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Just been placed at risk of redundancy?

Between now and the Governments furlough scheme ending, a lot of people are going to find themselves redundant or in a redundancy process. There are some estimates of the unemployment rate being 7.5% by the end of the year.

If you receive the dreaded, email, call, letter or even text message, then the following information might be useful.  

I’ve summarised the redundancy process before.

https://myredundancyjourney.com/2020/07/17/a-summary-of-the-redundancy-process/

The BBC website also has an excellent summary.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53501506

The UK.Gov website is also very useful.

(https://www.gov.uk/redundancy-your-rights).

Now is not the time to panic; you should be at the start of a process that will take between 7-14 days to go through. But it will help to get things in order as soon as you can. Get a plan together. Be prepared.

If you can, as close to the start of the process as possible……

  • Know your rights and understand the process you should be going through.
  • Throughout the process, make sure that everything is ‘fair’. If you feel it’s not, then get some advice about the best way to proceed. This could be a friend with HR knowledge, or something more formal (I’ll have a post about this asap).
  • Record a timeline of events so that you have a clear idea to what happened when (this was mine https://myredundancyjourney.com/2020/07/20/my-redundancy-timeline/)
  • Get recent copies of your terms of employment and your companies redundancy policy. Don’t assume that you already know these. They might have changed over time.
  • Check your finances. Compare your outgoings against an estimate of your redundancy package and trim the fat if necessary. There’s a useful redundancy calculator at https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay.
  • Check what benefits you might be entitled to claim.
  • If you can, speak to your trade union and see if they can offer any short term help (advice, finance etc.) or long term help (retraining, help with job hunting, grants, career advice etc.).
  • During the process, check everything. Financials, holiday days owing, length of service. Check everything and check often. Don’t assume that your company will get it correct.
  • At some point, you’re going to need to start looking for a job so you’ll need the job seekers tool kit of access to the internet, CV, job site accounts, filtered email notifications, references, etc. Now is an excellent time to get that ball rolling. My resources page has a few ideas https://myredundancyjourney.com/resources/

Welcome to the ‘club’, I hope you don’t stay for long.

Featured

Live!

This website went live at 1600 on Friday 17th July.

My ex-company told me that I was at risk of redundancy on Monday, 15th June 20, and I thought about creating this site shortly after that meeting. But, realising that I didn’t’ have much content, I decided to give myself a few weeks before going live, as I thought that would be enough time to do more research, learn WordPress and put some thoughts down on (virtual) paper.

The range, quality and amount of that content will increase over the next few weeks, and I sincerely hope that if you are at risk of redundancy, or you’ve been made redundant already, that there’s something here that you find interesting or can help.

If you’ve any thoughts and would like to add anything, then please put them in an email and send them over (pf@myredundancyjourney.com)

We’re all in this together, so let’s look out for each other.

It’s 1600 on Friday. So I’m off for a cold beer.

It’s Been a While!

Happy New Year!

There’s an episode of Curb your Enthusiasm where Larry discusses how long after the 1st January you can wish someone Happy New Year, and it be appropriate. Apparently, anything after three days is poor form. So I dread to think what sort of face he’d pull when I do it almost four weeks after we opened the champagne at home, all wishing there was a better way to celebrate.

Still, as I’d not had the opportunity to express that particular salutation until now, I thought it necessary, and I can explain why it’s taken me four weeks into January before writing my first 2021 post.

Before Christmas, the plan was to take a couple of weeks off and get away from everything job-related. It had been quite a challenging six months, and I just needed to have a little time off from the day to day grind and worry about finding a job.

But that didn’t happen.

A couple of days into my ‘holiday’, a recruiter called me out of the blue and told me I looked like a good fit for a role they were trying to fill. Then literally a few hours after, another recruiter called me with news that I’d successfully passed the first stage of an application process I’d previously given up on and I was now at the interview stage. So much for the time off.

Both interviews took place a few days before Christmas, and on the 23rd December, two days before Christmas, weirdly within the same hour, both recruiters got back in touch. They each told me that I’d been successful and made the second interview stage, which was due to happen after Christmas.

Both of those interviews took place in the second week of January, and both went well.

Then finally, after six months, after an anxious wait, the phone rang and at the other end was an offer of a new job.

Then, within the same hour, the phone rang again, and I got another job offer. I’d been successful for both roles.

Both were great, and after a day of weighing up the pro’s and cons’ of each one, I accepted the one that was a little bit more hands-on than the other, and regrettably let the other company know that I wouldn’t be joining them (and that was a lot harder than it sounds, the role, company and people were fantastic).

