Monday, 5 October 2009

We're sorry to inform you that you're brilliant

I've started this blog because I'm convinced that job-hunting can be a pleasant experience, or at least not totally soul-destroying.

I've experienced the soul-destroying side of it:
Firing off standard CVs to the out of date job adverts suggested by a Job Centre advisor and noting it down on the handily provided job hunting schedule to prove that it happened.

Skimming job sites that only seem to advertise jobs with Greggs.

Skimming job sites that only seem to advertise outbound sales advisor call centre jobs.

Going for a pint with a mate who received an email from a job hunt website that said "we thought your skills matched this position and that you might like to apply." The email was accompanied by a promising link entitled "Assistant Manager" but which unfortunately led to a job advert for Assistant Manager of a local branch of Burger King, perks including free burgers.

Skimming job sites during a recession and realising that not even Greggs are advertising jobs.

Actually being at an interview for an outbound sales advisor call centre job.

Going to a Graduate job fair during a recession.

Getting to the point when you can't remember if it's the week you sign on or not.

Or being a minimum-wage temp...again.

Yes, it can be soul-destroying. But it can also be a motivating, eye-opening experience. I learned this when I was rejected from a job recently. Yes, really. I was invited to an interview, completed some tests and appeared in front of a panel looking like a quivering heap of well-dressed jelly. Relatively smooth interview (not too wobbly), back on the bus and back home on the sofa with a calming mug of hot chocolate.

Waiting for "the phone call" is somewhat like being told by a charming guy that he'll call you later that day. Any self-respecting girl knows that she should fill the rest of her day with useful tasks and other social engagements, but she also knows she'll probably glue herself firmly next to the telephone for the next three hours so she doesn't miss his call. What am I up to? Oh, you know me, I'm really busy. Ha. At least when you're blatantly unemployed you don't need to pretend you have a full diary; everybody pretty much knows you're on the sofa in your pyjamas posting inane comments on news websites and watching MTV.

They called me back in for another chat the next day because they had whittled the candidates down to two. It was me versus someone else in an anonymous battle for gainful employment. In the end, they went with the other candidate, but in the rejection they told me I had performed brilliantly and that they wished they had a more suitable position so they could hire me.

This was great to hear because truthfully, I was not qualified for that job. I was rejected on the mutual understanding that I'm pretty darn good but that job wasn't for me. That's exactly what I needed to hear, and it's motivated me to reconsider my whole approach to this job hunting malarkey.

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