Finding the one…

Quitting a job is a bit like finishing a relationship – you never know how the other person is going to take it. Sometimes there are tears, raised voices. They might even beg you to stay, tell you they’ll change or try to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Or perhaps they’ll just say “meh” and accept it. But you always know in your heart that you’ve done the right thing. No matter how good you felt when it started, no matter how sure you were this could be the one, you just know when it isn’t working and it’s time to move on.

In fact, it occurred to me recently that jobs and relationships actually have an awful lot in common. In both cases, aren’t we really just searching for “the one”?

When we’re young we have casual, part-time jobs and casual, non-committal relationships. These days, people often don’t really settle down until they’re over 25 – some take considerably longer. But by the time you reach your 30s you start to notice everyone around you getting more serious.Β Words like “career”, “commitment”, and “marriage” are used.Β As we grow older, we start looking for the one we can commit to for the long haul. Finding “the one” can be just as difficult if we’re searching for a career, or searching for a long-term relationship.

Like the pair of skinny jeans you look at longingly in H&M, sometimes we try things on just to see if they fit. I know I’m guilty of this when it comes to relationships and jobs (and skinny jeans). I’ve tried working in record stores and dating musicians, I’ve tried working in offices and dating men in suits. Just like the skinny jeans, you try them on even if you’re not sure they’re right for you. You try them on, but when you look in the mirror you just know something isn’t right, something doesn’t quite fit.

Dream jobs and dream relationships can both, in theory, be found online. I know a couple of friends who have recently found love through online dating websites – one even got married. In both cases, all you have to do is create an online profile and look for a match. Sometimes, they even come looking for you. But it’s not easy. There is a lot of rubbish out there, and you have to sift through a whole pile of lies before you can find the truth. Whether job hunting or looking for love you really shouldn’t lie on your resume, but you should be aware that others will not necessarily be as discerning. Both potential employers and potential partners might promise something they can’t deliver. We’ve all been there: you turn up for the date/interview and something feels wrong. He’s not quite as tall, dark and handsome as he said he was, or the office doesn’t look quite as bright and shiny as it looked on the website.

But sometimes you get lucky – whether it’s from a website, a newspaper, or through friends, it is possible to find “the one”. As far as my career goes, I’m feeling quite optimistic about the future. Since graduation I’ve tried various careers on, but none of them really fitted. However, in August I will be starting a new job at a company where I feel like I might be able to build a career and have a real future. I caught a glimpse of myself in the office window when I went for my interview, and it seemed to fit. It’s time for me to get serious, make a commitment, and build a future.

As for relationships, well I haven’t really had time for a while to be honest, but my eyes are open and I know “the one” must be out there somewhere…

LOVE by Robert Indiana

LOVE by Robert Indiana, New York


On job hunting…

Every day I wake up, and I restart the seemingly fruitless job hunt. Since I returned from Japan at Easter, I have been job hunting (also known as banging ones head against a brick wall).Β I started out with this naive confidence, believing that it was only a matter of a few weeks before I would be back in the land of the employed. Well it’s been eleven weeks since I returned to British soil, and I’m still looking.

At first, I was very choosy. I would look for only the jobs that I really, really wanted to do. As time goes on I’m, let’s say, broadening my horizons. But I remain realistic. If a job calls for skills I simply don’t have, I don’t waste anyone’s time by applying. I can’t fake my typing speed (around 45 wpm, ish), I can’t pretend I know shorthand (even the word “shorthand” gives me chills – but that’s another story), and I can’t even begin to speak French, let alone fluently (I can speak conversational Japanese though, but that doesn’t seem quite as in demand).

People say to me “Yeah, the job market is terrible, isn’t it?“. Well, no, actually. There are loads of jobs out there! At least, if you look on any of the main recruitment websites that’s how it seems. Last week I applied for 27 jobs – all of which I was qualified/experienced to do. How many responses did I get? Three. One was from the website I had applied through, saying that the job in question might actually be a fake, uploaded by robots or something. Two others told me I hadn’t been successful in getting interviews.

Since I began my search, I have applied for more than 50 jobs, registered with a number of agencies, and contacted some companies directly. I have interviewed with only 3 companies. Interestingly, of the 3 companies I interviewed with, only 2 ever actually got back to me.Β I don’t claim to be any maths expert, but there’s something wrong with those numbers.

But, as far as I know, I’m doing everything right. So I’ll just keep on doing it, and keep my fingers crossed.

By the way, if you happen to stumble upon this post and think you might need a PA/Administrator/Office Manager/Writer/Ambassador for Japan, you can find out more about me on LinkedIn, or check out my freelance writing portfolio here. I’m looking for a job in London, but am also open to Brighton and other big cities.

(Source)


I need to buy a ticket…

According to Elizabeth Gilbert, “There’s this wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, ‘Dear saint – please, please, please… give me the grace to win the lottery.’ This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, ‘My son – please, please, please… buy a ticket.‘”

My lament has gone on long enough. It’s time I bought a ticket. I don’t really think that trying to win the lottery is the way forward though – the odds aren’t really that great. So instead, my “ticket” will be a metaphor for action.

I haven’t been lamenting because I’m poor (although I’m not exactly rich). No, I’ve been lamenting because come April I will be unemployed for the first time in over ten years (if you count part-time jobs). I won’t have an income, and I will be back at my Mum’s house in a town I don’t really want to live in (nothing personal to anyone living there).

So I need to make a plan of action – I need to buy my ticket. If I don’t have a ticket, I’m never going to win, am I?

Plan of Action

1) Spruce up my CV.

2) Make a list of all the companies I would like to work for and agencies who deal with those kinds of companies.

3) Apply! (Even if no jobs are advertised.)

4) Believe that I can get a new job (this is a belief based on the knowledge that I’ve done everything in my power – not just a vain belief)

Wish me luck! πŸ˜‰