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Fed up with job hunting! Join me for a rant!

(26 Posts)
sazzerbear Mon 21-Sep-09 12:29:46

I'm sure i'm not alone in job hunting at the mo after a spell as a SAHM. I am fed up with how tedious and drawn out the whole process is. Decisions take forever, IT tests are not timed (one interview kept me waiting for an hour as previous applicant was over-running!) etc etc. If you are not the right "fit" it seems that that's the end of it. Just wanted to rant really, feel free to join me! smile

sazzerbear Mon 21-Sep-09 15:15:38


sazzerbear Mon 21-Sep-09 18:04:40

surely i'm not the only one on Mnet??!!

Valentina15 Tue 22-Sep-09 15:26:45

Not the only one! I am hating it too! Trying to go back to work since May and I hate filling application forms and preparing covering letters. I don't even get replies...what a waste of time. I have been contacted once for an interview but I was on holiday
I am keeping my fingers crossed but I am just so tired, demoralised and demotivated that i feel like giving up. I have never ever had a problem finding a job before. I know it's the job market at the moment that's in crisis, but I am starting to really feel least you have been to interviews i wish you the best of luck!

seshi Tue 22-Sep-09 17:23:57

Hi I fel like a rant too. Since I had a baby and moved back to my home town I feel like I have destroyed my career.
I am free lancing at the mo, doing (tedious) media sales which is what i was doing about 15 years ago, and I am desperate for a good job but cannot get anything. I am wondering if it is a) MY age (39), b) the fact that I am a Mum now or c) where I am now living (Lincolnshire NOT exactly the centre of the universe)
Whatever it is that has seeminly destroyed my career is really p*ssing me off. I am skint and grouchy as I feel like I am in limbo. Sorry just needed to let off steam

seshi Tue 22-Sep-09 17:25:27

I think I will have a sherry to cheer myself up See I am drinking in the afternoon now!!!

Lanky Tue 22-Sep-09 17:27:06

If it helps, I've worked full time since ds was little and am now trying to find another job without any success at all. It's the current market and the fact that employers are spoiled for choice. Unless you have an exact skills match you don't have a chance of even getting an interview. I find that employers are asking for skills that never would have been part of my role a couple of years ago.

seshi Tue 22-Sep-09 17:32:19

I think you are right - I have been in ft employment since I can remember before having a baby, and always got through to interview stage. I have lost count of the number of jobs I have applied for without even a sniff of an interview. Most don't even bother to reply.

catsmother Wed 23-Sep-09 13:27:23

I think a lot of employers at the momenet have taken advantage of the fact it's an employer's market to be damn rude and dismissive of prospective employees. I was called for a formal interview and test, following an informal interview at an open day ..... which appeared to go very well, where I was told at the time that I'd made a very good impression and given a lot of positive encouragement etc., and that I would be called one way or another the following week. That was 7.5 weeks ago ..... and I have heard NOTHING, not a call, no letter, not even a one line "thanks but no thanks" email. I have left 2 polite messages asking the woman who seemed so friendly and encouraging to please call me but these have been ignored. The ironic thing is that the whole emphasis of the interview was on how this company prided itself on its superb customer service and we spent much of it discussing the rights and wrongs of achieving this.

I am torn between doing nothing further and writing a stinking letter to this woman AND her bloody CEO. Torn ..... because it's a locally based (though well known national who are always banging on about how ethical they are) firm and I don't want to burn my bridges should any future opportunities come up. On the other hand, you have to ask if you really want to work for a firm so lacking in the most basic courtesy but the whole business has left me more shocked and upset than I imagined I would have been. Quite clearly, for whatever reason they don't want me but discovering you aren't even worthy of a 2 minute (or less) call makes you feel worthless.

Similarly, in an interview last year, I was told by the manager interviewing me that he had been very impressed and would "definitely like to see me on board". All he had to do, he said, was pass this on to HR who'd be in touch within a week. Well, they were, but with the standard "other applicants had better skills than yours" reply ..... what was so almightily crap about all of this was that the interview was for a supermarket nightshift FFS (like so many people, I'm trying to maximise take home pay and juggle childcare so I will consider anything) and there had been NO element of so-called bloody "skills" testing in the interview at all. To add insult to injury when I called the guy back he appeared to be baffled at what had happened, couldn't explain it, blamed a mix-up, apologised and so on ...... but I didn't get a job at the end of it.

That same supermarket - oh what the heck, it was Sainsburys - now has a policy so it would seem of insisting that applicants for its more menial and lesser paid roles live within, say, a 5 or 10 mile radius of the store .... which would actually exclude me anyway, even though I could drive there in 20 mins. I emailed their general employment query dept - twice - to ask why this was, but again, have had no reply. SO atrociously rude I think.

