I am a human being… no really – Job Hunt Part III


A real live human being

Really, I mean, this is me….. right here —–>

I live, I breathe, I cook, I clean (very occasionally, though I don’t iron) and I have feelings.  It might surprise you to learn that this blog doesn’t write itself…. no, I’m here tapping away at the keyboard.  I have yet to find a way to transfer my thoughts to the computer without that tapping process…. onerous as it might be.

But here’s the thing, it seems that in the 10 years since I last looked for a job, job applicants have ceased to be people and have become digital representations of themselves, to be treated like robots, to be given no respect whatsoever.  It seems to now be acceptable to have no contact with whosoever has taken the trouble to apply for a job at your gaff.  Hell, who am I to know that my application hasn’t just ended up in the trash or never even been opened in the first place.

Most job applications nowadays are on line.  Fine so far, I have no problem with that.  You send your application off into the ether and wait….. and wait…… and wait  and……. nothing.*  After a while you have to assume that you have not been successful.

What puzzles me is that we live in a world where communication is easier than it’s ever been and yet we seem to be giving up on it.  Certainly as far as jobs go it seems that employers no longer think they need to let potential employees know that they have considered your application and that you’ve been unsuccessful…. let alone give a reason why.  I fully recognise that there may be 100′s of people chasing one job, but when all of the information is input digitally, all that is required is a one or two sentence round robin and the hitting of a send button to let all the unsuccessful applicants know that a candidate has been found.  Is this too much to ask?

Way back in the dark ages of the 80′s when I was first rampant on the job market, computers were housed in the basement in huge rooms and most of the communication was still done by the “typing pool” (yep, I’m ancient I know); nonetheless, I always recieved a written reply to my applications – and at the time I was applying for graduate jobs in advertising which would have had hundreds of applicants (whatever induced me to think that advertising was for me I don’t know, but that’s a whole other story).

Recently I’ve had an even more bizarre situation – any of you following my job hunt will know that I fully believe that in a market like this one, flexibility is the key.  To this end I’ve been working with my local Transition Town to put a bid in to government for funding for a project.  We met their deadline, even got the application in 1/2 an hour early.  Yesterday was the deadline for them to get back to us to let us know whether we’d been successful – time passed – at 3pm I fired off an email asking when we’d be likely to know and how they’d be communicating our success or otherwise.  At 4.30 I got an email back saying that everyone would know whether they’d been successful or not by the 6th Feb.  I ask you!  If I hadn’t've asked I would now be assuming that we’d been unsuccessful (as many community groups probably are right now), and they still haven’t had the courtesy to send everyone a note to let them know that they’ve changed their own deadline.

Though this is partly a bitter monologue about not being called up for interview yet, underlying it is the fact that I really don’t want to live in a society where it’s OK to treat people like they don’t exist.  I don’t want to live in a place where rudeness is institutionalised.  Unfortunately, it’s where I find myself.  I do know, that when I’m back in a position to be employing people, I intend to never follow this modus operandi.

If you like this post you might also like these other posts on my job hunt:

Job Hunt I – A parenting CV
Job Hunt II – Flexi Mum

*OK, sometimes you might recieve an instant automatic email saying your application has been recieved…. but not always and to me this hardly counts as human intervention.






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5 Responses to I am a human being… no really – Job Hunt Part III

  1. Oh dear, that must be so frustrating – it’s certainly changed a lot since I last applied for a job which must be 12 years ago now.

    Good luck, keep at it, I’m sure the right job’s out there waiting. xx
    Nikki – A Mother in France recently posted..How to beat LethargyMy Profile

  2. I am so with you on this one. I have now been job hunting since last October when I was made redundant and it is rare to get a response to a job application unless you are asked for interview. Even when interviewed the response to say no can be slow. I have now got used to not hearing anything and I am more surprised when I do – tbh – even pleased to get an automatic email – at least you know your application got there! It is very frustrating and I think so rude. The excuse of getting 100′s of applications for each job does not wash with me – surely a quick standard email template that can be personalised would be easy enough. If I am ever (and I think this unlikely) in position to employ people I will most def reply to each and every one.
    Good luck by the way and keep us updated – it is so hard trying to find work when you have small children when you don’t have convenient (or helpful) family close by – we don’t either and I just wish I could dream up something where I could work from home.
    Rollercoaster Mum recently posted..The Happiness Project – What makes you happy?My Profile

  3. nlpmum says:

    Hi Rebecca and Nikki – it was all so frustrating I went out and created a job for myself – hence my total absence from twitter and here for the past month or so ;-) I work a lot with our local transition town and I helped them put in a bid for funding to government which included paying me to run the project should we get the funding….well, we got the funding and I landed the perfect job (for me anyway)…. working under pressure to very tight deadlines to deliver an energy festival, co-ordinating the green companies in the area, working from an office in our village for 3 days a week – flexible hours – perfik!!! Shame it’s to such tight deadlines since it finishes at the end of March ;-( I’ll be back blogging about my jobhunt again then…. Good luck with your hunt Rebecca – there’s something out there for you ;-)
    nlpmum recently posted..How bad are bananas?My Profile

  4. Reese says:

    Although I have not been in this kind of position myself, I have witnessed others and I feel their frustration (specially that “other” is my hubby). I have been in making the rounds in an industry where “walk-in” interviews are welcome and you will know by the end of the day if you made it or not. Have you considered just working fulltime from home?
    Reese recently posted..American Express Blue Sky Review: Airline Rewards with No Annual FeeMy Profile

    • nlpmum says:

      Absolutely Reese I have considered working full time from home and as luck would have it, that’s exactly what I’m doing at the moment….. a two month contract working on a grant funded project for our local transition town. BUT we were lucky to get the grant and they don’t come along every day. I’m constantly coming up with self-employed/work from home ideas, just haven’t managed to get any of them into a money earning state yet. I think I probably need to start knocking on doors and putting myself in front of people… mostly though it’s agencies who won’t put anyone but the obvious candidate up for the job …. and 7 years out and being 45 doesn’t put me in the obvious category….. whatever my skills and experience might be. I’m pretty multi-skilled though and I’m sure something will turn up!
      PS My current “in work” status totally explains the lack of updates on the blog…. where do working mums find the time!

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