Job searching, applications and interviews

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile, but I’ve been planning what to write which given the title should be easier enough, but of late my searching has made me think otherwise. This post was actually meant to be about a particular job I applied for and didn’t get, through no fault of my own. I knew in the last few months of uni that looking for a job wasn’t going to be easier and now a month and a half after leaving uni, I am in a worse position. My main problem is I’ve a lot of ideas about what I want to do and what I want to apply for, but no actual focus. What I wanted to do was take a small break and find some temp or part time work, which would allow me to carry on writing and give me time to think of a next step whilst earning some money and get some experience. That seems far from happening, even though Christmas is just around the corner and there are lots of temp jobs out there, I’ve had no luck with any of those applications.

My last interview was last week and I was worried about it because it involved a maths test and a role playing exercise. However, I was willing to just see this as getting experience in that kind of interview and though I did really want the job- It was working for M&S in a new shop- I wasn’t sure if I could meet their requirements. I did well in the maths test though and since that was done first; it meant I could enjoy then rest of the interview. I did the role playing well, so maybe thanks to D&D I’m getting better at that? It was a very simple help the customer buy the right produces test and I was able to show my polite, helpful nature.  Then I was asked a few questions about why I was applying for the job, how flexible I could be, what my future plans were and what I thought was my best skills.
To me that all went very well and they said they’d phone on Monday. I’ve heard nothing all week and have had to come to the realisation that I’ve not got that job. I don’t understand why though, because I thought it went well and they seemed pleased with me. That seems to be a common question after a rejection though and I’ve emailed them to see if they can give me any feedback as to why they decided I wasn’t right. Employers always know what they are looking for and that’s like stating that the customer is always right. Problem is with so many people applying for a single job, employers can afford to be very choosy about who they interview and who gets the job.
That’s why I feel that me and so many other people are currently missing out on jobs they could easily do and be happy to do them as
well. It can be difficult to change this in a country where there are so few jobs and so many people looking.
Maybe at the end of the day I’m just trying too hard, but is that even possible with job hunting? It’s not like I’m setting the bar high, I actually believe it’s low right now and I’ve only been applying for jobs I know I’ve the experience, qualifications and will be happy doing. Mostly, these are retail jobs in the sales assistant category. If more jobs offered the chance to gain experience, instead of just saying they wanted someone with years of experience, it would allow more people to apply, grant employers to train more staff and generate new ideas etc, from people. I get why they often want a level of experience; to prove you can do the job and you can start right away. In some ways though, a lot of the skills and experience I have could easily be applied to many jobs, but I fear that I won’t get them because of my none/lack of experience in that particular area.
I knew that I wouldn’t be walking straight into work when I left uni and I was fine with that. But it feels like an uphill struggle just to find and get interviews for jobs right now. I’ve lost count of how many and where I’ve applied of now, as is bound to happen, when you look every day or every other day and send a CV out to 1-10 different places. I’m getting frustrated by it as my family and friends know all too well. I know that isn’t going to help though and it’s all down to me and what I do. But sometimes, I just wish things could be easier. I wish I wasn’t getting over looked because of my lack of experience or too high qualifications or because there are far better people out there then me.
It is a problem and instead of actually getting a job, I’m looking at going back to uni/college and doing a teaching course, however I’m still unsure about this, but I just don’t know what else to do and at least by doing the course it would give me an even better chance to apply for more jobs. Training in being a supervisor or manger would be something else to consider, but once again I don’t know if that’s the area I want to go into.
Writing is my other thing. I would really like to do something that would involve working with books or writing and there are a lot of jobs you can go into, but it’s very hard to find work and stay in the job. Copywriting and proofreading are the key things I’ve been looking at. With my MA in creative Writing, my mind is switched in to both those areas, so why can’t I find work like that, which would be suitable to me? Knowing the people and networking is a big part of it and also any other job. I’ve never been very good at that, though life has been made easier by the Internet and websites like Linkin, which can be a good place to connect with people.
Other things I’ve been looking at are graduate jobs. These can be really useful for students in their last year/two or fresh out of uni who are struggling to get into work. My issues is that most of these can go on for a few years and are often focused at business students looking at high end manger jobs. I’d like something I can just get into now really and not have to go through the intense training that comes with some of these jobs. They say that uni is meant to give you a clear idea of what you want to do and train you in that role, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. I know what I’d like to be doing, but I know I couldn’t make enough money to live off it and I’ve not been looking for publishers of late because that just feels like another stress I could do without. I’ve still be publishing on Amazon Kindle though, because I’m still waiting to see how that goes. I could do with publishing a novel on there and trying to sell that, but I’ve not got any right now I’d be happy to do that with.
It’s odd, but my writing can be effected by stress and where I’d normally find joy and release in fiction writing, if my mood isn’t right, I find that I just can’t work probably. However, if I want to make this into my career then I should be always writing and working on something. Maybe I’ll give it a shot after some food and a rest.
As for job hunting, it is a long, boring process that can involve a lot of time and energy being put in for nothing. But it can also be very rewarding through gaining job interview experience, chance to talk about what you’d like to do and reflection time about your life. Plus you might get a job you want to do at the end of it all and that does make it worth it. There are a lot of lows to the highs though and they have to do with rejection, loss of self-believe, on- going struggles to find suitable work and the loss of hope. Remember though that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if you want something badly enough and try your hardest then you can always reach out for it.
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