I genuinely have no wish to offend or patronise anyone who works shelf stacking which is what this amounted to - indeed I would have loved the chance - but when, for some unknown reason, you aren't even capable of getting that kind of job (remember, I was told lack of "skill" was the issue, instead, say, of there being too many applicants) you feel so incredibly low and worthless.

(By the way I have several years senior experience in customer services, finance and mortgages - NOT the bloody industry to be in ATM - and a f*g 1st class degree FWIW - which seems to be nothing !)

Like Lanky, I've also found that many employers are now asking for skills which for the life of me, don't appear to be vital for the role advertised. Related to this, I am finding that more and more job ads are snideily (is that a word ?) worded so they totally avoid giving any idea of salary. You get all this "competitive", "attractive" and "according to age and experience" bollocks which in plain English, seems to mean that they are offering crap money (but don't want to broadcast the fact). I have actually sometimes called up about likely roles to ask what the salary range is - only to be told it will be discussed at interview ....... which I think is terribly unfair, given you then have to take the gamble of spending (feasibly) up to 2 hours filling out an application form for a job you might not be able to afford to consider. What a waste of everyone's time !

Which brings me on to another bugbear (... I'm on a roll now) which is the current fashion for tailor made application forms, as opposed to CVs. I do see the merit in these for some roles where specific suitability and aptitude needs to be tested, but my heart sinks when you are faced with 2 or more pages of "In no more than 200 words describe your proudest achievement" type questions - and there are often up to half a dozen of these ..... when the role you're applying for is a very lowly paid, pretty basic and very part time one. Clearly, a lot of companies ask all applicants to fill these out whether they're applying for the position of Head of Department, or part time cleaner. Again, I've got no wish to offend, but it sometimes feels like you're being made to jump through hoops over and over with no guarantee of any acknowledgement let alone interview ..... and I resent spending hours on an application which might not be taken seriously, when I could be using that time to look for other work.

My friend's husband works for a well known charity and for a recent vacancy there they were swamped with applications. She told me he'd said they simply didn't have time to properly read them all, so basically all but 20 were binned without even being looked at - these people were told others fitted the role better, but that was a lie. They then took their chances with the remaining 20 even though they could have ditched the best applicants !

But what can you do ?? It's so, so disheartening.

(and I apologise for the long long rant)

jomalone Wed 23-Sep-09 17:13:51

catsmother so much of your thread I could have written myself. its so rude I think to ask people to fill out great big complex application forms and then not even give them the courtesy of replying with the outcome, or to interview them and then take weeks and weeks to get back to them. I too have been hunting for work and its so dispiriting.

please don't let it knock your confidence though, if you had a good career and first class degree unfortunately this may well count against you (i'm in same boat). fwiw I have found the public sector to be slightly more open to the idea of employing 'over qualified' people for a role, and i've managed to find a tiny bit of part time work this way (just wish I could get more )

when I'm having a really bad day I remember stories from people who lost their jobs in the last recession, and all of whom have gone on to have glittering careers (if thats what they wanted), its a blip (have to keep telling myself that though, have some really really bad days, especaily when I see friends soaring ahead in their careers)

rosbif Fri 25-Sep-09 13:01:08

Thanks for the postive comments jomalone, I am so down with it all too. I wish everyone luck finding a perfect job

Lanky Fri 25-Sep-09 13:38:48

Very interesting post catsmother and sorry to hear you are encountering so many difficulties. I'm glad you've brought up the salary issue as I've been asked on several applications to 'state my salary expectations.' One employer was honest enough to admit that my expectations where somewhat higher than they were willing to pay for, but this was after I'd gone to the trouble of applying.

sazzerbear Sun 27-Sep-09 11:43:40

God it sucks! We should set up our own business together! It's the lack of manners that really gets me and the fact that expectations are set then not dealt with..surely just treating people courteously with some respect is not that hard? Chins up ladies smile

me4sunny Wed 30-Sep-09 11:09:06

i have a perfect reason to rant ... I found a great job 6 weeks ago - manager asked me to arrange childcare and wanted me to start two weeks from the day she made me an offer through the recruiter... this was 5 (!) weeks ago - I still don't have a written offer though the agent reassures me each week that they are just getting things organised as this is a new role and more signatures need to be obtained, etc. (I thought you do all this stuff BEFORE you advertise the role)? anyway - I already have a fulltime nanny working here for the last three weeks and I will have to pay her in two weeks time from my very very last savings (I was self-employed before so my ML is just what I saved while working) ... I already have to use money that was saved for my TAX payment in January so will need to get an arrengment with HRMRC - basically I am now in debt!!! I sarted looking for interim, contract or other perm jobs but noone even giving me a call to arrange an interview (contracts usually get placed/interviewed within a week or two or sometimes within a couple of days) ... I can't belive I am in such a mess .... And we really need me working, we can't pay our bills if I don't work full time - I have another 2 months left and than probably will just leave the country or something ...

