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The Why Don't You Get a Job Thread

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3 hours ago, Slapnut said:

After thinking I royally fucked up my interview, I was told today that I’m being promoted! Absolutely chuffed to bits.

Thats great news Slapnuts! Congrats 

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On 11/20/2018 at 12:09 AM, Wretch said:

Has anyone just jacked in what they were doing for whatever reason and took up a new career?

Brief background on myself - started at rock bottom in the first job I walked into after finishing secondary school. A few years in I'd moved up the ladder a couple of steps. Got offered a position in our Nottingham office so moved there from Dublin in 2007 when I was 20. 2010 comes around and the office shuts so I take up a job stacking shelves at night in a Tesco. Just something to tide me over for a little bit says I.

Still here eight years later.

I don't wanna go back to what I was doing before, which was supervisor for an inventory company. I was good at the interviewing and training side of things, but really really hated the disciplinary side of things. Sacking someone is the worst thing in the world.

Has anyone thought fuck it and trained up in anything new? I'm only 32 so still young but nervous at stepping out of my comfort zone, especially now with a mortgage to pay.

I did, I wont bore you with the details as i've written about it one here before. I'd recommend getting involved with the national careers advisory service (not sure if I got the name correct). I had a meeting with one women who made a few good points, I had kind of figured it out on my own before the meeting so it didn't go too far but she was really helpful and followed up on me. My advice before going to a meeting though would be to do their online quiz thing to get the suggested career paths from your preferences as otherwise they will push you to that in the first meeting making it a bit of a waste of time. Go in with it done and printed an you'll skip a good step.

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On 11/19/2018 at 5:09 PM, Wretch said:

Has anyone just jacked in what they were doing for whatever reason and took up a new career?

Has anyone thought fuck it and trained up in anything new? I'm only 32 so still young but nervous at stepping out of my comfort zone, especially now with a mortgage to pay.

I have, sort of. I went to university to study drama, but a bout of depression in my third year meant that I mostly sat around in my pants at home for about 6 months and emerged at the end without a degree. After the rest of my classmates graduated, I bummed around for a bit doing temp data entry and admin type roles until I got a job in the civil service.

As one of the few young men in an office full of middle aged women, I ended up being the de facto IT "expert" because I was "good with computers." This mostly meant that people would come to me and I would use the help function to find out how to change Outlook settings or Google Excel functions. Eventually, this kind of innovative thinking got me promoted to team leader and I started to think that I could make my way higher in the Civil Service, enjoying the flexi time and generous holiday allowance before retiring on a pension which would go some way to making up for the uncompetitive wages.

Along the way, my continued Googling began to edge me closer to actually being quite good with Excel, and not just by the low standards of the office. When I realised that my team were having to make the same amendments to standard letters dozens of times a day, deleting sections of text and either pasting in new sections or typing them by hand, I started to learn how to record and edit macros, allowing me to partially automate a few things here and there.

Unfortunately, a few factors meant that at the same time, I started to get more and more dissatisfied with the job. The government's austerity measures meant that our pay was frozen and yearly incremental rises became a thing of the past. Changes to the pension scheme made a long term civil service career seem less appealing. Recruitment bans meant that the prospect of promotion seemed remote. At the same time, I was having to manage several people who mainly seemed motivated to get away with doing as little work as possible. Depression took hold again and I started to neglect some of my responsibilities, but I was still well thought of by management because of my previous good performance.

When my manager moved on, however, she was replaced by someone else who hadn't been around when I'd been doing well and couldn't see why I had a good reputation. In my first monthly performance review, in November 2015, she told me that from what she'd seen, I wasn't pulling my weight.

I knew that she was right, but I couldn't imagine a future where I was motivated enough to turn things around. I suspected that there were other duties which I'd not been properly attending to which would eventually come to light as well. The situation was probably salvageable if I'd been in a healthy state of mind, but I wasn't. A few days later, I handed in my resignation and went back to sitting around in my pants at home for a few months.

After a while, I ran out of money and went back to working for an agency, who got me a job in July 2016 working in the warehouse of an engineering company. It was a reduction in pay compared to my Civil Service job (17K instead of 20K,) but I wasn't in a position to be too picky and it did at least seem like the kind of company where progression was possible and where they were keen to develop their staff.

