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May 26, 2016

If you’ve been to the job centre or you know someone who has, you can probably relate to the title of this post.

Growing up poor, I had always heard that the job centre takes the piss, but I’d always brushed it off. A lot of the individuals around me had no intention of getting a job or starting a business, they simply wanted to live off the free money and watch TV. I don’t know how common that kind of person is, but – I assure you – I am not one of them.

I believe in transparency and that so I refuse to sell you dreams. I am poor, super broke and almost starving. Things could be worse, but I have no interest in making you believe I’m a young rich nigga making music, smashing groupies and having fun. That is not the case at all.

Here are the common realities of being an upcoming creator (in my experience anyway):

  • People want you to do free work and will come to you for help but won’t want to pay you.
  • People will enjoy your work and tell you how much they love it but won’t buy it.
  • People will tell you they support you but won’t put a penny in your pocket.

Now obviously some people will buy something and you might make a few sales here and there, but chances are it will take a considerable amount of time before you make enough to barely survive.

This is basically the life I’ve been living for a while now, struggling to survive and make ends meet through my creative endeavours. Coming from a poor family, I’ve never had financial support to enable me to chase my dreams. Chasing my dreams has been like jumping off a building and hoping I would land in the pile of trash below.

I was taught to go get an education and get a job, but even from primary school I was an entrepreneur. I used to sell scoubidou designs and hand drawn comics (they were terrible).

At 16, I realised that I wanted to be a musician. Six years later I’ve realised it costs a lot to be successful as a musician (a good PR campaign costs over £1,000 a month) and the returns, at least for me right now, are almost nonexistent.

After I left University, I started doing freelance social media management. I had one client for a while, but they had to drop my services (even though they were very happy with them) as they needed to lower their expenses. After that I tried half heartedly to gain more clients while juggling music and YouTube stuff, but had no success. People who were interested in my services said they would get back to me and just didn’t and most people just didn’t want to pay.

I opted to focus on music after that as I calculated that with what I had in my bank accounts, I had about 4 months to survive and I wanted to spend it doing something I loved. Obviously, music didn’t start magically making me money and I had accepted that I was going to die of starvation. However, friends and family urged me to try to get a job. I was disgusted at the thought; I’d rather die than live doing something I hate just to survive, but I looked into how the job centre could help me further my business and I found out about their NEA program.

For the first few weeks of going to the job centre I applied for 5 jobs a day as they tell you to do, I received one interview and you can probably guess that I didn’t get the job. At this time, I focused on building my YouTube channel as that was my largest revenue stream. I then asked to be moved onto the NEA program. I was sent to a meeting where they gave me all the information I had already researched online about the NEA program and then I was told that I needed to tell my advisor that I wanted to be on the program again in order to be referred onto it.

At my next meeting with my advisor, he referred me onto the program and I was given a meeting date. I attended the first meeting and it went well; he understood the mechanics of YouTube and I was hopeful. I was told to complete my business plan and bring it to the next meeting. If the business plan was approved I would then be transferred from jobseeker’s allowance onto the NEA program. This would also stop the need for me to visit the job centre every fortnight and I would only be required to meet with a business advisor once a month. This all sounded great. It would give me the needed time to work on my business and provide financial support for 6 months so I could get it up and running while also providing business advice. I completed my business plan within the week.

A week before my scheduled meeting in the last week of March, my advisor emailed me to tell me that he had been transferred to another office and I would be contacted with a new meeting date. This was annoying, but I dealt with it. I still had to sign on every two weeks as a result. My advisor made a call to the NEA department to see if things could be sped up, but they told him to tell me to wait for my new meeting date.

Almost 2 months later, I received no response whatsoever from the NEA department. At a job centre meeting, I was told that I was now required to sign on every day, but my advisor was going to help me out by allowing me to sign on every week.

Signing on every week is a hindrance to my business, I have been streaming for 5 hours 5-6 times a week and have been seeing growth in my YouTube channel where I was previously seeing decline. Any changes to my schedule may negatively impact my business significantly. Signing on everyday will effectively kill my business. When I arrive to the job centre 5 mins before my meeting, I still have to wait almost half an hour to be seen. Not to mention the travel time and costs I incur – time and money that could be much better spent.

I called a job centre helpline to see if anything could be done about my situation. I was told that it’s doubtful, but that they’ll send an email to the job centre and they’d have to call me back within 3 hours. 5 days have passed and I still haven’t received the call.

The policy of making me attend the job centre more frequently makes no logical sense. Especially since they are aware that I am working on my business and I’m not even required to look for jobs. When I go in, I wait, then I sign on and I leave. Me being there more often won’t help my business and it won’t help the NEA people give me a new meeting date. All it does is inconvenience me.

I have decided to stop going to the job centre. I understand that this means I will probably not be able to survive for longer than 3 months and I accept this fact. People love to say “get a job” or some shit like that, but to those people I’d like to educate you real quick. I know people who have been homeless for months and haven’t been able to get a job – people with better CVs than mine (my CV is basically empty). Logical thinking tells me that it’ll be more beneficial to dedicate my time to my YouTube channel which is growing, than waste my time applying for jobs. I do not take days off. I work every single day, 16 hours a day. I am not lazy. I do not expect support or help; I expect nothing. I know there are people who won’t be able to eat today, so who am I to moan about not being able to eat in 3 months? If it comes to that then so be it.

I will be successful or I will die trying. Fuck the job centre. Thank you to everyone who supports me in any way, as I know I’m not entitled to anything.

I hope this post gives you some insights into the realities of my life. Don’t waste your opportunities and as long as you are eating and have shelter, be thankful.

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Grow your personal brand using the secret tactics that bring me over 410.1+ million organic views online

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