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Source: (consider it) Thread: All new job search support thread
Caissa
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# 16710

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I would suggest applying for many jobs even if it isn't your ideal job at first blush. The interview process often shows the position to be more interesting than the job posting indicated. As well, interviews are an excellent way to build your network.
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Curiosity killed ...

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You also get better at job applications and interviews the more practice you get, in some ways, so you can always regard applications as practice runs to improve your skills for a job you really do want

(I was interviewed twice in the last two weeks for the job I've been doing for the last 16 months. Current deal is temporary contract that means I don't get paid for holidays cutting the not brilliant salary down by ⅓ which is really below subsistence. New deal will be full time pay and a raise, which will actually work out as a more than 50% raise! I also put in a proposal for a route to be paid for the summer holidays -writing teaching resources and schemes of work for September. I have been told I will be paid for 2½ weeks, at the new rate, but goodness knows when, which makes these holidays a little more exciting financially than I'd like and is irritating me as I know it's going to take longer than 2½ weeks.)

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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I'm sorry, but I can't agree with that. I've applied for hundreds of jobs now at various times, I loathe the process, it makes me physically and quite possibly mentally ill, and the number of people I've made positive connections with at or after interviews is vastly outnumbered by those who've gone in my file under Orcadian place-name, plus a few who if they stepped out in front of my car I'd accelerate. Add to that the fact that the vast majority of posts advertised that I'm qualified to do are within the very body I'm desperate to escape from... I want to get contacts outside the fence, not inside! Hopefully you begin to see my predicament.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by Sandemaniac:
... those who've gone in my file under Orcadian place-name ...

[Killing me]

Sadly, when looking for a job, you sometimes do have to put up with a few of those before you find something that's going to suit. Rather like kissing frogs/finding princes.

[Votive] for everyone who's hunting.

[ 30. July 2014, 13:27: Message edited by: piglet ]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Curiosity killed ...

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I must admit I haven't built networks from job interviews either. And I loathe job applications too.

But ... if you're trying to change direction you're going to have to sell yourself in a different way, and that will take practice. I find that I get tuned into what is being asked after a few forms because the language is all coded slightly differently for different fields. And it takes building familiarity with the new stuff to pick up the inferences.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Caissa
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# 16710

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You should read What Color is Your Parachute? Sandemaniac, if you haven't. It is an excellent guide to the job search process.
Posts: 923 | From: Saint John, N.B. | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I find that I get tuned into what is being asked after a few forms because the language is all coded slightly differently for different fields. And it takes building familiarity with the new stuff to pick up the inferences.

Yes, but I need to find that new field first, not waste my time and sanity banging away at the same old stuff. That's the (same old) problem. If I have to keep on in the same direction to stay in employment then I'll start beating my head against the same old wall, but it's a new wall that I need.

I have to confess to having not got an at all with "What Color..".

AG

PS The grammar police are now on my arse for abuse of the phrase "same old".

[ 30. July 2014, 14:25: Message edited by: Sandemaniac ]

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Curiosity killed ...

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What are the opportunities for volunteering in other fields locally? What about primary school teaching? You're interested in an eclectic range of subjects and if you've got a science degree at more than 2:2 or above, courses are run as on the job training and paid - the primary history curriculum is all pre-1066 now, pretty much, with a local study, so you can teach Stone Age, Iron Age, Romans, Vikings ...

I found it difficult to get interviews for anything that wasn't the same old, same old, or very close to it, because employers have images in their minds of the perfect employee and someone changing direction doesn't seem to be it.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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I love the hands-on part of training people how to do stuff, but I'm not going within a thousand yards of teaching. Well, not unless you're allowed practical classes on historic methods of execution. Amongst other things I've seen how much alcohol a friend had to shift before she could start to smile - and that wasn't even on a Friday night. They inherited a house, so she's simply stayed at home to look after the kid rather than return to the classroom. Five years and counting...

