This last month

A month has passed since I last wrote, and basically that’s because I’ve been trying to pretend my life isn’t even happening. It took almost two months for me to find a job, and so I am poor as fuck at the moment. I’m moving out of my house because I can’t afford the rent, and temporarily staying with my boyfriend. No idea how I’m going to afford to pay any of my bills.

On the plus side, I got a job offer. In fact, I got 3. A casual, a part time, and a full time. I even started working the casual- did 2 shifts before getting the full time job offer. So now Quitting that, not accepting the part time, and start the full time at the end of next week. Least that’s something.

I just hate that this has even happened. I try not to hang on to feelings of hatred for long, but I just can’t let go of how disappointed I am with my previous employers. Telling me things were good, lulling me into a sense of security, then firing me at the eleventh hour without a single warning. It has literally thrown my life into chaos and I’m struggling to put it back on track.

I’m in my mid twenties and I’m supposed to have things sorted by now. At least this new job will give me the opportunity to put my head down, and start a career.

4-Stages of Success

The job application process differs from company to company, and role to role. The job that I’m gunning for at the moment, that I wrote about previously, is one of the most intense and thorough job applications that I have ever done. And it makes me want to work for the company even more.

Basically there seems to be 4 stages to being considered for this job, and each stage eliminates more and more applicants.

Stage 1. This was the submission of a CV and cover letter, and is probably the most rudimentary of the steps. All positions that I’ve applied for require this- although one job I did see and decided wasn’t for me, asked for people to go in and verbally explain their employment history rather than put it on paper. Good way to show communication skills, I guess. This is the easiest step to just weed out people without the required background, or to find people who have put in that little bit extra.

Stage 2: Interview 1. This was a semi-formal chat, asking the usual questions of ‘why do you want to work for xyz company’ and ‘tell us a little bit about yourself’. This was with 2 senior staff members, and was relatively brief. Retrospectively, I’ve been told this is the “skill checking” interview- to make sure that the skills I’ve put on paper are actually there; as well as ensuring I could physically do the job.

Stage 3: Interview 2. This was the interview that I had yesterday, and boy was it interesting. I don’t know yet- until this afternoon- if I progress beyond this stage, but 4 of us applying for this role were called back for a second interview. I keep using the term interview, but really, it was an interrogation. Two management-level execs playing good cop/bad cop, and asking some pretty raw questions. They told me at the beginning and end it was because they wanted to “drill down to who I was as a person”, and see what I was like under pressure and when faced with an uncomfortable situation. Whether or not they liked what they found when they did drill down… yet to be shown. Of us 4, 2 progress to the next level…

Stage 4: Interview 3. This is the first role I’ve been for that has a 3-interview process, and this final interview is with the General Manager of the business. More on this to come- hopefully.

 

I mentioned that this somewhat laborious process actually made me want to work for the company more- by taking their time and studiously choosing which person they want, the more likely that person is going to fit into the company. On top of that, by having at least 5 contact points- 2,2,1 during the interviews- then various people within the company can also figure out if you’d be a good cultural mix…

 

My only question is whether or not I have the goods, and whether or not I’d fit. I’ll be a bit bummed if I don’t, but that’s the game.

Cosy Connections

NB: I’m writing this post a week before releasing into into the public, to avoid the possibility it impacts the outcome of what I’m about to talk about.

Never in my life have I relied upon relationships or connections to land me a job. Or at least, connections that I didn’t organically grow myself. Until now.

After losing my job last week in a weird turn of events, I hurriedly jumped back on the job hunt. This is the first time since I was 14 that I have not had a job. First time in 11 years that I’ve been unemployed, and to be honest- it’s messing with my head.

I’ve been tossing between finding a part time job and finishing my degree, or finding a job that I want to do for reals, and making a career out of it. In the last 5 days I’ve applied for 15 jobs. Some full time, some part time, some casual. But one job stands out, for several different reasons.

My boyfriend’s best friend works for an IT company [I won't name it for obvious reasons], and just happened to mention they were currently interviewing for someone to fill one of their positions. In fact, they were up to second round interviews, but my bf’s friend managed to pull some strings, and now tomorrow I have an interview for the position. They’re already set on who they think will fill the role from their current applicants, so I don’t know what chance I’m in with- but that’s the curve ball: it’s a role that I think I’ll actually really enjoy, and somewhat of a leg-in to the business.

The business itself is a fast growing, well established IT provider, and does a lot of work in some fields of IT that I’m particularly interested in (and have worked in in the past). I’m actually hoping a lot that I get the role. It would be a pay cut, and it would be a bit of a ‘shit-kicker’ role to begin with, but the possibilities after that are fairly large, and that makes me excited career-wise.

I’ll post this whether I get the job or not, but I’m anxious about relying on a friend of a friend to get me the interview, especially as if I land the interview and flop the job, then it’s somewhat on him.

Fingers are crossed.

Lessons too Late

Today I got taught a valuable lesson in being the pawn in someone else’s office politics. It cost them some dignity, and it cost me my job. I wanted to pen my thoughts down to get out some of my frustration, and hopefully teach the lesson to others at no cost.

