So last week I applied for my first set of jobs since I was unceremoniously pushed into leaving my last one. And, today, I received my first rejection for one of them. I found this an interesting experience so here’s what I’ve learned from it.
1 – I’m more arrogant slash naive than I previously thought
Which is odd, because I’m pretty comfortable with my level of ego, usually. I suppose with this one I just expected more, because the position I applied for wasn’t even a direct application. It was simply to be considered for an assessment day for General Manager Designate jobs with an alternative hospitality conglomerate to the one I just resigned from. I’m certainly qualified for it, but my services were politely decline via chain email. I sort of prefer it being impersonal like that, I can brush off the snub easier. But, still, its brought into sharp focus the tough reality of the job market, even in an industry that I should be in demand for. That’s something to consider
2 – All jobs are equal, but some are more equal than others
And this was a stark realisation. One job application was for an Assistant Managers position with a different pub operator. This is the job level I’m most experienced with. I should at least get an interview for this. But, even if I get the job, the reality is that the pay is around £3.5k a year less than I was previously on…for essentially the same job. That’s a tough suppository to take.
3 – Employers don’t understand unemployment
This is starkly true, I think. I haven’t been out of work for twenty years. I have no experience of benefits, or job seekers allowances or any of that. I have quantifiable concerns about rocking up to the Job Centre to consort with the down-and-outs who frequent it just to tick a box and pretend they have a genuine interest in the rat race, when they just want their beer tokens. Yes, I know that’s horrifically judgemental, but I’ve got extensive experience in pubs…and so much job seekers money has ended up in my tills I feel pretty secure as an authority on some of these people. Not all, but plenty enough.
Now I have to consider myself one of them. As an intelligent, clever, decent sort of person, that’s a blow to pride and self-respect. Its hard to take. I’m sure my previous line manager, who felt secure enough to treat me like a second-rate commodity, doesn’t have any concerns about the bleakness facing me now. Which shows how blinkered such people are to their own destructive actions. The bigger a company gets, the more the people at the base get de-humanised by the higher-ups. You become a number, a grunt worker, replaceable by the next number along. They forget we are numbers with feelings and fears and responsibilities. How does that happen? I’m not qualified to answer that, but it’s worthy of study.
4 – This is more stressful than I thought
Though, oddly, not from my own fears just now. But from various outside sources. My partner, obviously as the main one. She doesn’t mean to, and her points are valid, but the constant pressure to look for jobs, apply for jobs, speak to recruitment agencies etc is adding extra pressure. She has had a few jobs, is more comfortable with new situations and when she was changing jobs it wasn’t such a problem. What she fails to realise with me is that the push towards proactivity in the job hunt is forcing me towards the unknown, the unfamiliar and is increasing my stress by incremental degrees, not just because of the unemployment but also because of not fulfilling her expectations and demands. That is more stressful than job rejection, because she is relying on my contribution to our life partnership, and love and sex wont put petrol in the car and keep a roof over our heads.
But I can’t be so passive forever. Yes I’m writing good stories, indulging a hobby, but that wont feed us either. And I have a watershed ahead, with my looming grievance meeting. I suppose I can’t commit to job seeking with that hanging over me, but in a few days it will be all done. I’m confident it will be upheld, but the steps after that are hidden in the fog, too.
The edge of the abyss has never been so close.