Editor’s note: Yes, my observant reader; Alex’s column on The Money Principle has been moved to Thursdays because I have something else in mind for the Fridays of the week. Let’s just say that it will be ‘one for the weekend’. As to Alex’s adventured on the job market, things seem to be moving a bit; and I would be really glad if he gets the assistant cook or the supervisor job: he just has to promise to continue writing for me!
To some degree this week I feel like I’m back to where I was months ago, but this time a little more positive and with more clarity. Over the weekend I expanded my job search to look for positions in animal care and well, unless I want to work for nothing or consider going back to full time education there is nothing local that I could go for. I’d love to work with dogs especially, and I admire all creatures fluffy and creepy, but passion alone is not nearly enough so it’s back to looking for jobs in the service and admin industry.
I’ve been feeling positive mostly because I’ve finally been getting more responses from companies. The number of applications I’ve submitted hasn’t drastically increased, but as they pile up I gradually find more replies in my inbox each week. For the most part they tell me either that my application is being considered or simply a polite “thanks but no thanks”. In one case, for the position of assistant cook at a catering company I have been told that interviews will be taking place in the next month or so. It would be nice if this means I really am being considered and that the competition won’t be too vast (how many people can you interview/induct for chopping vegetables and taking the bins out?).
Another reason to feel chipper is I passed a lengthy test questionnaire for a Primark supervisory position. It’s a company that employs many people, mostly young, on a regular basis. Whether you can call it discrimination or not I believe I’m too old to be considered to work on the tills or stocking the shelves and pegs. I only say this because on the occasions I’ve been in one of their stores everyone in uniform that isn’t a manager or a security guard looks to be about twelve years old and still ‘wet behind the ears’ (around the age of eighteen to twenty one really, I’m just jealous of their youthful appearance and energy). So perhaps coming up to thirty I have a chance at a key holding position, which is what I want. I only hope certain parts of my C.V’s work experience section sells me as a candidate, but then there will be many applicants I’m sure.
The reason as to why there’s more clarity recently is that an advisor at my work programme went through my C.V again with me (I pretty much demanded her undivided attention). What she pointed out was obvious, if not a little disappointing – For the best chance of landing a job I wouldn’t either hate or struggle to keep I have to maintain my focus with retail and customer service positions. It’s the only complete experience I have, apart from some serious cleaning experience (I’ve lived with male students and friends, and cleaned male changing rooms for a living).
There is some mild annoyance also with my week (In truth I’m raging a lot of the time). At the work programme, Avanta, it is a simple procedure of speaking one to one with an advisor as and when they’re available, but otherwise it’s at the computer to apply for jobs. In a way it is daft, since I’m mostly travelling for over an hour a day to do something I can do from…here… my house. But I am easily distracted, sometimes purposely distracted. So using the computers at Avanta I get time to knuckle down and spend 2 hours really trying to fill out questions and details thoroughly, without noisy neighbours or the temptation to wander off and watch TV etc.
This is all well and good, apart from the fact that the staff at Avanta are often chatting away with one another, in an open plan office space. Overhearing their conversations takes precedence over hearing my own thoughts as I’m trying to use my mind-tank. They are mostly talking about work or they’re with other clients who are after some help, but one woman was humming away to herself and speaking at high volumes to everyone she knew in the room. I thought “Is this some sort of test?” Surely it would be a good idea to have quiet environment in which people can concentrate.
Never mind though, hey? So far in my visits there I’ve got quite a lot done, so I won’t be losing my patience, just might have to speak to the noisiest people in the room when I next attend and say “Oi! Shut it!”, or something to that effect. Fingers crossed for the next week or so for possible job interviews, I’ll be keeping a squinted, observant eye on my email inbox, whilst the other eye darts about in anticipation, or simply due to too much sugar and caffeine.