Since a large part of this blog was written whilst I was unemployed, and thus followed me through the nightmare of signing on, I thought it best to keep you all informed on what I’m doing and maybe even offer some tips to those still unfortunately unemployed.
As of yesterday, I got a full-time, permanent job! It’s at the company I was on a temp contract for. A week before that contract ended, I interviewed for a Merchandising Assistant job and I walked into it the day after my old contract ended. If I believed in fate, this is it.
So, my current job’s contract is up in just under five weeks. This is a little terrifying, but this time round I have savings, which means no prospect of the Jobcentre; that definitely reduces the terror a bit!
Seven months on after I landed this job, has the job market changed? Well – no. In fact, I’d say it’s gotten worse. I am now seeing more adverts for ‘interns’ and ‘apprentices’, because apparently expecting to be paid for your work is socialist commie nonsense!
I love my job. This is the first job I’ve ever had where I actively look forward to going to work. I love the people, I like the atmosphere, and I love love LOVE writing.
I may be a bit biased as recently I had some very good feedback on my work, but that just proves to me that writing is what I was meant to do. It’s what I’m best at. It’s what gives me joy and meaning.
This is why I find the way the DWP and the JCP operate so very frustrating. It seems obvious to me that the entire point of the Jobcentre and JSA is to make you so very depressed and upset that you will take anything, ANY job that is offered to you. And to me, this is the wrong way to do things.
Posts from me may be a bit on the thin side for the rest of the year. Why?
I got a bloomin’ job!
Yes. Yes I did. Only a 5 month temporary contract but balls to that: IT’S A JOB! And the best thing about it? I’m getting paid to write. Yes, ladies and gents, I’m a bonafide writer! (Actual title: Product Copywriting Assistant)
Yesterday I received an email regarding my previous blog on the Internwise website, from someone involved with said site. With his agreement, I have posted his rebuttals to the concerns I expressed in that post.
I will hold my hands up and admit that the tone of my blog was not the nicest, but I am sure fellow jobseekers will agree with me when I say how much job seeking wears you down, and when you’re in one of those grumpy, ‘why am I still unemployed?!’ moods, then you should probably refrain from writing anything on the internet!
I have posted an update to this blog post here.
There is a questionable website I have recently come across in my job hunting travails, and it is Internwise (link opens in a new tab).
Why is it questionable? Well, to begin with: when you want to apply for an internship, the only option is to ‘send them a message’ – not a covering letter, and there is no option to upload a CV. Odd.
Now to do this you need to create a profile, where you can upload your CV. But you can’t see your profile how employes may see it, and I have supposedly uploaded my CV, yet I can’t see it anywhere. This is the page where you upload your CV. Yet this is after I have uploaded my CV:
Does my CV look uploaded? No. No it bloody doesn’t.
Of course, there is an option there to ‘Download CV’, so I have to trust it has been uploaded. But I still have no idea who can see it, if anyone. I have no idea how I am coming across to recruiters. To me, this is a glaring omission that instantly puts me off using it.
But the icing on the cake? The pricing options.
It’s amazing how much less I write in here now I don’t have the Jobcentre winding me up on a weekly basis. I’m gonna be honest… it’s pretty blissful.
Since leaving the Jobcentre, my job applications have dropped dramatically because I am no longer applying for admin positions. I would happily work in admin, but the lack of experience on my CV is obviously a big problem for companies who are too lazy/tight to train people up. Sad, but true.
I have also seen a distinct lack of entry level marketing positions recently. My theory is that we’re entering intern season: so why pay someone to do a job you can get an undergrad to do for free?! (This probably marks me out as being an extreme skeptic, but I’ve been doing this too long to be surprised by anything.) I am, by the way, willing to undertake a short unpaid internship for up to 3 months, but the only ones I’ve seen thus far have been posted on dodgy websites that I don’t have the slightest bit of trust in.
I got my first mean blog comment the other day. I didn’t approve it, because at first it shocked me. Some people don’t have the same views as me! Quelle horreur! But it also amused me. And then it made me sad.
To paraphrase, the comment said that I was a ‘well-to-do moocher’, with ‘ideas above my station’ and that I should ‘just get a job’.
First of all: I am no longer on JSA so am no longer ‘mooching’. I only ever received £31 per week as I work on Saturdays. And I am entitled to it. People who don’t accept money they are entitled to through some misplaced sense of pride are, to be quite honest, stupid.
Secondly, I don’t have to get just any old job. My parents support me, I work part time and I get money from other places: babysitting and eBay. Yes, it’s not enough to move out on, but it’s enough for me to afford to go abroad twice a year and go out once a week if I so wish. Why would I give that up to be some wage slave in a shop?
Ok, so now I’m signed off, I can happily write all about my gripes with Jobcentre Plus (henceforth referred to as JCP).
I will begin by saying that I never dealt with any mean people at JCP; everyone I dealt with was polite, and even if they weren’t exactly friendly, they weren’t patronising either. Some began by being patronising, but once they got to know me they readjusted their demeanour appropriately.
My number one rule for success at the JCP: BE POLITE. Let’s face it, I am sure there are plenty of arses working at the JCP. There are in every single profession on the planet. But most people working there are just that: working there. It’s not the people that are against you, it’s the system. People working at the JCP know they aren’t that far away from being the other side of the desk. They have reports to write and targets to hit (even though IDS denies it!) and I am sure most of them just want to do the bare minimum to get by and take some money home. So don’t be a dick to them: I once saw a bloke having such a go at this poor woman working there and she was nothing but polite and patient with him, and he just threw it back in her face. It must be a thankless job. A little civility goes a long way.
ANYWAY. If I were in charge of this whole JCP farce, what would I do? What are the problems with it?
Today I signed off of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
No, I don’t have a job.
But I was getting fed up of being dictated to. To be fair, I never dealt with any horrible people, but the system is a mess. That is for another entry though, maybe tomorrow.
I work part time, as you all know, but it’s actually classed as self-employment, so I already do self-assessments and am registered as a sole trader. My dad runs his own business as an antique dealer and he has finally agreed to let me in on the business – and by this, I mean, using some of my own money to buy and sell antiques. My dad actually has loads of antiques lying around that he’s too lazy to sell, so he agreed to let me have some to get me started. I also have a shit ton of old clothes and books and DVDs that could be sold. So long as I make £30 a week (how much JSA I got), then I’m sorted!
I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me; jobseeker’s was making me increasingly lackadaisical and was starting to erode my self-confidence – not ideal for someone who needs thick skin whilst job hunting.
So, hurrah! I do intend to write a post asap on how the Jobcentre could improve, but for now I’m off to get ready to see Derren Brown! 😀