Applying for jobs is pretty exhausting. Trying to find something which is related to your degree, one that you believe you’d enjoy, have enough experience for and would be good at seems like a rare thing. I feel, given the opportunity, I could do anything given to me. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s outside anything I’ve done before it may take me longer, but that’s why I love learning – I was brought up to believe I can do and be whatever I want to as long as I apply myself to the task at hand. There seems to be little opportunity out there for people in my area and there are many setbacks, which is probably why there are so many intelligent, capable people working in mundane, repetitive jobs that in no way relate to the job they are qualified for. I know, because I have worked with so many in call centers and retail stores where it seems their minds are wasted on trivial tasks, limiting their capacity to do great things!
Upon completing my degree I went to my local Careers service only to be told, “We don’t get people like you very often” and “I’ve never had someone of your caliber before”. It was suggested maybe I take a year out. I was told, “You should have done an apprenticeship” as if all this is helpful to me?! I want to work, I want to be productive, I want to better provide for my family, I want to use the knowledge I have gained from my studies and benefit others in the work I do.
So, I popped along to a CV workshop that was being run by an organisation which supports women into work and promotes women for Leadership roles. I was flabbergasted at myself – We were asked to write down 3 good things about ourselves which we could add to a CV. I couldn’t write anything. Nope, not a thing. Although I know I’m competent at many things, actually writing them down on paper and elaborating on them seemed a difficult task for me. Maybe it’s because my jobs have all been scattered and short-term, maybe it’s a lack of confidence since having children, but whatever it was, writing a CV was a feat in itself -recounting all the things I’ve done, picking out ‘the best bits’ or the most relevant things.
You spend hours trying to create the best C.V only to apply for a job that doesn’t want you to upload your C.V – they want you to input information anonymously for a ‘fair’ process. So you spend even more time copying and pasting from your C.V into the website, amending the details as you go along, ensuring you’re tailoring the information for the job which you’re applying for.
Websites – There are so many websites to choose from! Where do you start? To Google ‘jobs’ seems like the first option, but is the website at the top of the list necessarily the best for the type of job you’re looking for in your remit? Don’t forget civil service jobs and NHS jobs, which are unlikely to be listed on some of the generic pages.
Finally, once you’ve submitted your application, before you can even get an interview there are tests. Psychometric tests, numeracy tests, literacy tests, verbal literacy tests…. Tests, tests, tests. If you get the interview, then there is interview prep – what questions may they ask? What possible answers would I give to show I’m most capable and better than the rest to get the job? Needless to say, Job hunting is exhausting!