YOUTH MATTERS Chloe Oliver...Needing a pal to get me on the ladder for a new career

Leaving school and starting college, like many students, I was eager to earn spare cash.

Money would allow me to keep up with the ever-changing fashions, afford meals with my friends and buy study books. I realised it was time to get a j-o-b.

But I didn’t realise how hard it would be...

In this economic climate I did half-expect my CV to be rejected by most stores, nevertheless I persevered, perhaps naively, expecting someone to reply. Not one.

I possessively checked my emails, filled with hope at every unknown number to encounter my phone.

Only for the momentary excitement to be quashed by salesmen desperate to sell me ‘cheaper’ house insurance or new washing machines.

Which faux-pas had I managed to create on a single piece of white paper? I don’t know.

The resounding answer from friends was companies don’t want young adults to work for them. They want full-time staff with experience.

The dilemma of youth perfectly reiterated through the common saying ‘you can’t get work without experience and you can’t get experience without work’.

A few weeks later, however, I saw one of my best friends behind the till in a high street store. She mentioned a new job opening which wouldn’t be advertised. It sparked an explanation of my unemployment – I was lacking an ‘inside contact’.

Within a fortnight, I was shortlisted, interviewed (with my friend’s help who guided me on difficult questions) and got the job. The exhilaration of knowing I was going to be earning my own money with which I have the freedom to carefully save or recklessly splash made all the worry and hassle worthwhile.

Of course, with my first month’s wages I chose the latter.