The frustration of the jobhunt

Frustration (was: threesixtyfive | day 244)

As I write this on Saturday afternoon, I know that I only have 5 working days left in my current job. Technically, I’ve not actually been informed I’m being made redundant; rather, my current role is “at risk of redundancy” and that it will not actually be determined until Friday, which is the day that my temporary contract expires.

So far, I have had 5 job interviews and have succeeded with none of them. The first one I have written about before. There was one more where it was very clear that I was not suited for the role, though I had been misled by the recruitment agent and he misled the company about me. After a few terse words, I told him I didn’t want to have anything to do with him any more.

These two were a waste of time, and were frustrating for that reason. But the other 3 were even more frustrating. These were jobs I had a real shot at. Two of them involved a greater level of direct involvement with the commerce side of the business. In my current role, I am very much back office staff, and my day to day interactions are with the company directors, account managers and other finance staff;  I have no need to interact with sales and to do so would be overstepping my mandate, besides the fact that I have nothing to talk to them about.

Yet this was my downfall for 2 of the interviews. So on this basis, I have had to revise my short term goals and avoid anything that has a commercial aspect, as I will not lie in an interview situation. But every time I mention that I working with commerce would be something I’d look forward to, the level of interest on the part of the interviewer drops.

The last one was the most frustrating of all. The job description was the most similar to my current role and 90% of it I could have done with next to no training at all. The only difference was the software systems they use, though I am very adept at picking up new software skills and quickly surpassing those who teach me. One part of the job description was to line-manage a graduate student. In my current role, I am nobody’s line manager, though I do have lots of people reporting into me.

Yet someone else they interviewed was currently line-managing an ACA student. I had really high hopes for this role, as it was walking distance from home and I got on really well the group financial controller. The interview had been due to be an hour, but ran on for an extra 20 minutes, the close of which I had been asked about my salary expectations, notice period and availability for second interview. Talk about getting someone’s hopes up!

So where am I now? Pretty much back at square one. I am due to have an interview sometime this week, though I have not been given a time for it. I’m putting my CV out on more and more websites, which usually ends up with a flurry of phonecalls, but it often seems more like fuss than progress. By now, I’ve had the same conversation with so many different people that I’m starting to lose track of who I’ve spoken to. At one recruitment consultancy, I keep speaking to different people, so every time they call me and they say I’ve spoken to one of their colleagues, I have no recollection of whether or not that’s true. I decided to just call them all ‘Mark.’

When I get sent a job specification that is unsuitable for me (often because they lack the understanding that when I say I’m willing to commute up to, but not more than, a total 3 hours per day) that they send me job specs for roles that are in Berkshire, or other places that are a 2.5 hour commute each way. It is interesting to note that are very few jobs in the local area, which is very blue in the political sense. The places where all the majority of new roles are being created tend to be in Labour constituencies; it certainly casts an interesting perspective as to which of the 2 main parties is more pro-employment.

The odd thing about job hunting is that when you think you are on the brink of being employed, you can suddenly find yourself as far as ever, yet not knowing when the right job spec will come under your radar or when you may get called for interview, you can also be extremely close to finding a job before you realise it.

So as a question of epistemology, you never know when you are close and I try not to get my hopes up too much. Because the range of emotions that exist create the illusion of being close to a job, and it is when the rejections come that I feel furthest from getting a job.

It’s like trying to jump over a narrow stream. Even if you get 95% of the way across, you still end up with mud on your face. From the feedback I’ve had, there’s nothing wrong with my run-up or take-off. I’ve just got to keep going, but there now seem to be fewer streams to traverse, as I’ve had a go at most of those around.

One response to “The frustration of the jobhunt

  1. I’m afraid that’s the way it is with the modern job market. Particularly with the internet – it’s now a case of thousands of people chase thousands of jobs in the IT / Accountancy type worlds. You’ll eventually get the offer. And chances are you’ll get two or three at once, to be really frustrating.