Looking for work isn’t what it used to be.

I have been looking for a new role on and off for about a year now. It used to be a great place to work, but structural and leadership changes at the top have completely changed the culture of the organisation I work for currently and now I am one of many unhappy people there who would love to leave the organisation.

Fortunately or unfortunately I am in a role which pays me exceptionally well.  Fortunately because clearly earning good money is very helpful in the current economic climate, unfortunately because it is making it very hard for me to find a replacement position which would not require me to take a substantial pay cut.

Years ago I studied part-time while working and got to diploma level and decided to have a break while leaving the door open to continue on to degree level.  I could never quite face going back to the grind of part-time study and so now I find myself qualified by experience, but lacking the all important pieces of paper now considered essential by employers.

So why don’t I just get on with it and carry on with study?  To be honest I still can’t really face the thought of study and these days the cost of study is horrendous. I always thought I would be doing something different by now anyway.  I never had any interest in being a high-flying corporate individual and always thought that maybe by now I would be working hard for me rather than someone else.

To make matters worse I am on the cusp of that dreaded age where prospective employers consider you too old to be of value to their organisation.I don’t really understand that point of view in employers.  Wouldn’t you think that mature people bring to the work place lots of experience and great work ethic?  Without having family commitments to keep me out of the office during family sickness and school holidays, wouldn’t that make me more reliable as a worker and therefore make me a valuable addition to the work place?

The job market is really tough at the moment.  I have never experienced anything quite like it in the 26 years I have been working. I have always found it easy to find new roles in the past, I am hard-working and have great experience and now although I have applied for many positions, I have not even been granted a face to face interview.  The best I have achieved is a phone interview.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of jobs advertised for which I meet the requirements to even consider applying.

I am starting to feel like I should just be grateful in the face of rising unemployment that I even have a job.  People keep telling me about someone they know who has lost their job through company downsizing and then can’t find anything else because of their age.  That is really scary.

When I read back to myself what I have written here it just sounds like I am making a whole lot of excuses for doing nothing.  But if I am really honest with myself a lot of my inactivity is based on fear.  Fear is so paralysing and makes us weak and ineffective.  But somehow I need to throw it off and step out because life is too short to be miserable because of a job.

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