When applying for jobs on Reed.co.uk, sometimes you have to answer a couple of preliminary questions before submitting your application.
These are just general things to make sure you have the basic requirements for the job. So they might just ask ‘Do you have the right to work in the UK?’ or ‘Do you have experience working with (bla bla bla)?’ and you have to click yes or no.
I found this job listing just now with a rather difficult application question:
How do I answer?? What if M is a requirement? Or what if M is an absolute no-no for this role?
Job hunting is hard.
I know who you are. I know what you want. If you are looking for an employee, I can tell you I don’t currently have a job. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired during my role as an Editorial Assistant. Skills that make me a delight for people like you. If you give me a job now, that’ll be the end of it. I will be prompt, I will be enthusiastic. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will probably try again if another role comes up.
The oldest man in history has died in Japan, aged 116. This is sad news, but bloody hell that’s a good innings. 116! He was born in 1897! So by the end of World War 2, he was already pushing fifty. Boggles the mind.
When I think about it, if I reach 80 years old, I’ll be in the mindset of ‘Alright, I don’t necessarily want to go, but my time is probably approaching, so I’d best get used to that.’
If I then lived another ten years and hit 90, I’ll be thinking ‘Okay, I’ve been prepared for a while now, I’m bound to be off soon and that’ll be normal and expected.’
But then if I live another ten years and hit 100, I think I’ll be starting to get sick of things. That’s a fairly huge milestone, and one that most humans ever never hit. I’d not expect to hit any more milestones after that.
This guy lived sixteen years past that! From the point where I’d start getting ready to pop my clogs, he lived a further thirty-six years! That’s one and a half times my current age! When I was born, he was already 92!
This blog contains a lot of exclamation marks and weird, Pilkington-esque ramblings, so sorry about that. I’m just in awe.
116! RIP Mr. Kimura.
Something else that is going on in my life is online dating, which I’ve used on and off for a few months. Since this is now running alongside my ongoing unemployment, I’ve realised something:
Online dating and applying for jobs are baaasically the same process.
Think about it: you scour a website until an ad catches your eye. You read it and decide that it may be describing something that could enrich your life.
You spend a while typing up a unique reply to make yourself stand out and convince the writer of the ad that you’re the person they’re looking for. You send it off, accompanied by a categorised, abridged autobiography in which you humble-brag and maybe slip in a couple of stretched truths.
The recipient of your message reads it and decides you aren’t quite what they are looking for. Your message was a little too bland, or your descriptions of yourself don’t quite fit what they had in mind. Or maybe someone else has already filled the vacancy. They may or may not send you a reply to that effect - and if they don’t, you feel bitter and grumble about how you don’t care about them anyway.
So you repeat the search and message stages again and again until someone responds positively and you get your foot in the door. You organise a meet-up.
Your meet-up rolls around and you get nervous. You wonder how well you’re going to come across, whether you’ll get on with the other person and whether you’ll say the right things. You also worry that you may be overdressed, or maybe not dressed up enough. You just want it to go well.
The meet up may not go well, in which case you start the process again.
Oooor it might go really well and you’ll end up with something exciting happening for you. This could develop into something you have in your life forever, or it could go for a while before you move onto something else.
I’m yet to decide which aspect of my life this shows I am taking too flippantly. Maybe that’s why I’m getting limited results from both…
…THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU SAY ‘AWW’.
My job at Pearson ended about four weeks ago. It was a temporary contract which had been extended, but budget constraints meant it couldn’t be extended any more. I was kept well informed throughout, so I knew I’d be in need of a new job soon enough.
But now, after four weeks, I still haven’t found that new job.
Not through lack of trying. I must have applied for about twenty jobs in that time: slowly at first (because I was all cocky that I’d have one of them in the bag) but now my hunt has widened to customer service roles and bar work.
It’s annoying. Out of all of those applications, I’ve only had three responses. One asked for a link to this blog, so I sent it, forgetting that the previous evening I’d written a silly, rude post. In the end, they said they were looking for someone with more experience. The second was a flat out no. The third sent me a rock-hard editorial test (print, proofread, mark, scan and send back a three page document within fifteen minutes), which made me realise I probably couldn’t even do the job. I did the test, then wasn’t surprised when I got a no from them too. Nothing from the rest, even after I sent second emails asking if the vacancy had been filled. A one word reply would have been fine.
I realised the other day that this is the first time this has happened to me, ever. Unemployment beyond my control, I mean. In the eight years since I got my first job (at Woolworths*), I’ve always been employed, except the times I went travelling or to uni (and even then, I still had a job to go back to if I wanted).