I would kill one of the little blighters within an hour. Everyone who knows me who has actually taught has given me the same advice - don't! I don't have the granite exterior needed, I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I would loathe an office job, likewise sales, won't go near museum roles because the pay is non-existent and the job security worse, you name it there seems to be an insurmountable obstacle.
As for volunteering... the Knotweed's salary won't cover the rent and bills and leave enough for two of us to live on. If I lose a job now, we're of an age where we may never get a mortgage.

AG

[ 30. July 2014, 14:58: Message edited by: Sandemaniac ]

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Curiosity killed ...

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I was thinking of volunteering alongside what you are doing, not giving up the day job, to give you a chance to build up the networks and the skills base to change direction.

My father (with my mother) built up a company alongside a job he hated, so I saw that one first hand, but you've got to have a certain amount of selling ability to do that. I can't do it for myself which is why I'm so crap at interviews.

One of the local museum officers was laid off a couple of years ago and is now touring the fairs and offering education sessions and lectures - he's into pottery and Romans specifically. His wife is the main earner there though.

[ 30. July 2014, 15:25: Message edited by: Curiosity killed ... ]

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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Other way round in our case, unfortunately. It would have to be something I really loved to do it out of hours, as it were, because that's when I do the things (like the allotment) that keep me sane after a day of dismal bollocks. And I've yet to find anything I love that I could move into and still pay the bills... It's just an endless cycle of gut-wrenching frustration.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Caissa
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# 16710

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What would your ideal job look like Sandemaniac?
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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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That is the $64,000 question! Very much what I'm wrestling with at the moment (for rather more than the last decade, in fact) to no great clarification whatsoever.

Some inchoate thoughts:
Practical, hands-on (I quote a computational biologist I was trying to explain this concept to "You mean... like consulting?". That'll be a no then).

Some kind of physical or emotional product bringing satisfaction. Salary would be good but really and truly I need a reason to give a shit. This is a major failing in my current job.

Investigative/making things work/happen.

A certain amount of autonomy.

At this time of night, that'll have to do!

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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Returning to the problem in the morning...

Scratch what I said about salary above - I get a respectable one here, but I'd rather find a balance between a job I mostly care about and a salary that we can live on without too much discomfort. Pay isn't enough to make me care, in short. Unfortunately I can't just turn off, do the job, go home and turn on again, I can't compartmentalise like that. Being busy would be good - part of the problem here is disastrous man-management.

Re-training is awkward as I'd need an income as well to cover things like a roof over our heads (and there's likely to be that mortgage thing again...), apparently there are such things as adult apprenticeships, but trying to find out how much I could get on one to see what I could actually afford has thus far drawn a blank (judging by the feedback ratings on the apprenticeships pages, I'm not alone in finding them unhelpful!). If I read the runes right, I come under the £0 bursary bracket for teacher training, which is hardly an incentive!

I'll leave it at that - I'm sure I can say more, but I've run out of ideas at the mo.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
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With your interests and skills set, there are things like teaching adult education courses - although getting an income out of that one is a bit interesting. You'd need to get one of the various versions of PTLLS and DTLLS (said petals and detals) which can be done as evening classes and extras, and you can get to teach fun stuff like horticulture or photography as your teaching practice.

If you've got those you can get into things like teaching in prison where wearing your heart on your sleeve is more advantageous - they need to know you care.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Emma Louise

Storm in a teapot
# 3571

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I'm earning about 40-50 pounds a week teaching adult ed! I've applied for some OU teaching but further qualifications are "desirable". I'd like to get further qualifications but need some work to fund it...

I don't particularly want to go back into school full time, and we're a bit limited by area (moving isn't currently an option). I had planned to go do the psychologist route but no longer live near a relevant uni!

I love adult ed - but they decide which classes to run at a whim and I've only got one class this term (so many govt cutbacks). If you want to teach basic skills (or whatever its currently called) maths or English I think there is more opportunity. It's still a 0 hours contract though.

Lots of teaching English as a Foreign language near me (Bournemouth is a hotbed of it) but I never learnt grammar at school (!) and its not quite what I want to do.

I'd love to do small groups/ personal development/ parenting groups/support groups but seems to require you to be an OT/counsellor/ HV!

