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Signing on

Posted by Lester Madden under General

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Wow is been over a month since I last blogged.


I’m still unemployed. January is not normally good for job hunting, so to get out the house (funny how after a month in doors you cant wait to get outside), I went to register for jobseekers allowance for the first time in my life.


I didn’t really know what to expect, but I had a notion that it would be like going to the bank and meeting the bank manger. Ie you walk in, someone shakes you hand and says “can I get you a cup of tea Mr Madden”, “Mr Jones will be right out”. Perhaps even a collection of magazines to read while you wait. If you have never been unemployed then its nothing like that. I had a 9am appointment, I waited outside with 50 other people in the rain and cold until 9:05 when the doors opened. Then everyone rushed in while someone pointed out where we go.


I had to take bank statements, my premium bonds, payslips and various other bits of paper with me. It took me 2 hours to get done, most of that was waiting around. All that for what will probably be £50 a week. For my money I have to apply for 2 jobs a week and make 10 phone calls a week.


I signed up with a number of agencies and I do get lots of calls, but not for anything that is interesting. Its mostly project management stuff they seem to want to pass my way. One product manger role came my way, it sounded fairly interesting until I found out the product was orange juice.


The funny thing about not working is time. When you go to work weekends are precious. At weekends you get to do all those things that need to be done. Cleaning the house, shopping, putting up curtains, what ever. When you are not working everything is tomorrow, there is no urgency to do anything.


That’s not to say that I haven’t put the time to good use. The first step was to figure out what I really wanted to do.  Not what job I thought I should apply for, but figure out where my strengths are and what kind of job I want. I have read plenty and probably more ready for an interview than I ever have been in my life. The good news is the job market seems to be picking up now. I have spotted several good jobs recently so hopefully it’s a good sign. I am in no desperate rush to find a job, I want to find ‘the’ job so happy to keep searching for a while.


Anyway tomorrow I have to go and sign on, I am meant to bring a report with me on my progress for finding a new job. I was never any good at completing my weekly report when I was employed and earning a salary so I don’t think it’s going to be any better tomorrow. Not for 50 quid anyway.

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