Friday, 16 April 2010

Signing on

After my contract ended on 31st March 2010, I've been busily calling recruitment agencies, looking for and applying for jobs. Like most people made redundant, or in my case, with a contract not renewed, I'm not seeing much out there.

Last night a friend hassled me to get on down to the job centre and sign on. At worst they might only pay my national insurance for a few weeks, at best, I may get a small benefit payment until I can get a new contract.

So, I got up early today, trimmed my beard, left the suit in the cupboard (jeans are good enough for the job centre, right?) and printed off my CV. Drove up to the job centre (up, down? Hmm. Up.) and said I'm here to sign on.

"Here's a phone number," the nice lady said. "Call this number and you'll be asked a series of questions..."

"That's it?"

"Yes, just phone that number."

Far cry from being told to come back in two weeks, or even having to stand in a queue. I was barely in the place two minutes.

Fifteen minutes later and I'm on the phone to someone who initially doesn't appear to speak English but he slows down and I catch up and 75 minutes later I've answered more questions than Gordon Brown on announcing he is standing down as Prime Minister. There's a thought...

I've been extremely fortunate to have been in consistent employment since we moved back to Scotland in 2005, well, after a couple of months of job hunting then. Quite a shock to be unemployed. Quite a few of my financial goals are seeming like fading dreams at present, not to mention any that require any significant expense. But, we have a little bit saved away. My sometimes investing, sometimes speculating has generated a 50 percent return in the last six months. Shame it was such a small amount to start with but it gives us a few more weeks assuming I don't speculate it away in the mean time.

I'm really hoping, as I discussed with my friend yesterday, that some quirk of fate will ensure that now I've admitted defeat by signing on, someone will offer me a job and I will have completely wasted my time answering all those questions. I live in hope :)

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