I have made so many bad decisions in my life and as a result I am legitimately a bad candidate in any job application process.
Some of the things my bad decisions have led to that I cannot hide:
Got a 2.2 degree (for Americans in the uk our degrees work out so that the best is a 1st, 2.1 is what most people end up getting, 2.2 is still a large chunk but its a mix of the lazy and the stupid, and 3rd which is even worse).
Lots of job hopping for all kinds of reasons that might seem valid if they were single instances but in the overall picture suggest (rightly) that have been feckless and have no idea what I want out of life.
2 years off from being 30 and still not really started a career of any kind.
No real references that I trust to provide good feedback.
There are also other things my bad choices have resulted in that I can largely avoid mentioning to an employer because it's none of their business and not legally or conventionally required for me to mention.
I have never really had a clue what I really want to do. As far as I am concerned the things I really want to do are impossible for me because I am simply not in a position to make them happen. For instance I would have loved to have done something policy related, or work for the foreign office or something like that - but these are fields which are hugely competitive on account of the fact that everyone would love to do something cool like that and I simply do not have the level of qualifications or extra curricular shine that is required. Additionally some of those jobs require security clearance which my past bad decisions almost certainly prevent me ever obtaining.
Since I know the things I'd really like to do are not actually possible I have to think more in practical terms about what I need out of work. Obviously that comes down to money, job security, work life balance and so on. Those are my only concerns. I don't want to be poor, working myself to death or constantly terrified about being fired. Ideally I'd also like to do something that gives me a sense of achievement and self esteem too.
Some people might say since I made bad choices in life again and again I don't have the privilege of having a job that isn't insecure and low paid or working a reasonable number of hours and I should just "suck it up". What I would like to ask is, if that is my goal, regardless of what you think I deserve, what is the best strategy for going about obtaining it.
How does someone with bad qualifications and a worse work history make up for all that and make a real career for themselves?