Week 16 – Job hunting?

Date: 17th July 2020
Months spent in isolation: 4
Weeks unemployed: 15
Days spent looking for a job: 2

I started having conversations about job hunting lately. In the past 3 months, nobody really asked about it. We were in the midst of lockdown both in France and in the UK, everyone understood it wasn’t the best time to be looking for a job, especially as I could afford not to for a few months.

But the question came up last weekend. Along with the reminder that it may not be quick to find one when I do start looking. In all honesty I had started wondering whether I should be actively looking now so the question wasn’t unwelcome. Suggestions were made on where I could look locally, where I could add value. Opening up the options in my head.

I had dipped my toe back in the job search mindset a couple of weeks ago. After weeks of ignoring job postings emails from Linkedin and Escape the City, I had started opening them again and one stood out. I looked into the company, where they were based, what the culture was and what the job entailed. I debated applying for a couple of days, eventually deciding not to. Partially because of the commute, partially because it wasn’t exciting. I’m not ready (yet) to go back to commuting to London, or at least to commit to doing it when it’s possible to do it again safely. And I don’t want to apply for a job that doesn’t excite me. I want to go to an interview, eager to get the job because I know I’ll enjoy it, I’ll grow and will make a difference. I’ve realised that’s not quite my thought process though when skimming through job adverts.

I tend to apply for roles that I know I can do, because I’ve done similar jobs before. When I check out a job advert, if it matches closely my profile, I get excited and think I should apply. I mistake the elation of realising companies are looking for people like me with the thrill of finding a position that would be fulfilling.

I’ve applied for a job yesterday. As I hit send on my application, I realised that’s what I’d done. I had found a job that matched my skills and experience. Exciting. It’s also remote, so no commute. No excuse. It’s helping people in situation that can be really stressful. It has more purpose potentially than my previous jobs. Is it really what I want to do for the next few years? Hmmm. I don’t know.

To be fair, I still don’t know what I want to do. Falling back on what I know is easy. The longer I’m out of work, the more I’m looking at what I was doing as something I can do again. As if looking through really unhappy times with rose-tinted glasses. I’d been wanting to leave the company and my job since 2016… Shouldn’t that tell me something about what I used to do?

Unless this was more to do with the company and people I worked for. I guess there’s only one way to find out. Find a job for the same type of role elsewhere and see how it goes.

Although there is another way.

There’s possibly a job waiting for me at the company I’ve left back in March. It wouldn’t start until Sept/October, and it’s in no way guaranteed. It’s likely to be a role very similar to the one I did pre-lockdown, working for the same manager, which I mostly enjoyed (and felt appreciated). He confirmed this was still in his plans this week. Which you could say is good news. It’s a double-edged sword if you ask me. On one hand, I could take this as an opportunity to relax and enjoy the free time I have until this starts, knowing there’s something waiting for me. And if it doesn’t happen, I can look for another job this winter. On the other hand though, it’s somehow stifling my grand plans to completely change career. Because why commit to other things when there’s a perfectly safe option, that I know I’d enjoy, waiting for me? You could say I’m spoilt. I am.

And I’m certainly full of excuses as to why I’m not going any deeper in exploring. I want to say ‘this changes now’ but let’s be honest. I’ve said or written things like this before. And never made any drastic changes. What’s different this time?

A deadline. If this opportunity really is happening in Sept/Oct, I only have a couple of months left. So I need to make the most of it. I was playing as I had all the time beforehand. Now I’ve had a reminder that actually, this free time and chance to explore may be really be ending in 2 months.

I never work better than against a deadline so let’s see what happens.

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