catsmother Wed 30-Sep-09 20:53:46

God, me4sunny, I hope they have the decency to get in touch with you soon. Presumably (and not surprisingly) you're now starting to worry about how genuine this offer was. Trouble is, as you've found out to your (literal) cost, mums are often placed in a Catch 22 situation when employers decide to mess you about ..... you have to arrange childcare in readiness, and pay for it of course, yet, so far as the employer is concerned, tough doo-da if you're left out of pocket because of their ineptitude, rudeness and/or lies procrastination. How dare these people mess you about like this after asking you to ensure you were readily available to start when they wanted !

me4sunny Wed 30-Sep-09 23:01:03

oh catsmother, you anderstand me!:-)
they sent me an offer finally today at 5pm!:-) At least I now I have a job - that's already a lot in the current situation ...:-) Feel muuuuch better now and even had some wine to celebrate:-)

CanvasBags Thu 01-Oct-09 10:54:41

I'm in the same boat. I've spent the last year job hunting. I've had a mixture of responses. I too usually have to chase up the outcome of the interview, even when i have been promised that they will let candidates know either way. Often I get an interview and the feedback is that there were other much more experienced candidates. I'd actually prefer that they didn't interview me if my experience is lacking in comparison to others and that is their main criteria, because I have to find childcare and take time out to prepare for interviews.

I sort of go to interviews not expecting to get the job now. Not so much so that I come across like I don't want the job, but I stop expecting the response to be positive even when I feel I have given a really good interview. It's a very shitty time to be job hunting AND trying to return to work after a few years at home with young children.

The application forms are so time consuming too. I have applied on several occasions for public sector jobs that are the same job but advertised at different times, for different hours, locations. Each time the application requires a slightly different set of skills to demonstarte competence in. Just different enough that I cannot reuse a personal statement piece again. After not getting an interview for a job I was easily qualified and experienced for, I rang up for feedback to be told that I had not written something for one of the job person specification criteria and that's why I did not get an interview. It was something small and ridiculous, like experience of using the telphone, which I had assumed to be self-explanatory from having to outline main duties in the employment history section!

Over the year my criteria for jobs I'll apply for has spread dramatically but I feel it is still futile. Under experienced (seems like only recent experience is counted) for the jobs I am qualified for and over qualified for the other jobs I could do and have to consider just to get back into the world of work.

It's dispiriting and very difficult to know what to do next for the best. I do a few bits of voluntary work, related to my career, but I feel like it is glossed over by employers anyway. There's no help or advice (that I know of) for women returning to work whose family income is not low enough to warrant benefits.

I've recently enrolled on a short CLAIT course (which i have had to pay for myself)just to get a qualification to prove that I have kept my IT skills up to date. The irony is that I have used and still use computers to a much higher degree in my last job, whilst studying, voluntary work, personal life than the course calls for. Plus, it's Microsoft 2003 that we're 'taught' and tested on! I have taught myself to use Microsoft 2007 since I last worked as I thought I might need it.

I' strongly considering doing some kind of self-employment even though I am craving the social side of work.

I feel better now - I needed that rant.

CanvasBags Thu 01-Oct-09 10:58:20

Oh, and another thing. I feel quite peeved off that I am not counted in the unemployment statistics because I do not/cannot sign-on. The invisible unemployed - very convenient for the government.

spritch Thu 01-Oct-09 16:12:53

me too, so that's at least 2 of us

spritch Thu 01-Oct-09 16:15:18

have you thought about temp/freelance - hiremyparents is offering free membership at the moment - just google it

Bagabee Thu 01-Oct-09 16:25:15

torn between going back to work to great, but demanding, job or being staying at home mum for a bit / looking for a more local job - but worried I'll never work again in current climate - do other mumsnetters feel like this?

MaryBS Thu 01-Oct-09 16:28:03

I've been unemployed for 6 months now. Jobseekers is coming to an end, and still no job. I've had 3 interviews, but they've just got my hopes up, and to be honest, I didn't want to do any of them.

I am thinking of doing voluntary work to gain experience in what I really want to do.

sazzerbear Thu 08-Oct-09 21:42:21

God what a sorry story from us all, and SUCH a waste of talent - as canvasbags says we are the invisible unemployed! sad

lisasimpson Thu 08-Oct-09 22:03:43

me too - just found out today I didn't get a job which to be honest I should have got easily, because one interview question let me down. I also find it really difficult to say why I am interested in a particular job without saying "it's just a basic part time admin job paying peanuts - i could do it easily I neither know or care what your organisation does" companies seem to think that you have hand-picked them to apply to not that they are one of several that week!

sazzerbear Thu 08-Oct-09 22:39:56

Exactly - "what attracted you to the role?" Er...the money and the hours!

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