Friday 14 October 2011

Job Seek Her - The story of my efforts to gain employment

So, ok, I do have a job.  But I only work for five and a bit hours a week.  The money comes in handy, but I am available for other work.  I'd love to get out there, meet new people, contribute to the household.  But for someone in my position, it's not easy.

For many years, I was the main breadwinner in our house.  I was successful, I made decisions, I wasn't just someone's mum.  Then it came time the eldest of my lads to start school.  I wanted him to go to our local school, which meant our previous childcare arrangement no longer worked.  So I gave up work.  Although I've never regretted spending all those years with the boys when they were younger, I would have liked to have done both.  My OH would be first to admit that he took a firm step back and never allowed any flexibility in his work-life to help accommodate with MY potential to work.

And so we moved to the UK and this diminished even more, my ability to work.  So I stayed home, settled the boys into school, made sure I was always around.  I did brief take up a job, but as I was essentially the boys sole carer during waking hours, it involved working nights.  I stuck it out for two years, but found it extremely hard.  I used to come home at 7am, go to bed for an hour, get up, get the lads sorted for school, drop them off and then eventually get back to bed to sleep until it was time to pick them up again.  When I finished there, I didn't work for a while, for most of the boys journey through primary school.  Then when my eldest was in year six, I was lucky enough to get a job working as a dinner lady at his school and I've been there ever since.  I love my job and I think I'm pretty good at it.  But it's not enough.  

So fast-forward a few years and I'm still a dinner lady and although I've been searching on and off, I haven't been able to find another job.  I find filling out applications daunting.  My CV is somewhat like Chesney Hawkes and stuck in the 90's.  Although I think I have gained very beneficial experience through life in the last two decades, potential employers don't see it.  I understand it a tough market, I understand there are single earner families that wouldn't understand my necessity to work.  But it's tough out there, I want to do my bit.

This is where I will vent from now on.  I will attempt to find two jobs to apply for each week and keep you abreast of the outcome.  Here's hoping this is a short-lived idea with a successful result!

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