The job hunting situation

Just a short update on the job front.

I have found a temporary contracting job.

It is in a huge international creative agency in London and I am doing project management work for projects for big international brands. It is very busy and there is a lot of work which is a good thing. I have been there for a week now and they haven’t told me to go yet so I guess I am doing allright. For now.

The plan is to hopefully stay there for some months (am hoping for January and February at least), acquire some great additional experience to put on my CV which hopefully will make it easier to find the next job after this.

It calms the nerves and worries down for a while and I am taking a short break from frantically hunting all other possible jobs, but will keep my eyes open should the perfect permanent job come by.

Somehow losing my job has had an enormous effect on my spirit and creativity, but I can feel that I am slowly getting back on my feet again now. Writings here will still be a bit irregular but will get back to normal not too long from now.

So that’s the current situation.

I also realised that I left my notebook including my sketches for my not-an-xmas-card in the plane coming back from New York! That’s a bit of a bugger, but I vaguely remember what the idea was so I will start working on that soon too.

New York – the plan

Plans are there to go and do something completely different – but this is the basic idea I have.

As you can see, Sunday is still open for suggestions. I might need a quiet day there, but any suggestions on what to do there are appreciated. I might take the free IKEA ferry and go and visit a part of Brooklyn.

Some news from the job front:
I have my first non-recruiter interview on Wednesday (next week). I have had loads of interviews with recruiters the last couple of weeks, but this is the first concrete job interview. I am exited and look forward to it. My CV has also been send to a couple of other interesting companies, I am waiting to hear if they are interested to see me.

My biggest problem is to convince both recruiters and companies that my split back ground (I am 50% techie – 50% creative – but 100% nice) is in fact a good thing. Some of them seem to get it, and hopefully in the end the right (and open minded) company is going to offer me a job.

So it is not a bad time to have a short getaway trip. I can’t really force things to go faster, I have put an enormous amount of energy into job hunting the last weeks and I think it will be good for me to have a short break from it.

I will get back to the this-is-not-an-xmas-card exchange, but there seem people enough to have a go at it again so let’s do it! I have to admit that I currently have no idea for a card yet, but maybe I will find some ideas in New York (While watching Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman perhaps? Ok probably not …).

I will make the official announcement for the card exchange when I am back. And seeing as I am a bit late this year, I might move it to January. Hey it wasn’t a Christmas card anyway right?

I will take camera and laptop and such to New York, (I need to keep an eye on my job emails) so I might post from there. Be good while I am gone!

The law of sod: Phone calls

Here is what I have learned the last two weeks.

When you are looking for a job and desperate for recruiters or job people to call you:

  • The phone will ring just when left your room for a minute making a cup of tea.
  • Would you however take your phone with you at all times (I admit having taken it into the bathroom) – it won’t ring.
  • When you miss that most important call, the phone number of the caller in your missed-calls-list will say “UNKNOWN” so you can’t call them back!

It drives me mental at times.
Other things I have learned – job hunting takes time. It also takes time for people to get back to me, it is just the way it is and I need to get used to it.

And here is something someone told me in an email yesterday:
The more little bits of paper you push in a tube the sooner one pops out the other end.

So I will continue to push little bits of paper in the tube (god knows how many applications I have sent already, but new jobs keep popping up every day so that is a good thing right?).

It still is up and down, but when I hit a low point the phone rings, and if I actually am lucky to get the call (see above) it is a recruiter and I have hope again. At some point in time, there will be a job for me, I just need to be patient.

I am actually looking forward to New York now. I will bring my laptop to be able to check up on email but I will try to not think to much about it those days I am away. I am quite sure that seeing both James Bond and Wolverine on the same stage will somehow enable me to do that. Not sure why …

I am taking the afternoon off. Will take the bus to Chelsea, have a tea and a read, and will then watch Michael Caine’s Harry Brown. It is supposed to be one of his finest works. (And I loved him on This Morning yesterday).

May your Friday be funky.

Up and down in London town

It is not going that well with the job hunting, and I had a bit of bugger of a day today, so instead of words – here are a couple of photos I took yesterday night and today.

I don’t really like Christmas but the blue and white lights currently installed in the trees on the Southbank are wonderful.

A new one for the collection. I like how this sign is worn down, I spotted it in Wardour Street (Soho).

And this was the t-shirt I stared at while sipping my tea after disaster recruiter meeting number one today:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge”
~ Albert Einstein

I feel so connected to that statement.

Tomorrow I will straighten my back and get on with my job hunting project.

(Update: two new opportunities are bubbling at the moment. Hope is back again – and it really is up and down in London town!)

To all of us who need some …

(If you like the above Sondre Lerche – Good Luck song, download it free and legal in MP3 format here)

Latest news from the find-a-job-rollercoaster-ride:

I have not heard back from the recruiter I visited yesterday, so either the jobs were already gone or she didn’t like me. I will send her an email tomorrow to check up on it.

