I graduate at the end of this year, and as part of that, I’ve been filling out job applications. It’s a Bachelors degree in Emergency Health, so logically, I’ve been applying to the various different ambulance services who are currently arranging their 2015 intake for paramedic interns.
I’m sure most of you have put a job application out at sometime or the other. I’ve worked since I was 17 – job applications aren’t exactly new. Logically, it should be a straightforward process – get the correct materials together, send it off, fill out the application form. And that process is as it should be – straightforward.
What everyone fails to mention however, is what happens when you apply for a job that you actually want. Not a job you need, not a job that will pay your rent, although ideally it’ll do that to. Not a job that sees you rock up for your shift, do whatever it is you have to do to get paid, and then scuttle off into the part of your life that you find your self worth in.
When your own sense of being is tied up in a job, when you have spent the last three years volunteering, and working, and trying so hard because this is actually something you want to do for the rest of your life, something that you will measure your impact of the world through… that’s an entirely different matter.
It’s like correlating together every bit of information about what makes you a worthwhile and productive human being, and presenting it to someone so they can say – “Well, I don’t really thing all this is worth enough to us to actually employee you.”
That’s what wanting does. It changes what should be a process of information exchange and a objective decision on the part of the employer into something that feels personal. It’s like when you write a piece, and send it out, and all you get back is a form rejection. There’s exactly the same amount of self worth tied up in it.
So I’ve acquired a swim teaching qualification in case everything falls through. I’ve been looking into other courses in case I don’t actually get a job next year. I have four separate back up plans. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do if I package up everything that makes me worthwhile, only to have a rejection come back.
But at the end of the day, it all has to come back to why I tied my self worth up into this job. I wanted to be a paramedic because of people. Because people are fascinating, and the way the react to life’s circumstances are fascinating, and if as a paramedic I can walk into a scene with the skills to help people cope and continue on with their lives, then I will have everything I want in this world.
There are more ways to do that then being a paramedic. That’s what I’ve been preparing to be for the past three years, but all of it – all of the study, the volunteering, the work – funnily enough it provides the experience I need to work with people, to be a supportive part of other people’s lives.
And however I manage to do that, as a paramedic or not, I think as long as I have that, I’ll be happy.
Image credit: Attributed to David Nagy, taken from flickr, creative commons licensed