For the people who began following me due to my previous post about being sent work experience to apply for: thank you.
But it seems all my worrying was for nothing. My advisor was fine with me not applying for it. Now I’m on weekly signings, she did do the usual thing of going through Universal Jobmatch until she had found 3 jobs for me to apply for – which will just mean I don’t apply for any off there myself, so she can always find me some to apply for and it looks like I’m ready and willing and eager.
Sometimes I think I overreact. I expect things to be much worse than they end up being. Which is strange, as nine times out of ten I am an optimist. But I suppose sometimes you hear so much in the media that it does affect your behaviour.
What the Jobcentre has taught me is this: most people are decent. If you go in all smiles, chatting easily about your job search with an optimistic air, they
will should respond in kind. My new advisor was really helpful today; giving me interview tips and gave me a question to prepare for that I wouldn’t have thought of myself.
I’m sure there are jobsworths out there. I do not doubt people have been sanctioned unfairly; there are enough stories out there about targets. And that is not right. I shan’t become too complacent and I shall keep my guard up slightly, but my experience of the Jobcentre is never as bad as I imagine it will be.
Last week I got sent on a day and a half course with Ingeus, one of the infamous welfare to work providers. It was called Finding and Getting a Job – my expectations were low, to say the least. But, in the end, it wasn’t as painful as I was expecting it to be. Yes, it was obvious. Yes, I was in a room with people who didn’t know how to write a cover letter. But the woman giving the class was lovely and brilliant; she called me ‘star pupil’ and she gave me some useful interview tips. And I got a free lunch and met up with my friend afterwards for cocktails 😉
The thing is, with things like the Jobcentre and Ingeus, is that you only hear the bad side of things; of course you do. This is why you always come across really petty complaints against hotels on Trip Advisor (I once read a one star review for a hotel I stayed in – one star because the beds had wheels). People only write about their experiences if they are bad, or exceedingly good. If they’re just good or average, you don’t hear about it.
So with that in mind, if you need to sign on, don’t let the scare stories put you off. (But still be on your guard. I won’t ever trust any government service whilst the Tories are in power.)