I've had too many jobs.....[sad]

(47 Posts)
Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 18:31:52

Just that really.

Some of you may know me from the thread where I was diagnosed with ADD and some may know me as the pink dress woman.

I've been looking for a permanent job after working as a zero hours contractor within the NHS.

I'm not a member of clinical staff, nor do I have to deal face to face with patients.

I've had a variety of roles within the NHS, from fixed term contracts, a permanent role which no longer exists and zero hours in a number of different places.

Before that, I've had roles in a variety of external employers, including laboratories. Many employers or their sites I used to work on no longer exist.

I'm fed up with the current situation of feast or famine hours and living at the beck and call of the holiday plans and potential sick leave of my 'colleagues'.

I say 'colleagues' instead of colleagues, as it is made clear to me by the line manager who gives me my shifts, that it's not her responsibility to give me an annual appraisal or arrange local fire training as a 'proper' manager would do.

The temporary staffing office have also absolved themselves of any responsibility and, as bank staff are at the bottom of their pay bands, 'it doesn't really matter'.

The position is a 24/7 role, so hours are unpredictable and all over the shop - mornings, evenings, days and nights, changeable from one day to the next, let alone from one week or one month to the next.

In days gone by, two, or even three part time jobs would have been possible as the hours would be fixed and I could travel between one job and the next with no trouble.

These days, almost every employer wants minimum hours with no guarantee as to when they are and to be fully flexible at all other times.

I have been applying for other roles, both within the NHS and beyond and I have been getting interviews.

My random job history has been noted at every interview.

I'm trying to present it as gaining experience within each job I've had which is relevant to each role I've applied for, but it's hard.

ADD inspired, impulsive decisions which turned into massive mistakes, dead certs which turned into redundancies and personality clashes which meant that my fixed term contract wasn't renewed have all helped to get me to the point where I've had 18 jobs in 26 years.

It's embarrassing and I have to explain and justify what happened every time.

How can I present this to any kind of advantage? WWYD?

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JudgeRindersMinder Tue 25-Jun-19 18:34:12

Can you merge some of the jobs together, rather than listing every single one?

curiositycreature Tue 25-Jun-19 18:34:41

Do you include all 18 in your applications? I think as long as the last three to five years is covered then that could be enough for them to make a decision. How many jobs is that? If there are any of the 18 that you’re particularly proud of or are relevant then you can include it in the supporting information?

Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 18:38:21

Jobs are utterly different, so no merging them.

In NHS applications, there's only room for ten positions, with 1500 words in the supporting statement to expand on how the jobs you've done are relevant to the job you've applied for.

I do try to whittle it down, but, depending on what type of role I'm applying for, I have to mention something from nearly all of them.

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Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 19:58:02

I’ve had loads of jobs and temping/contracts. I limit them to the past 5/10 years and group the temp ones together where appropriate.

Noonemournsthewicked Tue 25-Jun-19 20:03:20

Appreciate it's difficult in the NHS where you may be DBS checked but I would be lengthening out some of the older jobs and sticking to a' theme' where you can. So omitting any short term job that really sticks out from the rest of your history.

Although you have been getting interviews off the back of your application I would stick to the main jobs in your supporting statement rather than mentioning a snippet from each job.

Gwenhwyfar Tue 25-Jun-19 20:07:55

Omitting jobs is risky. Some people are sticklers and want every few months of your life accounted for. I've done it myself, but got questioned about it at an interview once by the HR person.


Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 20:31:48

The NHS only requires 3 years of employment references. When I worked in banking it was 5 years, same for the civil service when they needed security clearance. University and a professional body only wanted last two employers.

If you are getting developed vetting clearance you will need a 10 year history and they will probe every detail of your life! Your average job isn’t going to care as much.

Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 20:46:18

Referees aren't the problem.

If they asked for three years worth of job history, that wouldn't be a problem either.

They ask for relevant experience and that's when I have to bring up Employers A and R where I used SAP, or Employer F and N where I had to use particular equipment and so on.

Even when I keep it brief, it's a lot to take in.

