I’m not a salesman – anyone who I tried to sell windows to will attest to that. Where I really struggle is selling myself. I hate that false boasting and play acting involved in the whole process from application to interview. You find yourself doubting any skills and abilities you have at every turn; closing windows with jobs on because you lose faith in yourself.
Even the thought of opening the websites to trawl through the hundreds of available positions leaves me cold. Currently with so many people being laid off across Aberdeen you wonder how far down the pecking order you have fallen with each negative announcement. You see the word “experience” and close the tab as you won’t have it. Even worse is when you are more than qualified and you get rejected, not even an interview – it just means starting the whole process over again.
If you’re willing to take a pay cut you are told that the job’s not for you because you’ll just be looking for more money elsewhere, which is really not true. I’d be happy to do a job I enjoyed for a few less quid than be miserable for more. That seems at odds with employers who think you’re up to something. If you want more money then you don’t have the qualifications or experience the role requires, even though you know you could do the job. So called transferable skills don’t exist if you are coming from the public sector and if you were a teacher as I was even less so. I’d love to see some of those who have turned me down for jobs try teaching for even a week and tell me I don’t have the skills.
The biggest problem is the faux bravado and “look what I can do” bit. I hate personal statements, interviews with the question “Why do you think we should hire you?” should be illegal and anything that involves more than two interviews should also be banned – you either want me or you don’t. The other issue is I don’t know what I want to do anymore. The constant enquiry from all the agencies is “What job?” and I don’t know how to respond. My “dream jobs” are either ruled out because of my age, the fact I would need decent savings behind me to take the time out to do them, the lack of “experience” or just that my face doesn’t fit.
Today I’ll sit and open several tabs when going through the job website but because of the negative experiences of late, you begin to lose heart and belief in yourself. More of a spiral of misery than a vicious circle. Having just finished at a job I really enjoyed, had found a pace I was comfortable with and my mental health was sorting itself out, it’s difficult to just “move on”.
I just need a simple job that accepts me for me so I can get on with things. Not a big ask.