Why can’t I find a job?

Can’t find a job? Fear not, we’re here to help! Go and grab a pen and paper or open a word document…

Draw three columns onto your page. If you’re on word maybe insert a table.

Example table

In the first column, list the things that are or have been holding you back from getting a job. This could include:

1. Mental health is taking over my life

2. Struggling to stay motivated

3. I can’t drive

4. I don’t know if my CV or application form is right

5. I think I’m great, I don’t know why no-ones hiring me!

6. I don’t know where to start

7. I don’t have any/many/the right qualifications

8. They always ask for experience and I don’t have any

9. I’m worried about how it would affect my universal credit

10. There are no jobs in the field I want

It’s important to be open and honest with yourself here! We’re not out to get you. We’re not trying to make you feel bad either. Just using this time to help you to take control over your life and see which areas could do with a little boost!


Moving to the second column, list things that you need to overcome the barriers that you listed in your first column. This could be:

1. Counselling, wellbeing support, someone to talk to about my worries

2. A routine or structure to my day

3. A driving license

4. Someone to look over my applications

5. An outside perspective

6. A mindmap of potential things of interest

7. Relevant qualifications8. Volunteering or work experience

9. Understanding of the rules of universal credit

10. Pros and cons list of moving to where the jobs in the field are

The above is just a flavour of ideas of things and you might find that you have a lot more than ten or a lot less. This is ok! Be reasonable and reflective with the things you need. Usually, these are the things that we say “if only..” before or tell our friends about.


Column three is for the help that you need. Can you overcome this barrier yourself now that you have identified it? Great, give that a whirl! Do you need support to overcome it or to work on the practical things? Also great, now figure out who can help. Below is a list of support services and people who could help:

You have control over your life and have the ability to overcome some barriers with a shift in mindsets and a lifestyle change. We’re not saying that this is easy, but sometimes it is doable.

Friends and family
These people know you the most and can often help you to mindmap different ideas of things you might be interested in doing. Sometimes they can help you to practice interview questions or lend you an outfit to where for the interview. Perhaps they could go with you on the bus a couple of times to get you used to travelling. Try not to rely on others completely, but asking for help can be really positive.

Mental health hubs
If you feel ready for counselling and perhaps don’t want to wait on NHS waiting lists then you could consider a private route. You could look into supporting minds or NWCH. With them being private, they require a fee. This means that if you are earning under £24,000 per year, are unemployed or you are living with someone else and your combined household income is under £36,000 a year, then you can apply for funding. Have a look at Bromhead, a service that will pay for a set number of counselling sessions for you. Alternatively, if you feel as though your mental health could be improved by trying out new hobbies and activities get in touch with the social prescribers!

People plus offer a set number of driving lessons if you are on their careers training course. Alternatively, if you can drive and just need the vehicle, perhaps consider a moped, with wheels to work. To top up your driving awareness and to feel more confident on the road, perhaps consider the courses offered by iamroadsmart.

Sometimes it can be intimidating to know which pronouns to use with an employer and in an application. Especially if your birth certificate is not up-to-date. If you have any worries or need a hand changing your birth name to your real name, get in touch with Think2Speak. If you want to find out more about your rights in the workplace, check out ACAS.

There are so many routes to getting qualifications, so please do get in touch with us to discuss the options that are right for you.

There are so many free apps out there that can help with different aspects of your life. Apps like headspace and calm for your mind, down dog for yoga to keep you get rid of stress and waking up for routines. There are lots of learning apps, like duolingo for learning a new language and audible for reading new books.

*This list does not show every single support service available to you, just a couple for you to start exploring! If you would like to find out more information about any of them or would like to find out about other support services, chat to us and we’ll point out the different directions.

Chair of Trustees – Gail

*DISCLAIMER: We do NOT support Trump!

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Gail! You might see me at Abbey Access or at The Network events.

How long have you been at The Network?

4 years

Why did you set up The Network?

I have worked in Training and education for 32 years and have always had a passion for helping young people. I conducted the research around the issues faced by young people in the City of Lincoln and worked with the City of Lincoln Council to set up the service

What does your job entail?

Chairing the Board meetings, Promoting the service with partners, supporting the team with activities and events, supporting learners, staff, volunteers and helping to find and apply for funding.


My family always, but if I have to choose famous people…
Gordon Ramsey to critique my cooking and talk business
Mary Berry to bring the pudding ( I have had a Mary Berry cooking book since I was 8 years old and trust her recipes implicitly)
JK Rowling as I am a massive Harry Potter fan
Take That to provide the music (Counting them as one)
Donald Trump, just because…

How to find your path

Now there’s no definitive way to discover what you should do with your life. No formula or code that will get you there faster. Though that can be a daunting prospect, it can sometimes take the heat off. There is no right job, no right career path or right thing for you to be doing. You will get to where you need to be, and it will be in your own time! Having said this, there are a few things that you can do to help yourself along the way. Things that we have learnt along the way on our journeys.

