Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Heart to heart before I start over

"Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory." Ghandi

Things have been a bit up and down lately. I thought that I would have one last blog post about my feelings about looking for a job. I've had some good things happen last week and I've decided to "start over" with a new strategy and new goals. 

I am going back to Minneapolis in May and it will be one year since I've graduated from MCAD. I've been out of school for one year and still no job. I have to say that I feel a little bit like a loser returning to Minneapolis without a job. Deep down I don't think of myself as a loser at all, but I really wanted to have had a job by now. 

I have been officially looking for a job since October, that's when I came back with my spouse visa and it's been one hell of journey. From graduate schemes, recruitment agencies, interviews and job fairs it's been a bumpy ride.
I was feeling pretty low last week when I didn't even hear back from Pret. That's the sandwich shop in town. I had been applying for a bunch of part time jobs, restaurants and shops, and I haven't heard back from any of them. 

I was a bit shocked that I wasn't hearing back, let alone not getting the jobs. I've worked since I was 16 years old. I was starting to think that there was something wrong with me. It's not like I've been picky either. I applied to work at KFC , determined to work anywhere. I didn't hear back from the colonel either. My self confidence was starting to get shaken. I just couldn't understand why I couldn't get hired. I had even taken off all my college education so I didn't seem to over qualified. 

I started to wonder if I would ever find something? I know deep down that eventually something will come up. I am a smart, educated talented young lady my only fear is that it might take a long time before something happens. 

I wish someone could tell me how long it is going to take. Is it because of the recession? Is it because my CV stands out? Am I coming across as a total idiot during my interviews? All these thoughts run through my mind, especially when I hear people tell me that it shouldn't be hard for me to get a job with my experience. That's a real hard one to deal with! I am like ok then how come I am not getting hired? 

I just feel like there's something that I don't know. Is it really going to be that hard to get my foot in the door? I can't seem to understand why it would be that hard, are there just that many people in London trying to get a job? 

With thoughts like those running through my mind it's easy to see why I've been a bit down on myself. I felt that back in Minneapolis I was a on a good path. I had been networking for three years and getting myself involved in things and I was well on my way to starting my career. For some reason I don't feel like that at all here and I've got to figure it out. 

I am not the kind of person who takes no for answer and I can't accept that I can't find a job here. Like I said, I am willing to do whatever it takes. I've had people help me with my CV, very kind people from the States send me leads and I won't give up! 

I've got some new ideas up my sleeve and will write about those soon. Thanks again for every one's support!


  1. It's most definitely the recession. I'm an American expat myself and I've been living in Spain with my husband for the past 7 months now. I haven't been able to work because I'm still waiting on my work permit (I'll be getting that in a week) but my husband had an incredibly tough time finding a job, and he isn't even American. We arrived about a month before the economy collapsed and he therefore spent 5 months looking for any mediocre job and rarely ever got calls back. He got lucky one day and has been given the opportunity to work at some bookstore, however his parents, that also moved with us, are still struggling to find better jobs than their current ones (Though they have an even tougher obstacle because employers discriminate against age/appearance here -.-).

    If I were you, I'd keep my head up and keep on trying. Don't lose your head. Just be patient and wait for things to start looking up. You'll find something eventually. :)

  2. It is definitely not a good time to be looking for a job. I think you just have to persevere, and be flexible.

    One tip someone told me might be worth a try. It's sometimes good to offer to work for a company for nothing. Tell them you would like to do it for the 'work experience'. Once you are working somewhere, you're ideally placed if a vacancy arises, and you're also meeting people from other companies. It's much easier to get a job from a job, even if an unpaid one. And of course the experience does look good on a cv.

    I know this can throw up problems of its own, but if you do it part-time, then you still have time for the 'proper' job search, and it's usually good for morale to keep busy.

    It's not an easy time for you. I hope you keep up the blog at any rate, for a bit of encouragement.

  3. I'd bet it's the combination of the economy and being American--that just makes it slightly harder here. You have challenges trying to explain to people why you don't have A levels and what your credentials actually mean. But it's really important to keep your hopes up and continue to do things that make you happy while you look!

  4. Thank you all so much for taking the time to post these comments. It really makes me feel better and helps to put things into perspective.

    I am trying to start out with an work experience/internship to get my foot in the door.

    Janett, I wish you all the best in finding a job in Spain!

    cheers x


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