Man who got rejected for 100 jobs & spent months ‘in a dark place’ on benefits lands dream role as a barrister
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A man who was rejected from nearly 100 jobs and spent 18 months on benefits has finally secured his dream job as a barrister. Taz Aldeek saw his applications regularly get knocked back despite having three degrees, including a masters.
The 29-year-old had to apply for Universal Credit to survive and racked up £10,000 of debt - not including his tuition and accommodation loans at university. But Taz, from Wilmslow in Cheshire, has now secured a job as a case officer at the Information Commissioner’s Office.
And he will be starting a pupillage at the Crown Prosecution Service in September. Taz said: "It was a very difficult time for me, my physical health was deteriorating, and I was trying my best to stay positive but felt like I was in a dark place.
“Now I’m ready for the job, I’ve got the experience nationally and internationally and I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be – I’m happy to be in crime and public service with the CPS. It feels like I’m making meaningful impact in my community.”
Taz graduated from Sheffield University with a 2:1 with honours in Law and Criminology in 2016. He then graduated from the same university in 2017 after studying Master of Laws in Corporate and Commercial Law and completing the course with a Distinction.
But he says he felt like he “didn’t fit the mould” of a barrister and volunteered at Manchester Crown Court witness service while working in a hotel to save money. Taz knew his interests lay in criminal law and took on a four-month voluntary internship in the US in a death row office as part of the Louisiana Capital Post Conviction Project.
On his return from the US, Taz spent time working at a law firm for six months. He then applied for a scholarship through The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn – recognised as being one of the world’s most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers.
Despite being turned down the first time, Taz applied again and was granted the scholarship which gave him the freedom to apply for pupillages and internships. After being turned down for roles in law and even jobs unrelated to his degrees, he was forced to sign on to Universal Credit in November 2020.
And after a gruelling 18-months and nearly 100 rejections, in April 2022 he was offered a role at the Information Commissioner’s Office and secured pupillage. Taz posts about his experiences looking for work and then securing it on YouTube to help other future aspiring lawyers under the handle @TazAldeek.
“I look back now and it has very much been a redemption story - I went to state school and was in the bottom set for everything,” said Taz. “I scraped into law school and like anyone at university, it’s a financially difficult experience.
“I felt like I didn’t fit the mould but I finished university and thought I’ll go for it and ended up committing to it. Without the scholarship from Lincoln’s Inn, I couldn’t have done the bar course to qualify as a barrister.
“From 2017 until 2022 I was getting rejections every year and now, I’ve finally made it happen. But I had to sign up to the Job Centre and I was on Universal Credit while applying for jobs - nothing was coming through.
“It’s very difficult because you start off confident but when you’re going through the meat grinder your self-esteem takes a knocking. I was just surprised, I had three degrees and essentially everywhere I was applying wanted experience.
“I’d invested so much into law that outside of that path I was struggling to get any job. Without me being able to live at home with the support of my Dad none of this would have been possible.
“Even now I’m in £10,000 of debt from that time aside from actual debt of student finance.”