I got a couple of opportunities to show that I knew what I was doing with Excel and that I had a bit of potential. When a new materials planner role was being created on the materials/purchasing team, I was moved from the warehouse into the office for a couple of weeks to be an extra pair of hands and cover until they could bring someone in to do it. They ended up offering the job to me without having to interview. It came with a 5K payrise, and soon after, I was handed a further 3K payrise. I couldn't believe it- I was now on 5K more than I had been in the Civil Service, I was enjoying work a hell of a lot more and my boss seemed genuinely interested in helping me to progress, with a view to eventually succeeding him. On top of this, I was now being actively encouraged to pursue my interest in Excel and VBA and to build up my skills in that area.

In Summer 2017, I got a message from a school friend of mine who knew what I was doing, asking how much it would take for me to consider moving jobs. I told him that I was happy where I was and that I'd only been there for a year, but that a significant pay rise of 5K or so would be something I'd struggle to turn down. He brought me in to interview for a couple of roles and the company ended up offering me a 40K a year contract as a data analyst! I was astounded, but kind of apprehensive because I'd been treated brilliantly where I was and thought a lot of my boss and the company, but I would be a fool to turn down a 15K salary uplift. When I went to my boss to explain the situation, he came back from senior management with an offer of a 35K contract. I would have stayed, on the basis that starting somewhere new would be a risk and that I wasn't really sure I was qualified for the job my friend had put me up for, but the other company counter offered, adding another 5K to the salary and that was that.

Looking back on the past 3 years or so, it's crazy to think that I went from what had basically become a dead end, low paying job that I hated, to earning more than double in a job I find interesting. I've been so incredibly lucky that I ended up somewhere it was possible to progress, lucky that people there saw some potential in me and that I happened to have picked up some skills I could develop and which had some value in the job market. I'm not sure what advice I can give as I know that it doesn't work that way for everyone and that I'm particularly fortunate as these things have more or less fallen in my lap, but my experience since jacking in my Civil Service job has been hugely, hugely positive.

Previously, I could never imagine having a job that I actively enjoyed. I used to try to work out what the absolute minimum I could live on was and so how many hours I could reduce my working week to. I am so much happier now that I'm not spending my working week making myself miserable. That sounds obvious, of course, but I always used to see work as just a necessary evil to survive. Don't get me wrong, it's still not the highlight of my week, but I don't dread it now. I know that at some point, depression might strike again and I'll have to find some way to deal with that, hopefully without sabotaging my career, but for now I'm happy.

Apologies for all of the salary talk. I know it's a little bit vulgar, but I thought the details were necessary.

Edited by LazyMcLopez

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I mentioned a while ago the weekly newsletter email for people looking for writing careers sent out by Sian Meades. Just received the latest one, and thought there might be some people interested in the positions she's listed. If you want to sign up, here's the link: https://mailchi.mp/69d207801f23/freelancewritingjobs

 

  • The Sunday Times is hiring freelance digital sports subs.
     
  • This sounds really interesting: Vital Arts need a freelance researcher to help with their community dialysis cookbook.
     
  • Lifestyle blog The Pink House is hiring a digital and social media writer.
     
  • ITV News is recruiting a digital content producer and they welcome part-time and flexible working applications but do keep in mind that they still want people to do late shifts and work some weekends.
     
  • The Good Literary Agency is recruiting freelance editors on a per-project basis.
     
  • Bridgehead Media is hiring again. This time for Chinese-speaking journalists for music and entertainment and games and tech.
     
  • I tend to eye listings on Work In Startups with suspicion (the words "labour of love" get thrown about a lot in their ads), but I spotted that The Honestly Good Smoothie Company need a nutrition writer and it sounds alright.
     
  • There are so many freelance roles on Creative Recruitment's books at the moment that I don't have space to list them all. Here you go.
     
  • Air Recruitment has a gig for a freelance content manager. Three month contract, and it's with an agency so it's a good day rate.
     
  • Do you know about all things Spain and personal finance? Nudge is but they're expanding into Spain and they're hiring a personal finance writer. They're based in the UK so you can be, too.
     
  • This sounds really cool: journalism charity Headliners need a part-time project journalist.
     
  • Homeware company Wayfair is recruiting freelance German-English translators.
     
  • I doubt I'll ever use YouTube for anything other than watching 80s power ballad videos but the channel WatchMojo is hiring freelance script writers.
     
  • The digital content agency arm of Hg2 need a senior writer/editor.
     
  • Don't mind working nights and weekends? The Observer need a night production editor.
     
  • Ace Hotel is looking for a social media marketer to work 3-4 days a week.
     
  • Discovery Education need a temporary commissioning editor for its ELT digital resources. No word on the length of the gig.
     
