I have been told I have too much experience, I have been told I do not have any, I have been told I am to young or to old. I have been told I am way ahead of myself to be applying for a certain job, or not courageous enough to apply for another.
I have been applying for jobs for 8 years in 3 countries and honestly I don
t have a clue what recruiters want. There can not be obviously a universal system of recruitment, but there are some best practice guidelines that recruiters seem to be forgetting. Like disregarding the candidates nationality. Although there are several NGO`s fighting against this kind of discrimination, there is still a lot to be done.
I personally feel disadvantaged by my nationality here in Scotland. Consciously or not, but recruiters do take into consideration the candidate`s background. Otherwise why would the first question asked during an interview be “So where are you from exactly?” or “Do you have a working permit in the UK?” and assuming that I do not?
My mission is to transform my background into an asset. So far it has been a struggle, so in a way I have to believe that recruitment is like a lottery and that I am very very lucky.
One can easily sense
One can easily sense the frustration behind these recruitment experiences.
Listen, from what you’re saying I tend to think the problem is not the interviewing, but what’s behind it, apparently discrimination or lack of trust, stereotyping maybe… At Edgeryders we just begin to look at these issues in our new campaign Living Together, but didn’t even want to put them on the table per se - check this out http://edgeryders.ppa.coe.int/page/plural-and-pluralistic-societies because we wanted a fresh outlook that’s genuinely constructive…
What about those 8 years you’ve been applying for jobs? can it be that sometimes you just weren’t qualified? Also, it wasn’t always unsuccessful, was it? What kind of jobs were you looking for?
You have to read this report here: it starts with “Recently (early 2011) I decided to try to get a job to show that I am not a complete misfit.” http://edgeryders.ppa.coe.int/surviving-recruitment/mission_case/two-fails-one-partial-win-general-not-worth-it
And another one by Lyne, she actually enrolled in Job search programs that were supposed to teach her how to find and apply for jobs: http://edgeryders.ppa.coe.int/surviving-recruitment/mission_case/out-box
My old and wise friend Paolo
Hello Anca! On my very first job after university I met a man named Paolo, who went on to become my best friend. This man has a very refreshing, independent way of thinking, and he enjoyed nuking my preconceptions. One thing he liked to say is that it is much easier to find employment in a very narrow, ultraspecialized area than in a very broad and defined one.
My friend’s thinking has had a lot of influence on the way I looked for work ever since. I try to be very specific: “I want to develop industrial policies for the music industry to maximize its beneficial impact on regional development”. “I am an advocate of open government, skilled at designing online and offline collaborative environments for citizens to cooperate contrsuctively with institutions.” I emphasize activities, not skills, so that I don’t have to say “I have a degree in this, a master in that, I have worked in this and that other areas, find me something to do”.
I realize that this does not solve the problem of structured recruitment: in fact, I got nost of my jobs through informal recruitment procedures (I played this mission too - see here - , and I, like you, am skeptical). But hey, I cannot influence the way recruiters work; what I can do is control my own angle of the interaction.
Interestingly, another Edgeryder called Marco - also a foreigner in Scotland - has painted a much more optimistic picture of the labor market in the UK (see here, also the comments - maybe you want to add to that discussion?).
Life`s funny ways…
It seems that all my frustration poured in my mission a few weeks ago, had an impact on the Universal kharma or something (although I don
t even know if I believe in that). Anyway, I have been offered a job just days after writing this mission. The job is not in Scotland, it is in Budapest and it has been offered to me by my fiances brother. So although for me personally it works for the best, in terms of global labour market I am afraid it is another case slight nepotism. I am sure that I will do very well, I have the skills and the experience to achieve good results, but the way I got the job still troubles me.
I decided to embrase my chance and take the job regardless of my ethical worries. I figure all the refuses and the frustrating job search experiences had to pay off somehow.
The fact that my new job starts on the 11th of June and I will not be able to attend the Edgeryderes conference in Strasbourg, just shows that nothing is for free in life…Maybe I do believe in Kharma afterall