my hair is still messy and if you believe the papers; carbs are a bigger threat to public health than nuclear warheads. It’s safe to say my childhood positivity has grown over, much like the patch at the top of my father’s garden that was once a perfect muddy sphere.

I’m (newly) single, unemployed, and back living with my parents. I’m a sitcom stooge, a selfproclaimed failure. But before you write me off as a complete bore, let me tell you that I tried living the dream, being daring and following my heart instead of my head. I moved to Amsterdam to do a Masters degree in an act of post-Brexit defiance and an attempt to ‘find myself’ (or at least some half decent photos for my Instagram account). For the first time in my life I felt cool, I bought a probably-stolen Dutch bicycle and arrived everywhere in a sweaty mess that I passed off as a conscious fashion choice. I wandered around book shops sipping coffee and considered taking out a small loan upon ordering a pint of cider in an Irish bar. I made friends with South Africans, Romanians, and Germans, and enjoyed the beauty of a truly international city.

Yet this European dream came crashing around my ankles upon discovering a problem affecting my spine and joints. My self-discovery journey quickly became an emergency finding-out-what’s-wrong-with-me journey. I now know I have scoliosis, a wonky pelvis and dodgy joints. I’m a musculoskeletal scrap heap. If I was a horse I’d be on a one-way journey to the glue factory. I returned home to rural Warwickshire where the most interesting thing to happen is power-cut in the local Co-op. For me, homely cottages and Parish council meetings are the stuff of tedious nightmares. Originally from North London; I’m a city girl born and bred.

I’ve been unemployed before; post-university with nothing to my name but a 1st class degree certificate, I really struggled to find a job. I eventually swallowed my pride as necessity forced me to become a Job Centre regular. Three years later, I’ve found myself back at the same dreary building where happiness comes to die, now under the ‘Universal Credit’ moniker. However this time around it’s different, I’m disabled. We often think of disability as something you know about from birth. Disabled people are obvious, they sit in wheelchairs, have white sticks or hearing aids. But actually, anyone can become disabled at any point. You might be disabled for a period of time after an injury or accident, or it could be something that affects you long-term. Many disabilities are completely hidden; you wouldn’t know about the problems with my body unless I stripped my clothes off, and you wouldn’t know about the pain I experience unless I told you. So, what has this got to do with the job hunt? Well put it this way; if you were an employer with two equally qualified candidates sat in front of you, and one needed a fancy chair, a laptop stand, a foot rest, the opportunity to stand-up and stretch at regular intervals, and the other one didn’t…who would you pick?

Voting is now closed, we’ll be revealing the winner soon!