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Anyone else job hunting and finding it soul destroying? Sign in here for support!

(174 Posts)
toomanywheeliebins Wed 22-Jan-14 15:27:57

I have been job hunting for four months and have two DC (1 years and 3 years). I'm quite senior in my sector and I decided not to return to my old job after ML 2 and seek a new and possibly more senior role. It was more complicated than that because my organisation was struggling a bit so there wasn't a really clear job to return to but still it was the right time to move on.

I have found it utterly exhausting and frankly soul destroying...and wondered if I am alone...and whether anyone whatever their circumstances (Sahm returning or redundant or career change) wanted to join in a support thread?

My confidence is knocked. I have had interviews and the feedback on the whole has been good but the competition is really fierce and I'm not feeling as sharp as I was (probably because the baby isn't sleeping well) and I don't know how to overcome that at interview. They look at me and think mid thirties ( may want children/ flexible working) before I get in the door.

I also feel that I am doing two jobs. Looking after a baby and a three year old ( she attends nursery some days) full time and job hunting/ applying for jobs etc/ preparing for interviews. I literally get the baby down for a nap and run down stairs to the PC to work. All house stuff has to be done when the baby is awake to maximise time I can put in applications. It's boring. I want adult stimulation and not to spend all day every day covered in yogurt.

DH is amazing and is very hands on. He has had to save his leave for any potential interviews and by the time we have got both kids in bed, there is no way I can work on job applications... We do both feel in limbo. We can't plan anything (holidays etc) or spend any money because we don't know how long I am going to be off for. We can afford it until August and then it gets very tight. This worries me a lot.

The last straw came yesterday. Was approached for a good job by an annoying head hunter . Had a chat on phone. Applied. Statement and CV etc took ages as it was very tailored. They didn't even long list me.....

What a waste of time. It just feels like work is slipping away and all I have achieved is gone and there nothing I can do to stop it.

Moan moan moan- anyone else there?

expatinscotland Wed 22-Jan-14 15:32:53

Any chance of self-employment? That might be a way to get going again.

A lot of women with children do want flex-time, or apply for a full-time job and then ask for part-time, or take another mat leave.

Perhaps make it clear you are not in this category.

dimsum123 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:37:44

I'm jobhunting. Have only just started looking. I'vd been full time SAHM for 10 years. I used to be a solicitor. I only want a local part time admin type job but there's nothing I can even apply for. I am not disheartened yet but I am worried as very soon my 10 years SAHM will become 11 years.

I could retrain but in what? I have NO idea what I shoulddo. Luckily DH's job is well paid but he is a contractor so there is no job security which is very worrying.

My DC's are 8 and 11.

toomanywheeliebins Wed 22-Jan-14 15:48:18

Hello both. Self employment is an option....i have been offered some and have done some in the past but I'm not sure I can do that and hunt for a full time job. Interviews tend to be at least two to three rounds plus presentation and often tests too!

( expat I may want flex working- not unusual in my sector but no more children!!)

My youngest is going to start nursery a few days a week from end of feb. Its a big outlay but at the moment I feel like its my only option for job hunting and networking/ consultancy.

I do sympathise dim sum - fingers crossed you see something soon. What about a few courses to get skills up to date?

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 22-Jan-14 15:55:56

It sounds tough and stressful, particularly the inability to plan. But, at the risk of getting told I'm being harsh here, it's probably quite good preparation for being back at work full time, or nearly full-time in a senior position.

I'm self employed with two preschoolers and it is rare that I don't work at least some of the evening after they've gone to bed (yes, I'm tired!). DH is employed and also works a couple of evenings each week, either late at work or bringing work home. I think that's fairly realistic these days and not uncommon among other families I know.

Good childcare for your youngest will make a big difference in my experience, it frees you up mentally as well as really focussing you during that time as you're paying for it!

toomanywheeliebins Wed 22-Jan-14 16:01:14

You are right twelve. I normally worked in the evenings when I returned after DC1. However I did not have to look after a baby all day and work at a very high level as well.
I know it's going to be very tough going back. But this limbo is horrific

MomentForLife Sun 26-Jan-14 23:28:03

Just signing in to say, yep, finding it soul destroying. I have even been rejected from voluntary placements this week because I wanted to do it for a reference and they wanted someone long term. I am desperately tweaking my CV wherever possible sad

I just need to be given a chance because I know I still have all the skills I had pre DD.

sixlive Mon 27-Jan-14 10:17:34

I'm fed up of spending ages writing covering letters and then not even being interviewed. SAHM for several years and I need to go back but it's so soul destroying. Even doing the cleaning rather than doing the job hunt.

toomanywheeliebins Mon 27-Jan-14 14:32:51

Six live and Moment...hello...

Feeling slightly better today as I got some constructive feedback from an interview I did just before Xmas.

I have got my letters/ supporting statements down to a fine art....I really do just cut and paste as my roles are very similar and I can just tweak them. Still takes a good few hours though...

