Monday, 7 April 2014

Careers advice

Saw a careers guru, from my old University. ('Which one?', you might cheekily ask. 'You've been to, like, four of them.' Ha, ha. The first one. The beautiful esteemed institution where my journey through higher education began, with a BA and a First and an existential crisis - 'What do I do with my liiiiiife?….' -  which led me to stay in education for about ten years. I'm ready to move on now, hence why I am frequenting the Careers Services.) This careers guru is one who specialises in alumni changing jobs. I spotted him in the alumni magazine which I was about to throw in the bin. I emailed him immediately for an appointment.

And I told him about myself. Finished a PhD, looking for a job. Have a CV that says 'teacher'. And I don't know what to do. I like writing, creating art, telling people things. The careers guru 'got' me; he knew where I was going with this. 'Teaching is very draining', he said. 'If you get a 9 yo 5 job, especially if you can eventually reduce your hours to four days a week and go part-time, it gives you the time to build your brand on the side. Because what YOU are talking about is building a brand.' 

Then he talked me through some CV basics, things I had never really known before. Apparently, your cover letter can be structured like this: paragraph 1 should say 'I am amazing' ('I am a first-class graduate with a PhD from…'). Paragraph 2 must say 'I love you'. (Guru: 'They will give the job to the person who loves them the most.') Paragraph 3 is the person specification for the job, and how you match it. 

And he told me: you must work on your interview technique, so that when a perfect job comes up, you get it. 

That was in November. Since then, boosted by the guru's pep talk, I got myself a couple of interviews. One of them for a job I would have liked very much. I made it through the interview stage and didn't get the job. I never rang up to ask for feedback, for some reason feeling put off by the thought of disturbing the busy people in their busy lovely office. (Should have done, though.) Since then, stagnation. 

I must step up the job hunt again.  

No comments:

Post a Comment