Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The urban jungle

The London job scene is getting more frustrating. On the news today it was reported that people seeking benefits has hits its highest rate. Yesterday a woman's personal story was told how, even though she is experienced that employers haven't even bothered to turn her down and just didn't reply. Apparently Britain might be the last developing country to come out of the recession.

Everywhere wants experience, even the jobs that 'meet the national minimum wage', no one wants to train you anymore or to take a chance. Transferable skills seem to be a thing of the past. All the applications on the internet state that they try to get back to people but due to receiving a large volume of responses it might not be possible. My best friend in my home town applied for a job she really wanted and was told that 100 people had applied as well, which is a lot from where I come from. The other day I attended an open session in application for a job there and was told that they had had 300 CVs. That's how desperate it is now, attending an open session. It was a tiny dentist, invisible without its two signs because it is above a kebab shop. Up a narrow poky staircase to a rabbit warren of turns to find a low ceilinged box of a waiting room. Multiple interviews were taking place at the same time, while the surgery was still open (the waiting room a mix of patients and hopeful applicants). I was able to hear at least three interviews and luckily like me they did not have experience of working in a dentists. The interviews were quick and I passed one that was taking place at the top of the entrance stairs. They said the people who attended the open session would have the highest chance of getting the position. There was no more than a handful and an hour in people had stopped turning up. What that means for the 300 CVs I'm not sure. But it would be sad to go to that effort only for an experienced girl (there were only women there for the role) that couldn't be bothered to turn up to get the job. How do you get experience if nobody will give it to you?

I had a phone interview to sell phones in Harrods and left feeling completely pounced upon. I have nine years of customer service, I speak English, have sold mobiles before and done other retail so felt confident that I could give this interview my best. I read on the website for the phone company, the only advice was to be yourself, and that you can hear a smile over the phone. So I laughed, smiled, was friendly. Even though the interview was closed and difficult. I researched the company, why I wanted to work for them beyond I need a job, phones and even their price plans. It was short and sweet, three questions all on the same line, the latter being 'when was the last time you thought creatively to solve a problem?'
Photo taken in Leicester Square


  1. Keep your spirits up. Something will turn up

  2. Thats so sweet, I've started talking to an agency about a two week internship, all the feedback I’ve had is that other people are more experienced, so I’m determined to gain new skills!!! Having my first comment was amazing thank you soooooooooooooooo much!!!!