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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Well, all I can say after reading that is that thank goodness Indian wickets are falling to give me a lift!

I could just take out all my savings and set fire to them for the same effect... but this is exactly why I haven't gone for that sort of thing.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Caissa
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# 16710

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Have you done any inventories with a career counsellor to help identify potential areas of employment, Sandemaniac?
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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
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I did say adult education wasn't a good way to earn money, but the prison teaching jobs* I have dropping in my in-box are usually paid at reasonable rates: one I found earlier at Bicester was quoting £28k-£38k and required DTLLS and/or PGCE.

And you can do adult education in fun things alongside the day job while you train and get experience.

* They are just a 2 to 3 hour commute each way and I don't love the Tube that much.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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quote:
Originally posted by Caissa:
Have you done any inventories with a career counsellor to help identify potential areas of employment, Sandemaniac?

I'm working on getting some at the moment. Not happened yet, but very much needed.

Not sure I can handle doing stuff alongside the day job when I've got to look for a new day job as well. Maybe the funding will be renewed, but if it isn't I'm in an even bigger hole come May.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Sandemaniac
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although after senior scientists, dealing with rapists, murderers, thieves and psychopaths should be light relief...

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Yangtze
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# 4965

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Reading your list of requirements how about plumber? Or electrician?

Friend has just said washing machine repair 'man' earns £200k p.a. Which seems rather unbelievable, but...

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organic cotton, fair trade cotton, linen

Sometimes I wonder What's for Afters?

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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I'm beginning to think that those are good options, Yangtze, plus I'd get to drive white van and piss everyone else on the road off. Might even be interesting and useful just to do the training, if I could afford it.

I cannot believe £200k, mind you.

AG

[ 31. July 2014, 22:13: Message edited by: Sandemaniac ]

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Piglet
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# 11803

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I've heard about people giving up jobs as professors (who, let's face it, aren't that badly paid in the UK) to become plumbers and electricians, so maybe there's something in it ...

[ 01. August 2014, 00:30: Message edited by: piglet ]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 19626 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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Yes, I've heard that too, piglet. I think the biggest reason I've wimped out thus far is fear of having to go right back to the start again.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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quote:
Originally posted by Sandemaniac:
Yes, I've heard that too, piglet. I think the biggest reason I've wimped out thus far is fear of having to go right back to the start again.

AG

Plus to make a good living as a plumber, electrician etc you have to be on call 24/7, I would think. When someone's only loo is leaking at 4 in the morning, for instance, or everybody's boiler blows up on the coldest day of the year ...

Mrs. S, who has to pay people to do this sort of thing!

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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...although one of the joys of being a plumber, as opposed to my current employe,r would be that when you are presented with a enormous turd you can get rid of it, rather than promoting it to high office!

AG
(Me? Cynical? Whatever gave you that impression?)

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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Well, there is progress albeit slow on organising some career coaching... We shall see where it leads me!

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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Sorry, me again...

I've been trying to use LinkedIn to track down people who've been in a similar role to me in the same place and moved on, but the search is far more general than I want even if I include my search terms in parentheses.

Any bright ideas?

AG

ETA - I can get the number of people down to about 2000, but that's still a hell of a lot!

[ 06. August 2014, 09:20: Message edited by: Sandemaniac ]

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Workplace or role? I just tried workplaces for me and got small numbers up to look through so it wasn't a challenge.

Are you involved in any group discussions? I'm finding that more useful than contacts from LinkedIn as a way of engaging with a wider range of people (very useful discussion on FS ICT L2, which would bore most people silly) but I'm finding that is making me more contacts.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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I've been trying to combine both - not being able to eliminate post-docs hasn't helped! Searching for the role alone finds over a million, and as my employer has 11,000 staff even searching for that could be interesting. Nevertheless, I'll have a go.

The most useful group I'm a member of is Alternative PhD Careers - but it has a lot of members in a similar boat to me (except with a PhD) and is very international, so not the greatest for finding useful contacts.

