It’s another day at the office for me as I sit in Starbucks somewhere in the middle of Bayswater. Ever since Cooper started work my ‘full time’ job has been to find a job. Evidently a small room in a dense block of flats is a little uninspiring, so I’ve found myself reveling among other London-based job seekers/students/travellers, all with the same idea – free WiFi, coffee, atmosphere and company at our local Starbucks. The only issue is the daily race to secure one the few power points in the restaurant. Note to the two business people speaking French during yesterday’s endeavour – share! Also, note to the couple who snuck the gorgeous white Labrador in and who sat next to me for half an hour – I don’t think that’s allowed but I’m not going to complain!
I’m going to have to say something about this soundtrack though… it hasn’t changed in over a week.
As I sift through the endless daily job-mail emails I’ve subscribed to and applying for everything and anything that may be vaguely relevant, I am resigned to the fact that of the hundreds of jobs I’ll apply for over the coming week, like the thousands of unemployed here at the moment I won’t hear back from 99% I’ve applied for.
I’m not depressed, but a little bewildered as to what to try next (although I’m not out of ideas, so all good for now). I’ve YouTubed for advice, only to discover many other young hopefuls have posted rants about their plight for work too, and rather than be inspiring, their stories were depressing. Many of them have nothing. Similarly my LinkedIn colleagues aren’t being overly helpful, and I’ve contacted every editor, PR company and network I can think of with not much response at all. Even despite a very sweet Twitter campaign begun by my @UniSex Magazine friends in Sydney who were trying to catch the attention of a certain London-based celebrity asking if he’d hire me (and no Darren, I’m not stalking you), there’s been no further leads on work.
Last week seemed promising, as several recruitment companies took my details, tested my expertise and are now on the lookout for work; but this week, very very quiet. Except for the sound of Frappacinos being mixed in the background, that is.
I’m learning quite a lot through this experience though. Recruitment companies here have been really helpful with tips on how to refine the resume, sell yourself in interviews, create little narratives around past work experience etc. My interview technique and resume will be absolutely perfect following this little adventure, and I’m thinking that it’s a bit like that old phrase – if you can make it in New York or London, you can make it anywhere. The landscape here is vast, competitive and specialised.
The only way forward is to keep at it though, and I’m already working on some pitches and unique angles to get myself noticed. At the moment it really feels like your resume just shoots into cyberspace and floats somewhere out there between Far Away Land and a Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Away. I know I’m not alone though (which is a good and bad thing) and I suppose it means I’ve got to get more creative in my applications.
Still, I have a coffee meeting with an editor of a fab mag on Friday (fingers crossed) and a plan for some further industry related study (while in London might as well brush up with the best of the best). I’ve also managed to score media accred into London Fashion Week (one of my ‘to do’s’ ticked off the UK list!) which begins at the end of this week, so that’s very exciting!
Experience and challenge, that is why I came here – and you never know what tomorrow will bring in the big city.