So it looks like I’m back in work. The uncertainty and worry about not having a job is fading away, and the anticipation of starting a new job is filling that empty void.

I start my new role on Wed 3rd May and wish me luck.

The journey though isn’t over. Having walked the path from being made redundant to getting a new job, I have a few more thoughts that I’d like to share. It just might not be as frequently as before Christmas.

But Life is suddenly becoming a little more normal, and hopefully, when we all get that little shot in the arm, everything else will continue to head in the same direction for all of us.

Time to crack open the ‘special’ bottle of whisky.

Happy Christmas

When I was made redundant in July, I remember sitting outside in the blazing sun talking things through with my other half. At that time Christmas seemed a long way off. We both thought that by the time we were munching through mince pies, the world would be getting back to normal and I’d be setting into a new job and a new routine.

It turns out we were wrong on both counts. We’re still locked down, and I’m still trawling through job boards that seem to have gone into some form of Christmas hibernation.

In the time we’ve moved from sipping Pimms to sipping Snowballs, the job hunting has been relentless.  

  • 145 – days I’ve been unemployed
  • 100+ – The number of jobs I’ve applied for (I’ve lost count, but I think it’s 105)
  • 9 – The number of jobs I’ve applied for that I’ve been genuinely excited about
  • 11 – The number of interviews that I’ve attended
  • 4 – the number of times someone has told me my experience was to niche for a particular role
  • 3 – number of times a recruiter has just ghosted me
  • 5 – the number of different versions of my CV
  • 2 – the number of spelling mistakes in the first version of my CV
  • 8 – The number of active alerts I have on various job boards

So I’ve decided that it’s time for a Job Hunting holiday. 

It’s time to take a break so that I can get away from looking for a job; get some relief worrying about money and get away from anything to do with my redundancy. And that includes writing posts for this website.

I’m turning on my job hunting out of office, and I’ll be away until Tuesday 5/1/21. I’ll be posting the usual stuff fon Facebook and Twitter though, and I’ll be back in Jan with new posts for this site.

Thanks for visiting over the last few months, and I’ll see you in Jan. Hopefully next year will be a lot better than this one

Have a great Xmas

Stay positive

PF

Its Not Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Yes this was just an excuse to post of photo of a dog

Christmas was always going to be a bit weird this year. The songs on the radio are the same, and the same old films are playing on the TV, but this isn’t a Christmas of choice. It’s a Christmas of making do.

Everyone is making do due to Covid, but thousands of us are also living with redundancy and the implications that not having a regular income throws up, and it feels a lot worse at Christmas. For me, it means I’m not able to push the boat out as much as I usually do and spoil family and friends, with slightly over the top presents. The irony is that they should be getting so much more this year over any other, given all of the help and support they’ve given me since I lost my job in July.

I wish I could buy the electronics, posh cosmetics and funky comedy socks they deserve, but will never expect, and that I could take them out to overpriced bars and restaurants and show then how thankful I am for their ongoing support and love.

But due to Covid and redundancy, I can’t, and that’s one of the hardest things I’ve faced this or any Christmas. They all know the position I’m in, and all will be perfectly happy with what ends up under their tree, even if it’s only an orange and a couple of lumps of coal.

But I wish I could do more.

Next year though, is going to be epic. I promise

What A Week!

I don’t know whether to celebrate or commiserate.

I’ve dreamed of being glued to the TV, watching someone from the government stand behind an oversized lectern and tell me that a vaccine for Covid was ready and was about to be rolled out, and we’re at last (hopefully) heading back to something more normal.

And that happened yesterday.

But it also came with the news that three weeks before Xmas thousands will be losing their jobs, and face what should be the happiest time of the year, wondering how to pay their bills, buy presents and how to get food on the table.

So I can’t bring myself to crack open the champagne and skip down the road in celebration of the prospect of two needles jabbed into my arm. (I couldn’t do this anyway as the city I live in is in tier 3)

So I’m raising a glass in honour of science and to all of those who have got us this far. It may not be the end of this weird world we found ourselves in, but hopefully, it’s the start of the end.

But I’m keeping it aloft for a couple of extra seconds, with thoughts, love and best wishes to anyone who is facing the prospect of Xmas without an income.

Do Us A Favour..

