Nitwit advice for the jobless – week two of unemployment in Melbourne

Organised pantry

Triumph of unemployment!

There is some terrible, terrible advice out there for job seekers. It ranges from the obvious (no spelling mistakes in your CV. Glad I googled that because I might have thought to try to be intriguing by misspelling my previous positions) to the kind of stuff that makes me roll my eyes so hard I reckon I pulled a muscle.

The Nitwit Winner for this week is the following – “Send your application early in the morning so that the employer will see it as soon as they arrive”.

As if the employer is sitting at their desk, bated breath, reading applications the minute they arrive. And choosing who they hire immediately, before the closing date. And remembering, through the whole process, that you were the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, applicant of 7:30 AM Tuesday morning. As if you aren’t better off taking as much time as you can to review your CV, make sure it’s relevant to the role, answers all the questions you can anticipate the employer might have, and get some friends to proof read your cover letter and resume. As if it matters what time of the day they read it! What if they’re not a morning person, and the coffee shop nearby has shut down, and the kids kept them up half the night? They might HATE you!

Jobs aren’t a first-in, best-dressed situation. It’s not the time of day, or the phase of the moon that wins you the job. There’s some luck, to be sure – but it’s not all luck that gets you over the line.

I’m not sure quite why this advice gave me the massive irrits this week – but it really did. Maybe because I’ve found myself with a lot of down time. I’m not applying for every single job advertised – I can’t, I’m not qualified, or just starting my career, or willing to drive to Mildura every morning. But all the resources out there about what to do when you’re looking for work assume you want a job, any job, and that it will take 8 hours a day to look for work.

Where’s the advice that says, “Exercise every day”. Or, “take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try”. “Give the kitchen a really bloody good clean. Yes, even the oven”. Which is what I did this week, resulting in the most prettiest pantry of all times.

Most importantly, get out of the house. Every. Day. Just walk. Go have a coffee, or make a thermos of tea at home and take it to the park if money is a worry. But get out, get away, be away from the Searching.

If anyone else has some actual useful advice for surviving job-searching, I’d love to hear it!


Critical stats for week two:

  • Jobs applied for – two, woot!
  • Applications drafted – two
  • Locked self out of the house – zero!
  • Exercise – five sessions.
  • Seriously sore legs – both. Totally worth it.

Day 5 – Week one of job-searching

Riiiiiiiight. Look, let us be honest here. It could have gone better. It could have gone a lot bloody better.

This week I have:

  • locked myself out of the house
    • for 10 hours
    • without proper clothing
      • Nothing inappropriate. Just some old ripped jeans and the pinkest, fluffiest house-jumper you can imagine.
    • without coffee
    • without 5c to rub together
    • on a cold day
  • caught a nasty bugger of a cold that’s had me in bed, asleep, for about 72 hours
  • made bread from scratch (you know, because)
  • discovered that ginger tea is amaaaaaazing
  • updated my health coverage details. $5 cheaper a month because I’m in Melbourne, not Canberra, woot!
  • cleaned out five drawers in the kitchen. How many amusing lego-shaped ice-cube molds does one woman need? The answer is 7.

You know what I haven’t done? Applied for any jobs.

I’ve updated my linkedin profile, fiddled around with my resume, set up electronic folders and started three or four cover letters. I’ve searched job sites, and even found jobs I should be applying for. I’ve got a list, too, of closing dates, to make sure I get things in on time. I’ve just been so addled I haven’t done that single defining feature of looking for work – bloody applying for it.

I’d like to cut myself some slack but really, a job isn’t going to jump out at me from behind a bush. Next week, right? I mean at this stage, just ONE application would count as a win.

But there’s something that feels pretty scary about sending off that first one, and I reckon I’ve figured out what it is. See, if I don’t apply, then I’m not being rejected from jobs. So long as I don’t apply, then I can live in a fabulous fantasy that a job is just around the corner. As soon as I start applying, I’ve started welcoming in crushing rejection on a near-constant basis. This week has been kind of fun, spent as it has been making sure I’ve got the right stationary and linkedin d0-dads. There’s not much that’s going to be fun about actually searching.

So I guess I’m a bit of a coward.

Damn personal insights.