My own experiences of job-hunting, particularly Essex Job hunting have usually been very difficult for me. Having graduated in 2003, feeling quite proud to have obtained my first degree in English Literature, I was eager to find myself a steady job and thought to myself that it should be very easy to find something in my hometown in Essex - or so I thought.
I knew that Essex jobs paid considerably less than London jobs and therefore I would be more successful in finding a job in Essex than London. I would later find out that this was a very wrong assumption to make. I wanted to be closer to home and kept to my decision to search for Essex jobs only. I decided to revamp my CV, and every day for about an hour, I would surf the internet and apply for jobs in admin, media reception or sales.
Research, research, research!
As well as searching on the net, I would very often buy the local newspaper and respond to adverts in Essex. It was quite stressful and time consuming, as money was very tight for me and found that after a month of applying for what felt like a thousand jobs I received very little in responses. It appeared to me that nearly all of Essex had high standards in recruitment and I had set myself unrealistic objectives!
The responses that I did receive were from dodgy unknown Essex recruitment agencies aiming to help me find a job within the area range that I had requested or letters of rejection claiming they had nothing available with my experiences. I was frustrated, broke and stressed, what made it worse was the recruitment agencies would put false hope into me by promising interviews that never came!
I was lucky enough to be living with my parents so I did not have the added stress of paying rent; however, I was running very low on money and missing out on social occasions. I finally saw an advert from an Essex recruitment agency that did not try to sound like a sales company and had focussed on jobs within Essex. Since other recruitment agencies had let me down with false promises, I reluctantly decided to contact them.
I was at this point desperate and frankly embarrassed that I was still unemployed for now nearing three months. I made an appointment to register and have an informal interview. I arrived for the interview the consultants seemed friendly enough, listening to what I had to say and going through my past work experiences. They were very honest and told me that I would be better suited in a temporary role.
Luck of the draw
Of course, it was not my ambition to become a receptionist or an administrator as a long-term career, but I saw it as a stepping-stone to bigger things. Sure enough, I received a phone call two days after my registration; they had found a receptionist position at my local museum and I would start the following Monday. Perfect I thought, I had finally fulfilled one ambition in finding a job in Essex.
I was pleased by this result and relieved that I will receive my pay weekly. The first month of my employment was great; I was developing on management skills as well as administration, inventory management and learning new computer skills. Not only that I was given the task to organise and run events. I made great contacts with clients and was sent to training days learning new skills.
Six months had passed and I felt it was time to move on, this time I did not approach any Essex recruitment agencies, mainly because I wanted to earn a proper salary. If it was not for my recruitment agency, I would not have found my existing job in media. I think I was lucky to have found a recruitment agency that cared about my needs and specialised in Essex jobs.
Searching for the right job agencies can feel very daunting; as some are more determined to reaching their own targets and appear to be more like sales people than consultants. My advice is to research the agencies before approaching them. It makes your life easier to know what they are about and how they can help.
The museum offered me a permanent position, but by then I had already accepted another job with a company offering me an attractive salary. The experience with working in the museum was invaluable to me and I was forever thankful to the recruitment agency for helping me find the job. Now nearly four years down the line and a few changes to my career, my next challenge is to buy a house in Essex!
Workaholic Shaun Parker talks about permanent Essex Jobs and joining job agencies.