Posted in Thoughts

The week ahead

imageThis week is quite exciting for me.  The day begins with me preparing for a meeting with a Learning and Development Consultant.  I’m hoping to pick her brains on a number of issues, not least is it worth doing a L&D qualification when I have a Masters in Occupational Psychology?  It would take up one of my Enhanced Learning Credits, which is not a problem.  The issue is more that the one I’m looking at is home learning over a year and I’m not sure how that would fit in with everything else.   The day ends with a Skype call about a potential opportunity with someone else’s online business.  Then on Wednesday I have the Self Employment Awareness Workshop which I think will really help with me focussing on my next steps for my own business.  I also hope by the end of the week to know a bit more about our (possible) relocation which will definitely help me know where to look for jobs, what markets I can aim at and whether I will be spending weeks of the summer preparing for a move.  So it’s all go here in VentureLand, the sun is shining and I’m feeling positive.  Happy Monday everyone x

Posted in Thoughts

Job Applications pt 2

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I submitted my first job application in 20 years last week.  It was for a part time fixed term Research Assistant in the Psychology Department at a University close to where we might be moving.  It was a  more nerve wracking process than I had thought it would be.  What did I learn?

  • Time.  I found out about the job with a short-ish amount of time prior to the deadline.  With everything else that I juggle, it was really important that I set time aside to do the application.
  • Read the whole application.  As I had set time aside, I was in a position to go through the whole application process before having to start it.  That meant although I was initially thrown by the length of it, I knew what I was dealing with in terms of how long it was going to take.  Clue: much longer than you might otherwise think.
  • Analyse the advert.  There were specific skills and attributes requested within the advert and others that were alluded to in the Job Description.  I used these to model my answers around so that the application was very specific to the job.
  • Use your old appraisals.  By using my old appraisals, I was able to write about my employment history in a much more tailored and specific manner.  For instance, I found an example about having improved training output by up to 300% in some areas.  Would I have remembered that level of detail without the appraisal?  Highly doubtful.
  • Use your network.  I asked for help from two of my lovely friends; one of whom is responsible for selecting Civil Servants at an organisation I used to work for and the other is a career consultant and we did our Masters together.  Between the two I received some really useful, timely and specific feedback.

And finally…..

  • Don’t lose heart.  I just got feedback today that I haven’t been selected for an interview.  I asked for individual feedback and was told that the message from the Chair of the Panel was: that there was nothing notably ‘wrong’ with the application you submitted so she could not offer any individual feedback. However, the panel received a large number of extremely high quality applications, and those selected for interview simply had more experience relevant to the position than those that were not shortlisted. 

Obviously I’d rather be closing the blog post with a more positive story, but I got a lot out of the process of applying for the job.  In all honesty, it was unlikely that I would have been able to make any reasonable start date due to relocation (which I still don’t know any details of) so there was a good chance this would have been a job I would have been unable to take, even if I had been offered it.  But it still would have been nice to have gone for an interview.  Never mind, onwards and upwards.  Next week I do my Self Employment Awareness Workshop and will finally register my company name.  More on that next week.

Happy venturing xx