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Anybody else looking for work and finding it kind of depressing?

(45 Posts)
AlexanderSkarsgardOhYes Wed 22-Aug-12 17:13:57

I've been looking hard for a new job for a couple of months and have had only one (disasterous) interview (for details of that for those who don't know see here). Just rang up to get feedback for a job I thought I hadn't got and, though it turns out they haven't shortlisted for it yet so I'm still in with a chance, the HR person mentioned that they've had 105 applications. For a part-time library assistant job! I'm starting to despair a little bit.

Feel free to come join in my grumble!

NewStartSameStory Wed 22-Aug-12 17:24:58

Shockingly depressing but i am not thinking about it. fed up of the whole process too.

AlexanderSkarsgardOhYes Wed 22-Aug-12 19:57:58

Yes, it gets a bit much, filling out your personal details on an application form for the umpteenth time.

Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 20:02:53

My dad used to say the best jobs aren't advertised. Meaning we were best hawking ourselves round to employers and asking if there was anything that might be suitable. and I mean anything. Once we were in some kind of employment we could then apply for other stuff from a 'safer' seat.

AlexanderSkarsgardOhYes Wed 22-Aug-12 20:33:32

I'm in employment but my current job sucks!

Have you got jobs by making speculative applications, Lonelylou? I've read a few careers books that have recommended this but have never got a job this way personally or known anybody who has, which has made me wary of doing it.

Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 20:42:32

I got jobs by telling people I was looking. I was contacted for an interview without even filling in a form for a enjoyable job if not fantastcaly paid. (this was a couple of years ago)

Let employees know you're looking; not just employers.

LillethTheCat Wed 22-Aug-12 20:51:54

yes me. Though I have to admit Ive not been looking as hard as I could have done during the holidays. But in Sept I am really going to go for it.

So far Ive had 4 interviews and I can't remember the amount Ive applied for and every feedback I have got from interviews is the same. I was really good and professional, but there was somebody who was just that little bit better. There was nothing I did wrong and that they employed the person they did because they could picture them in the team more than me. Wonder what that says about me.

Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 21:09:05

How about sounding disappointed and asking if they would keep you on record for any future vacancies LTC? Especially if this particular vacancy doesn't work out for the successful candidate. That worked for me once.

NewStartSameStory Wed 22-Aug-12 21:09:51

it says nothing about you. What is says to me is the fact that there are a lot of very well qualified and experienced people out there looking atm.

Capabilitymom Wed 22-Aug-12 23:44:28

Totally agree with NewStartSameStory. The fact you haven't been successful is no reflection on you - or me cos I'm in the same situation!
Realistically there are too many folk chasing too few vacancies .
But we have to stay positive and not let it dent our confidence. There is a job out there for us!

LillethTheCat Thu 23-Aug-12 09:59:06

Your right there is. Was feeling a bit fed up last night.

I'm going to start looking for Christmas work too. Even though I'm really trying to get back into the office, it will be something that will pay the bills for a few weeks and you never know where it may lead anyway. I've got retail experience, but the only thing I'm worried about is if I look for a Christmas job in a shop somewhere will that put off future potential employees in the offices? They will just look at my CV and see that my most recent work was retail so therefore will that be it?

higgle Tue 28-Aug-12 14:54:42

Lonelylou is right - I had a complete career change and retrain as a result of a bit of temporary work in a different sector when I was between jobs. On another occasion I went as a temp to be receptionist in a cardboard box factory and got offered a sales job while I was there ( well paid, company car etc. ) Once you have got a foot in the door most places would be far keener to exploit your skills than go through a full recruitment exercise to fill a post.

Pleiades45 Wed 29-Aug-12 10:47:39

I'm completely depressed by it.

I've been 'sort of' looking for the last year; I was in no rush as I still had DS3 doing half days but now he's going full time. I don't want to be sat home by myself.

I had 2 interviews last year, positive feedback with both. First seemed not to know what they wanted and I believe they were looking for the wrong thing. With the second they were discussing start dates and then decided to 'restructure'.

All summer I've been scouring the job sites and I've made my CV searchable. On one site it's had 81 viewings! People call me and tell me what a fantastic CV, how they wish they had more candidates like me, how versatile my CV is... and then nothing.

Twice now my CV has been put forward and I've not even made interview stage because the employer has chosen to go with a 'direct source'.

I've some prerequisites due to the children; my minimum salary is quite high because I need to cover childcare (3 DS) and this is all it will cover and also I don't want to be commuting into the local cities because it will mean leaving at 6.30 and getting home about 7.30 or 8pm.