But, as is normal for me, I’m not panicking. Yet. I have a few weeks before things become precarious and leaving London becomes my only option. I don’t want that to happen. I’ve signed on for JSA, to become one of those leeches on society that everyone goes on about, and to extend my chances of staying here.
Still, despite being in a place in my life that would probably depress a lot of people, I’m happier like this than I was in my job last year. Bloody hell. 8am starts; limited, timed toilet breaks; idiot customers shouting at you; despotic management figures. At least I have a good idea of the type of job I never want to apply for again.
Fingers crossed, give it two weeks and I’ll blog about my new job at some awesome place.
* Woolworths, followed by Gamestation and Blockbuster. Three stores which are all but obliterated from the high street now. Was I cursed?
I’ve started walking the long way to the supermarket after an awkward encounter.
The Big Issue seller in Balham stands under the train bridge. He’s very polite and often chips in a cheery ‘Hello sir, how are you today?’ as people walk past. I, also being polite, often reply with a ‘Good thanks, you?’, and go about my day.
Thing is, I live right next to the train bridge, so I pass him a lot, but have never bought the Big Issue from him. The chipper greetings became infrequent, until I was the one saying hello to him and he wouldn’t reply. He started to glare at me, as if to say There’s that guy who never buys the Big Issue.
Last week I walked under the train bridge and he was there. He gave a half smile and I asked how it was going.
'Not good,' he replied, and I hesitantly stopped to listen, blocking the walkway. 'My benefits have stopped. I'm stood here for eleven hours a day. David Cameron.'
'Yeah… yeah…' I said sympathetically. 'Well, I'd better-'
'I'm just going to be stood here until everyone starts coming home from work. It's bloody cold.'
'Yeah…' I nodded. He was staring at me with frustrated eyes. I caved and took out my wallet. ‘Well let me help you out.’
'Oh, that's very kind of you, sir.'
In my wallet, I had 30p, an expired ‘50p off’ Starbucks token, some first class stamps and a Namco token from an arcade on South Bank. The Big Issue costs £2.50.
'I… I have 30p.'
'Oh,' he said. 'Not to worry.'
'You can have the 30p.'
'You don't have to give me 30p.'
'Take the 30p.'
'Thanks,' he said, taking the two coins. 'It'd just be nice to get a heater, or a seat or something.'
'Yeah…' I said. I'm not bringing a chair or heater, I thought. Why'd I give him 30p? That seemed like an ultimate act of pity and I felt bad. I was hungry and wanted to make a swift exit after that, so I started stepping in the direction of the shop, when I realised he was still talking.
'…and it's a three hour film!' he said.
How did we get to films?? It had only been about five seconds!
'Yeah!' I said with a chuckle.
He glared at me again. He knew I hadn’t been listening. I’d given him a pity 30p then shrugged off his attempt at getting some company.
I glared back, knowing that he knew. ‘I need to go and buy food.’
'Ok,' he nodded.
I walked the long way home.
I’ve had my iPhone for three months now and I love it. One of my favourite aspects is the huge variety of games you can download from the App Store.
I’m into the classics that everyone’s played, like Angry Birds, Temple Run and Songpop. Quick and easy to pass a dull moment.
And I’m also into some lesser known games with cult followings. Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is just as good as the first (‘Always’ by Erasure included) and then some. Plague inc. is horrendously addictive, albeit morbid. I named my disease ‘Bum rot’ for a giggle.
But one of my favourites is Sleep Cycle, which is one of those apps that records your sleep. I suppose this wouldn’t classically be considered a game, but that’s the way my brain has started to see it.
The app monitors how deep a sleep you are in, based on your movements. If you set an alarm, then appear to be in a light sleep before that time, the app will wake you up early. Sometimes I wake up a little before my alarm, and my sleepy self decides that rather than get up, it’s more fun to lie perfectly still so as to not set off the alarm. Fun!
When the alarm does go off, it gives you a graph of your movements during the night, and an overall ‘sleep quality’ percentage. I’ve started seeing this percentage as a score to be bested. My best night sleep was the 26th of April when I got a high score of 97%! So close…
But the more thrilling aspect of Sleep Cycle is that to switch off your alarm, you just need to swipe the bar at the bottom of the screen, much like the iPhone’s normal lock screen. It’s become apparent that I check my phone in my sleep and accidentally switch off my alarm in the process. It’s always a thrill when you wake up and realise you’re horrendously late for that important thing you had to go to.
Ooh so that’s the second time I’ve clicked ‘post’ on a blog, but my tumblr iPad app had other ideas and it disappeared completely. Cool.