Thursday, 3 February 2011

Job hunting isn't half hard work

A few weeks ago, I watched the last ever episode of Ugly Betty. And cried. I admit I was touched by my little Mexican friend’s optimism about life, and was genuinely happy to see her succeed. It gave me hope that one day my labours of love will become fruitful, and I too will have my dream job. Then reality kicked in.

You see, like a lot of people who work in the public sector, I might be facing redundancy. Bummer, I know. So, along with everyone else in my department, I am frantically applying for one of the few jobs that will be left come April and keeping my fingers crossed that I will be one of The Chosen Ones. But, let’s face it, I can’t rely on a position in my current place of work for much longer. So, I must look elsewhere.

The problem is that looking for a job has suddenly become a lot more complicated. Gone are the days when you bought the paper, kept your eyes open for notices in the window of local businesses and popped down the job centre. Oh, no. Things have got a bit tricky.

Whereas in the past I used to buy The Guardian on a Wednesday and forget about my endeavour to find employment for the rest of the week, I now feel obliged to check their website at least every three days. Their search options mean that if I leave it longer than that I have to search every single job on the entire website, which can be an awful lot when you are searching as broadly and desperately as I.

Then there is the plethora of other job websites which I dare not ignore just in case something well paid and lovely comes up. By the time I have searched, and a handful of other sites that promise me the world, it is half-past midnight and the closest I have got to a new career is stacking shelves at Aldi.

It doesn’t stop there. Next on the list of tasks one must do to get ahead is social networking. And no, I am not talking poking your friends on Facebook or following Stephen Fry on Twitter. I am talking grown-up networking. As in, professionally. This is not the time to be posting photos of yourself at NYE with a glass of Cava in one hand and a Harvey Wallbanger in the other. In my opinion, this makes the likes of LinkedIn not only dull but a little bit confusing. What on earth am I supposed to put as my status update if I don’t slag off the office bitch and moan about Him Indoors leaving the toilet seat up?

So, those of you in steady employment or lucky enough to be a student before a degree costs the same as a small fleet of Ferraris, think of me as you snuggle up in front of the telly with a glossy and the SATC box set as I trawl the net looking for my lucky break. As for the rest of you? I wish you luck. But please, whatever your circumstances, don’t tell me about any other websites, forums or networks that I need to join to secure my future happiness. I don’t think my Favourites can take it. Read more by Shelly.