The Demoralising Reality of Job Searching

At the moment, I work one day a week. This was fine whilst I was studying, but now I have finished, it’s not exactly ideal!

I am currently on JobSeeker’s and once I finally get a job and sign off I will write an exposé of my experience. It will make for some interesting reading!

But anyway. Job hunting. I have never had a problem with finding a job before and I assumed this time it would be the same. I mean: I have a degree now! When I was at college, we were told a degree would open up doors you never knew existed! Oh how very wrong I was! The job market has changed drastically in a few years and I am now competing with graduates with firsts and a year in industry; people who have been made redundant yet have 10+ years of experience and everyone else in between. For someone without a great deal of experience but qualifications coming out of her ears, this is not ideal. I seem to either be under-experienced or over-qualified.

Right now I am looking for jobs in admin and marketing. My dream job is to do with online marketing and social media. I am a 24 year old female, social networking is what I do best. So today: I apply for a social media assistant role. It asks for people who have been using social media for 2 years (isn’t that like everyone?), computer literate, able to work independently blah blah blah. I could do this job blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back. Yet a mere hour later I get an email telling me I haven’t been shortlisted. My application has only been sent to a recruitment consultant and not the employer. So a faceless bloke who can’t even use apostrophes correctly and probably has only the same job description to go off that I have, has rejected me, because:

We have received a significant number of applications for this position and there are other individuals who more closely match our clients very specific brief for this role.

Well, that’s obviously a load of …! I know it’s a generic rejection letter but saying I don’t “match our clients [sic] very specific brief” is a blatant lie. Unless there is more they were looking for? Then why not write that on the advertisement? Because you’ve just managed to waste both our time. (I received this same email a few days ago from someone else so I know it’s generic.) Other things that bug me: the failure to put an apostrophe after ‘clients’. And the failure to remove this at the bottom of the email:

I mean, come on. You only had to highlight it and press backspace.

But at least I DID get a reply. So many jobs don’t even bother to respond. And then there are those times where you have an interview, are told they will be in touch the following week, and they aren’t. Nor the next week. So… I’m guessing I didn’t get the job? Why, thank you for taking the time to inform me! </sarcasm> (This did actually happen. Recently.)

There are the times when you get interviewed despite stating you have no experience, and then they spend the entire interview asking you why you applied and why you aren’t taking a PGCE because well you’re still young and you have good qualifications- maybe because I don’t want to be a teacher and the thought of being in charge of a child’s education makes my blood run cold?!

There are job adverts that ask for very specific experience, as if people don’t change career paths. There are apprenticeships for entry level jobs – obviously only so they can pay some poor school leaver £3 an hour. There are apprenticeships paying £3 an hour which ask for previous experience.

On top of all this demoralisation and frustration, we have newspapers and the government acting like job seekers are scroungers. Telling us to go and work in Poundland for our JSA; which for me would be £20 as I already work. 40 hours a week for £20? 50p an hour? No self respecting human being would do that. No job is worth that – especially not Poundland. (It has a weird smell, don’t you think?)

I am lucky: I live with my parents who support me. I am an only child. I’m not under the threat of being kicked out, wondering whether to pay my electricity bill or buy food. I am not in that situation. But some people are, and fuck me, I feel for them. I really do.

Nikki x

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One thought on “The Demoralising Reality of Job Searching

  1. Hey Nikki,

    I feel for you I really do. I am 42 married with a 9 year old. About 10 years ago I left my job to work for my brother. After about 1 year, I was forced to go self employed. No matter what I did it didn’t make enough money and then tried to get back into work.

    Ok. I’ve tried every way I can to get a job. I’ve experienced every kind of bs you can imagine. Interviews where it looks like I’m gonna get the job and then don’t. I’ve also been told that I don’t have enough experience in specific areas that in fact I never said I did nor was it on my cv, but where they interviewed me anyway. Time wasters. Also had the same as you where they tell me I don’t have enough experience when I clearly do. I actually have 15 years of I.T. Support experience to the point where I mentored students who were taking year out. I even sat in on interviews myself. The only requirement I expected of people was an interest in the subject. I could teach anybody to do what I do. And I did.

    One of the worst things I find is that those who are in work are so full of their own advice. They say things like, “I’d do anything if I had no job.” They sit from a position of security and lecture those with nothing as if they are all upstanding well to do citizens etc etc. oh and they complain about the job they are in. It realising that what they have is probably the best they’re gonna get. I’ve actually been called a loser for being out of work. It’s amazing how its apparently my fault that employers are utterly arrogant in their approach to recruitment. They love to sit in their chairs feeling all smug because they have a job and you don’t. And they get to ask those stupid questions like, ” What are you weaknesses.” Or, “Why are you applying for this job now specifically ?” I actually got up and walked out of an interview for a job working in a school full time for 17k pa for being asked that very question 3 times because each answer I gave didn’t seem to satisfy them. I totally grilled them and left. Was it supposed to be a trick question or something.

    My advice to you Nikki is to realise 1 thing. It’s a numbers game. You just apply for as many as you can find and ignore the crap. Assume you won’t get the job so that when you do, it will be a nice surprise.

    You get to the point of realising your own worth and you start to feel like you are interviewing them. Instead of feeling like they are sweeping the floor with you.

    You mention the pound land thing. There are people who would be happy to tell you that you should do that. Those are the people who have never done it yet claim they would. All respect due to those who are. No offence. The point is that you were made to feel like your degree was gonna take you place sand the way you are made to feel is that it’s irrelevant. Just don’t listen to those idiots who know nothing. I spent 3 months myself doing a MCP in Vista to then Ben told by and agency that my I.t. Qualification was a past time. That her school child could do it. I then proceeded to ask her whether her child knew what security policies were implemented at boot time on Vista vs Windows XP. Or what version of Vista you need to work on a particular model of pc with x amount of memory etc. the kind of thing that a professional I.t sales guy would need to know. You get my point.

    Anyway. That’s my rant.

    Good luck in your hunt. You deserve the best because YOU did it. It does have value.

    Barry

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