You’re nobody ’til somebody hires you



Until you find yourself looking for work again you forget that you don’t really exist. By that I mean that unless you have a specific set of skills you are invisible to companies and potential employers.

I’d like to think that I have a lot to offer, but the big problem at the moment is a flooded market. So many people are out of work – or about to be – that employers have their pick of the market. Rather than take people on a train them up in the “company way” that happens during a jobs boom, at the moment they want a carbon copy of their job spec in human form. And at the moment they can pretty much get that.

There’s also the public to private sector snobbery that exists. Many would deny it, but I know from speaking to agencies that it does happen. There is also a blinkering of employers to skills sets you have working in a public job as I did in teaching. As far as they are concerned you are able to teach but fail to see all the pre and post work that goes into the teaching, the IT skills, administration, PR, extra curricular activities, pastoral work with pupils, working on committees, meetings & seminars both in your region and nationally. It’s not just standing up and speaking.

On the flip side there is the impact that the process has on you. “We’ll keep your CV on file…” is like being told by your crush that you are in the “friend zone” and will never graduate from it. Everyday you go on the same websites and see jobs you know you were capable of but you never hear back from them. Out of all the jobs I’ve applied for in the last month or so I can only have had a half-dozen responses thanking me but not giving me even an interview.

Each time you log on you lose a little bit more hope, you look at jobs you wouldn’t have considered a couple of weeks earlier but your self-value and belief has started to collapse. I’m worried that this will trigger a bout of depression that I’ve been trying to fight off for the last wee while. You can see it coming: sleeping longer, not leaving the house very much, feeling of loss and emptiness creeping up on you.

Some have suggested I go back to teaching, but after some of my previous experiences my confidence is shot. While I loved the pupils and many of my colleagues, teaching can have a real impact on your life in terms of time and stress. You have to give yourself over to the job and I honestly don’t know if I could do that again. maybe in a few year’s time I will have enough distance to revisit the role.

There’s no major ambition or target job-wise, I would just like to get working to earn money again to provide for the family. Hopefully someone will take a chance on me soon so I can stop this introspective phase and stave off the inevitable dip in mood.


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