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Don't have anyone to use as a reference :/

(13 Posts)
mumofawoodlouseeater Fri 31-Jul-15 12:56:47

As the title suggests, I'd really like to get a job, but I've landed myself in a situation where I don't really have anyone to use as a reference.

The last thing I ‘did’ was university – graduated in 2012. I did ask my tutor at the time if I could use him as a reference and he said yes, but I ended up being a SAHM instead after getting pregnant with dc2, and I doubt he remembers who I am now. Should/can I still use him, or would that be a bad idea?

I moved house 2 years ago and also have had some depression and anxiety issues which, combined, mean I don’t really know… anyone. I have acquaintances, but I think they would all be a bit surprised if I asked them to be a reference as I don’t really know any of them particularly well. Do I just have to suck it up and accept the awkwardness?

Financially, I'm in a position whereby I could do voluntary work for a bit before trying to find actual employment... but ALL the volunteering positions I’ve looked at want 2 references too. Agh.

Can anyone give any advice?

spanky2 Fri 31-Jul-15 13:13:33

Do the voluntary work. It is good as you need to be some where at a time, which is good for depression and anxiety. I have been on a 'parents back to work' and a confidence boosting courses at my local sure start centre. They were really useful. You can then ask the people you volunteer for for a reference. I also think the college tutor would be okay as it was only three years ago.

spanky2 Fri 31-Jul-15 13:15:21

Sorry didn't see voluntary want references d'oh! Ask the college tutor. Have you a relative or old friend for the second reference? That would be okay as you have a professional first reference.

BikeRunSki Fri 31-Jul-15 13:17:11

2012 wasn't so long ago. The university will have records and be able to comment on stuff like timekeeping, attendance, meeting deadlines even if your tutor doesn't remember you personally.

mumofawoodlouseeater Fri 31-Jul-15 13:17:17

Thanks for the reply smile

Annoyingly, all the volunteering positions I've found want references themselves...

Do you mean that you were able to ask people from the courses for a reference? If so, that would be helpful!

mumofawoodlouseeater Fri 31-Jul-15 13:20:40

Whoops, x-post! Thanks BikeRunSki as well.

Unfortunately no old friends, and all the forms I've seen so far say that I can't use relatives.

Glad the consensus seems to be that I can still put down the tutor - I'll do that.

ImperialBlether Fri 31-Jul-15 13:24:16

You can put the tutor down for years! I worked in a college and we had to have references for each student put on file so that they could be accessed by anyone who asked, even if the member of staff had left. In any case other records such as attendance and grades will be there.

Did you do joint honours? If so you could use two lecturers.

BikeRunSki Fri 31-Jul-15 13:44:43

Have you volunteered at any toddler groups? Do you go to Church? I'm just trying to think of other sources of referees for you.

mumofawoodlouseeater Fri 31-Jul-15 17:11:44

Thanks Imperial, that's really good to know! I didn't do joint honours, but I'll definitely be using my tutor as a reference now, so only one more left to find.

Unfortunately BikeRunSki it's a no to both - I've been pretty isolated. Along similar lines, though, I'm wavering about maybe asking one of the deacons of the local church, who helps run a toddler group I've been going to for a couple of years now. I've spoken to her quite a lot and she could at least confirm that I'm friendly/good with children (which would be relevant to any position I applied for). We aren't really 'friends' though. Not sure if that would be weird or not?

OllyBJolly Fri 31-Jul-15 17:35:36

It might be useful to drop an email to the tutor just to remind him who you are - more likely he'll deal with it promptly.

It's a big no to relatives - that's rarely acceptable. The deacon at the church would be fine. It doesn't have to be a friend - just someone who knows you and can vouch that you have some good qualities.

I often gave references to people I didn't know that closely, but knew enough to say they were reliable, organised, good communicator whatever. I'd usually state in which capacity I knew the e.g. I work with X as part of a voluntary group.

ImperialBlether Fri 31-Jul-15 22:42:42

The Deacon would be great and much better than a friend, too.

Best of luck!

mumofawoodlouseeater Fri 31-Jul-15 22:51:08

Thanks Olly! E-mailing ahead sounds like a good idea. Hopefully the church deacon would know enough about me to be able to say some positive things - I think I will ask her.

mumofawoodlouseeater Fri 31-Jul-15 22:52:52

And thanks Imperial too smile

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