The Story So Far #leeneedsajob

The last week or so has been very positive with loads of applications converting to interviews.  One has even converted to a second interview already.  Very excited about that particular role.  Really hope I get it!

The majority of my job searching has been through two different methods:
1) Self promotion by way of networking, speaking to contacts and of course this blog. (job fishing)
2) RSS feeds from job sites coming straight to my inbox.  Most notable and so far most successful being: (job hunting)

Both methods seem to be attracting the right kind of attention and have given me some great opportunities.

The other thing I’ve had to begrudgingly do is to sign on and claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.  Haven’t seen a penny yet but I’m sure I will one day, when enough boxes have been ticked, things have been triplicated, signed and dated by overpaid “comfortable in their cushy job” civil servants.

The whole Job Centre thing is a joke really.  I went in last week to make my initial claim.  You can’t use them to look for work until you’ve done this.  At first I made the mistake of thinking I could just walk into the job centre and look for jobs…  Don’t be silly, this is a civil servant run thing.  I had to phone and make an appointment and set up a benefit claim first.  Did all that, watched them photocopy and shuffle papers for a while.  Went from desk to desk because civil servants don’t do “ownership”, did a job search and drew a blank.

They sent me away with a log book and instructions to fill it in with all my job hunt related activities.  If I don’t do at least three a week (yes, really, you only have to do three) I won’t get my benefits.  Naturally I filled the book within a week.  Applications, interviews, second interviews, it’s all in there.  I’m a good boy!

Anyway, today I went in with my full book, sitting in the waiting room with all the smelly no hopers feeling proud of my achievements and eventually my name was called.  I went up to the desk hoping for a little chat about how things are going, what I’m doing and if they have any suggestions for me.  What did I get?

“Sign & date here.  See you in two weeks.”

Why did I bother logging every application, every phone call, every email?  I feel as if the whole process is designed to justify the existence of the paper shufflers.

Anyway, I’ve had an idea.  As it stands, the Job Centre’s job database is pretty useless.  All the decent jobs go out to recruiting agencies who use better targeted websites.  Why don’t the Job Centre just develop an API so that other sites like Guardian Jobs et al can submit their database via some automated means.  This way, I can use a login for the Job Centre website, look and apply for jobs in one place and they can track my progress and use my statistics as proof that I’m job hunting instead of sitting with my finger up my bum.

In theory I wouldn’t need to visit the JC in person, this makes it cheaper for me as the Job Centre isn’t in the same town as me.  Think of all the carbon wotsits that would save nationwide too!  Oh AND you could cull a few civil servants too.  Wouldn’t need as many people or offices to put those people in.

But alas, the civil servant mentality would say “it’s worked like this for years so there’s no need to change it” and of course Britain needs that extra cash sink to keep taxes high and politicians busy.

Anyway…  Overall, my job hunting/fishing is going well.  Just thought I’d let you know.