Continuing our ongoing feature on youth unemployment I traveled to Stoke Newington to have a cup of tea and a chat with jobseeker Juliet.

She and I went to the same 6th form college back in the day. Now, after completing a fine art degree in Manchester Juliet has moved to London in the hope of finding a job and chasing her dreams.

We talked about her local job center, how to the fight the blues, and the psychological phenomena of “benefit guilt”.

So Juliet, are you signed on?

What’s your job centre like?
Do you know what, It’s quite nice. The people are nice. Although there are some sad depressed looking people outside and I’m always there when someone with a bulldog is there tied up outside screeching.

What do you spend your £56 on?
Food and travel really, that’s about it. The odd newspaper. When you get used to it, it gets easy to only spend that amount of money in a way. Then as soon as you get more, you just spend it all. I think you could almost struggle by on £30, but because you’ve got £50 you end up spending it.

What jobs have you had before?
I worked in various galleries, but that was volunteer work. Erm… I was a key cutter, an ice cream lady, a photo technician, a clerical assistant, and a cocktail waitress with full training for two years - that was the most stressful job ever. I’ve had loads of jobs.

Are there any jobs you wouldn’t do?
The worst job I ever had was selling pies at the football in Warrington, I literally did the one day. I wouldn’t have done that much but I couldn’t leave because someone was giving me a lift home, I was in the middle of nowhere so I had to finish the day out. I’ve never felt so out of place, it was really weird.

But it’s a difficult question to answer. Sometimes you think, ‘well maybe I just need to get a job to get some money for a couple of months’, but when you do that you get further away from your original goal – so I keep changing my mind when I’m applying for things.

So you’d rather hold out and get something you really want?
Yeah, for sure. My last job as a clerical assistant took up so much of my energy, and I felt like I was moving away form who I was. I was with these people every day, who were good people, but they were nothing to do with what I wanted to be doing. But then again, sometimes you haven’t got the luxury to just be yourself, doing what you want to do, unless you’ve got money.

But if you had money what job would you wait for?
Today I’ve been thinking, what I love more than anything is editing, I’m so happy when I’m editing (film) - it’s what I really love to do - and even though I did sculpture at university there is something about film and it’s ability to deliver a message that I love. I know I’d be happy even if I was sitting in a dark room having to do somebody else’s work as long as I was editing or having something to do with that process.

Does being unemployed get you down at all?
It does totally get me down. I was really depressed a couple of weeks ago. There’s been a few occasions when James (my housemate) has walked in and I’ve just been in tears smoking a cigarette I can’t even afford.

It makes you feel lost. Then when you don’t hear back from people you feel worthless and you think ‘why is nothing happening for me?’  It’s just trying to keep positive. A lot of things in life are luck anyway, being in the right place at the right time, getting someone who reads your application and sees you and gets a good vibe off you, whereas another person might not.

But sometimes I want to go out and do stuff but I get this weird feeling, I get scared about spending money and I don’t want to temp myself. I feel like I don’t deserve to go out, like I can’t justify enjoying myself.

I know people, even some of my friends, think ‘you’re on the dole, you’re using taxpayer’s money’ and there’s a bit of a stigma, but I try to ignore it. When I get a job and pay tax I don’t mind my tax going on it (benefits). Life isn’t black and white, and people need help, I do still feel it though when I’m buy myself.

So how do you keep yourself happy and entertained?
There’s the obvious stuff TV, DVD, and Film. I try and see as many new films as I can but mostly reading to be honest. I’ve managed to catch up a lot on my reading, keep up with people I’ve lost touch with because I was working, and think about what I want to do with my life - it’s given me time to absorb things.

When you’ve got a job it’s like – get up, go to work, come back, oh you’re knackered, eat, then you’ve got to go to sleep because you’ve got to get up for work in the morning. Now I have all the free time in the world but it’s a bit of a catch 22. I’ve got all this time to do my film work and various things, but I don’t have any money to spend on it. How can you make a film without a budget? I need to buy some fabric this week so I was thinking I might not eat next week and just buy the fabric. That way I’ll lose some weight and it’ll be a fast like a monk – I’m doing this for art guys.

Having finished a degree and coming out of uni to find pretty poor job prospects, do you ever regret going to university?
I don’t regret going really, but I do have a thought sometimes, why did I do fine art? That’s what I think.

But I loved that course. I’ve never been so happy as when I was on it. For me, I didn’t think about my career as having anything to do with money, I just thought I want to do this and that’s that.

JOB QUEST UPDATE - Since I interviewed her Juliet has only gone and got a job! Proving that a good attitude and perseverance are the best antidote to the unemployment malady, she will be starting at a costume company in the next few weeks.

So there you go. Get out there, be positive, and it will happen for you.

Until next time jobseekers.