Thursday, April 14, 2011

Job Search

Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, London; viewed...Image via Wikipedia I've got a little more serious in my job search.  Before I was more tentative, not wishing to lose my position as primary parent, but now I feel I need to work.  Money would be nice, motorcycles and fancy living would be lovely, but actually I think the need comes from wanting to contribute to a team effort and, if I'm honest, wanting to have something else to talk about other than toilet training, schools and stroppy behavior.  [Stroppy is apparently a British word according to the spell checker. If I tell you that in the UK, the phrase it's most used with is "stroppy teenager," I doubt you'll need to look it up...]

I've modified my CV into a resume and it's spelt correctly for its target audience - though I struggle with the UK Ministry of Defence as I don't feel I can change its name to defense, but I know it must still irk an American eye or two.

I signed up with a recruitment website and even paid them money for their pro service.  As you may expect, I hate spending money on this type of thing.  Well, actually I hate spending money on anything that doesn't have wheels and /or burn petrochemicals, but that's another story. What I've discovered is that there is an acute level of specialization in job specifications over here.  I guess the market and the organizations are bigger and so the jobs can be narrower.

So far I have more luck / interest through my Craigslist applications and have even had my first interview.  The jobs on Craigslist seem to be much more fluid and some are even outcome based, e.g. I need help to achieve better web presence, greater efficiency, etc.

Then finally on the paid for service, I saw a project manager job with a list of competences and skills I felt I could easily and effectively demonstrate.  Hmm, am I beginning to change my language already? Anyway, I click on the 'apply on the company website" button.  The company website has an additional requirement not mentioned on my paid for website... "Candidate must have built at least 3 jails."  I still can't help but laugh at that phrase.  I've seen news reports and read articles about how many Americans are incarcerated, but really how many people can say that they've built 3 jails?  Surely only a handful of project managers are eligible.

It gets better when I find another job advert with similar competences... click.... "Candidate must have built at least 2 hospitals."  Must be trickier to find good project managers who've built hospitals so they've dropped their normal requirement by a third.  Though I guess no matter what kind of economy we're experiencing, there's always a need for jails and hospitals.

Overall I'm quite liking looking for work, as it's quickly become a voyage of discovery into American culture and, let's face it, that's why I'm here.
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