Start with the basics

Here, the term basics is used loosely. The basics vary in degree of difficulty from person to person and from time to time. Sometimes you might find routines and day to day activities easy and almost mindless, whilst other days it might be overwhelming to brush your teeth.. we have all been there! There is no shame in struggling. The key is to find something that works for you. We use schedules and visual lists to plan our day to day activities. This takes the stress and brainpower out of the basics. Your basics could include; enough sleep, good hygiene, a little bit of exercise, safe and comforting friendships and food. The level of each of these that we need varies from time to time, so be patient with yourself. Select routines that fit into your lifestyle!

What are you resisting?

What are the things that peak your interest? The things that although you don’t understand why they intrigue or interest you, they do. Now cross off the ones that you don’t want to do. Never do something just because its what other people expect from you! Only do the things that you feel drawn to. Obviously make sure that they aren’t illegal or unsafe. Then explore them. Get curious! Go and try out that pottery class you’ve been looking at. Start writing that gaming code that you’ve been planning in your head. Bake. Read. Create. Do all of the things that you’ve told yourself are silly because you never know where it will take you!

Take a chance

Sometimes you have to take a risk. Sometimes you have to work so hard just to get by. You have to work a job, volunteer and explore your interests and this can be exhausting. Sometimes you have to turn down a night out or spend a little less on your weekly food shop, but it’s worth it in the long run. In a society where instant gratification is the norm, push yourself out of your box and graft!

Don’t give up!

The likelihood is, you’re not going to be outstanding straight away! So keep going. Keep crafting your skill until it becomes natural. Think about all of the greats from history, they didn’t just pick up a paintbrush and become world-renowned artists or suddenly jump to the top of the charts. If something came that easy, we wouldn’t actually feel fulfilled. So if you are working on your craft right now and you’re hitting roadblocks or feel that what you’re producing is rubbish that’s good. Through the years, as you get better, the sense of achievement and pride will be unparalleled.

Talk to people

and surround yourself with people that inspire you. Build your friends up and spark conversations. Speak to people who are interested in the things you are and ask for their advice. Put yourself out there even when you are afraid. The whole fake it til you make it advise springs to mind here!

And remember, it’s okay to not know where you’re going. Keep exploring, keep learning and keep trying things out!

Project Coordinator – Gabby

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Gabby the project coordinator. I’m the person that you will see when you access The Network for support!

How long have you been at The Network?

I started in late August 2018, but I volunteered for The Network before that

Why did you join The Network team?

I really felt the value and importance in what it does. So many young people feel lost after leaving school or a job and it’s hard to figure out how to get on the right path. I wanted to get involved and help other people who may have felt that way at some point.

What does your job entail?

Most of my role involves working directly with the people who come into our office. If you’re a young person accessing our service, you’ll be meeting with me! Delivery is my favourite part of the job role and I love supporting young people to take the next steps and get where they want to be.

I also do a whole load of the admin, running and organising projects, drafting new project ideas, working alongside other organisations, running workshops and so much more! As we grow, I’ve noticed that my job role evolves and changes and I’m so excited to see where it takes us!

If you were hosting a dinner party which 5 people would you invite and why?

Carl Rogers (father of person centred therapy and An All Around Good Human)
Irvin Yalom (famous psychotherapist who writes really great books)
George RR Martin (I need to know how the Song of Ice and Fire series ends, and also just chatting to him would be so amazing because he’s such a gifted writer)
Terry Pratchett (One of my favourite authors. His books never fail to cheer me up and make me laugh. Every time you read it you notice new quips)
Keanu Reeves (because who wouldn’t want to meet Keanu Reeves?!)

Marketing and Outreach Officer – Rachel

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Rachel! You might see me sat behind the front desk when you come into The Network or perhaps at the focus groups.

How long have you been at The Network?

I joined The Network around a year and a half ago and have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the charity since.

Why did you join The Network team?

I joined the team because I saw a deep value in what the charity was achieving. Deciding what kind of job to do can do can be ridiculously difficult and I feel fortunate that I have met some lovely people through the years who have pointed me in the right direction. I feel lucky to work somewhere where I am able to contribute in some small way to helping someone else feel confident about their future!

What does your job entail?