And after a very long day of waiting for things to happen today (ok I admit that I did stare at my phone for some time today!) – I got a phone call (really like it when they call, I like to think that they are genuinly interested when they do) from two new recruiters, and an email from a third.

So here is the plan:

1. I will meet with recruiter one at 10am tomorrow for an introduction interview (that’s them trying to figure me out)

2. At 12.00pm I will meet recruiter two. Now recruiter two is incredibly interesting as in one hand she holds my CV and in her other hand she holds my dream job. I have seen the job description and checked out the website of the company where the job is at, and oh my – how I would want that job! She will interview me to get to know me and to hear more about my work experience and after that she will decide if she is going to propose me as a candidate. I am not counting on anything, but fingers crossed here.

3. On Monday I will have another introduction meeting with recruiter three.

So that will keep me occupied the next couple of days, and the recruiter interest is kind of a good thing. Of course I am also still sending of job applications and I am amazed by the number of recruitment agencies in London. One of them surely must have a job for me?

Five very random notes to end this post with:

  • I am hugely enjoying Jamie Cullum’s new album (I’m all over it is one of my favourite songs). Anybody else out there likes him?
  • Here is a very handy page telling you (in a beautifully designed way!) when and when not to use an apostrophe. Very useful!
  • The Brit with the most difficult to guess twitter name must be Alexander Armstrong. Xanneroo? Come on! I do like him though, he is tall and lanky, a tiny bit posh and very funny in Armstrong & Miller. Miller is on Twitter too by the way. (Bennylicious, honestly guys ..!)
  • And actor Jim Carrey is on Twitter too. Not only that, he has one of the most creative websites I have seen in a while. Check it out on Amazing.
  • I am trying to think if I am going to do a this-is-not-a-christmascard-exchange this year. What do you all think? I know I made the unforgivable mistake of not posting all your cards online last year, but I have just ordered a scanner and I promise that that won’t happen again. I am just polling interest here, the official announcement might come later – if I have a go from my audience … (oh an to take the stress out of this all – we could move the whole process to January?)

Diary of a redundant person: Speak the Lingo, shape your day, see a film

Here are experiences from the last couple of days:

  • I have spent the last couple of days fine tuning my CV. I did not think it would take me that long but it did, mostly because it is so important to put the right wording in it. And to mention exactly the experience they (future employers) want you to have.
    I have uploaded it to a long list of websites and I daily sent out job applications.

    The more positive side – I have been called by two recruiters who have expressed some interest in my CV. That is positive isn’t it?

  • My state of mind was horrible the first couple of days, but it is simply too energy consuming to just constantly be depressed about it all. So I have decided that I won’t be depressed anymore and I have tried to find some sort of rhythm in my days.

    Sitting behind your computer screen all day staring at your email inbox waiting for something to come in does not do you any good. It drives you crazy.
    My schedule now is:

    • get up at 8.30am, have breakfast and more importantly make a cup of tea – the Milky Way
    • concentrate and work on job applications and CVs for a couple of hours
    • shut down computer and get out of the house
    • go and do something nice (a tea in a cafe, a film in the cinema, a walk in the park)

    Simple, but it works. There are also a couple of museums in London that are long due to be visited. The London Transport Museum is definitely on the list for this week. I might as well take advantage of the fact that I have some time on my hands.

  • I know what job to go for now. I know that I probably have a slightly better chance to get an IT project manager job, but I am more focusing on a creative project manager job simply because that’s what I really want to do. There are jobs out there to apply for, I just need to find that one employer who is willing to give me a chance.

    And I don’t mind leaving London for a great job.

The cinema cheers me up. I am able to forget all about job hunting while sitting in the dark for 2 hours.

In between the long list of boring block busters I recently saw two different films that I highly recommend:

  • Bright Star about the life of poet John Keats (with the always brilliant Ben Whishaw and directed by Jane (The Piano) Campion).
  • An Education with the highly talented Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard in the main roles.

    An Education is directed by Danish director Lone Scherfig who you might know from Italian for Beginners. I love her work. The Education has been well received, so let’s hope she gets to make more films for an international audience.

Go see them if they come to a theatre near you.

Diary of a redundant person day 1: Register your CV

Hello world.

I have returned to London after a nice weekend in Devon. The weekend was great in good company of my best friend, two dogs, and lovely weather. But being back in London feels as nice as a cold shower in the morning. Not good.

I will have to try to get into some sort of working schedule at home, and I also need to get out of my room every now and then, otherwise I will go mad. Or madder.

I have spent this day fine tuning my CV and registering on websites like Reed and the Guardian. And have send off about 15 applications for various roles from programmer to project manager to content producer.

Registering your CV is a majorly time consuming activity because all those websites have their own specific formats. And worse – if you decide to apply for a job you might be transferred to the company’s website and fill in a complete new form with all your details. Can someone please develop a standard CV format that everybody can use from now on? It will make life a little easier for us job seekers.

My biggest challenges at the moment are:

How do I market myself? Am I a project manager with creative experience? Or a web developer with project manager experience? Or a creative with programming experience?