Slightly Grumpy

I’m not one for grumbling, but after four months grinding through the daily job application cycle, it’s time for a little vent. I know recruiting for new people is a challenge, but there are a few things recruiters could be doing to make things a little easier for those of us looking for work. Finding a job isn’t easy (I appreciate that finding the right person for a role isn’t either) but most of us in the redundancy boat are worrying about paying bills, taking care of the family and keeping positive. So please do me a favour..

Please don’t leave me hanging.

Please Don’t Leave Me HangingAbove all else, If you say you’ll get back to me, then get back to me. There’s nothing worse to be left waiting for the phone to ring day in day out wondering where things are. I know you’re busy, but don’t promise to be in touch unless you’re sure you’ll be able too. I’d rather hear bad news, than no news. Don’t worry; I can take it.

Don’t ghost me

We’ve spoken five times over the last two days, talking about my application, and loads of emails have flown between us. Then suddenly you vanish. The last I knew you’d submitted the CV I’d just spent hours customising for the role we were applying for, and since then I’ve heard nothing. You also seem to be ignoring the answerphone messages I’m leaving you. Where’ve you gone? What have I done wrong? I thought you cared.

Please don’t make me jump through unnecessary hoops.

My CV contains 99% of the information you’ll need to decide if I’m a good fit for your role, and the chances are that my covering letter tops up anything missing. So once I’ve answered your request to submit my CV, please don’t signpost me to your website and numerous online forms, only to make me re-enter all of the same information again. It’s going to take me an age to work through a clunky set of forms, only for a second after hitting ‘SUBMIT, an email bounce-back telling me that my application has been unsuccessful. It’s incredibly annoying, and please at least tell me why I don’t fit. There’s enough parsing tech out there now to make this an automated process, and there’s no real reason not to use it other than penny-pinching.

Be more descriptive

It’s going to help us both if you add a little more detail to the job title your advertising, rather than using something generic. For instance, instead of advertising a role as ‘Project Manager’, promote it as ‘IT Project Manager’, or ‘Construction Project Manager’. It means that I don’t have to trawl through roles that I’m not interested in, and also means that you won’t be getting applications that aren’t relevant.

Oh, and why we’re talking about job listings, please keep the business speak to a minimum. Often less of more. I cringe every time I see a position looking for a ‘confident self-starter’ who can transform the business environment and challenge the company’s preconceptions and attitude’. It means nothing. Everyone should be doing that anyway, and in all honesty, whos going to look at it and say, ‘Nah, that’s not me’. It’s business speak for the sake of business-speak and is unnecessary.

Finally, be honest, and please give me feedback to why I’ve been unsuccessful for a role. I think I’m great (remember, I’m a confident self-starter’ who can transform the business environment and challenge the companies preconceptions and attitude’). So I want to know why you think I’m not a good fit for this role, why the other person was and what I could have done better. Don’t worry. I can handle the reasons for rejection. I’ve had plenty of recent experience.

A day at the races

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to sunny Ascot.

It’s a perfect day for racing, and welcome to the inaugural running of the ‘Which Generation Should We Hire’ hurdle 2020. Sponsored by Employment Cohorts, at the end of this race, we should know who’s in pole position to fill the few, precious vacant roles currently out there.

There are four runners today: the favourite, Millenial, a 33-year-old stallion. Favoured by the bookies, this horse is socially aware, fit, healthy and ethically sound and must be in pole position. Chomping at the bit next to them, is Gen-Z, the new kid on the block. It’s the first trip out of the stables for this enthusiastic go-getter.  Unproven but cheaper to maintain than the others, Gen-Z could be a dark horse in today’s race.  Lurking on the rails looking a little bit anxious about the form of Gen-Z and Millenial is Generation-X.  Having been around since the ’70s, they’ve been around the block. There’s still some fuel in the tank, but they are looking a little jaded.  Finally, taking their time to stroll up to the starting gate after a bit of nap, is Baby Boomer. This old boy was around in the ’60s and has seen and done it all.

They line up.

And they’re off, heading to the first fence; Work-life Balance.

Gen-Z flies to the front of the pack but then pulls up quickly. Noticing a few friends in the crowd, they seem a little distracted and pop over for a quick chat. Millenial leaps over perfectly and takes the lead, obviously knowing the exact time to jump and how best to nail the landing.  Generation-X barely makes it over, stumbling as they land.  It looked like they were a little bit concerned about timing everything perfectly and jumped too late.  Baby Boomer is last to the fence but miraculously manages to keep up with the leaders by slipping around the side. They’ve obviously done this before and knew about a shortcut.