MomentForLife Mon 27-Jan-14 14:40:31

That's goog, at least they let you know. Yes I'm trying to write a good one that I can just cut and paste. Also had a go at a 'skills based cv' to emphasise what I can do and hide my huge gap as best i can

MomentForLife Mon 27-Jan-14 14:41:03


17leftfeet Mon 27-Jan-14 14:41:51

I'm job hunting after being made redundant just before Christmas

I've worked in the same sector for 18 years and reached middle management but it involved shift work. I had a flexible working agreement in my old job but won't have this luxury in a new role so I'm looking to change sector -it's tough and the job centre is soul destroying

I'm spending 5-6 hours a day, 7 days a week looking for work
I've being rung up almost daily regarding jobs in my old field but as soon as I mention my hour restrictions they quickly end the call

I'm available 8.30-5.30 so not that restrictive but in a 24hr industry people won't even consider me

PowderMum Mon 27-Jan-14 15:04:13

I'm job hunting too, not worked for the last 6 months as I chose to take a medical sabbatical and I don't want to go back into my previous field.

I am multi talented and senior - well I was in my previous posts, but now I want a simple job, where I can earn a reasonable amount but one that I can leave behind at the end of the day. At lot of my issues prior to finishing last year were stress induced and now that I am healthy and happy I want to stay this way.

I started applying in December and did get offered a position but it was heavily commission based and in my old field so I didn't take it.

For the past 3 weeks I have been spending most of my day working on my career, this week I am trying a different approach of just a max of 3 hours between lunch and my DC coming in from school. The pressure of failure was beginning to build.

Now I just need to get off MN and focus.

toomanywheeliebins Mon 27-Jan-14 15:07:46

In order to get feedback I had to pester them very frequently since the New Year which was quite difficult/ soul destroying at times. In the end he gave me forty mins which was great and really helpful so worth it.

A skills based CV sounds great. Although I had got through to interview and another cut, I also got some great advice re my Cv today as part of feedback. It was suggested that I cut length and focus on key achievements (rather than do chronologically as currently). It makes sense.

I am not breathing a word that I might want some flexible working but I do sympathise 17

sixlive Mon 27-Jan-14 17:30:43

I'm going to limit my job search to 3 hours a day 3 days a week as there is so little locally I can apply for that I think it will be less soul destroying. All the jobs I'm qualified to do are in London but I can't face the daily commute as I would never see my kids as it would take up at least 3 hours a day.

dimsum123 Mon 27-Jan-14 17:35:41

My problem is coming up with references. There is a local job I am going to apply for but they want 2 references which must not be family/friends.

My last job was over 10 years ago! I will have to contact them and see if they will provide a reference. But apart from that all I have is friends as I have been a full time SAHM for the last 10 years and haven't done anything volunteering, no courses, nothing.

I have no idea how to get round this issue if my last employer can't give me a reference.

Scarletohello Mon 27-Jan-14 17:37:59

Hi can I join?

I'm in a slightly different position to some of you as I got made redundant from my job as a trainer with a charity 2 years ago and I then took the opportunity to go travelling for 4 months which was great...but unfortunately my dad had dementia so I ended up being his carer for the last year and a half. He has now had to go in a home so I have just started to look for work

It's tough out there! There are so few jobs in my field and I feel completely deskilled.

Also used to live in London where there were lots of jobs but am now in the West Midlands are few and far between!

WipsGlitter Mon 27-Jan-14 17:40:19

I'm on a short term contract and have been for the past three years (different jobs). I've taken a pay cut for the most recent one. Over the last 18 months I've had four interviews. Came second in the most recent one. Filled in more applications that I got interviews for. It's depressing.

toomanywheeliebins Mon 27-Jan-14 19:09:07

Hello to all the new joiners. Hopefully we can keep each other sane...
I've been thinking about a few things today.
1. I need to enjoy my life while I hunt. Enjoy the time with the children. It's tough because of the uncertainty but I will never have this time again and I need to focus on that. Restricting time on hunting is a good idea. Really I don't need to check various sector specific jobs every day. Every other day is fine. I also need to tell more people I'm looking. I have kept into a small senior group but lots of people are involved at all levels of different organisations. I feel a big email coming on.
2. This is my greatest career challenge to date. All the evidence is that women returning to work have it tough but it is possible. I need to get my swagger back and a bit of self confidence. I am really good at what I do and having two children hasn't changed that. In fact, I have even more skills now... Particularly of the multi tasking kind...
3. Anything to remind me of work environment is a good thing ...I am trustee of a local charity and have attended meetings through out my mat leave. I have upped the number of additional meetings I'm attending and even interviewing for a junior role later in the week. It would be good to get a suit I feel a bit more comfortable in it.

wine to all

WipsGlitter Mon 27-Jan-14 20:25:52

Just saw a job I missed the application date for has been re-advertised!!!

toomanywheeliebins Mon 27-Jan-14 20:46:01

A sign wips

WipsGlitter Mon 27-Jan-14 20:56:03

Actually it's not the same job, very similar organisations so I was getting confused. But good news anyway!

MomentForLife Mon 27-Jan-14 22:53:19

Thats great, makes the application so much easier.

Scarletohello Mon 27-Jan-14 23:38:28

So how shall we practically support each other?

Some suggestions...

Post a cv and invite comments on it.

List transferable skills

Practice difficult interview questions

Discuss fears/ concerns - but give each other support on them.

Any thoughts/ suggestions?

toomanywheeliebins Tue 28-Jan-14 09:12:35

All really good ideas Scarlet. I was thinking about investing in some proper coaching help. Anyone had any experience if this????

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