24 February 2009

I'm so over looking for a job!!!

Surprise two posts back to back, but I needed to do this one just to vent. I am so over looking for a job and having to do everything that it involves. You have to of course actually look for the jobs. So you search the newspaper, the Internet, you check out signs in retail storefronts (yes I'm that desperate) I will say there is nothing wrong with retail. I worked in that field for ten years and did everything from stock rooms to area manager. I loved retail but at some point I decided to branch out and when I did I liked what happened. Anyway, that's not the point of this little rant I just wanted to make sure that all of you in retail understand that I think that what you do is not worthless and some how beneath me, far from it, I've just changed directions that's all.

So as I was saying, you have to first find a job that's advertised. Next you have to actually make an application for the job. Now in some cases all you have to do is submit a resume or as they like to use here your CV (Curriculum Vitae) Now CV is not incorrect it just sounds a bit old fashioned and a bit snobbish to me but hey what ever makes the employer happy. Sending in a CV and then waiting for a reply is the easy one. However, I don't know if things have changed in the states since I moved from there ten years ago but there is something they do over here that I had never done before in terms of looking or applying for a job. They have this thing called a selection criteria. I may have written about this before and if I have to bad because as I said I need this little rant and if you are reading this and have read something to the effect previously I apologise even though I don't have to because it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to but I apologise because that's the kind of guy I am.

Back to selection criteria, they are these statements, usually 5-7 of them, that ask you or state things that the employer wants you to respond to in a way as to tell them and show by example how in your previous work you are now capable to do what they are asking of you. Here is an example of one of the criteria I recently worked on, without my response as it would make a long boring post, and I can make it boring without all of that. Anyway, here is an example:

1. Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in project management practices including stakeholder liaison and resource management.

2. Demonstrated planning, organisation and coordination skills, together with the ability to assist with the development, analysis and review of policy and planning initiatives.

3. Well developed personal communication skills including conflict prevention and resolution skills, and the ability to consult and liaise in a manner which is clear, fluent and makes a positive impression on others.

4. Demonstrated experience in using word processing, spreadsheets, data base computer software packages and web based information and knowledge systems.

5. Ability to collate data and interpret and analyse information, and to prepare written, oral and other communication formats in a logical sequence and which is readily understood by the intended audience.

6. Well developed ability to work individually and as a member of a team and proven ability to be adaptable and flexible to achieve the best results in an environment of change, ambiguity and reports.

7. Demonstrated research ability to support the development of strategies including literature searches and web based investigation.

Now some of this may sound straight forward and it is, but when you have to do two or three of these at a time it can sometimes be overwhelming. It does come in handy when some of the same question/statements show up on different jobs selection criteria. You can then do a bit of good old cut and paste and then tweak it to the specific job. I just feel like I am better at pleading my case in person than I am in written form. It's not that I can't do it in written form but I don't see how an employer can really judge you without really getting to see you, hear you, and overall getting a view of the whole package. The selection criteria is just a bunch of words, even if your responses are very well thought out and strategically versed words they are still just words and I believe I am more than just a bunch of words.

So, after you fill in the selection criteria and along with that you send in your CV, you then wait to see if you are short-listed for an interview. If you get an interview you are then interviewed by a panel of at least three people usually made up of the direct supervisor, someone else in the organisation that has knowledge of what is required for the position you are applying, and finally someone from outside the organisation that knows something of what the job entails. Usually this person is a stakeholder with common interests with that organisation. When you go into the interview there is a set group of questions that they are going to ask you. Most organisations will let you look at the questions about 15 minutes before you go in for the interview. You sit for the interview with the panel on one side of the table and you on the other which is very intimidating setting up a power setting making them definitely in charge and then after the interview you wait.

I know this all seems probably pretty normal to a lot of people but for me right now it is exhausting. Oh and let's not forget that I also have to maintain my job diary book in which I have to list all the jobs I've applied for and or made some attempt to seek employment with an employer. The book that shows that I made at least ten job contacts per fortnight (every two weeks) so I can prove to the unemployment agency that I am actually looking and that they will continue to pay me a bit of financially assistance while I look.

I don't know maybe I'm just having a bad day. It is raining maybe that's why I'm so down. It's just so very frustrating and overwhelming sometimes. It also doesn't help that the world is in an economic slump thus taking jobs away. All I can do is to keep trying and hope that something will come along and even though they say don't just jump at the first offer you get I'll have to admit it will be really hard for me not to do so. At the same time I have to get an interview first. I'm sure it will happen. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant and thanks even more for continuing to read down this far into this post. You either like me or like what I've written or you have way to much time on your hands. See ya' around soon...


A Lewis said...

I don't envy you at all.....I'm so sorry you have to deal with finding a job with all of the physical complications you've endured lately. I'm running across more and more folks with no jobs these days and it's not pretty. My thoughts are with you.....

Ur-spo said...

That does sound exhausting. I have never gone through this sort of interview process, so I have no experience how to do this - I admire your courage to hang in there.