Gen-Z rejoins the pack after their friends meander off towards the finish line. All four horses charge to the second fence: Using Technology.

As you’d expect, a steady jump from Millenial. But the surprise here is Generation-X who flies over the fence just behind them.  I guess experiencing so many giant leaps in technology means they just aren’t phased when anything technological gets in their way.  Baby Boomer and Gen-Z have pulled up.  It looks like Gen-Z is helping Baby Boomer over.  Now, that’s what I call kindness.

Millenial is in the lead with Generation-X close behind. Baby Boomer and Gen-Z are towards the rear as we move onto fence number 3: LifeStyle.

Hold on; there’s a problem with Gen-Z.  They’ve wandered over to the ‘Should I Go To University’ Stakes.  I’m not sure they know which is the better race for them yet. They probably want to try a few before committing to one for the long haul.

Millenial is in the lead and reaches the fence first. But they’ve pulled up. They seem to have found a friend, and a little horse has appeared next to them. It looks like they are going to raise a family.  Well, that’s going to keep them busy for a while. 

Generation-X jumps the fence on their own, as Baby Boomer seems to have gone off for a round of golf.

There are 200 metres to go before the final fence:  Productivity.

Gen-Z has worked out that University isn’t for them and joins Baby Boomer, still in his plus fours, at the rear of the pack. Ahead of them Millenial, having found a friend of Generation-X to baby sit, is making good progress, seemingly muttering the words ‘have to win due to new commitments’. 

They all approach the final hurdle.

But BabyBoomer and Gen-Z have slowed down to a trot. Baby Boomer is showing the youngster how to jump this fence quickly. Baby Boomer has run this race a few times before and knows every nook and cranny of the course. That knowledge can only help Gen-Z. 

We’re in the final straight, Millenial and Gen-Z are pulling ahead. Generation-X and Baby Boomer seem to be tiring.

But Millennial is slowing. It looks like they’re checking their social media accounts and posing for a selfie. The distraction allows Gen-Z to pull into the lead, but spotting their friends in the crowds, Gen-Z drifts over to the grandstand.  They have to go and check that they’re not missing out on anything, giving Generation-X and Baby Boomer the opportunity to close the gap.

Baby Boomer is flying.  Someone in the crowd has thrown them an energy drink.  I guess having an established network of friends, colleagues and contacts can really help.  Generation-X is also making good ground.  Fed up of being written off, they seem to have a point to prove and seem focused on getting to the finish line as quickly as they can.

They approach the line…

And it’s a dead heat.

A fantastic race and a bad day for the bookies with all four horses technically coming in first.

They all had something different to offer and came with their own particular set of problems, but they all did an excellent job and actually supported each other throughout the race. I was amazed at how well they all worked together.

If we’ve learned anything today, it’s that grouping people into ‘social cohorts’ and stereotyping them with a predefined set of positives and negatives is not necessarily the best approach to filling vacancies.

On that note, it’s goodbye from Ascot, thanks for joining us and I’ll see you next time.

A Slightly Alternative Top Ten of things I’ve Found Useful when Job Hunting (Part Two)

The second part of my slightly unusual Top Ten things useful for job hunting..

5 – Playstation

Job hunting is not fun. It’s repetitive, thankless and can be very un-rewarding and it’s easy to get disheartened by it all. So it’s essential to find something that gets you away from it from time to time. For me, it’s a Playstation, specifically Call of Duty. I make sure I take an hour or two every couple of days to get online and play some games. It keeps my sane.

4 – Screen Recording Software

When you do get an interview, check it’s ok with the interviewer, but if you can record it. Then once it’s over review it and check how you look sat in front of the camera. Check the background doesn’t contain anything it shouldn’t. Check how well you’re framed in the shot (eyes should be in the top third, not in the middle), and finally, check your performance. Are you looking at the camera when you should and not staring vacantly into space? How do you come across, any visual ticks?

3 – Get a good headset

You don’t want to look like a Cyberman or 1980’s DJ, so make sure you’ve got a headset that’s comfortable to wear and doesn’t affect how you speak or act. For me, it’s a truly wireless pair of headphones, and I only wear one of the pair so that I can also hear ‘natural’ noise and how I sound. I place the other one just in front of me, but out of shot, so the mic is still picking up my speech. A thing to watch with a wireless headset is that it holds enough battery charge to cover the length of the interview. My old ones die after 45 mins.

