Posts

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…

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…

Its Not Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

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…

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…

Do Us A Favour..

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 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.…

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…

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…

Time for a CV refresh

If you’ve read my very first post, you’ll know that my first inkling of being made redundant was a vague meeting request that popped into my inbox on a Friday afternoon (I still can’t believe that they did it on a Friday afternoon!). It was so ambiguous and unusual that I knew straight away it…

A Tale Of Two Lockdowns

It’s been a weird year. Hopefully, at some point, things will drift back to something a little more familiar, and we’ll all get the opportunity to reflect on how living through COVID and Lockdown affected and changed us.   In the first of what will hopefully be many guest posts, Joe Macbeth gets that ball rolling.…

Being a part of the Gig Economy

Money, specifically the lack of it is a worry most of us will have at some point. When you’ve been made redundant, it’s somehow amplified. An hour doesn’t go by without imagining the vision of your bank balance, slowly counting down, knowing that at the end of the month, the counter isn’g going to be…

Lock down Survival Top 10: No.6, Coffee Machine

Sometimes it’s the small things. Sometimes you don’t need the latest phone, running the new and trendiest apps. Sometimes you need a piece of kit that just does the basics and does them well. My 13-year-old coffee machine is such a device. It’s so entwined in my daily routine, it means a lot to me,…

Not the 50th birthday I was expecting

Even though I’ve been writing technical documentation and training material for over 20 years, I don’t call myself a writer. But I know through experience that writing can sometimes be a challenge. Sometimes, the words don’t seem to flow as easily as they should and now is one of those times. I’m struggling to write…

Be a lighthouse; share your story

Job hunting is something that you tend to do on your own, something you do solo.  After a while, always staring at the same old websites, continually waiting to hear back from job applications you made a week ago, it gets easy to assume that you’re in this boat on your own and that no…

A little victory

Today, after 42 days spent applying for 25 jobs. Getting five rejections and submitting my CV to so many websites, I’m surprised I’m not labelled a spammer. Something positive happened.I got a call from a recruiter. It was on the back of another unsuccessful job application. Still, they wanted to know more. My work history,…

Would you employ ‘jagerbomber69@hotmail.com’

If you use email for personal use, you may have had the same email address for a while. When you created it, you may not have given too much thought to how suitable it would be for job hunting. But there are a few things to consider.  Does it give the right impression?  Is it…

Lockdown Survival Top 10 : No.7, Musicals

I ate my first mushroom about sixteen years ago. For a vegetarian, not eating mushrooms is similar to meat-eater, not eating sausages. You can get by, but you feel that you’re missing out, and you know that life will be a little easier if you did. I don’t remember consciously deciding to eat a mushroom.…

Lockdown Survival Top 10: No.8, Online Shopping

I went to my local Asda a week before lock-down kicked in, and it was horrible. Something odd was happening, but it was hard to pin down exactly what.  People were throwing themselves into the shop only to find empty shelves.  It was like the week before Christmas, but without the false sense of fun.…

LinkedIn

Linkedin is a valuable tool to to use when you’re job hunting. It allows you to form networks; it’s an excellent source of current news and information, and it lets you get “out there” and shows people you’re available and looking for a job. But it’s bloody horrible to use. The user front end is…

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…

Lockdown Survival Top 10 : No.9, Perfect Draft

I like going out for a drink. I’m not that fussy where I go; it could be a trendy cocktail bar, a dive bar or even a fussy gastro-pub. But more often than not, it’s an ordinary pub. It’s not so much the beer I go for, although that’s a bonus. The reason I like…

Lockdown Survival Top 10 : No.10, My PlayStation

On March 17th I went into lockdown. Since then, apart from trips to walk around the block, I’ve left my house three times. Once, for a school friends funeral, the others to take my newly adopted cats to and from the vets. I’ve been at home more or less continuously for four months. I used…

The lycra is staying in the cupboard for a little while longer

Job hunting is something I don’t enjoy. A necessary evil, yes, but something I find a chore with minimal reward (apart from what’s hopefully going to happen at some point). Even though technology has made it easier to filter out roles that aren’t relevant to me, I still find myself each morning reviewing the same…

Two weeks in…..

