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killing time - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
killing time
I hate job applications. I seem to be talking myself out of applying for most of the ones I was planning to apply for, and I'm not sure whether it's because I hate writing job applications or because they're really not worth applying for (or a bit of both, probably).

The Macmillan Cancer Research Fundraising Assistant post is the most annoying; I really wanted to apply for it because it seems the closest to a Good Thing out of the jobs I was going to apply for, but the more I look at the job description the more I feel like I'm hideously overqualified for it. I know that sounds disgustingly conceited, and I'm sorry, but they're asking for things like "at least one year in office environment", and "experience of ... use of office equipment", and (I know qualifications aren't that relevant any more, but) the only qualifications they require are GCSEs (or NVQ level 1 or 2). It seems bitterly ironic that I've spent so long desperately trying to write up my experience (which is pitiful in comparison to that of most graduates) into something that sounds employable so that I can apply for jobs I don't want to do, that now I can't talk it down enough for a job I do want to do.

The Refugee Legal Centre job is another Good Thing, but it's a lot worse paid than it looked originally -- the advert says something in the region of 20K, but it's actually more like 14K plus extra money for having to work most weekends and some evenings. Which would still be a not unreasonable wage but it's considerably less than I'm on now, for massively longer hours. (I now expect hundreds of people to follow up telling me that obviously I can't work for a Good Cause and have money / a social life. Okay, so I was naive in thinking I could do both.)

The Studio Cambridge (EFL school) job just has such a broken application form that I'm not sure I can face trying to fill it in. Yeah, yeah, I know, I should stop being so fucking snobbish and picky, and after all it's not as if my ability to produce reasonably-formatted text in Word has done me any good -- but I can't even get the text to stop displaying with lines on top of other lines, so I can't even read half of it.

It's just making me feel miserable and panicky and hopeless as fucking usual, with the added panic that I definitely don't have anything resembling a real job after the end of this month. And meanwhile Gawen's still full of mad ideas -- the latest one today was that the people who ProQuest can't afford to employ any more should go and start their own "data solutions" company, so that ProQuest can outsource to them and it won't cost ProQuest as much.

I just want to give up on the whole thing. At best the job I get now is only killing time until I do what I really want to do with my life ... but I just wish I could shake the fear that that's never going to happen, and actually I'm just killing time until, well, time kills me.

Current Mood: hopeless
Now playing: Juliet Turner: "Too Close for Comfort"

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Comments
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: September 22nd, 2003 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hide under the duvet until Whitby?
j4 From: j4 Date: September 22nd, 2003 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not going to Whitby -- I can't afford it.
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: September 22nd, 2003 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sell the duvet when you've finished hiding under it?
j4 From: j4 Date: September 22nd, 2003 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eh, when I've finished with a duvet it's not in a fit condition to sell.

*cough*
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 22nd, 2003 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
You mean like this?
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: September 22nd, 2003 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Does the RLC job have time in lieu as well as the extra money? There are maximum working hours in force so there might be some balance there.

I used to wrangle Word for a living (advanced MS-taught stuff) - is the broken form available online or did you get it in email?
j4 From: j4 Date: September 22nd, 2003 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Does the RLC job have time in lieu as well as the extra money?

It doesn't say so explicitly but I assume it must. It's not clear when that time can be taken, though, or anything like that. I just feel like I've been stuck in a miserable job for so long with only my social life to stop me going mad, that the prospect of potentially ending up in a miserable job with no social life to keep me going just makes me feel ill.

is the broken form available online or did you get it in email?

I got it in email, and the attachment said something about how it was fast-saved several times and stuff might have been lost, so I guess that's it.

To be honest though I do tend to feel that if they can't be arsed making an application form that works, I can't be arsed applying. I know that's my loss more than theirs, probably, and I know beggars can't be choosers, etc. etc., but I think my time and sanity is still worth something.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: September 22nd, 2003 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
the prospect of potentially ending up in a miserable job with no social life to keep me going just makes me feel ill.

I understand that, totally, but how does the prospect of potentially getting a fulfilling and interesting job make you feel? From what you've said elsewhere today your social life is so busy that you're booking way ahead now - so would booking ahead to work around a job be any worse? (Yes, I see that it could... but think positive!) It's unlikely that the extra hours would be at no notice, isn't it? So it shouldn't put that much of a crimp on your life, and if the job is worth doing... ICBW but this kind of job is probably something that will actually stretch you in the ways you want stretching (oo-err missus!), and that's worth focusing on, rather than the quack moo fear that is making you feel ill.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 22nd, 2003 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
From what you've said elsewhere today your social life is so busy that you're booking way ahead now - so would booking ahead to work around a job be any worse?

Well, er, yes, it would. It wouldn't just be a question of "booking ahead", it'd be a question of not being able to go to weekend events outside Cambridge, not necessarily being able to go to stuff in Cambridge, etc. etc. A day off in lieu is all very well for going into town, but it's not much help when it's not the same day as the party you want to go to.

Also, doing "some evenings" would probably make it very hard to keep my evening commitments (orchestra and karate) as I wouldn't necessarily be able to guarantee being free on any given weeknight.