  • I've saved a real goodie to the end: The London Creative Network programme needs freelance consultants to be on panels and run workshops. If you've got self-employed smarts and relevant experience that you think would help other creatives, jump on this.

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Got an interview with the DWP in the next few days. Feeling fairly confident about it but it all feels a bit more professional than any other interview I've done. A long application process with tests, then booking an interview in an hour and a half away in the head office rather than where I'll be looking to work.

I'm hoping to get it because the starting salary is significantly more than I've ever earned, even after two payrises and 4 years at Barclays.

Anyone else ever interviewed with the DWP/HMRC/etc? How is it? 

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It’s a competency based interview, normally you and two managers, neither of which you will probrably ever see again.  It will be based on the competency’s you have already put forward in your original application, and there is no issue with you taking notes in.  It’s also bes to answer the questions using the STAR method, Situation, Task, Action and Result.  I have had 2 interviews with the DWP, and got both jobs, so you should have no problem!  Best of luck.

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It went OK. Nothing too spectacular from me, probably the weakest interview I’ve done.

Thankfully I enjoy my current job so this isn’t too gutting if I don’t get it.

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I'm in a bit of a tailspin job wise right now and I'm not entirely sure how to get out of it. 

Been back with the Hotel since December having started there in July (left for a month to manage a shoe shop who's brand is now in administration so glad I got out when I did) but the night shifts are really beginning to break me down. Especially when I have for example nothing to do for two nights at all and then everything in the hotel to set up with a one day turn around on the final night. Trying to do manual labour, climbing ladders, moving heavy objects at 5am after starting at 10 is leaving me absolutely broken for days on end and if. I'm honest the fact I haven't injured myself yet is a minor miracle. 

But there's no real escape. I can't find a job at home which pays anywhere near as well as everything is either experience needed or minimum wage, my degree is completely useless in this county and i can't get the money together to move away as between my credit card and a loan (after the shoe shop completely shafted me on pay as well as needing to fix some stuff) I'm gonna be at least 18 months from being financially secure enough to get out of my mother's house let alone find my own place /move away. 

This is all really beginning to affect my mental health badly and I don't really know what option I even have. I can't even really look at grabbing a second job just to make some extra cash as with me working nights I'm completely dead by 8am the next morning. 

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No chance of getting on the day shift? I assume that seeing as they hired you for the night shift it's unlikely, but it can't hurt to ask. 

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Nah its night porter work. Duty Manager covers the day stuff when anything needs moving. Very small staff numbers are needed as well so it'd be unlikely I could even move to a different area of the hotel as most places are fully staffed. 

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Where is your degree from and what is it in out of interest? In the grand scheme of things 18 months isn't that long a time to wait if you can hold up and use the time to make savings and small steps to get your life back towards the track you want it to be on. It's always frustrating having to wait but rewarding if you can make steps in the right direction. As it popped into my head earlier and if you are a porter you must be able to move and lift things ok, have you ever thought of moving into something like the post office? When I was there many years ago the money was alright for what it entailed and rather than nights its early morning with the afternoons free. There was always loads of chances to do overtime too which really added up over the summer. 

 

As I don't know that much about your exact circumstances I apologise if my advice is far from helpful. 

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Kind of had a bit of a brain spark about it the other day. 

So my degree was from Bath Spa in Film and Screen Studies with a particular emphasis on how media could be used to impact children's education and behavioural aspects. 

With that field of interest, a love of books and always feeling a lot more comfortable when showing or explaining something to someone, I've started looking at PGCE's in English and Media Studies for September having studied both English fields during college as well. 

Even if it doesn't go anywhere right now, having some form of idea on how to break the creative and work rut I'm in with something I feel passionate about is enough to drive me through the weeks. 

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I reckon that's a great idea to be honest. My advice would be not only to get yourself financially prepared but also mentally and experience wise, the PGCE courses from what I know love when you've done a bit of volunteering or mentoring anything that can be applied in the classroom. It's also a pretty grueling year doing the course with placements and coursework. As for the finance side of things if you are doing it related to English you might find there are some bursaries, not quite sure though.

After it all if you are including English as a subject you wont find it too hard to find a good placement and if you want a change of scene plenty of places with International Schools will eat you up once you have the PGCE and 2-3 years experience I know plenty of people working in amazing jobs in Vietnam, UAE, Thailand, China 

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Cheers Simon, I'd never even thought about the teaching abroad route. By that point I'll be closing in on 30 so maybe the next adventure for me.

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