I feel like I'm stuck in a black hole and can't get myself out. The fact that I've not worked in 7 years doesn't help.

I agree that if I can get a job of any sort for a year it will put me in a better position to progress my career. There are lots of people chasing the vacancies and this leads to people expecting you to tick all the boxes before they will consider you.

soontobedivorced Thu 30-Aug-12 02:24:58

Depressed here too. Have not worked for 9 years (apart from Saturday jobs) and I'm not even getting interviews despite matching the job specs and saying so and how in my cover letter and (I think) a good CV. Its really hard to keep the enthusiasm up. And pressure's on as now I'm a single mum also so no longer got a husband's salary to rely on. Its a complete nightmare.

volunteerexp Wed 19-Sep-12 10:56:08

Volunteering is also a very good way to boost your experience, your CV and your confidence. There are lots of opportunities locally from admin. to school governors to name a couple. You could do something you have done before or try something new. Alternatively, If you have business expertise to offer why not use it to help not-for-profit organisations in your area. To find out more in Buckinghamshire please visit for general volunteering and them move onto the Expert Volunteer page if you would like to offer your business skills.
If you live outside that county visit the Volunteer England website to see what's available near you.

TheCalmingManatee Wed 19-Sep-12 10:59:46

me - have been looking for TWO years sad had a couple of interviews but no job offer its horrible

madwomanintheattic Wed 19-Sep-12 18:06:39

18 months. Had a three month pt seasonal entry level job over the summer.

I have just called two recruiters and asked them honestly wtaf I was supposed to do. The first one was really nice, and said that she could see my cv had a lot of really interesting and valuable experience on it, but it wasn't quite enough for local opportunities (although I would be more than capable/ extremely proficient etc) - it would be a matter of her persuading employers that I was worth taking a gamble on.

The second guy was really not interested at all. I had sent them my cv last week to register as a job seeker through their agency. He didn't even bother to ask my name or look up my registration, just told me to look at the website and if I was interested in any of the positions to apply for them. Quite what he thinks I've been doing for the last 18 months is anyone's guess.

So, the first woman was at least interested and curious about my circumstances, and gave me some honest feedback. The second guy made me feel pretty much that if even the only freaking recruitment agency for 150kms isn't interested, I'm unlikely to be able to convince an employer.

I can't decide if I'm livid or exhausted.

I can't even get an entry level front desk job in a hotel, and I have over 20 years of customer service experience of varying sorts and levels. And there are at least ten such jobs advertised in the local rag every week. I have never even a call back for one of them.

I've had a couple of interviews for more senior level jobs. Great feedback, but they always go to people with direct experience of the situation involved. Everyone smiles and says do reapply, you were just unlucky this time as x had the experience we were looking for, but we have no doubt you could do the job and do it well.

We've been late paying our mortgage twice this year. I am slightly freaking out now.

madwomanintheattic Wed 19-Sep-12 21:49:50

Oh, and I've been a compulsive volunteer for years, including school governor twice. Believe me, it doesn't appear to have helped. <moan, whine>

GettinTrimmer Thu 20-Sep-12 17:33:03

Alex interesting you were told there were 105 applicants for p/t library job. I've had no luck with permanent library assistant applications. I have managed to get on their casual list, but in the past month have only been asked to work twice after being phoned up on the day and had to drop everything, get childcare for after school at very short notice. They won't book me in as they go to their people who have been casual staff with them for a long time and are experienced. Good luck to you though.

I feel your pain madwoman I'm fed up with volunteering, am secretary for the PTA, have done loads of volunteering for dc's school including reading stories to the whole class, school trips, reading, working with groups, etc, etc. For LSA jobs they can qualified teachers. I think I'm in with a chance of a school library job, but won't hold my breath as they can get highly qualified people. I was a dinner lady and trained a very experienced lady to do my job who had been teaching in France hmm

It's good to have a moan!!!!

Carry on applying everyone, keep going....

madwomanintheattic Thu 20-Sep-12 18:26:53

Hmm. I'm currently on two boards for not for profits (one as president, one as treasurer, where I've had to teach myself payroll and deal with a non-compliance investigation going back two years before I took over, as well as successfully bid for government grants - and I run a guide unit.)

I'm pretty gutted about the recruitment agency, tbh. They are literally the only ones in town, and I had been putting off calling them as a last resort (sort of thinking they would be the ones that could help if all else failed). And they were just so far beyond crap, and not even remotely interested, that it was like seeing my last hope dashed! I'm not being quite so melodramatic today. grin

Today is local rag day though. I spied an interesting looking opportunity last night that will be coming out in the paper today(they update one online version overnight, with full info in the paper version) closing date 1st Oct. I could definitely do it, and they ought to at least short list me with my experience... So I need to tailor the old cv again. It's coincidentally the best paid job I have seen advertised in the paper for a whole year, so you can bet there will be a raft of applicants.