I am worried that my slightly split background is making it harder for me to get a job.

I am also not quite sure what I am looking for – but if it could just be a little bit creative it would be great.

What I do know is that I have a healthy and good working set of brain cells, and also that I am a quick learner. But how to convince any potential employers that they should give me a chance?

I also think I am willing to relocate (within reason). I am prepared to take a break from London.

And lastly a practical thing – my trip to New York – will it be a good idea to go away a whole week in November. Will I be able to enjoy it? Or will I be thinking about jobs I am missing out on because of me being away?

Decisions, decisions. Am having a major headache about it all at the moment.

I will leave you with another view from my window, taken around 15.24 (London time) today. Not bad, eh?

The Dark side

Thanks a lot for all the encouraging comments on my previous post, it really makes me feel less alone with this.

I had the talk with my boss this morning. He basically confirmed it all, I will get paid until the end of January after that I am on my own. And I don’t have to return to my office, so I bascially have three months to go job hunting in.

My head is a bit frazzled at the moment, and I don’t think I have quite gotten over the shock yet but I am OK. My good friend in Devon has invited me over for a couple of days. My first reaction was, no, can’t do that, I need to update my Cv, I need to call agencies, I need to send applications, I need to … I was stressed basically.

But even my (now ex) boss thought it would be a good idea to just take some days at the coast and clear my head. That way I will be rested and ready to face the music when I get back on Tuesday. So I am away for a couple of days.

It is the weirdest feeling. Yesterday I cycled in to work. Today I know that I am not going to return there ever again. I will really try to stay focused and devote all my time to finding a job. I might escape for a tea to my local Starbucks now and then though, as sitting in my room all day on my own will drive me crazy. I need some people around me and hopefully there will be a good job out there somewhere with some nice colleagues.

I am trying not to panic.

Have a nice weekend everyone. I will be back soon enough.

I lost my job today

This definitely wasn’t the post I was planning on writing today.

There is nothing quite like a phone call from your boss just when you are about to enter the theatre to see a play you have looked forward to.
The fact that he called to tell me that I was fired kind of took the fun out of going to the theatre completely.

I lost my job. I have until January to find a new one, then I will be without income and in trouble, as London is a bit too expensive to live in without having a job to pay the rent. I would lie if I said I wasn’t worried about all this, I am. Very worried. The credit crunch is still very much present in London (and the reason I lost my job) and I really hope there is a job for me out there because I am not ready to leave London yet.

Did I see it coming? Not this fast no. I knew the company was having a hard time, but I didn’t know it was this bad and I definitely did not expect to get fired this year. How wrong I was.

When I think back about the persistence and motivation I had when I came to London 3.5 years ago I can’t believe it was me just quitting my job and moving to London. Where did I get that courage from then? The job situation is definitely different now and it is going to be hard work the coming months. The timing is not very fortunate either. Nothing much will happen in December on the job market I am sure.

It is back to writing job applications, updating my CV and crossing my fingers in the hope that somewhere out there there is a job for someone like me. Wish me luck, I will need it.

I guess this blog will turn into a job hunting diary for a while. And if you happen to know someone who knows someone who can use someone like me (a creative multi skilled project manager with a very solid IT background) then, you know, I am right here.

In an hour I have a meeting with my boss in a Starbucks where I will hear when exactly my employment ends and if I am expected to come to the office for the remaining time.

That’s the girl in the cafe for all the wrong reasons.

Job hunting

I want youIn between chatting with some really nice people yesterday, I also managed to send off about 20 job applications. This sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it is not as hard as I thought. It’s like job shopping. You add jobs to your shopping cart, and then you can apply for all of them at once, because the job world in the UK is ruled by recruitment agencies, and many applications are send to the same agencies. I learned that yesterday. I haven’t really heard anything yet, but look at it positively as there are really many jobs to apply for. There must be a job out there for me too somewhere. That thought keeps me going right now.

And it’s first now that I am ready to throw myself into jobhunting, I needed to gather some positivity and faith and good spirit, to be able to handle the high amount of rejections I, without a doubt, am going to get. I am ready.

So 20 applications. 18 of them are jobs which are ok, maybe a bit more exiting than my current job, but not where I want to be in the end really. But it will be quite allright to start with. The other 2 jobs I applied for are in the category “You got to be kidding – you are applying for this job – are you mad” ? This being said by the people getting my application. As in – I have no chance whatsoever in getting these jobs. They are not IT jobs.

But one of those two – if I (completely hypothetically speaking, ’cause it is not going to happen) should ever get a job like that (it has a very lousy payment but I don’t care) – I would be the second happiest girl in the Galaxy. The best job ever imagineable would be becoming some particular Brit’s assistent. The other job however, is, compared to that ridiculous idea, more likely, with an ImprobaBILLity factor of only about 99.999%.

Fact is though – that London has job openings like this. I didn’t just pick London out of the blue you know, I have actually thought about it. And you never know, one day I just might be lucky.

47 days. Goodness …