I’m the behind the scenes guy! I work on the social media, this website and the newsletter. I meet with different organisations and educational providers to let them know what we do and come up with fun ideas for new projects. My days are extremely varied and uber creative! If you’re a budding marketer looking for work experience or volunteering, please get in touch by emailing me at Rachel@networklincoln.co.uk.

If you were hosting a dinner party which 5 people would you invite and why?

Rosie Ramsey – because she’s absolutely hilarious!
Chris Ramsey – because I think he comes as a double act with his wife Rosie!
Midge Maisel – because outfit and sass goals!
James Redfield – because imagine the insights you would gain from him!
Katherine Ryan – need I say why???

So you’re missing the cinema…

reviewer: Charlotte

Ah, the cinema. The overpriced popcorn, the slightly sticky flooring that somewhat resembles a nightclub, the hiss of pain as your eyes adjust to the harsh sunlight after being in a dark room for the best part of that afternoon, you can’t beat it. And if you’re like me, then chances are you’re typically there on the first day of new releases and are even known as a regular to the staff. That a good thing? I dunno. Back on track! Anyway, now that we’re on week four of lockdown and with little sign of it being lifted anytime soon, I’m really beginning to miss the cinema. Like, really miss it. The cinema for me, is an escape. If the bigger picture is out of my control, then I relish in what I can control, and for me, more often than not, it’s going to Odeon, flashing a card and heading on through. It’s fun, it’s easy and most of all, simple.

Does that sound like your cup of tea? If not, then I suggest finding another article, but if so, then read no further, for I will be sharing my hints, my tricks and even what films are worth watching.


World Tour is arguably the film at the moment, with it being the first in movie history to be released on demand on the same day it was meant for a theatrical release. That in itself is an achievement. With a little help from my sister, I managed to watch the film last night, with it being one of my most anticipated movies of this year, seeing how I love the first one. And I gotta say personally, I loved it. Even more than the first one. Whilst I can say the first Trolls movie is arguably better and has funnier moments, this has a more defined story, more characters and the visuals are something else completely. I have no idea what the creators were on when making this film, but I’d gladly take some in a heartbeat. Just make sure to keep two metres apart when handing it over 😉

 Another aspect I found to be enjoyable, like the last film, is its soundtrack. This time, having a range of different styles as opposed to primarily pop songs and ballads, which fits in with what the movie is trying to do. Yes, there’s some truly cheesy songs in there, but that’s part of the fun and leads to a pretty clever joke in my opinion. Though they couldn’t have done ‘Old Town Road’? Honestly, a song like that was waiting to be recorded by these guys!

 Now, it’s not perfect, but hardly any films are, but where this one falls is in the message. The message and the way it comes across, I like. What makes us different brings us together and what we’ve been taught about our history may not be what truly happened. The last one in particular I found to be mature and challenging, particularly for a kids film. But that said, it doesn’t go all the way with it, not tonally at least. The movie is way too happy and bright for a message like that to work. I admire it for sure on what it was trying to do, but it just fell a little flat in my opinion. I’d still highly recommend it though and chances are if you have kids, they’ll like it for sure. Just remember to provide them with sunglasses to protect their eyes.

Jumanji: The Next Level

Another popular film that is making the rounds at the moment is Jumanji: The Next Level. A sequel to the ‘sequel’ of the original that honestly, had no right in being as good as it is, this one follows the characters of the last film as they are once again, sucked into the video game world, albeit with a few twists…

Unlike Trolls: World Tour, this is aimed less towards younger kids and more towards families and as far as family films go, it’s decent. Is it as good as the first film? No, but it has a self-awareness about itself that honestly, comes across as refreshing. The characters (for the most part) know what to expect and watching them explain it to others who are less experienced, is rather funny. I would also argue that the humour is more for adults this time round as well. Granted, there were a few jokes like that in the first one, but these hit a whole other level for me. One in particular when Kevin Hart’s and Jack Black’s characters were being questioned made me laugh out loud when I saw it for the first time.

What I find odd about Jumanji: The Next Level though, is it’s visually more action oriented, with bigger threats and set pieces, but it doesn’t feel as big. It’s almost like a ‘been there, done that, got the shirt’ scenario. And that’s a shame, as the action scenes are really well done. I think it’s because it’s been done before and the pacing is a bit slow between them that it does get old rather quickly. That said, it is still something I’d recommend checking out, even if it’s out of curiosity or boredom.

