Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Highs and Lows of October so far

After yet another absence from the blogging world, here I am again!! In some ways, it seems like I've done nothing this October; supply work seems to have dried up (for the moment at least) and I've spent the majority of my days staying at home. But when I actually stop and look back on the month so far, it doesn't seem like quite so much of a non-event after all. There have certainly been plenty of highs (and a few lows) that have made this month a memorable one anyway. And, without further ado, here we are:

  • Almost 2 weeks ago now, my friends N and M welcomed their second child into the world :-) He's a boy, his first name begins with J and he's an absolutely adorable addition to their little family!! I've so enjoyed being a part of his older brother H's life and watching him grow up and I can't wait to do it all again with little J!!
  • After over a month and a half of (sometimes) serious job hunting and a very definite lack of supply work which saw me becoming very disillusioned and hating the situation I found myself in, there is now the definite possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel. You see, yesterday I found myself in the extremely privileged position of being contacted about not just one job opportunity but two!! I'm not going to go into too much detail at the moment but I'm just so relieved that things seem to be going my way at last. My finances are starting to become a bit of a worry, especially with Christmas and quite a few birthdays coming up, so if I get even one of these jobs (they're both part time), it would be a major load off my mind :-)
  • Right at the start of the month I was thrilled to get a part in my drama group's pantomime!! In January, we'll be staging Aladdin and I'll be playing the Spirit of the Ring (insert your own jokes here...the rest of the cast has!!). It's not the part I auditioned for, but I actually prefer this one anyway (there's no solo singing, which I'm very happy about :-) ) And, as long time readers of my blog will know, I was really disappointed not to be successful at last year's panto auditions, so to get any part is just a dream come true!! Initial readthroughs of the script have been a blast, and I'm really looking forward to more rehearsals and getting to spend more time with our amazing cast.
  • And continuing on the dramatic theme...I went to the theatre a couple of weeks ago and saw the most amazing performance of "A Streetcar Named Desire". Having never seen or read the play before, or watched the film, I didn't really know what to expect but I was absolutely blown away. All the performances were top notch, and the three hours plus running time simply flew by; definitely an experience not to miss!!
  • Spending more time with friends...what with the birth of Baby J, 2 birthdays over the past few days and another one coming up fast and numerous TV/DVD nights, I'm getting to spend some much needed quality time with my friends. And after all the "likes" I got on my new Facebook status regarding my job prospects, I'm once again reminded of just how great they are :-)
  • Lovely October it unseasonably warm, or cold and crisp, there have been some beautiful sunny days which have been just perfect for walking in
  • Autumn baking...I've tried out a couple of new recipes, both featuring apples and a subtle taste of spice (just perfect for this autumn weather!!) and I've got more up my sleeve for over the next couple of weeks...I'm thinking Halloween cookies, something involving pumpkin and sticky parkin. Oh, and I'm seriously thinking about starting a baking blog. What do you reckon??
  • Up...I was introduced to this film last weekend by one of my girl friends and I'm in love. It's seriously one of the most beautiful, funny and moving films I've ever seen and I'm hooked. Even if it did make me cry more than most other films ever have. Seriously, I was crying like a baby!! But I still love it, and I need a copy in my life, like now!!
  • Receiving some negative (and I feel pretty unwarranted) feedback from a school I worked at...again I don't want to go into detail, but there were two main issues which were raised. One which, in hindsight, I maybe could have handled slightly differently, although I feel like I was very much manipulated by the headteacher and placed in a situation in which it was very difficult for me to act appropriately. And then two, which I completely dispute and feel like it almost amounted to a personal attack, as opposed to a constructive criticism of my teaching.
  • Lack of work and money and what feels like endless hours of job hunting: As I mentioned before, this has really got me down over the past few weeks although, fingers crossed, I'll hopefully have some good news on this front soon!! Tomorrow's looking to be a red letter day...I'm making a phone call to one of the possible employers tomorrow morning to find out more details about that job and I have an interview for the other post tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed the outcomes are positive!!
And that's all for now. Hope everyone else is having a good month...I've got so many of your blogs to catch up on!! Till next time...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

I hate job hunting!!

It's taking over my life, hence my disappearance from the blogging world over the last couple of weeks or so, yet I still don't seem to be getting anywhere. It really does suck!! Part of my problem is that I really don't know what kind of job I'm looking for. All I know is that I need money and fast, as I've been out of work for two and a half months now. There hasn't really been any supply work at all since the schools went back in September, and even if I really enjoyed being a supply teacher (which I don't), I can't really afford to sit back and just wait for supply bookings to come in any more. So I've been applying for whatever I can find: temporary Christmas sales assistant posts and administration and customer service roles with quick start dates to name just two categories. But so far, no joy.

And as for the long term, well I really don't know. I'm not sure if teaching really is for confidence and faith in my abilities have been shot by a combination of my inability to secure a long term post and some less than pleasurable supply experiences. As a result, I'm reluctant to apply for any teaching posts and am stuck not knowing where my heart really lies. My doubts about teaching are compounded by the fact that I disliked supply teaching a lot of the time; but then again, there were other days when I loved it and felt truly in control of things.

And then as for other posts...well, I have a degree, a postgraduate certificate and quite a substantial work history, and have been told that my CV is strong, but I'm not actually qualified to do much. I suppose I have as much chance of any graduate of getting a generic graduate job which doesn't need a specific degree, but most of those appear to either be recruitment consulting or sales. Both heavily money motivated and requiring lots of sales calls (including cold calling), these really aren't for me. I'd prefer to work in a slightly less pressured environment, where my success isn't measured in material terms, but rather in terms of the positive effect I've been able to have on others. Then I've also looked at graduate training schemes, and the majority of these seem to suffer from 1 or more of these 3 main problems: one, they have a September 2011 start date (so would only be OK if I could secure another job which could support me up until then), two, they're in sectors that don't appeal to me such as accountancy or consultancy and as graduate schemes last for an average of 2 years, it'd be a big commitment to something if I wasn't sure and finally, most of them aren't based in areas local to me, and whilst I appreciate the need to be flexible, the vast majority of my family and friends are based in the Manchester area, so I'd feel uneasy leaving the North West unless it was for my dream job. And that's assuming I'd even be accepted onto them; they're notoriously competitive and only account for a small proportion of the total number of graduate jobs available every year.

Ideally, I'd like to be in a post where I could put my background in education to good use: I'd love to have the opportunity to be a librarian or museum education officer, for example, and then I could combine my qualifications with my interest in books or history, but jobs in those sectors are even scarcer than teaching vacancies, and they often require additional qualifications.

So to sum up, at the moment, I'm well and truly confused and it's hard to shake the feeling that my career is going nowhere. But I'm trying to stay hopeful that something will crop up eventually...adopting that resilient attitude which I claim to possess on my CV!! And I'm going to try and be more organised; dedicating different times to different aspects of my job search and keeping detailed records of what I've applied for and the outcome, as well as researching alternative career options that I haven't really considered yet. It all sounds so good written down here, hopefully I'll feel the benefits in real life too!!

Now I don't know when I'll be posting again, hopefully it will be sooner rather than later but I won't be making any rash promises...I know myself better than that by now!! Suppose it all depends how organised I really can be!! And tell me, do you have any job hunting tips?? Did you know what you wanted to do with your life as a young graduate? And how did you find your dream (or current) job?

Till next time...