Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Things people ask me now that I'm unemployed Part 1/3

"How are things going on the job front?"

This question has an unpleasant interesting effect on me. Namely that I get very defensive about it because I assume that people are asking me because they think I'm lazing about doing nothing. I completely understand that this is my issue and isn't at all (probably) what people are aiming for when they ask me but I can't deny that my initial reaction is something to want to throw things.

I knew from the get go that I needed to make sure I kept routine so I didn't end up becoming one of those nocturnal doley bums that sleep all day and stay up all night playing video games. (Unlikely because I can't play games but you get my drift.)

And so I get up every morning at 8.30am and get dressed - very important or else I would live in my PJs all day long - and then I get myself set up on the table, laptop on and then I begin tap tap tapping away on the job hunt.

Things you might want to know:
1) I am receiving JSA from the Job Centre (or will be when they eventually get around to paying me - they owe me about 5 weeks now.) which means I need to go in fortnightly to sign on and fill in a fun little form that details all the things I've been doing to get work. I'm supposed to have at least 15 things a week. This is much harder than it looks, especially when you are like me and did quite a specific job for a long time, making it difficult to find the same job again.

2) I'm working hard on trying to think outside the box and think about transferable skills but it is hard. If for instance your background is in accounting, you can log on to any jobsite out there and click a lovely little heading and there are all the jobs you're qualified to do. I don't have a lovely little heading to click on which makes hunting difficult. Especially as one part of my job title is "Research"  - type that in and all you get is market research jobs. Not what I do.

3) Neither The Person and I are tied to Preston. He's not particularly happy and is looking for work elsewhere too. Neither of us are tied to a particular area of the UK - we would love to stay in the North but we're realistic that we need to go where the jobs are.

The problem however is that at the moment, he can help support me whilst I look for a job but it can't work the other way round. So if I get a job somewhere else, we couldn't both move cities and have me supporting him whilst he found employment - which is why I wouldn't be able to take the Newcastle job I mentioned the other day.

I'm trying to find admin work in Preston just to get a job and have some money coming in and continue looking for my ideal job, finding out where The Person is applying for and looking in the same places in the hope we'll both find something together. Long shot but the only plan I have at the moment.

4) I have the most awesome spreadsheet ever which shows all the jobs I've applied for - when the closing date was, when the interview dates are, salary, etc. It's even colour coded. Sometimes I think that the main thing that motivates me to actually apply for jobs is less about getting a job and more about updating my spreadsheet.


I think that pretty much covers everything. It is pretty strength sapping being out of work. It's incredibly hard to stay motivated and make sure that you don't slip into a complete state of apathy, even when you are being disciplined with yourself.

On the flipside I've tried to tell myself that there might never be this opportunity again, to be out of work and at home every day, so I'm trying to make the most of it - getting my stitching on, reading lots, watching too much silly telly, because I know that before long I'll be back in work and remincising about the time when I didn't have to do anything...


  1. I think you're going at it the right way and how awesome about the spreadsheet! There's no denying cold, hard facts, now is there? I know it has to be disheartening. I would be devastated if I lost my job.

  2. It sounds as if you're doing as much as you can and have the right attitude to finding a job (and being very organised about it) and keeping yourself occupied with other things too.

  3. GOOD LUCK!! It's hard work job hunting.
    Have you tried nhs site & network rail site? They don't always advertise mainstream.

  4. I have a spreadsheet too! It is not colour coded though. Yours sounds more awesome.

  5. I saw some self-righteous idiot on the (UK) news a few months ago saying that unemployed people should spend 35 hours a week looking for work. Still can't get my head round that - there are only so many adverts that are relevant, what did he think we should be dong the rest of the time.

    Anyway, you're doing a better job than I am (might have to have a go at your spreadsheet idea) so fingers crossed something will come up for you soon.

  6. I have everything crossed for you. Over my working life I have been made redundant 3 times and can vouch that looking for a new job takes as much work as a job itself - as you clearly illustrate with your spreadsheet! You may have to take something that you are too qualified for, but you never know where that will take you. Its soul destroying and at a time when youve had a kick in the teeth too, but don't let the buggers grind you down. Be kind to yourself and set aside a part of your day to enjoy your free time. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. And Universities often don't advertise very widely.

    You've probably already looked but maybe it is helpful...

  8. Keep at it - have you both considered English teaching ;) Come to Bristol!! Or anywhere for that matter...If I see anything I'll pass it your way...if you can give me more details of what you're looking for? xxx


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