Host your own themed night

When I was younger, whenever we had takeaway, we’d watch a film that went along with that. Mulan for Chinese, Finding Nemo for fish and chips, etc. The point I’m getting at is theming is fun and can add a whole new layer of interactivity to your evening. Instead of just watching The Greatest Showman, why not learn some circus skills to go alongside it? I’m not saying reach for the lighter fluid and burn the house down with your new found fire breathing skills, but I’m more thinking along the lines of plate spinning, juggling and even sleight of hand. Something to impress, but not endanger. For snacks, reach for the roasted peanuts, popcorn and candyfloss. Proper old circus food. And for a real good time, switch on the singalong and belt out your best ‘This is me’.

Turn your living room into a proper cinema! Popcorn, drinks, snacks and tickets can be done in the kitchen, a willing participant to stand outside and wish you a good movie watching experience, even a ‘projectionist’ to sort out the movie and any technical difficulties. You don’t need a lot to have the same outcome, just some props, some films and a whole lot of creativity!

As the saying goes, less is more, and that is certainly the case when it comes to horror. Why go all out and create a large haunted set piece with fake monsters and blood when really, a simple red balloon will send the chills down the spine even more? If it’s a horror film you want to watch, dress up, turn the lights off and remember, kiss (keep it simple, stupid).

Should the viewing party be made up of adults and if they are willing, a drinking game may be the way to go. Decide on a film together, find up a drinking game online and away you go! Perhaps make new rules, like ‘sip every time someone gets shot’ or ‘finish your drink if the dog survives’. There is endless possibility when it comes to this type of game and that is the beauty of it. If you don’t drink, substitute the beer for something else of your choosing. It doesn’t have to be alcohol, though based on my own experiences, it may make the film either more baffling or more bearable (I’m looking at you, Cats!)

Pawsitive Possibilities

dog on purple background

A Community Lottery Funded project summed up as:

Life skills workshops, run by people, hosted by dogs.

Basically, a number of wonderful organisations and people have offered to do short workshops on useful topics e.g. budgeting, working rights, mental health in the workplace etc.

But the twist is, that the whole time you are surrounded by the very good dogs at a fantastic dog sitting service called Vippies.

This series of workshops is designed for people who have potentially spent time socially isolated and want a nice way to get back into the swing of being around people or for people who just generally lack social confidence and want to work on this in a safe environment, surrounded by dogs while learning multiple useful life skills.

The groups are no bigger than 15 young people at a time and we’d ask that you commit to the series of workshops and agree to the social contract that we put in place to help people feel comfortable and safe in this setting.

To find out when we’re running the next series email: gabby@networklincoln.co.uk

To find out more, download the info packs here:

Faces 2 Names

Are you a charity, organisation or business based in Lincoln? Do you want to find out more about the local support available for young people? Why not come along to Faces 2 Names.

We host these 3-4 times a year at a variety of lovely host locations, with over 50 different organisations usually attending. It is essentially a speed networking morning for you to meet the different organisations supporting young people in Lincoln!

At the event, you sit opposite each other and have a set amount of time to fill each other in on what you do, before moving on to the next person. At the end, you have a chance to mingle and find people that you want to talk to more (or swap business cards/leaflets during the first section!)

It’s a great way to literally put faces to names of people you may have heard of, but not had the chance to meet!

We’ve had great feedback from this event, and it’s helped us to launch projects and new partnerships. 

To find out the date of our next Faces to Names please email: gabby@networklincoln.co.uk or check out!


MOVE stands for: Moving On To Volunteering or Employment

It’s a BBO project funded by the Community Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

This project is especially suited for those who are maybe needing a bit more support to get where they want to. Perhaps you don’t have any copies of your “Right to Work Documents”, we could fund these. Maybe you just need to be meeting up with someone more often because you’ve got a lot of things going on and you’re looking for extra support to build your confidence and skills after a slightly longer period out of education, employment or training. If you think you might benefit from this project, please feel free to mention it to your adviser to find out more!


If you are a local educational provider or organisation that supports young people please get in touch to find out more about our FREE workshops.

We personalise and tailor these to each group to ensure that they are have the most up-to-date and relevant information. No two workshops are the same!

In the past, we have delivered workshops focused on CV and cover letter creation, interview preparation, selecting suitable career paths and how to manage change.

Each session is activity led with some handy tools that they can take away and use in the future when career planning! Our core goal is to build their confidence and ensure that when they leave they are able to identify the wonderful skills that they have.

Email Rachel to find out more at Rachel@networklincoln.co.uk

Focus Groups

To ensure that we are always led by young people and offering the services that they both need and want, we host 3 monthly focus groups. Here we gather a group of young people and just listen to what they have to say! These focus groups help us to adapt our services and put in bids for fun projects, like pawsitive possibilities… and yes, we always provide food!

If you are aged between 16-24 years or know someone who is that would be interested in getting involved in the next focus group, please get in touch with Rachel at Rachel@networklincoln.co.uk.