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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

So, How The Hell Did I Regain Employment?

So I have finally found a company crazy enough to employ the boy from Hull with fluffy ears muffs and patterned cardigans who buys bunches of daffodils and has cravings for 15-minute minimal techno grooves in dingy London nightclubs until 10am on Sunday mornings surrounded by beautiful Spanish chicks...oh the dreams...

Though to be fair to myself I was actually the model employee for the first two of my four years, I was so well thought of and over-achieved in every single target set for me.  I had the best manager ever and a great team to work with.  But then the great manager disappeared and I gained an incompetent team-leader with every screw loose which meant that I became too frustrated in trying to be able to do my job with no management support and I lost the enthusiasm and never quite got it back to the original extent when the manager issue was, ahem, "fixed".  Eventually.  After that experience, although I was still a good employee, I was no longer a star, and no longer wanted to be.  I had lost faith in company, and department.

But I tried to get it back by going for a role elsewhere within the company.  Some may say that changing jobs from a busy job with good people to the miserable existence of having no work for 12 months (ok an exaggeration but not hugely) and not such a friendly environment was not the brightest idea and boy did I regret it from the day I started the job but it was always planned to be a stepping stone onto something greater - unemployment!

I never wanted to be unemployed, I always took pride in always working, even when I was at university.  But I was desperate to escape and I knew how good the redundancy package at Verizon was and so during 2011 my aim was to be made redundant.  Perhaps an odd choice given the economic difficulties and increasing unemployment but I always believed in myself and seriously, you don't know how miserable that little team was and the lack of work.  I had a good view of the traffic though.

Verizon was the best ever time of my career - and the worst.  I hope this new job and company is normal!  I have a good feeling...and all three people I have met so far appear to be good people.  A good sign.

I loved unemployment.  I thought I might struggle psychologically but I loved it.  So much so that it probably deserves a blog post all on its own.  But there is something fundamental missing - that sense of satisfaction and achievement.  Oh, and redundancy money runs out eventually.  I will do a separate blog post about it and what I have learnt but this is supposed to be all about how I got a job.

First thing first, I needed a plan.

So I took a month off to drink, go out all the time, spend loads of money, partying, etc - and then I went to Ibiza for a week.  And then I bought some CDJs (DJ decks for those not in the know).

And then I wrote a plan of how to get a job:

1. Uploading my CV to every single job site I could find.  Probably not the most productive part and one friend in particular was insistent that I was wasting my time...but I believe that may have got me the interview for my new job...and other previous interviews, so definitely not a waste of time.
2. Recruitment agencies.  Usually a waste of time.  I was selective about which ones I sent my CV to - only Robert Half would I say are the only agency that seemed like they were putting an effort in on my behalf - the young lady, Hayley, that looked after me I can thoroughly recommend.  Most other agencies wasted my time.  But sadly, many companies use them.
3. Searching the job boards of as many companies in Reading and the surrounding area that I thought would be good to work for.  It didn't get me anywhere except one interview this time - but it did get me the job at Verizon back in 2007.
4. Applying for as many jobs as possible.  Reed was the best website but I didn't stick there.  I also saved searches and got daily e-mails to my inbox, and also used Google Reader and RSS feeds to get newly posted jobs instantly to my Google Reader.  This gives an advantage of being one of the first people to apply for a position.
5. Don't just look for a job and then sit around for the rest of the time.  Perhaps one needs to develop new skills to fit into the job market because it constantly changes - so must the jobseeker.  I took to learning web design which probably didn't massively contribute to me getting the new job but it shows willing.  I probably haven't got the job because I learnt how to mix house music.
6. Do not stay in bed all day.  Do a 9-5 kind of day (11-7 works!!) and keep busy.  Find things to do.
7. NEVER, EVER, GIVE UP!  Never lose faith.  Never lose your confidence.  Always believe in yourself.  If I have discovered one thing in life especially in more recent years, it is that if you want something enough, and you put the effort in and stay positive - you can achieve whatever you want.

Next stop - superstar DJ.

I had quite the spring in my step this afternoon, despite the inevitable hangover from last night's extended celebrations.  I had an unexpected mixture of emotions yesterday - when I got the offer, I wasn't surprised, I was just overcome with relief initially.  I was about to get onto my job hunting shenanigans again with a little reluctance and the call came through.  So then I wanted to celebrate but it being 1230 in the afternoon on a Monday, I was a little reluctant to open the Champagne and drink alone.  I prefer rose wine anyway.  So I was confused and settled for a celebratory sausage roll (OK I had two).  And then as the well done's rolled in - it sunk on me that I had achieved my number one goal for 2012 and what I really wanted.

I have achieved it!  I am increasingly overjoyed and excited.  A new challenge, new company, new job, new start, new people to impress.

I am so looking forward to it.

Ask me again tomorrow when the trains to Bracknell have all been cancelled and I arrive an hour late at work ;-)