Expectations: The “Unrealistic” World of the Job Search

So I need to blow this out of my head. The job searching dilemma has been plaguing me since before I ever became a number on the general internet. And nothing has been done to make it easier for me, through two or three Governments. Sure, some would say that “Oh, I’m sure you can find something for yourself out there.” Or they go “You must be lying, I can find ten jobs a week!” NO. You clearly don’t understand how pathetic the situation is here, but I don’t blame you for thinking that. Even the people who live and work here think the same thing, that it’s so easy to find work and not finding it is just the same as not bothering to look, or “you can’t find work because you’re not looking hard enough for it”. People in “job support” companies such as Working Links or A4E.

So let me break some of your balls for a second here.

Source: Link

So at the end of June 2012, 25,700 people are in employment in Blaenau Gwent, my residential area. 4,300 are listed as unemployed. Of those unemployed, 3,466 as of October 2012 are on JSA and actively seeking work. That’s in the county alone. In the area, in the same month, there were only 302 unfilled vacancies in the Job Center Plus records. 302 jobs for 3,466 people. This is providing you only stay within the area where you live when it comes to job searching, I agree. You take a look at, for example, Cardiff. Big capital city, tons of job opportunities, right? Only if you’ve been to University. Jan-Dec 2011 figures? 46,000 people who had either other qualifications that didn’t equate to an NVQ1 or no qualifications at all and got a job – compared to the nearly 200,000 who had at least an NVQ1 qualification or above. Not even 25%.

And even when you get there, you’re competing for places. 10,727 people seeking work in the Cardiff area in October. And how many job opportunites are there for those nearly 11 thousand people? 2,688. So again, 75% of those people who are looking for work won’t even find it in the same month and have to try again next month. So obviously, the big cities aren’t the place you can really go to unless you’re a Uni leaver and have the money and charisma to bluff your way into employment. So let’s go somewhere a little closer and a little less crowded, say…Merthyr Tydfil?

On initial looking, this seems rather tame compared to Cardiff. 11,000 people in work with other or no qualifications (compared to the 24,200 with NVQ1+) so it works around at nearly 33% of those in work don’t need to incur a mountain of debt to find a job. But here’s where you get bit on the ass: 2,328 people actively seeking employment. The number of jobs unfilled in October this year? 309. Literally only 7 more openings in Merthyr Tydfil than there were in the entirety of Blaenau Gwent last month. Less competition, perhaps, but it’s still far from flooding the jobs market with opportunities.

An Actual CV: Link

This is my CV, with details removed so that I won’t have half of the UK hassling me because I’m basically saying I’m being let down by every institution those people think are going to help me. I have no personal transport, so I am reliant on buses to get me places. I have no friends in the local area, so I cannot depend on favours from them to help me. I have no financial support beyond JSA, so I cannot apply for a driving license to make me more employable. I cannot get support to apply for a license because it goes against current legislation (even more the reason why I wish I didn’t go for the CLAiT Plus now – beyond the fact that it hasn’t helped me obtain ONE JOB in all these years). About the only support I’ll ever get is to collect clothes for a job interview – and that I’m only going to get cash back for if I can buy it first then provide the receipt later on.

I am willing to work in any job where I feel competent and capable. My experience is in IT and web design (insofar as what I can teach myself – basically some Java, a little Flash, and the standard HTML/CSS/JavaScript). I had tried to go through a course in Game Design through Train2Game, but I sadly won’t be able to complete that because the only PC I have which runs CD’s (which the course is completed on) has serious faults that prevent a normal start-up of Windows. Which I can’t repair because I don’t have a job that gives me more money than JSA ever will. I’m still having to pay for the course, mind, up until April 2013 where I’ll end up being declared as failed because it’s logistically impossible for me to catch up on the work I’ve all but been forced to abandon. (Oh, and because it’s a course I was on before going on any work program? No support. Even less because of how expensive it is.)

The ironic thing about this? People are wondering why some spiral into suffering depression at the end of it. Yeah. Because mounting pressure on people to find work when there’s not enough jobs being created to even occupy 20% of the unemployed in one given area – and even less of those are looking for people who have been so let down by successive Governments that they have very little employment history and barely enough qualifications that would get an 18 year old employed – is really going to improve their chances of finding work as long as that foot stays firmly lodged up their assholes.

I was asked to do a job search yesterday. Want to know how many new jobs I found since my last search on the JCP website alone? Two. And even after double-checking my search, the ‘advisor’ still had the lady-balls to accuse me of not looking hard enough. So despite doing what they expected me to do (job search three times a week across at least three different websites) I’m not looking hard enough.

Or I’m not applying for jobs that I should be applying for. Okay, sure, I’ll be the first to admit that I might not know every job title in the world and what’s expected from such job titles – and I would gladly apply for something that I feel I can do – but if a job title reads “Delivery Van Loader” I’m going to expect them to ask me for a driving license (which I don’t have). Or if I am told to apply for an “Administration Assistant” position, they’re going to expect some evidence of suitability for that position (and what evidence I have, thanks to the state of employment over the last 6 years, is old as fuck). And what makes anyone think that I’ll be suitable for a career in care working when I’m clinically depressed and only managing to look after myself and those living with me on willpower alone because all doctors and the damned NHS can provide are pills?

Which, for the record, I cannot swallow because of a sensitive reflex which forces anything that hits the back of my throat to push my tongue to the ceiling of my mouth.

So I propose a challenge to anyone out there who thinks they know better than me. Run a search for jobs anywhere I’ve mentioned in this blog post. Use that CV and what I’ve said to match my skills to a job. If you can honestly find any job that I can apply for that I won’t have found myself, I’ll happily take back everything I’ve said in this entire post, suck it up and will accept that, should my money get stopped because I have to apply for 6 jobs within 2 weeks in this circumstance and I don’t manage to find enough of them, it was stopped for entirely fair and justified reasons. I want to be proven wrong in this. I want to know that there are jobs I can honestly and truthfully apply for and maybe even work in so I can improve my future employment prospects.

I’d wish you luck, but I need it more than you do.

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