The beginning of adulthood is like a race. Everyone’s running, some are faster and some are slower. You suddenly realise you don’t know why you’re running, or what you’re running towards. But it’s too late to stop, because otherwise you’ll just get run over. The search for a job is something like that. Although if you’re searching for a job in another country, it’s like running the same race but now you have to jump-rope your way to the finish. Unless you trip up and get trampled over, obviously.

Currently, life’s difficult enough. Here’s a list of reasons why:

  1. Sparks flew out of my toaster, as it suddenly died.
  2. My fly was open as I sat in the library all day, oblivious to the fact.
  3. The bags under my eyes are heavier than my law textbook (I don’t even do a Law degree).
  4. The tomatoes I was going to put in my pasta had fungus on them (don’t worry I threw them away)

Add ‘finding a job’ to that mix, and suddenly sparks are now flying out my bum and my whole life has fungus on it. I’m drowning under finance careers advice and as I flail my arms to find something to hold onto, all I can find are flimsy investment banking brochures with not-so-flimsy salary promises. And can we talk about rejection letters, please?

I have received my fair share of rejection letters, and they get funnier by the day. You know that if an email begins with ‘Thank you for your application’, the next word is probably going to be ‘however’ or ‘unfortunately’. Letting someone down easy is an art, and the corporate world has gotten efficient at it. Below is a rejection email I received from a consultancy firm. I swear.

Dear Anisha,

Thank you for taking the time to complete our online assessments. We were impressed with your application but have reluctantly decided not to proceed with it. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I love you, but I’m not in love with you.

I’m so sorry baby. It’s not you, it’s me. I need some time to work on myself, you know?

If you do choose to reapply, you’ll need to wait until 6 months have passed from the date you submitted your application. For the time being, I think we should just be friends.

Thank you for your interest in our company, but we really should see other people.

I need some space right now, but I wish you every success in the future.

Kind regards,
The Recruitment Team

The email actually handed me a tissue at one point, and stroked my back as I sobbed and blew my nose into it. So considerate, na?

Coming back to searching for a job in another country: it’s a glorious pain. A part of me gets it. The voice in my head tells me I shouldn’t complain. I’ve been lucky enough to study in the first world, with its clean air, and clean roads, and clean drinking water even in the toilet sink. I was promised a good education before I came, and that’s exactly what I’m getting. So, once I get my degree, I should just roll it up, stuff it in a suitcase and go back. Pull up my trousers, wash my hands, leave – job done (zip up fly zip up fly don’t forget). But the other part of me doesn’t want to do that. Yes, I miss home. My heart constantly aches for the Mumbai rains, for the crowded streets, for just one more day with my friends and family.

But I don’t think I’m done here. I’ve built a life for myself here; a life that consists of people I care about, a life of familiarity in a previously unfamiliar place. Well, also a life that has an expiration date. It costs £1000 per person per year for a company to hire a non-EU immigrant. However, this is only for skilled immigrants. It’s a Skills charge, that doesn’t target illegal or even unskilled immigrants who don’t pay taxes but probably still receive benefits. Instead, it targets those who actually contribute to the economy and work for the country. Boggles my mind, but it “May” be doubled, as per the Conservative manifesto.

Hurray for me. As if getting a job wasn’t difficult enough. On the bright side, I can send this meme to every company that broke up with me:

willy-wonka-you-cant-afford-me-im-too-expensive

But there’s a light at the end of this dark tunnel. Swimming through the ocean of unfulfilled dreams that immigrants cast aside, I think I can see the shore. I went for first dates with several companies. Some never called me back, some gave me an incorrect number and some climbed out the toilet window during our date (I’m referring to a company who sent me a rejection email 12 minutes after I sent my application. Ouch.). However, I think I’m finally in a relationship. He’s not looking for something permanent right now, so I’m currently an intern – a summer love? But summer flings can work out too, right?

I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, I’m going to find out if I can drink water from the shower too.

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