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Is there any point in applying for a job as Parliamentary Assistant at 48?

(42 Posts)
Perfectjob Wed 08-Feb-17 18:23:15

The person specification is:

"PERSON SPECIFICATION
*We are looking for a candidate with excellent interpersonal, communications, and organisational skills, as well as an interest in the policies and the future of the Liberal Democrats. This post would suit a young individual who is looking for political
experience in Westminster.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
The successful applicant will have:
• Excellent organisational skills
• Exceptional interpersonal skills
• Good time management and the ability to prioritise effectively and to work to
tight deadlines
• Strong IT skills
• Discretion

DESIRABLE SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
• A commitment to the aims and values of the Liberal Democrats"

I would love to do this and I think I do have organisational skills, enthusiasm, and an interest in Politics (and the Lib Dems in particular). I am just not a young person!

Is there any point in applying for this job do you think?

Perfectjob Wed 08-Feb-17 18:24:07

And now I have advertised the job to loads more people who might apply grin.

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Wed 08-Feb-17 18:26:55

Discrimination on the basis of age is illegal (I think), not to say it doesn't happen of course.
Go for it!!!

ElizabethLemon Wed 08-Feb-17 18:27:45

Yes of course you should apply. They can't discriminate against age, I work for the council that's advertising the job and they are very very aware of that sort of thing having been stung in the past!

GooseFriend Wed 08-Feb-17 18:28:41

Yes definitely! I work in a related role and to have an actual adult with experience apply is always really nice!

beatricequimby Wed 08-Feb-17 18:30:27

Well they can't actually specify a young person.

I have done this job (for another party). Lots of young people wanting a career in politics, lobbying, the media. Often badly paid. There is no career structure so it is a stepping stone type of job.

No harm in applyin, as long as you don't mind working with lots of youngsters.

GlobalTechIndustries Wed 08-Feb-17 18:32:53

With age comes experience and wisdom, id say go for it.

Perfectjob Wed 08-Feb-17 18:38:07

Thanks for the encouragement! So my next questions are, even though they can't discriminate, are they likely to prefer a younger person?

Also, should I allude to the fact that I am not their usual "demographic" for this position in my covering letter?

No harm in applying, as long as you don't mind working with lots of youngsters.

This scares me a bit. Am I likely to be the "strange" outcast? Is it a cliquey / competitive environment? I am doing admin in a school at the moment, where people couldn't be more supportive and egalitarian.

KellyBoo800 Wed 08-Feb-17 18:43:53

I work with Parliament. You've got as good a chance as any, I really can't imagine your age would factor in!

beatricequimby Wed 08-Feb-17 19:25:06

When I was there a lot of people went out drinking after work, in the Parliament bars, mainly the Sports & Social, think it was all subsidised back then. I am in my forties and can't imagine wanting to be part of that now.

RhodaBull Wed 08-Feb-17 19:29:54

My aunt applied for a "school leaver" position when she was 50. In her covering letter, she stated that she was indeed a school leaver, albeit one who had left 35 years previously... She got the job.

I applied for an OP-type position. I had an interview, but never heard back sad . I was asked what my childcare arrangements were which was odd as I made no mention of any dcs angry .

VeryBitchyRestingFace Wed 08-Feb-17 19:33:51

This post would suit a young individual

Didn't think they were allowed to do this anymore.

WineAndTiramasu Wed 08-Feb-17 19:36:10

"young individual who is looking for political
experience in Westminster."

Is it just me that reads that as "unpaid" experience? Maybe I'm just cynical...

foxyloxy78 Wed 08-Feb-17 19:42:13

Well they are not allowed to advertise it like that. But hey, go for the job. Good luck.

TheProblemOfSusan Wed 08-Feb-17 19:44:23

I am really surprised at that description. But go for it - people change careers all the time and if your experience fits, fab. It's probably quite a long hours job so might be worth thinking up ways that you can signpost that you understand and can cope with that?

ArriettyClock1 Wed 08-Feb-17 19:45:07

I don't think they're allowed to advertise it like that either. You can't even ask for the DoB on application forms now.

myrtleWilson Wed 08-Feb-17 19:46:52

Go for it! Am not sure where you found the advert but there are similar jobs (in politics/public affairs) on the work4mp website....

MakeLemonade Wed 08-Feb-17 19:52:45

That's such a bad ad, you could always sue them!

I work in a related area and had lots of friends do this type of role, whilst you should definitely apply if it's something you want to do it is definitely culturally quite young - mostly first jobbers post-uni.

Hours can be fairly long too if that's something that's important to you.

Parliamentary offices (some, anyway) have office manager roles, might be worth thinking about too?

Notjustuser1458393875 Wed 08-Feb-17 19:58:10

If you're not sold completely on the Lib Dem angle, maybe think about applying to work for Parliament instead? Much more variety in roles and ages, and likely to be better paid too

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 08-Feb-17 20:17:12

When I worked in Westminster, most Researchers, but not all, were young, but other Staff Members tended to be a bit older, so you wouldn't be out of place.

Between4and30characters Wed 08-Feb-17 20:23:14

With age comes experience and wisdom, id say go for it

Sorry for a slight digression, but I didn't think we we're saying that, post-referendum (what with the oldies voting the wrong way n'all).

Perfectjob Wed 08-Feb-17 20:53:49

At 48 I am not an oldie Between!!

But yes, 100s of years older than university leavers who are in the bar every night (confused help!).

Difficult to know what to expect until you have been in a situation... I will take a look at other jobs in Parliament, and yes I did find this advert on workformp.

Long hours would not be great as I have 3 dc, one of whom is still at primary school.... It's just that I would love to work in the Houses of Parliament. I soak up new information like a sponge and I think I would be permanently fascinated.

I live on the Jubilee Line, so to get on the train every morning and get out at Westminster to work in that historic place would make me very happy.

I have seen a job managing the office of an MP. The thing with that is that I don't have the kind of solid office / diary management experience required and am worried that it would show. I have done lots of admin (especially pre children but I have gone back to it now), but not so much high level PA type stuff...

Perfectjob Wed 08-Feb-17 20:54:23

Is the ad worded illegally?

ArriettyClock1 Wed 08-Feb-17 21:08:48

I think it sounds more suited to an older person, tbh.

Perfectjob Wed 08-Feb-17 21:11:16

Which job arrietty - the parliamentary assistant one or the MP's PA? Sorry - am confusing myself now! Why do you think it's more suited to an older person?

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