There were 48 applicants with direct experience who applied for the last non-entry level job I went for (and I don't class myself as one of those - I had relevant experience, but not direct). I'm finding it really damned weird that you need a couple of years of experience for entry level jobs here, though. How on earth do you get a job as a school leaver? Bizarre.

I'm beginning to wonder if I need to just turn up at these places and introduce myself. I'm suspecting that on paper I look like a middle aged has been, when they are looking for a 25yo go-getter.

It's also such a small place that I'm feeling a bit goldfish bowl bound... And wondering if I need to smarten up my non-interview act grin.

madwomanintheattic Sun 30-Sep-12 03:20:06

Well, that'll be over a week since I last posted, about twenty more applications sent out (all cv tailored, all cover letters reflecting sincere interest in position and employer). I'm going wider. I'm now applying for jobs I have absolutely no experience in, with letters begging suggesting flexibility and general aptitude, as well as two jobs I have done but didn't really want to do again, but they are rare as hen's teeth and coincidentally came up out of the blue.

Quite a few closing dates coming up this week though, so let's see if I get short listed or called for an interview anywhere.

I am slightly concerned that paying my mortgage late twice this year might automatically rule me out of the two jobs I have applied for that I have actually done, though. <sigh> which would be an absolute pisser, as that really would be case of last resort having the door slammed shut. Hard.

How's everyone else doing?

Mosman Mon 01-Oct-12 13:45:22

There is no point in applying for jobs you have no experience in. A waste of everyone's time. Are you on LinkedIn ? I get two contacts a week from that site asking me if I'm looking and DH got his first proper job in 4 years through it.

madwomanintheattic Mon 01-Oct-12 14:56:09

Aye. You don't live in the mountains miles from anywhere, Mosman. It's a three hour round commute to the city (dh does it every day, even in winter when it's below -20 with blizzards if the highway is open) and I would stand a much better chance of getting a job in the city, it's true. But with both of us driving for 3 hours a day in the dark, and concomitant fuel expense, no one would be around to get the kids out of bed, fed, and to school. The youngest is 9 with cerebral palsy, and facilities for her are great here. Childcare for three kids before school for two hours from 6am isn't really a possibility.

We aren't against moving per se, we have moved every year or two for the last twenty years, but have now chosen to live here out of choice - the rest have been dictated by work. Even if we wanted to move to the city, we couldn't. We live in a 2 bed condo with a basement room. I have three (quite large) children and two dogs. There are about 200 similar properties empty on the market, and no buyers. We bought at the height of the house sales, the biggest property we could afford. <shrugs>

All linked-in would do is confirm that there are indeed more jobs available an hour and a half away. <shrugs> I know that already. Dh uses linked-in a lot, and has a huge network - at one point he was seriously considering setting up a recruitment consultancy on the side, as he has successfully introduced about thirty people to their new jobs, just by knowing which of his business contacts are looking, and knowing which of his previous colleagues fit the criteria. For people job hunting in urban areas it's a great tool. For people job hunting in large rural communities with a single industry emphasis, not so much. (And I did laugh a bit at the two contacts thing, you must be in quite a small industry!)

I have a large amount of transferable skills that mean I could do most of the jobs here. But I am in competition with people who have direct experience (and are twenty years younger). All I need is one employer to recognize that my skills are transferable, even if I don't have any direct experience, and then I'm cooking on gas. Whether that happens or not is out of my hands, but I have no choice but to keep on trying.

But, y'know. Thanks for suggesting I'm wasting everyone's time. I should just, what, give up?

Genuinely happy to take constructive suggestions though. Linked-in isn't a go-er here.

Mosman Mon 01-Oct-12 15:11:11

You should move but I guess you know that already. Employers don't have to take risks with transferable skills that you may or may not have right now, too many with the exact skill set to choose from.
Or start your own business.

madwomanintheattic Mon 01-Oct-12 15:38:44

We can't move because of the house issue (believe me, with 5 of us in a 2 bed, I'd love to) but we can't afford to unless I get a job. grin catch 22. This mortgage was predicated on us both working ft. grin with only dh in work, we'd struggle to qualify for the mortgage we have now, let alone move to a house built for a five person family, in or out of the city! grin

We've considered the start-up. There doesn't seem to be an obvious niche, tbh. Not here, anyway, but I'm always open to ideas. Must look out xenia's thread!

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