If I was in a role with a purpose, there might be a useful group or two to find, but the whole lab is just doing meaningless crap and, to be brutally honest, I've long since ceased to care. I've never had a speciality anyway, I've just gone where the work was, so I don't really fit well into groups for X, Y or Z specialists.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

Posts: 3547 | From: The wardrobe of my soul | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Well, I was more thinking the groups discussing the things you're saying you're interested in your profile - there were some when I looked, but I didn't do more than see they were there.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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CK,

What do you read it as saying I'm interested in? I realise that's a funny question, I can't see a section that states interests, at least not clearly and obviously. Maybe it's depression setting in, but I just feel that my profile becomes a bigger lie with every passing day...

Adrian

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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irish_lord99
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# 16250

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I'll add my job searching woes to the pile:

My wife and I were missionaries to Turkey for almost six years, and we left there to return to the States almost three years ago.

I arrived back in the US burnt out (extremely), disillusioned with ministry (now converting to Orthodoxy from Evangelical), with a worthless six-year gap in my resume, and a pretty snotty economy. It's been ten years since I graduated from a State University with a bachelors in business management, and I have basically no experience in any specific field in which my degree would have value.

Our supporters were apparently not too interested in funding our transition back, so soon after we arrived in the US I took a job as a carpenter because nothing else was available on short notice. I've been doing this now for almost three years, but am desperately searching for a 'real job' that won't destroy my body and will let us move beyond 'paycheck-to-paycheck.'

Of course, with lack of experience, and 'missionary' plastered on my resume; I haven't received any call-backs or emails for interviews. I can't seem to find an entry level job anywhere, and I can't figure out if 'religious nutter' looks better or worse than 'did nothing for six years.'

Why couldn't I have gone to some country with a more useful language? Or just freakin' stayed here? [brick wall]

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"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain

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Alban
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# 9047

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Job searching here too. Redundancy confirmed today.
Anyone have tips for telephone interviews?
I'm tempted to try an opening statement something like "I have applied for a customer service position, this interview tests my telephone sales ability, selling myself. I am better at helping than I am selling." So says Alban, feeling paranoid about a recent phone call - fearing the interviewer's tone of voice suggested I'll be getting a rejection when applications close in a fortnight or so.

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Mr Curly

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A rejection email and a couple of stony silences from three most recent applications.

A few leads emerged today. Need to find out about one of the stony silences before putting my name forward for another area at same potential employer.

Mind you, they could always fight over me.

mr curly

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Sandemaniac
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Well, I'm getting my first session of career coaching next Friday... and a contact has suggested a local company about to do a big launch, and potentially need new people... so I just need to work out what to put in a speculative application... [Help] [Eek!]

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Sandemaniac
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Oh, and incidentally, may I also call to Heck people who you invite to contact on LinkedIn, making it clear in the invitation that you'd like to discuss something with them, who then ignore any further communication.

May you get farmers from a dodgy office chair.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Lamb Chopped
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What are farmers? I'm dying of curiosity here.

In other news (ha ha)--having been laid off from my temp to hire job (company took a downturn), I'm dithering again. Currently have two apps in to online teaching jobs, am taking a course to get my teaching credential renewed, and studying computers on the side. I wish God didn't make me go butt-first into an unknown future all the time.

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Sandemaniac
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Farmer Giles - cockney rhyming slang for piles!

I think we can all sympathise with your last remark...

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Caissa
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I certainly would not try that opening statement, Alban. Never volunteer what you are not good at to a prospective employer. They are attempting in the interview to determine whether or not you are a good fit. Advice for phone interviews? Keep water close by to hydrate, make notes of points you want to bring up in your answers, jot brief notes before you speak, and treat it as much like an f2f interview, as possible.
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Alban
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The statement was from my frustration. 'Twould be folly no doubt. Thanks for the advice, I guess I tend to accept the telephone interview too quickly - unlike the f2f, when they ring you want to get it done soon, 'tis a surprise. Perhaps my first tip to self should be schedule for a truly convenient time.