I just don't think I'd like it. I know lots of people do it, and like it, or at least don't have any problems with it; but I don't think I'd like it. I think in the state I'm in at the moment it'd turn me into a complete nervous wreck.

Am useless, sorry.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 22nd, 2003 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and:

ICBW but this kind of job is probably something that will actually stretch you in the ways you want stretching

Not really. It's a clerical job. Okay, so it's a moderately tricky one -- you need three GCSEs for it rather than just Maths and English -- but essentially it's not likely to be terribly intellectually stretching; just emotionally tiring. Which I can do without really at the moment. :-/
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 22nd, 2003 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Moo. Why should I want to argue with you, when from here I could just throw coffee over you instead? (Sometimes actions do speak louder than words. Or at least wetter. )

:-P
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: September 22nd, 2003 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Moo. I am having a few of the same issues with jobs - not the experience issue, but the weighing up of what I want to do and where I want to be, and the ridiculousness of some of the things I've been applying for. I mean, I considered being a Learning Support Assistant, which I might be quite good at and which is helping people and hence A Good Thing, but the money is pitiful and it's only in term-time, and generally the mercenary urge won out over the altruistic one there. The job I interviewed for today looks, well, might be interesting, but not *that* interesting, and it's not well-paid, and it's miles away, but I really need work, and... *thunch* And how is it going to get me any closer to doing whatever it is I really want to do? And how do I find out what that is? And how do I know I'm not going to end up doing something grey in an office for years and years and wear pinstriped skirts and uncomfortable heels and cut my hair into one of those practical hairstyles?

I know about the presentation-snob bit too. I was visiting agencies last week, and went to look at Gravity Personnel in the centre of Reading. They had A4 sheets in the window headed JOB'S with vacancies for KNOCKER'S on them. I walked away. No way people who can't spell and punctuate are getting their hands on my CV. (Besides, I don't think they had much of the kind of job I want.)
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: September 22nd, 2003 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you are feeling particularly brave/drunk you could try convincing them that they should employ you, on the grounds that you can spell and punctuate. ;-)
From: scat0324 Date: September 23rd, 2003 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yesterday, I told $head_of_house that I had corrected the spelling of "sagaceous" in his Powerpoint presentation (don't ask why I was doing it, I still don't know). I think he got the hidden message that people who use words like sagacious should be able to spell them.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 23rd, 2003 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I considered being a Learning Support Assistant

Me too. It sounds like a Good Thing. And only-in-term-time wouldn't be so bad; I mean, students get temp work in the hols so I'd just have to do that. But it is pitifully badly paid anyway.

(It seems unfair that people who write software to help other software developers write their software a little bit faster get paid enormous amounts of money, while people who help children learn to read and write get paid a pittance.)

And how is it going to get me any closer to doing whatever it is I really want to do? And how do I find out what that is?

I don't know how you find out what it is, but you could do worse than by elimination -- try things and slowly work out what you don't want to do. I mean, I applied for this job because it was in Cambridge and it needed a degree, and I had a degree and wanted to be in Cambridge. (My degree was even slightly relevant to it, which was a bonus.) And from doing this job I've discovered that a) I don't really want to work in the commercial sector; b) I quite like working with corduroy-trousered academics, and not having a dress-code at work; c) I don't mind doing routine work so long as I feel that it's useful; d) I can live on this amount of money, I could live on less, but I'd be happier with a bit more. They're all useful things to know about what I want to do.

Though what I really want to do is have a big family and bake cakes. :)

And how do I know I'm not going to end up doing something grey in an office for years and years and wear pinstriped skirts and uncomfortable heels and cut my hair into one of those practical hairstyles?

The pinstriped skirts and heels and stuff is just dressing-up, as far as I'm concerned. It's every bit as much a costume thing as huge flouncy black lace ballgowns, or 15-inch platform shoes, or Sailor Moon outfits. :-)

You don't have to do a grey office job if you don't want to -- though I think it's useful to be able to conform if/when you want/need to, which is why I haven't dyed my hair mad colours or anything. There are lots of jobs out there. ... Wish I knew how to get them, though. <sigh>

They had A4 sheets in the window headed JOB'S with vacancies for KNOCKER'S on them.

<giggle>

That's dreadful! But dreadfully funny as well. And I'm desperately trying to resist saying that you'd be good at a job that required talent in the KNOCKER'S department. ;) (Damn!)

I keep meaning to highlight all the mistakes in the local paper and post it back to their offices saying "Will proofread for cash". But I haven't got round to it yet, and they'd probably just ignore it anyway.
imc From: imc Date: September 23rd, 2003 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Argh, I had nearly finished writing this and Netscape ate it. :-( Let's try again...

This morning I saw a coach with the name of the company in large letters: Herzum Tour's (though as it was German there is doubtless a reasonable explanation for this).

At least I haven't seen for a few years the sign outside the Men's Room at the bottom of Cowley Road which used to say "The Independant say's: ". This may be because the Men's Room isn't at the bottom of Cowley Road any more.
imc From: imc Date: September 23rd, 2003 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
That should say <something> just before the closing quote but of course I forgot to escape it, so it disappeared.
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