Change is good, but I need a holiday too

I’m thinking of changing careers. According to my job alerts, now is the time for me to consider a career in criminal justice. I just need to sign up to do this five year course, and then I can start looking for a job in criminal justice. You must be freaking joking!

I’m back at the drawing board today. I’ve had one no from my interviews last week, and am less hopeful about the second.

I have never experienced this before in my life! I feel a bit like the pimply teenager who runs the gauntlet across the dance floor to ask the girl he’s been eyeing all evening if she’d like to dance. She says no, so he moves to the next and then the next and the next. He gets a barrage of no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no as he continues down the line.

I think I could paper my walls with reject letters, and write an improbable book about the reasons I’ve been given (if I’ve been given any!) for not being successful. The majority of applications meet with silence, and recruiters excuse themselves by saying, “If you haven’t heard from us within two weeks of the closing date, consider your application unsuccessful. “

And here’s a taste of some of the reasons that I get: “Other candidates matched the criteria more closely.”; “The client thought you’d be bored in the job.”; “You were a strong candidate but others had experience in that specific sector.” And my personal favourite: “We thought you were too nice for this job.”

I think it is the worst time in the world to be looking for work in London. Or anywhere in the UK. I am not alone in my struggle to find work, and I’m learning not to take it personally. I know recruiters are inundated, and, with the new government spending cuts, there are more people applying for fewer jobs.

However, this is my morning routine: I start off by checking my email. My inbox is always full of new mail – no, not that I’m popular, I’ve just signed up for loads of job alerts. These are something of a mystery to me … I sign up for them, with strict, clear criteria of the kind of job I am looking for, and where.  These are the kind of emails I get, and they now fill my trash:

We have found the following jobs which match your search criteria:

  • Financial Controller
  • Senior Enterprise Systems Analyst
  • Interim Deputy Director of Maintenance
  • Gas Supervisor
  • Russian speaking PR associate
  • Primary Teacher
  • Media Intern, Sudan

Do any of these sound like communication jobs in the charity sector in London? They’re ‘avin’ a laff!

Another thing that frightens me is that a number of job sites generate tons of spam: emails from HR managers (with hotmail or yahoo email addresses) who have a job opportunity for me. They love me long time. I don’t think so.

So, mostly I keep my chin up and keep at it. At times it gets me down, and I do take it personally, and I’ve been dealing with that for the past few days. But generally I am able to be positive and optimistic and find sunshine in my search! We have lots of loving, caring and praying family and friends around us both here and back home in SA. And rescue remedy works a charm!

For those who might not understand my predicament: we came here from SA for my husband to do his doctorate in counselling psychology. And to have fun and an adventure in London at the same time. My desire and wish has been to work and support us. I had a brief – five month – temp job earlier this year, but nothing since.

In my first post, I mentioned that my sister said if I couldn’t get a job in London, I should consider a career in stand-up comedy. Equally, I don’t think so. But I have been giving this some thought, and I’d love to know what you think. I don’t have the business to be a sit-down comic, criminal justice is not really my bag but, as I command the stage in this, my tiny corner of cyberspace, I’m considering a career as a stand-up blogger? Pay’s not great, in fact there is no pay, but hell it’s fun!

Sunshine signing off for today!


12 thoughts on “Change is good, but I need a holiday too

  1. If you become a stand-up blogger, I’ll be in your virtual audience. May I suggest you get some of your material by investigating several of the jobs you mentioned. First, I want to know what a Gas Supervisor is. That title leaves many imaginative possibilities, as does Media Intern, Sudan. (Hey, Sudan, having some PR issues?)

    While I wish you success with your job search, please let me point out that a job can really interfere with your free time. I have a job and it’s difficult to find time to read your blog much less write mine. Besides taking up lots of time, what does a job do anyway other than provide income and personal satisfaction? Clearly you get personal satisfaction from blogging. So you’re halfway there.

    I’d appreciate your letting me know when you figure out the income part.

    1. Thanks! I’ll be very glad to have you in my virtual audience. Those jobs are quite hilarious – I did wonder about the Gas Supervisor. Seriously?

      I know what you mean about jobs interfering with my free time. I always hear people talking about how important it is to make your passion your job – if I can figure out how to make money this way, I’d be a super happy bunny! And I would be sure to let you know too!

      Thanks for visiting, and for your comments!

  2. Oh Sunshine…I feel your pain! Having been unemployed for almost a year (except for the bookstore, where I’ve worked for ten years, but don’t get paid – sweat equity) since being laid off from a call center, I’ve found it very difficult to find jobs (my background is also in communications for non-profs, with some journalism/editorial consulting thrown in). All I want is a little part-time job to keep some money coming in while I wait for my dad to retire from the bookstore. No one will hire me because they’re afraid I’ll leave because I’m overqualified! If I apply for jobs in my field, I’m competing against bilingual kids with university degrees (my French is laughable, and I dropped out of community college). I believe my age is also a deterrent.

    We Cancers always take everything personally…it’s an unfortunate trait we have! Keep your chin up…I’m sure something will come along (speaking for myself and my Cancerian fiancé, we also tend to believe in “magic”).


    1. Thank you so much, Wendy, for your understanding – on so many levels – and for your hugs! It’s a huge exercise for me not to take everything personally, and I have to work hard at it! Here’s hoping for that magic! xx

  3. No matter how people tell one to not worry, if you anything like me, you have the faith but swimming in a bath of Rescue Remedy helps a ton. Prehaps stop looking, even if it’s just for a day or 2. Pass on the gas supervision and head off to the interim deputy director of just plain MAINTAINING!
    Thinking of you LOTS sunshine and thanks for being just that – SUNSHINE in our lives with your great blog writing. The sun WILL come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar x

  4. Oh, I understand this all too well, although for me it’s been more about figuring out what I want to do with my life, which I know includes writing, but that doesn’t help much, does it? I’ve just begun sending my fiction to literary journals and am so new to the whole publishing game … optimistic though that the right opportunity will present itself when the time is right.

    I have just started doing a little bit of freelance for eHow though, which you might look into. The pay is decent, you can work from home, and you can choose your articles (random topics but, hey, you get to learn about things you never thought you’d learn about before!). I’ve heard some people make A LOT of money doing this, so the potential is there.

    Of course, I’m sure you really want a job in your area of expertise, and I absolutely understand that. How unfortunate that the job market in London is so dismal.

    I’m sending you good job-finding energy!



    1. Thank you so much, Juliana. I would love to write for a living; that would be first prize for me. I’ll have a look at eHow – thanks for that suggestion. I don’t mind random topics, I’m naturally curious and – as my husband says – interested in everything, so that would work! I’ll let you know how I get along.

      I so appreciate your encouragement and loving concern – means such a lot! Your writing is fabulous, and so meaningful and helpful, so I wish you everything wonderful with that too.


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