2 – Review

Every couple of weeks review how things are going. If it’s quiet and the phone isn’t ringing from recruiters wanting to talk to you, or employers following up applications, something is possibly wrong, and you could be doing something better. Review your CV and see if it needs a rewrite. Ask yourself if it contains the right information and if it’s uploaded to the right places. It could make some sense to make different versions, but check your use of keywords and if possible, ask someone to read it and give you some feedback.  

1- A bottle of your favourite tipple 

The day to day grind of job hunting can get repetitive, and it’s easy to lose some motivation. To keep me on track and to give me something to work towards, I’ve placed a 12-year-old bottle of Bourbon on my kitchen table. Every time I see it, it reminds me why I shouldn’t get downhearted with all of the rejections, and why it’s just as important today to stay positive as it was when all of this started. I also know that one day, when I get that magical phone call, I can crack to cork and finally get to see what it tastes like in the best of circumstances.

A Slightly Alternative Top Ten of things I’ve Found Useful when Job Hunting (Part One)

A quick search of the net will throw up numerous ‘job hunting top tens’. I thought I might as well join in, but I wanted to give it a bit of a spin. So welcome to my top ten of the slightly alternative things I’ve found useful when job hunting.

This is part one, part two will follow. In reverse order 

10 – A professional-looking Email Address

I’ve discussed this before, but having a dedicated, easy to read email address does make you stand out. It also helps to funnel all of the inevitable spam into one inbox. It’s good to keep some separation between the day to day emails about cats in hats, and the emails about your job hunting. Separate email addresses let you do just that.

9 – A Good Email Client

Once you get emails flooding into your ‘job hunting’ account, you’ll need to make sure they are organised. The chances are that you’re going to apply for lots of very similar roles, so keep application receipts organised and easily accessible so that you can quickly find them when you answer the phone to ‘Hi, it’s Jayne from Best Company Ever and I’m calling about your recent application’. Find an email client that works for you. There’s a lot about, just search the app stores and don’t just default to using Outlook (although it is pretty good), or the client that comes with your phone. Play around and try different ones, and find one that works best for you. They all have different functionality so experiment and find one that fits in perfectly with how you manage your emails.

8 – Get a Routine

Treat your job hunt as ‘work’, and get a daily routine. I tend to check the job listings first thing in the morning and last thing at night. In between, I’ll work on applications and answering any follow-ups. I also tend to take breaks and lunch at the same time each day. The routine helps me stay focused.

7 – Get a Big pile of books

At some point, you will need to talk to people, and in these weird Covid times the chances are it will be online using something like Zoom. So like it or not, you’re going to be on camera, and you’ll need to pay some attention to how you’re going to look from the end. The quality of forward-facing cameras built into phones, tablets and laptops are fine, but their positioning during interviews can cause some weird effects. If you leave the device on your desk then once the webcam is active, you’ll fall foul of the ‘up the nose’ camera shot complete with a small chin and colossal forehead. The trick to looking better is to raise your laptop to head height, and the most convenient way of doing this is to use a pile of books. Or even a chair on a table.

6 – Post-it notes

The other benefit of online interviews is that the interviewer can only see what your camera can, so you have all of the space to the rear of the camera for notes, crib sheets and photos of cats (to make sure you smile). In my interviews, I write notes on large post-it notes and plaster them around my monitor and camera so that I have the relevant information at hand when I get that tricky question. I can also throw up some reminders to my strong points, notes about the company I’m trying to join and any ‘key messages’ I want to make sure I bring up.

Thats part one, the top five will follow

It’s not me, It’s you..

Dear John (the Recruitment Decision Maker)

We need to have ‘that’ talk. We need to discuss our relationship.

The last few days have been wonderful. We met online. I saw your ad, you reviewed my CV, and for a few fleeting days, we both thought this was going to work. You playfully teased me with your development pathway and holiday entitlement; I wooed you with my qualifications and experience.

But since we managed to hook up, I’ve heard nothing from you.

I know traditionally we’d meet in person, and that this time it had to be online, but I thought we had hit it off. You asked questions that I thought I’d answered well. We had a rapport, I made you laugh, and I wasn’t even shocked when you told me that you were talking to other people and that you were going to decide who you wanted to take things further with within the next few days.

It’s just that since then, I’ve heard nothing from you and I don’t know why or where I stand.

Every time the phone rings I hope it’s you, and I’m checking my inbox every ten minutes just in case you decide to write. I know that I may not be ‘the one’, but I did a lot to make it work. Even if you’ve decided that it was never going to work out between us, I’d like to know why and what has changed since we sat down and stared into each other eyes (over Zoom).