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Sandemaniac
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All I can really offer for a telephone interview is find somewhere quiet where you are comfortable, and try to stay relaxed, but not too relaxed - in my very limited experience they tend to be less formal, but that can lull you into saying things you might not otherwise.

I worked for some time in a building with zero mobile reception, and no phone line of my own, so had at least one phone interview in the neighboring park loudly interrupted by a passing tractor! Amazingly, I go through to a face-to-face one.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Jane R
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Alban, you may also find it helps to treat it as seriously as you would a face-to-face interview - maybe even to the point of dressing in your interview suit. Prepare suitable answers for likely questions. Research the company thoroughly. And (as others have said) do make sure you schedule a time that's convenient for you and that you are in a quiet place where you can concentrate. I haven't been interviewed over the telephone, but I have done quite a lot of telephone meetings and they are far harder than face-to-face meetings.

Smile when you answer the phone. You don't need to keep a smile pasted to your face through the whole interview, but you want to make a good first impression. It sounds odd, but people can hear the difference in your tone of voice if you're smiling (even if they're not consciously aware of it) and it will make a difference to how you come across.

HTH and good luck.

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by irish_lord99:
My wife and I were missionaries to Turkey for almost six years, and we left there to return to the States almost three years ago.
...

Why couldn't I have gone to some country with a more useful language? Or just freakin' stayed here? [brick wall]

Never write off something like that - look on it as a niche skill. Depending on how well you can speak/write it there could be openings for you as an interpreter, translator, editor, proofreader, teacher of the language at adult education classes, teacher of literacy to ethnic minorities, etc...

It isn't an easy language, but having that on your CV would show anyone who knows that you have the ability to communicate in a complex language, and that can count for something.

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irish_lord99
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by irish_lord99:
My wife and I were missionaries to Turkey for almost six years, and we left there to return to the States almost three years ago.
...

Why couldn't I have gone to some country with a more useful language? Or just freakin' stayed here? [brick wall]

Never write off something like that - look on it as a niche skill. Depending on how well you can speak/write it there could be openings for you as an interpreter, translator, editor, proofreader, teacher of the language at adult education classes, teacher of literacy to ethnic minorities, etc...

It isn't an easy language, but having that on your CV would show anyone who knows that you have the ability to communicate in a complex language, and that can count for something.

I have looked into using my Turkish professionally, but the only job I could find seemed outside of my abilities (simultaneous translation in a technical environment [Eek!] ). Maybe I should re-visit the subject though, it's been a while since I looked.

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Sarasa
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My son is still looking for work three months after his last temp. contract. What's worrying is that he's only had two interveiws in that time. When his contract finished he thought they'd take him on again in a few weeks, but after several attempts he's now come to the conclusion that firm doesn't want him back.
I've suggested doing an MSc , my husband's suggestion is finding a job outside science.
The whole thin is compounded by the problems my husband's having at work. He's likey to be without a job soon too. I'm not exactly happy to be the only bread-winner at a time I want to retire. Agghs all round really.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Sandemaniac
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Oh hell, Gussie, what a ghastly situation! I wish I could offer some help.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Ariel
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OK. What is a "skill set" and what would you expect to see on a CV these days? I gather the time when you just listed your academic qualifications, employment history, key responsibilities and then a list of software packages you could use have gone, now you're expected to compile Profiles, Key Skills, Achievements etc.

What do most people (in the UK) do?

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Curiosity killed ...

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This is advice from the adviser at the job centre a couple of years back - proper outside adviser, not the usual bod trying to get you to sign up for work:

Personal profile is trying to sell yourself in a couple of sentences - so saying the role you're hoping to fill, and how you fit that role: experience, organised, work on own initiative - now seeking new challenges in ... (it can change job application to job application - I have two or three versions of that bit depending on whether I'm applying for admin or education)

Key skills short (3/4) bullet-pointed list of key skills that are going to get you short listed for that job - so what the job requires, generally or specifically and what you have to match it.

When you get to the experience and other bits, again tweak that to match the job you're applying for - as in emphasise the stuff you did in that job that matches what they are looking for.

Is that what you wanted to know?

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