Job hunting at the best of times isn’t fun. But, when you’re trying to fit it in with a full time job, a long commute, and serious panic attacks, it turns into a marathon at sprint speed.

And it’s that time of year again folks, the “I am not going to panic, but I really need to find a new job” month.

Last week I had it confirmed that though they have the work, my contract is not going to be renewed by my current employer. I had a feeling that this was going to be the case as there is a lot going on and so many changes being made it’s as though they are perhaps getting ready to sell. Maybe, just maybe, this is the right thing to happen, though it could maybe happen at a time when there are more jobs out there (right).

Me last week:

Of course, this set me off in the direction of a momentary panic, but then I sat back, thought about my options and started to send my CV off to every single job under the sun that I am qualified for. I found about six to apply for and had phone calls with three of the recruiting agencies within hours of applying. Unfortunately, I was put forward for one that I had a) not applied for and b) didn’t want and got an interview. Feeling rather bad, but also a little annoyed at the agency in question, I informed them that the role was not for me (mostly due to the impossible journey that I would need to take in order to get there). I then carried on my merry way, continuing to look for something that could be the next perfect fit.

Friday I thought I had found it, the one, the job that I have been looking for. The agency promoting the role was one I was familiar with, and I knew that though they had been unsuccessful in finding me anything last time, I had to at least give them a shot. However, this morning I was told that the company didn’t want to see me (it took a lot of chasing) and it turned out that they had now removed the agency from the equation, choosing to go down the ‘self-recruit’ route instead.

The feedback from the agency was ambiguous, more a “they’re looking for new graduates with a couple of years of experience, and you have too much”. So yes, it appears I am already getting the “you’re overqualified” feedback and I’ve only just started.

I have reached the point in my career, it seems, where I am not qualified or experienced enough to be a manager (to be honest I don’t have ambitions that way), but I am too experienced for the ‘almost’ entry level roles that I am applying for. I am not sure what next step to take (there is a role at my current employer I can apply for, but I really hate my commute, not that I have mentioned that before…ever).

With regard the job, I have taken the next step, though I feel a little bit dishonest about it. I know that the job would be perfect for me. Having seen the advert from them I have emailed the hiring manager directly, including my CV and a cover letter highlighting all the reasons why I think the job is the right one for me; what I think I could learn; why I would be good for the company and why I am applying for it in the first place (I have made no mention of the fact that an agency has already put me forward, so we’ll see how good the agency was if I actually get a response).

I know that sometimes agencies are the best route, they have connections in a company that you simply don’t have on a personal level, and can often get your CV in front of the right person at the right time. Given the feedback I got this time, I don’t feel that this was, in fact, the case. I know that I am likely older than most of the candidates that this company want to see, and obviously they associate age with higher salary, but I KNOW that this particular job is perfect for me, so I am hoping that sending an email directly will cause them to take a fresh look at my CV as an individual item rather than one sent across in a batch with 7 others.

I am refusing to let the panic set in just yet, though I know that if I am still in this situation in a couple of weeks that will not be the case. I am worried that things won’t work out, that I will be stuck looking for another job with an untenable commute, but ultimately right now things are in my control. At least I think they are.

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