I’m going to assume from the wording of your question that you have a manual 5 speed transmission, is that correct? If so just to get this out of the way first, you are aware that when attempting to put a vw into reverse you have to push down on the shift lever?
I ask that because I read the story of a guy who bought his first vw and drove around for about 3 months thinking he had no reverse until he finally figured it out.
There are 3 videos at the bottom of the page in this link that explain the whole linkage/bushing setup and shows you how to adjust it.
Got a loose shifter and cant ever find your gears! This kit has the major parts that wear out to repair your Mk3 shifter. Kit Includes: - Shifter Bushing Kit [191798211MY] - Shift Lever Repair Kit [191798116A] - Relay Shaft Hangman [1H0711173] - Gear Selector Lever, Long [1H0711574] - Gear...
more parts; including a short shifter kit, as well:
02A Cable Transmission Short Shift Kit This part replaces OEM P/N 1J0-711-256 (common to MK3 MK4 JettasGolfs TDI’s Beetles Passats and Corrado VR6) professionally welded and tested to take on your most punishing quarter mile runs and track days