Thursday, 30 September 2010

So, I went to an interview....

I had an interview the other day for a part-time job. I was adamant I wanted something not too taxing, that allowed me to be there for the children at the right times. The job, on paper, seemed perfect - 15 hours a week, 10 mins away in the middle of town, stable(ish) employers, the works.

The interview went OK. The typing test they gave me was horrible - I can type 50-55 wpm but not apparently when I'm not allowed to correct any mistakes at all. I left in two minds, certain that I would not get the job, that they would find someone suited better to the requirements of the role as set out by them.

The night before, I had suddenly been overcome by a complete crisis of confidence. And yet, I knew I could do the job well without trying too hard. I told Twitter about it and got lots of fantastic positive feedback and kind wishes from my followers - for which, by the way, a huge thank you; sharing the love is one of the things I absolutely adore about Twitter.

By the time I came out of that interview though, I knew what it had all been about. It wasn't nerves at all; it was dread. For as much as I fool myself that I want a not too taxing job, I know I would be bored. I am going to need something else. The job was not for me. When they rang this morning, I actually had a moment of panic that they were going to offer me the job. I have never been so relieved to hear the words "I'm sorry but on this occasion, you have been unsuccessful." I think that says it all.

So, what now? I wish I knew. I've applied for three more jobs, but they are similar roles to this one. I am not really sure what options are available to me. I could aim to go back into IT but it seems to be spectacularly unfriendly if you have a family. It was a struggle to go part-time in my previous role, and it seems that part-time roles in IT are almost non-existent unless you are already working for someone, which I'm not.

I'm qualified to teach adults but teaching hours are in very short supply. I'm also qualified in life and performance coaching but I don't really know where to start with that. And doesn't everybody groan these days if you say you're a life coach, although maybe if you're the sort that will only say super-positive things and annoy the heck out of people living in the real world.

And of course, I love doing this. Writing, messing around and doing stuff on my blog. And Twitter. I could turn it into something, but I am painfully aware that there is a lot of competition out there with far, far more experience and talent than I have.

It's all a balancing act.
I think I'm stuck. I do some casual self-employed work from home already but it really doesn't pay that well, certainly not enough to pay the bills. I know I need to find something that I enjoy and am passionate about, but it's balancing off with something that is achievable in terms of my experience and strengths, as well as being flexible enough to work around the children. My husband working shifts means I need to be around for school runs and I don't want to put them in childcare outside school.

I'd love to know what you think. Do you work flexibly? If so, what do you do and how did that come about? What wisdom can you share with me about finding something that's child-friendly AND rewarding/interesting? Or should I just stick to doing something soul-destroying but stable and perhaps work on something else in the meantime? All comments welcome.


  1. I know exactly how it feels to dread being given a job! It is not nice but such a relief when you don't get it. As for what you do now - think out side the box. There is (as I'm finding) a whole world out there. Use twitter & the contacts you have. This may be the start of a completely new career!

  2. It's tough out there. I'm lucky that I still work for my same employer, have been there for 14 years and I've been able to taken on a different role and work two days a week - it's very flexible too. The downside is it is mind-numbingly boring and in the meantime I am considering options of other things I could be doing. Problem is I just don't know what I want to do! So I stick with my dull job because it pays exceedingly well & I have benefits like healthcare, company car, company mobile & laptop etc which make it more bearable!

    I think that unless you are already employed in a company it's quite hard to find something that is family-friendly, because as politically correct and equal we want to be these days I still think a lot of employers are turned off by it all.

  3. Hey at least you are getting an interview - more than me at the moment. Oh and my typing is terrible. I wish you the best of luck

  4. I so sympathise with you on this one. I took a job below my skillset after my first child, and it almost put me off working for life! Your head says to get something / anything that can fit around your family but your heart yearns for something that challenges you and interests you. It is such a difficult balance to manage. I have been off for 2 years since my second child because i couldn't find that balance. Then an opportunity has come along out of the blue that might just be the ticket......advice? wait patiently?


  5. No advice here, just nodding my head in agreement wondering what the hell I'm going to do job wise once Max is settled at school... I really have no idea, but I want it to be something I'm interested in. *sigh*

  6. I think a lot of people must feel like this. I know I will be a stay-at-home mum for a few more years (I hope so anyway) but then what? What do I want to do? Where on earth am I going to find a job which fits in around school runs and holidays? It's all very confusing.

  7. You're qualified to teach adults AND you're well versed in social media and blogging. Hmm. How about running some social media courses? More people would be engaged with Twitter and Facebook if only they knew how to get the most out of it or had someone to hold their hand through it all. I think there's a market for it.

  8. Thanks Julia. i've just cleared some of my commitments out so I think I'm bothered by the blank piece of paper. I just don't know where to start.

  9. Yes, yes it's that exactly. Unless you're working for them already, you're stuffed.

  10. Photography? Don't you do that? I have no creative talent whatsoever. Too bloody ham fisted, me.

  11. It's funny. People think that things get easier once the kids go to school but it doesn't. Drop off and pick up times need to be adhered to strictly unless you pay for before and after school care. And the holidays! (And odd days off either side!)

  12. Thanks, lovely. It's a thought. I have no fricking clue where to start with that one tho. I've got at least one friend who has a business twitter account but has not tweeted from it in well over a year. If only she would pay me to run her twitter account for her.


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