Back in the day, as a kid leaving school, we wrote letters to a company, put pen to paper, stuck a stamp on an envelope and strolled down to the post box. Most big companies took in a group of school leavers each summer. Some at “O” level standard, some at “A” level grade. They probably took on a few graduates too, but then common sense and on the job training was more important than a degree. Everyone expected a job for life, like our parents and grandparents.

In my twenties I changed jobs every four years or so, within the same industry. We went to recruitment agencies, spoke to someone, handed in a CV. The agency person phoned you about prospective jobs, gave details, arranged interviews.

As I worked for my last company for fifteen years (through take over and name change, internal department moves, but still continuous employment) looking for a job in this decade, this century, is a whole new ball game. I have some insight, whilst assisting my daughters look for work. But it feels different now it is my turn.

My last three jobs, over more than twenty years, have all been gained through my network. People I knew, personal recommendations. That is not an option now, in a new country.

Some jobs are still advertised in news papers, or on notice boards within stores or shopping centres. But most are advertised online. Recruitment agencies all operation online, not in person.

So we are sitting here, scrolling through “seek” and “my career”. I’ve updated my profile on “LinkedIn”.

I’ve applied for a couple of positions. I’ve been admin assistant to Aussie Mate who has applied for several jobs in recent weeks. Tweaking our CV for each one, to emphasis relevant experience, to mirror some specific wording from the job description in a unique covering letter.

It is time consuming, applying for each role online. Completing personal details, plus all the information that is included in the CV that is also uploaded.

I know in the UK some firms use an automated process to review applications. CV’s are rejected by a computer. A colleague applied for a job on new years day and got a rejection email within an hour, knowing the office was unmanned over the holiday. At least there was acknowledgement that application “had been unsuccessful on this occasion”. Some times you hear nothing back at all. Your application just goes off into cyber space, lost forever.

Job hunting is an emotional process. Ups and downs and mood swings. The joy of a phone call or email acknowledging your application and interest. The offer of an interview. Versus the negativity of hearing nothing, of being ignored.

We are both keen to change careers, try something new, something familiar but in a new environment. I don’t know exactly what that business should be though.

I’m better at knowing what I don’t want. What I would be hopeless at. Waiting tables, or being a barista is definitely top of the list. I may be able to make coffees on a “Luminosity” mind training memory game but I’d be a disaster in reality.

We are keeping the process upbeat by looking at quirky job positions. Today’s list includes :
~ dog inclusive fitness trainer
~ sandwich artist at Subway
~ trainee in aquaculture (oyster farming apparently)

Watch this space.