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{04/09/2012}   Jobs I’ve applied for in the past

I have found an old notebook starting in August 2000 in which I stuck the job adverts for the jobs I applied for at that time, having just got back from two and a half years in Japan.  Among them: publications assistant, European research and sales for business to business services (like I knew what that would entail!), something in newsdesk production, conference producer, editorial assistant, new media sales, reservations/retail travel and website design sales.  I didn’t get or do any of those jobs but it has reminded me of a lot of other jobs I applied for and how completely unprepared I was for a career at that age.

Two jobs I applied for that I wish I’d got were as a writer on Top Gear magazine (I had an interview and then went there for a week’s work experience, which I loved, but to my dismay didn’t get the job) and as a trainee tea taster for, as I recall, Tetley.  The years when I “should” have been searching for a career were punctuated by bouts of time working abroad and it wasn’t until I was 26 that I stopped travelling/living abroad and had made a conscious decision to look for “a proper job”, still none the wiser as to what I wanted to do.

Interestingly now I think about it, it was then that I got interviews (maybe TEFL and travels did make me more employable, I’ve always thought of it as a hindrance as the only other work experience I had was looking after horses, waitressing, fruit picking, credit control and basic office temping) and for the first time in my life (it so wasn’t a recession then!) I was even being offered jobs that I turned down (I can think of three off the top of my head but I think there were more).  It was during this laborious round of job searching that I applied for a job as an editor (with training beforehand) but got interviewed for the training to be a stenographer (at that time I had never even seen a stenotype machine and was not remotely interested in doing a year of training – I wanted to get on with working and earning money) and that is what I’m still doing, a staggering ten years later.  I never, ever thought I’d do a job for longer than about four years and when I first started I was still lamenting a perceived missed opportunity to be travelling to tea plantations or driving supercars!

I also found what is probably a copy of the first post-education CV I ever wrote.  It’s made me feel a much more rounded, interesting and experienced person and it makes me wonder how new graduates will find jobs this summer and into their early working years; I guess for graduates/school-leavers it’s all about getting training, ideally on-the-job training, and I can see how or why that would appeal to big employers.

What worries me though is that when I want to find a different career (when my fingers finally do seize up, among other reasons), applying for jobs as random as those I’ve mentioned above is unlikely to result in interview, let alone a job, because … well, I have my theories.  But what really irks is that I am convinced I would be a far more productive, enthusiastic and confident employee now than I would have been at 22 or 26, my two main job-application ages, but employers might not see that or that my ten more unconventional years of work do have transferable skills.

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