I won’t name the business in this post becuase my friends will already know it, and a name is worth nothing to those that do not know me. What you should understand is that I was working for a College as an Adviser for students, I had a Team Leader above me, a National Manager above her, and a Campus Manager who did very much of nothing, yet it seems was a major player in what turned out to be an unfortunate saga for me.

I’m only 3 months into this role. To be exact, 2 months and 3 weeks- mere days under my 3-month probation period, and so highly fire-able, if you’re akin to that kind of activity. I suppose it starts with conversations that I had with my National Manager the very day I got hired.

She told me that she could tell from my interview that I was proactive, that I was going to be able to do exactly what she wanted. When I asked what that was, she said to shake things up. She said that the Campus I worked at was in a lull, and the campus and its staff needed someone to come in with fresh eyes, and see old things with a new perspective. That I was to offer up as much suggestion for change and improvement as I could. And so  I did.

Weeks into my position my Team Leader had a glowing review for me, she constantly gave me feedback, telling me that had I not started working there, it was likely she was going to quit: she was over the College and the micro-management from above, and that she was ready to pack her backs. But not anymore, not now that I had arrived.

A few more weeks passed and my National Manager told me just how happy she was that I had started, and she had seen improvements from the people I worked with already. Keep doing whatever I’m doing. It was about this time that a few small altercations occurred with my campus manager. No disagreements, no arguments- me merely asking him whose responsibility a few certain tasks were, as I was doing them yet they were very clearly defined as his role. He started doing them from that day, but obviously was not too happy about it.

Time passed and two months came up. I had my one-on-one performance review with my National Manager, and she gave me 10/10. I couldn’t do better. I disclosed to her that I felt like I was stepping on toes, though, and what her advice was for me in that regard. This was the single time that I asked for some mentoring. The only time that I asked to be mentored in all this time. I figured why ask for it earlier, I’ve been told I’m doing exactly what I should be. My national manager’s reply? The same as always: Don’t worry about it, you’re doing exactly what I thought you would when I hired you. This is the exact reason I hired you, and you’re fitting into the role perfectly.

Here we are, though, only two weeks after that, and I get to work to see an email with a calendar invite asking me to a meeting to “discuss your probation”. Even this fool knows what that means, and so rather than wait for the afternoon event, I pop my head into the office of my National Manager and ask her for a minute. I explain that the email is fairly ominous and I would rather not sweat it out all day, and so we had a talk there and then: I would not be making it past my probation.

I asked her for some council as to why she spent nearly three months telling me I was doing a perfect job, why she offered absolutely no help and guidance to assist me in going past probation; and it seems that all along her intention was to use me to try and find out who in the company needed to be reviewed, and who was ok. She used me as a fox down a rabbit warren, for her own political gain within the company, at my own detriment.

Foolish, and now unemployed, I don’t know where I head from here, but it’s a lesson I learnt too late. Retrospectively I can pick some of the signs, the shifts in attitudes and the closed-door discussions happening over the last couple of weeks, but no company-rookie could’ve been that clued on so early. I lick my wounds and carry on.

Now, to find a job…

Rebel Down

This morning when I was sitting on my usual commute to work, I saw on my news syndicate that Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away. This post is not about him, but about something he was part of. A movement that I believe needs to gain a lot more significance in the near future.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman (PSH) was undoubtedly a great actor, and I give my absolute respect to the art he performed, as he performed it very well. It may be too soon to say this, and I mean no disrespect in saying it, but his death was, in one sense, ironic and, for all intents and purposes, dismal.

In his final role, PSH played a character by the name of Plutarch Heavensbee (PH) in The Hunger Games. PH is, in The Hunger Games (HG) a pivitol character in the uprising of the rebellion. I can see this already after Catching Fire, and I haven’t read the books (though I have read outlines).

To give some context, HG is a story about overthrowing a tyranical system that oppresses the poor more and more, while lifting the rich and fortunate higher and higher. It is the capitalist system. It is the world that we live in today. Before you roll your eyes and think ‘here we go’, here me out. I’m a fan of the capitalist system: but ours is corrupt and needs fixing. HG shows us the system in a nice little ecosystem of Districts. The Districts all surround the Capital, and everyone has their place.

I won’t go into an argument here of how HG is an analogy of our capitlist system, even if it doesn’t seem it on the surface. Just assume I’m right. When you do, you’ll also be able to draw a few other parallels. Firstly, consider the types of uprisings we’re seeing lately: It wasn’t all that long ago that the Occupy movements swept almost every country around the planet. Some Occupyists are still going, wasting their time.

It’s a known fact, since people like Snowden and Assange have released what they have, that Governments spend a lot of time and energy becoming skilled at stopping internal rebellious forces. Our Governments are a lot more akin to the Capital in HG than people understand.

Getting back to PSH, he, in HG, was one of the leaders of the Rebellion. He wore the symbol of the Rebellion and was proud to do so, and spent many years of his life coordinating the uprising, while working for the Capital itself, ensuring he wasn’t found out. I said earlier that it’s ironic that PSH has passed away, and I feel that holds true. In a world gripped by corruption and greed, a rebellion is exactly what we need. Our Governments needs to be shaken, to be told that their conservative, narrow minded beleif systems of oppression and class are not working, and will not be tolerated. PSH, through his character, stood for exactly this. I know that the character lives on, but I hope the ideas of a new way of life don’t also end with PSH.

Just a thought.