Job Search

Back to reality; I’m not a rich kid who can retire at the grand old age of 29, so now I’m back in England I have to bite the bullet and go and find a source of income. I have a few options:

  • Work on a farm on a volunteer basis in Portugal
  • Swallow my pride and find a job here in England, most likely something basic as I haven’t got the qualifications to walk into a well paid job
  • Go and teach in another country again

Option 1 was my first choice; working on my friends farm learning about… well… farming. Which would give me the time to write a book and learn a new life skill. A skill in my opinion that is seriously undervalued and something all people should have a basic education in. This would also expand my knowledge in terms of writing books with new, diverse characters with different back stories. However this is not a permanent thing; not only is it voluntary (so I will still be eating into what little savings I have left) but it depends on when they have friends/family/other volunteers over as to when I can stay there. I still like the idea of going there, it just seems far less secure than I anticipated…

So I went with option 2. I’ve got a place to stay for one more month. Then I have to be working full time and earning enough to sustain myself including rent and bills. This may seem very simple for most people but I have only ever rented outside of England. I’ve dealt with renting abroad with minimal fuss but in England I always had a job that came with some sort of lodgings so believe it or not I’ve never actually rented my own place here which means it feels pretty daunting for me to do for the first time…

I went to the job centre, said hi-de-ho, stole their computer and proceeded to write two CV’s, one for working in England and one for abroad aimed specifically at teaching. The people there were surprisingly helpful. I say surprisingly because I can imagine that kind of job can drain you seeing people down on their luck full of doom and gloom not knowing how they are going to get out of it. That kind of negative energy can linger in the air and its only a matter of time before it becomes contagious. In fact when I first went there they kept telling me in a monotonic voice that I wasn’t entitled to benefits because I’ve only just returned to the country, to which I kept replying I’m not LOOKING for benefits, I just want to know if there are any local jobs that would suit my skills and personality. So I guess once they realised I wasn’t just walking in with no intention of trying to find a job, sticking my hand out and hoping people would throw money at me like a half naked twenty year old girl in an American strip club they were more than happy to help.

The next day I printed off the English CV’s and started spreading them around to various shops and pubs (considering most of my experience in England is bar or restaurant work, I felt that would be the easiest place to start) then I ended up at Morrison’s talking to some woman behind the counter who was an absolute winner.

Me: Hi! I’m new in the area and was wondering whether I could drop off my CV?

Absolute Winner: <looking me up and down as if I’d just told her kids that Santa’s fingering the Easter bunny whilst maintaining eye contact with their father…> WE’RE CLOSED!!!

Me: <Looking confused, as they were clearly open> Erm… OK. Well shall I just hand in my CV online?

Absolute Winner: WHAT???

Me: <Repeats the question, but does a little twerk at the end to lighten up the situation>

Absolute Winner: We’re CLOSING!

Me: Well, can’t I just… Oh wait, you mean the branch is closing?

Absolute Winner: YES!!!

Me: Oh OK. Sorry to hear that. Thanks for your help…

Handing in CV’s isn’t fun nowadays. I know I’ve been away for a while but surely that isn’t the norm? I hope it gets easier the more you do it…

What about teaching? can’t you go back to that schizzle?

Well this evening I have been sending off CV’s to schools online hoping that I’ll get a bite. Sadly I don’t have a degree, which is meaningless unless (a) you want to go into a specific field i.e. Law. or (b) you want to teach English in a foreign country.

I have a TEFL degree, and I have four years experience teaching, mostly academic classes, so I’m hoping that common sense will prevail and the experience will outweigh a piece of paper (especially since I have my teaching qualifications, just not a random degree from a university) but we will see what happens. Some countries MUST have a degree to comply with their visa regulations.

I also have a friend who is now teaching in Northern China. He has recommended for me to go over there and work, as they are treating him and his wife very well. So that can be another option. I’m considering booking a flight over there as a tourist and seeing if I can find work out there, then converting my visa to a tourist one. Whatever happens I have a month to decide. By now I would have been in Northern China anyway on my round the world trip, or in Mongolia or Southern Russia on the Trans-Siberian train, so maybe that part of the world is calling me? Whatever happens, I’m sure it was meant to happen. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Wish me luck!

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2 thoughts on “Job Search

  1. Getting an interview for that dream job is a perfect chance to sell yourself and you need to make sure that you get everything right.

    Preparation is vital and it goes without saying that you should turn up for the interview knowing everything there is to know about your prospective employers and the role that you have applied for.

    Of course, no two interviews are ever the same and the line of questions that you take will be determined by the nature of the company and the people who are interviewing you.
    But I have always been more impressed by candidates who ask ME questions. The process should never be one sided – you need to take control. The best way of doing this is to ask as many questions as the interviewer does.
    There are at least three questions you should definitely have ready to ask for every job interview you go for. Remember the aim is to sell yourself as a bright, motivated and ambitious individual but it is important not to be too obvious. The people who are interviewing you will have heard it all before and they will be looking for someone who has that little bit extra quality or personality which sets them apart from the rest of the crowd.
    Here are three questions that you should always try and ask:

    What qualities are you looking for in the person you are hoping to appoint?

    This may sound like a very obvious starting point but it is vital for both parties to grasp exactly what it is needed from candidate in terms of skills and experience. Remember the whole point of the interview is to prove you are the person that they want and are looking for. There is a much better chance of being able to do that if you actually ask the interviewers straight from the start what their ideal candidate would be.

    What scope is there for personal development at your company?

    It is important to show any prospective employee that you are the type of person who is ambitious and is looking to move their career forward. No one wants to take on an individual who is going to be content to coast and you need to show that you are not coming along just for an easy ride. Any ambitious and forward thinking company will be looking for like minded individuals. Ask a question which will give you give the chance to show just how driven you are.

    Is there anything you have seen in the other people on the shortlist that you have not seen in me?

    This is a great question to throw into the mix as the interview is drawing to a natural close. I remember a candidate asking me this once and I had to smile because it left me with nowhere to go. As well as turning the tables on the panel it is also a great way of gauging just how well or how badly you have performed throughout the course of the selection process. You should always be looking to improve and getting feedback from an interviewer is a crucial part of this. It is a risky strategy to take because you might get an answer you are not happy with. But if you are prepared to take a risk, then this final question is a gamble that just might pay off.

    Chin Up, there are more garbage employers than quality employees…

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