I’ve been officially redundant for two weeks, so it’s a good time to pause for a second and see where things are. Am I closer to finding a job? Well, yes, but there’s still a long way to go.  I’ve completed my CV and its uploaded to all of the usual suspects. I’ve made contact…

Things I’m not going to miss since being made redundant

Missing friends and family when I”m overseas.Spending 5+ hours a day commuting to work.Getting up at 6am every morning.Having to goto bed at 2200 every night.’That’ feeling on Sunday mornings.Outlooks, ‘ping’ every 5 mins when new mail drops into my inbox.People calling 20 minute meetings when a 3 minute phone call would have worked insteadWorking…

My new routine

It’s week two of being officially redundant, and I’ve fallen into a new routine. It’s tempting to spend all of my time just job hunting, and it’s something that I think I’ll end up doing. But at the moment, given that the job market is still quite dry, especially in my line of work, it’s…

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…

A summary of the redundancy process

The redundancy process is complicated and will differ between person to person. You can find a detailed description of the process and its rules and regulations on the gov.uk website. The following though is a summary of that process, from a friend who works in HR. They regularly have to go through the redundancy process…

A recruiters view on CV’s

When it comes to CV’s, each recruiter looks at a CV differently. We all have different preferences and respond positively to different things, so you’ll never please everyone all of the time, but these are things I look for when I review a CV. My personal preference is to start with the oldest job first…

It’s the end of the world as we know it….

Today is the last day I’ll be officially working for my company. At 5 pm, I’ll be unemployed. I’ll be on my own, and the uncertainty cranks up a little. I’ve had to do the modern equivalent of clearing my desk, deleting old files from my laptop, uninstalling the company VPN and sending back keys…

Notes from meeting 3 : Follow up to my email

Thursday 25/06/20  Not very positive. I think I held my own, but this is the first time things got a little heated.   The highlight was my Line Manager, who is terrible in situations like this. Ums, urrs, always looks down, never looks directly into the camera, etc. Trying to share her desktop and in doing…

The many disappeared

Saturday 20th June 20 My ex-company is the type where people disappear without warning. There tends to be a proclamation heralded by horn playing cherubs when someone joins. Emails and press releases that extol their previous work, life and achievements are circulated. But very very little when they leave. Sometimes there’s nothing. They vanish first…

Random things I’m going to miss

Listening to Wittertainment on the car radioCatching up with people in the kitchen when I used to make a cup of teaOveruse of drive-through StarbucksListening to the company receptionist being polite to callers, only to start verbally (and very loudly) berating them as soon as they hung upCommunal boxes of biscuits Calling home and telling my…

Notes from meeting 2 : Start of Consultation period

17th June 20 This meeting was the second meeting in the process and followed the ‘You’re at a notice of redundancy meeting’ last week. It formally started the ‘consultation period.’ Similar to the last meeting, my advice was to listen, but start to ask any challenging questions if there was a chance. It was my…

There maybe (money) trouble ahead….

Tuesday 16th June 2020 Another retrospective post. It took me a while to come up with this plan, but I wanted to mention it towards the start of my Blog, where it was most relevant. Also, as ‘the plan’ uses the amount of money in my final redundancy package, I needed to know that figure…

I’ve bad feelings about this……. (Part One)

Monday 15th June 2020 I’ll be honest; I’m not writing this the day after I was made redundant. At that time, I didn’t even know I was going to write about it or build this website. I’m writing it a few weeks later. But I did want to write something down that describes how I…

Notes from my first interview: Made aware of the risk of redundancy

A short meeting. I planned to show no emotion, ask very few questions and generally be quite vague. The company have started this process and at this point are in full control. I hoped that they explain their plans and reasoning clearly, and I can always comment later. They are dictating the games that we’re…