I have been unemployed now for the longest period of my life. It is depressing and lonely, where no matter how much effort you make, you are still labelled a useless leach of society. When I was employed, I was one of the masses who rendered the people who couldn’t find a job as ‘useless’ for not finding a job. I would curse them for having barbecues when I had to sit in a overheated call centre on a Saturday. I had decided that there were thousands of jobs available, people were just lazy for not finding one.
Since I have been unemployed, I have sent away over 200 applications for jobs ranging from cleaner to office administrator to retail assistant. I have had 4 interviews. One I was refused because of poor credit score. Second broke data protection when selling things to customers, it didn’t feel legit, and the company self-employed you, so, I gather, that they can just wash their hands of you when you get caught. Third and forth didn’t bother to contact me back after my interview, which is just darned rude. So, in a bid to lift the lid on unemployment, I’d thought I’d make a few points.
1. Job Centre is there to help.
Whilst fortnightly appointments to the job centre is supposed to aide you in finding employment, it can sometimes have the opposite effect. Every attendee to the Job Centre gets appointed an advisor, who will overview their job search and give advice. Which is excellent. But, you see that personal advisor maybe once every 2 months. The rest of the time you just get ‘signed in’ by a random advisor. This person doesn’t care about what you do, and seems to judge you on everything that you say. Makes you feel like dirt, obviously because you are not registered to that particular advisor, but they should still do their job. It makes you feel worse than dirt, when the person supposed to help you, has the most unhelpful manner there could be.
2. Register with agencies.
This depends on what field you want employment in, but for office work and customer services, agencies are useless. I have registered with 8 agencies, I have got nowhere with anything. The process I am familiar with is that you give your CV to an agency, and they check to see if you have the correct skills for the vacancies that they are looking to fill, and if you do, they place you on their list of suitable applicants. So, I, on advice of the job centre, registered with these 8 agencies. Since doing this in February, I have had 10 vacancies forwarded to me. 9 ignored me, and one told me that the vacancy was filled. So this, despite being viewed as a good way to gain employment, has been useless. And when I hear that this is supposed to be a great way to find temporary work and I get nothing, I feel a little useless.
3.Apply For Everything, You Will Get An Answer
One answer from all your applications, maybe. I have lost count of the applications that I have sent away, and not even got a note of receipt as a response. It is like most of the applications that I send away just get sucked up by a black hole. You could be sending them to a wrong email address, the vacancy could be filled, there could be a problem with the application form, and you would never know. Whilst I know that it could be impossible to send every applicant a personal letter, an automated email with ‘if successful we’ll contact you within 14 days’ would be good. It costs nothing for someone to arrange, and lets the applicant know that their application has been received. But that is not standard practice, so be prepared for the majority of your applications to go no further.
4. Unemployed People Sit Around And Do Nothing.
I have worked since I was 16. This past 5 months has driven me crazy. It is the first time I have not been either in education or employment since I was tiny. I need to go and do things. I can’t just sit and watch mind-numbing TV. I go and spend part of my day looking for work, I try to do something creative, like draw or write, and then I go outside for a walk. Trying to keep busy stops me from going stir-crazy, because I stress myself out enough because I can’t find anything. I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink that much, but yet these things are classed as the main pastimes of the unemployed. I have been offered getting a flat and housing benefit. Having never claimed before, I didn’t want to take any more money than necessary, as I can and do live with my parents. I do feel like I am treading on their toes a bit, but I’d rather be uncomfortable than try to get as much handouts as I can. If I want out, I will find a job and rent a place myself. And that has become the mantra that keeps me moving.
It’s exhausting, the whole searching for work. To interview well, I have believed that you have to envision that you are the best person for the job, so that you can sell your qualities and things. The problem with that, is that you may think that you will definitely get the job, and when you don’t, it can bruise your ego. It has mine. I haven’t looked for a job for over 6 years, I was employed so I didn’t need to. In that 6 years, the job market has changed dramatically, and people will look for any reason to turn you down. And, it feels like you have to battle against a tidal wave, to try and get a job. And my opinion has changed so much. So before workers berate the unemployed, consider the facts above, and try to put yourself in their shoes. The unemployed are people too, no matter how much you want to separate yourself from them.