When I found out I had won the GoThinkBig blogger competition I had a little cry. And then to honour my winning piece, I wore my Red Panda Kigu all day along with the biggest grin ever. Yes I was happy (who wouldn’t be?) but it was more than that. I was totally overwhelmed…what the hell would I write about? How am I going to make anything I say remotely interesting and unique? 

Does this mean I’m a grown up and on track to actually making something of myself? To counteract this fear I ate half a packet of biscuits for breakfast.

If you read my first entry, you’ll know that, amongst other things (read: pyjamas) I have M.E. and study with the Open University from home while I try and make it as a writer. Considering I’m unable to hold down a job as sometimes I can’t even make it to the downstairs of my family home, I consider myself ‘freelance-by-default’. When I was younger I envisaged scampering off to university after my A-levels to study journalism or English before embarking on a life I was sure would be filled with work experience slots and making ALL the tea before landing a job I loved. 

Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure most people interested in journalism had this plan. But then something happened – I became ill with M.E. and everything changed. But let’s stop the pity party and get back to what I REALLY wanted to write about.

Whilst not everyone can relate to a chronic illness, what are the chances more than enough GoThinkBig readers can relate to things, well, not quite going to plan? Like me, you could be ill and on benefits, or maybe you’re working in a role or industry that has nothing to do with your dream career. 

Or maybe you can’t get ANY work at all and you’re one of the huge number of young people facing unemployment for no reason other than there aren’t jobs out there. It’s depressing, isn’t it? It’s pretty common knowledge that we’re a generation utterly screwed over by promises of a glittering career thanks to qualifications. Instead we’re left with debt, a whole load of unpaid work and an overwhelming sense of doom (or is that just me?). The thing is it’s all very well – and understandable – to feel miserable about the state of things, but maybe we should turn that HULK SMASH rage into something a little more productive.

In my time I’ve become a bit of a serial volunteer. From charity work to less altruistic and potentially tricky working for free, my CV is based nearly entirely on free work. Ideal? No, but realistically it’s all I’ve been able to manage as I study part time and receive benefits. No one wants to work for free, not REALLY, yet unfortunately it’s becoming normal. And whilst I’m not saying it’s OK for your time, skills and goodwill to be abused by companies expecting something from nothing, unpaid work has become something of a necessity and at best can really help your CV. 

In a day and age when we are doing ANYTHING to stand out for the chance at a job (short of stripping off) I for one have just decided to stop boring people to tears with my incessant whinging and knuckled down with making small but significant steps to employment. You know, for the day I can get out of bed for longer than a few hours at a time. 

Making the most of a bad situation DOES sound like something your Mum would tell you to do, and it has the potential to be the most infuriating words when hard times hit. BUT you know, I do think there’s a lot of truth to be said about it. I suppose in a way it’s become a bit of a mind set (I can’t believe I’ve become a person who has a ‘mind set’ – kill me now). 

If I’m going to give my work any kind of voice (again, kill me) then it may as well be that. Rebecca Mount, master in training of trying to put a positive spin on anything job related in an attempt not to lose her mind…bit of a mouthful there. But hopefully I can use my time at GoThinkBig to shed a bit of light on how I haven’t gone completely and utterly stir crazy with my hermit-like lifestyle and just maybe it’ll be of some use to someone. 

And if all else fails I can always blog more about my cats and living in my pyjamas.