So please don’t ghost me. We’ve only had a brief relationship, but I thought I was worth more than that, and frankly, I expected more from you.

Yours Discouraged from Nottingham

The Gig Economy : Utest Software Testing

I’m still trying to make ends meet using the Gig Economy.

Following my tour of bus shelters, I thought I’d try something more familiar, software testing. Before being made redundant, testing software had been a large part of my day to day life. It was something I knew I could do, so I registered with UTest (UTest.com), who bridge the gap between companies with new apps or websites to test, and a community of 400,000 software testers. Well now actually 400,001.

The first step is to register, and its a little complicated. It involves visiting the UTest website, adding the usual set of personal info, and completing a UTest profile. A profile is a list of devices that you own, and that you’re happy to use for testing. It could include laptops, tablets and phones, and also smart home devices, streaming services and even cars. As well as the hardware, you also add model numbers, operating systems and software versions. I’d added seven devices, so this took me an age, having to trawl through various settings and menus to find the necessary information.

The UTest profile also contains a users UTest rating. This rating goes up once bugs are approved, but down if there’s any deviation from the test plan, or if a tester, reports duplicate bugs. In simple terms, the higher a users rating, the more projects they’ll be involved in, and the more money they’d make.

Payment comes in two ways. Firstly, there’s a flat fee for taking part in a test project, and also individual payments for each approved bug you find. This amount goes up depending on how severe the bug is. Payment amounts differ from project to project, but typically finding a non-critical bug, like a typo, spelling mistake or layout problem would pay around £3-4, but finding a critical issue, like forcing an application to crash could earn £10-15.

Once the profile is complete, the next port of call is the UTest Acadamy. The Acadamy is where you learn how UTest works and where UTest explains their rules and policies, and it’s excellent. There are lots of informative videos to browse through, and also a test website where you can practice hunting for bugs.  

Having some history with software testing, I thought I’d know most of the basics, so I jumped straight in with testing, only having watched half of the videos. In hindsight, this wasn’t a good idea. Fifteen minutes into my first testing job, I was utterly baffled by the reporting process, platform UI and admin. I also fell foul of breaking some of UTests basic rules. I uploaded a .mov and not a .mp4, which turns out is not the done thing at all. The test admin, actually called TTL (Test Team Leader), was very helpful though and pointed me in the right direction, and more importantly, didn’t take any points off my rating.

Since then, I’ve been a part of five projects ranging from testing mobile phone apps to shopping websites. I can’t say who/what they were, as I’ve had to sign an NDA, but they were from major high street and online retailers. 

I’ve actually enjoyed the testing I’ve done. It feels like ‘real work’, and it’s quite exciting when you find a bug.  

There are though a few negatives. The main one being that testing isn’t as easy as you may think. Setting up the tests and reporting issues can be very complicated. You need a good robust set of IT skills even to attempt a testing session. So far, I’ve rekindled my skills in video transcoding and editing. Set web proxies, sideloaded applications and learned about console browser logs. The list goes on..

I was also surprised by how convoluted the ‘report an issue’ process was. I was testing a website on my android phone and, as per the instructions of the test when I found a bug I needed to.. record the screen of my phone showing the issue. Get this recording to my laptop (I used OneDrive), edit the video so that it only contained the problem. Add a blur effect to the footage if it showed sensitive data. Finally, I then had to covert this video to mp4 and upload it to the platform and check it played. I’d found four bugs so I had to do this four times and it was all a bit tedious and time-consuming.

But in the end, I made about £70 for about five hours of work. I also learned a lot, and once I’m a little more experienced, I’ll probably get quicker. 

All in all, it’s an excellent side hustle, maybe even more than that. There is talk that you can make a living out of this once your rating improves. The issue is, as it always is with the Gig Economy, is the uncertainty that there’ll be work tomorrow, and then the day after, and the day after..

Pros

  • You could potentially make a living out of this, providing that you can find regular tests to be a part of.
  • This is ‘real work’ and could go on your CV.
  • Getting your hands on, and testing the latest apps, websites, and tech is exciting and can be fun.  
  • The UTest academy is excellent and gives you enough knowledge to get your testing ball rolling.

Cons

  • ‘Work’ could dry up at any minute.
  • Registration is quite involved.
  • You’ll need a lot of devices to get regular work.
  • The testing process differs from Test to Test, and it can get confusing
  • You need good IT skills. I found myself video editing, transcoding setting gup Web proxies. (all straight forward once you know how)
  • Not everyone is suited to software testing.