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Passthecherrycoke Tue 25-Jun-19 20:48:13

You need to tidy them up. I only want to know anout your last few years of working, I hate it when people include every temp job they’ve had since 2003

Passthecherrycoke Tue 25-Jun-19 20:51:06

“They ask for relevant experience and that's when I have to bring up Employers A and R where I used SAP, or Employer F and N where I had to use particular equipment and so on.”

But what you’re insinuating here is that if you hadn’t had all the jobs- but had, say, stayed in one of them for 5 years- you wouldn’t have the skills and experience you need for the kind of jobs you’re now applying for. It doesn’t sound like you’ve completely zoned in on the problem. Could it be that you’re not experienced enough because you haven’t spent long enough getting the required experience?

Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 21:08:43

The jobs I've had are extremely random.

Filing clerk here, laboratory technician there, data entry there and so on.

Elements from all my different jobs are relevant to the jobs I'm applying for now.

I have no career, no career plan and I'm applying for any job I can do, whether it's part or full time, whether it's office or lab based.

I'm sick of where I am, but as I'm useful where I am, I'm not going to be able to get another job...any job without getting creative with complying with the person specifications.

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Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 21:28:09

You don’t have to say “I used SAP at xyz company” though. There’s no need to mention company names if not needed.

Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 21:32:37

Or just use one company name, I suppose.

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Passthecherrycoke Tue 25-Jun-19 21:33:35

You’ll need go tailor your experience for each application then- ie no need to put the admin roles on for a lab application and vice Versa. Just include the relevant jobs

Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 21:41:23

Applying for NHS roles, they seem to be expanding job descriptions and personnel specifications - Band 2 clerks are expected to minute meetings, set up PowerPoint presentations and act as team secretaries and laboratory staff are expected to have experience of multiple specialised programs (including stock control and ordering), data entry and patient management systems.

How you're meant to get all the relevant experience in just the one role is beyond me.

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Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 21:49:11

Yep, the NHS have downgraded admin staff BIG TIME! Medical secretaries (outside London it seems?!) are now band 3s and line managing 2s! I used to be a band 4 med sec with no line management,

Band 4s are now senior med secs/admin managers/senior administrators/PAs/ office managers and band 3s are commonly team leaders. They been downgraded over the past few years to save money.

curiositycreature Tue 25-Jun-19 21:54:48

I recruit within the NHS and can unfortunately say I’ve never read beyond the first couple of jobs, and only ever skimmed the rest. If you put all ten then I doubt I’d even skim all of them. And I don’t think my colleagues do much more. Similarly when interviewing, I wouldn’t be paying too much attention to something you did over five years ago. If you haven’t taken minutes (for example) in those last five years, I personally don’t think it’s relevant.

I’d stick to saying “I have experience of X, Y and Z” without saying “I have experience of X from this job, and Y from this other job and Z from this third job”.

(Or even better.... “I have experience of X... and THIS is my experience of it”)

When/if pushed on your full work history, I think it’s acceptable to say you’ve done a lot of temping. Be confident about it, say it suited your personal life to do that but now you want something more permanent.

Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 22:05:24


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Redtartanshoes Tue 25-Jun-19 22:13:19

I’d potentially look at getting your cv professionally done. Normally about £100 but sounds like it would be worth it

Gingernaut Tue 25-Jun-19 22:19:34

CVs aren't accepted by NHS employers.

I have to think of the pension now. sad

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DontPressSendTooSoon Wed 26-Jun-19 09:52:34

I don't think the problem is too many jobs so much as a lack of longevity.. it's a tricky one as the less stable your career history the lower your chances of getting a stable job so it can become a vicious circle.

What's the longest job you've had in the past 5 years?

Gingernaut Wed 26-Jun-19 10:26:51

3 years

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DontPressSendTooSoon Wed 26-Jun-19 10:54:15

I would emphasise that one on your CV then.

Group shorter or temp roles into clusters e.g.

May 14 - August 15 I worked in a variety of temporary roles including x y and z. Skills gained....

Gingernaut Wed 26-Jun-19 12:57:04

Thanks to everyone who's replied so far.

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