It had been over twenty five years since I last looked for an alternative job. Preparing my CV took several days. What skills do I enter on it? Would seventeen years as a church minister mean anything to prospective employers? Technology had changed the search. An abundance of websites all making claims that they had the right job for you. I’d not really had to look for work before; it seemed to find me so this was a completely new experience. I’d actually started my first job before I officially left school, working on days that I was suppose to be studying for my O levels and just taking off the days when I sat my examinations. I can’t even recall being interviewed for this job. It was a typical school leaver’s role that my Father had arranged for me. I just turned up one day and started as a junior office boy. It suited a purpose but offered no long term prospect. After twelve months I began looking for employment with better career prospects. Someone who attended the same church as me, knew I was looking and so recommended me to his management. His company interviewed me and offered me a new job. I knew that I didn’t really sell myself well at interview. It was only because my new company preferred taking on people that came recommended by valued staff that I embarked on a new career. I did change jobs after this but stayed in the same industry. Again, I didn’t really look for work but was headhunted by people who knew my reputation or had previously managed me.
When I felt it was time to leave this industry and enter church ministry, there was a different selection process. Not everyone who expresses an interest in church ministry gets chosen. Someone wanting to become a church minister first had to be an active member of their own church. The church elders then had to give their backing and vouch for the suitability of the applicant. The applicant would then be interviewed by the Diocese before attending an appraisal weekend which would determine whether or not the applicant would be invited to complete a residential course at the Ministers Training College.
It took me a while to break down all that I did as a Church minister and write it in a style that would be understood. Most job adverts stated that if you hadn’t heard back from them within a certain timescale then on that occasion your application was unsuccessful. It can be soul destroying sending off application after application and not receiving any feedback back. Just the slightest news would offer a snippet of encouragement. With so many people job hunting, prospective employers probably haven’t the recruitment budget to respond to everyone.
There were also unscrupulous people seeking to take advantaged of the unemployed. One scam I came across was that I received an email stating that on this occasion my application was unsuccessful, but the agency could train me up so that I had the necessary qualification. Even better news was that they would pay me for the days I studied. All I had to do was email them my bank details! Strangely enough, the only way to find them on the internet was via a link that they sent to you. No internet search would direct you to the same site. It sickened me that these vultures were preying on people desperate for work and robbing those who failed to recognise yet another internet scam.
I just wanted to work so applied for all roles I thought that I could. Within a month I had been offered several interviews with different care providers.