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.