In which I review the week after the wobble …

A week ago and you would have found me in a not good place. Today I am feeling a whole lot better. So what’s changed?

One of the most significant things is the support and good wishes from people through twitter or this blog. Your encouragement has made a huge difference. And, of course, the RPS family has been pepping me up too.

Some folks have given really great advice about CVs that I’ve been drawing on today. A long hard look at mine alongside that of a colleague with whom I have been collaborating clearly showed some elementary errors. I’ll be interested to hear if the feedback from the consultants says the same next week.

Firstly, my opening was fluffed. Those few words right at the start are rubbish. Now re-written with some punch and impact. (No – I haven’t just gone with the ‘Gissa job’ approach.)

Secondly, it’s was far, far too long. I have narrowed the content down to a short list of what I think I am really good at and ruthlessly chopped the second rank stuff. In including too much stuff I think – in the words of HR girl’s comments on a previous post – I gave the consultancy every excuse to exclude me. And no clear, compelling reason to keep me in.

Finally, the career history stuff stretched back too far to be at all relevant and gave the impression of a person desperately searching for relevance. (Yes – I have finally taken of the cycling proficiency and swimming the width badges.)

Being able to get to grips with something practical has been really helpful in buoying me up. I also had the Guardian Local Government Network Q&A on redundancy on Wednesday which gave me a lot of focus. I hope I did some good. I certainly learned a lot as you will see from my post on this on Thursday.

The final thing I have been doing is a bit of a stock take about what I want to do rather than working from a premise that I must find a job. What a need to find is a way of earning a living. That’s not necessarily the same thing as becoming an employee. So, I have been seriously plotting about how to set up as a businessman. Perhaps even pursuing something completely outside out my current world doing something that I am passionate about.

For a bloke like me that’s a really radical thought. Running my own business. I read something recently about running your own business. The author – a succesful businesswoman – said real benefit of working for your self is that you can choose to do things that match your values. It means not having to trim your values to match those of your big corporate employer.

That really resonated with me. The countless times I have fumed over some piece of corporate folly could be a thing of the past. We’ll see.

In the meantime I’d better get back to sharpening up this CV. I will get it right if it kills me …


About redundantpublicservant

A redundant UK public servant looking for work, sharing his experiences and providing a space for others to do the same.
This entry was posted in bad news, Guardian Society, Job applications, job hunting, recruitment consultancies, Redundancy, rejection letters and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to In which I review the week after the wobble …

  1. Dave says:

    Good post … it’s easy to fall in to fear rather than focus on your calling. In an interview situation we need to project passion and motivation as a foundation. Hard to do that when it’s just a job to pay the bills. So, good work RPS … seems real progress this week and wish you well going forward. Sounds like the CV is evolving in the right direction too. I had some great advice on mine and restructured as a functional CV, focused on big achievements and key skills rather than the traditional date order approach. Chopped a lot of the role by role explanatory text out so shorter and much sharper.

  2. Dwane Lay says:

    The toughest part of the job search, I’ve always thought, was putting the CV together. Any criticism on the content starts to feel like a criticism of your history and value. Once you get over that, and realize what you have to offer, it becomes a much easier sell.

    One other thing I’ve learned is that you need to make sure your CV matches the job you are looking for AND the one for which you apply. That may mean tweaking it each time it is submitted, or at least having a few versions of it, depending on the width of your search.

    • Dear Dwane,

      Some excellent advice – thank you. Until I embarked on all of this I had no idea how time consuming applying for jobs is when you do it properly.

      I suppose the point at which you get really good at it is when you land the job you really want.

      Thanks for reading the blog and taking time to comment.

      Best wishes


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  4. J says:

    I enjoyed reading this because there are so many similarities to what my week has been like, similarities of which I shall spare you the details..

    A couple of points that resonated with me a lot;
    Working for myself in whatever capacity appeals to me too – no more of the rigid 9-5 and corporate slavery! Although, I have to confess that at this point, I haven’t quite got it to the stage at which I know how I could turn my passion into a regular income.
    The other point I have come to realise I have been completely misplaced in the industry I have worked in for the past 10 years and I have now made a firm decision to do something different…

    Good luck with your CV. On that note I may actually try the ‘Gissa job’ approach!! Who knows – it may just work!!

  5. A says:

    I found the second half of that quite reassuring. I’m not in your position yet, but fear I will be before too long. The whole idea of doing something that suits me, whilst meeting the needs of enough others to make it viable, has an appeal (compared to a my current well-paid job that gives me no real enjoyment or sense of being appreciated, and earns me widespread abuse in the national press and utterings of career politicians). Time for a change (of politicians)?

    • Dear A,

      The constant anti-public service ethos is wearing isn’t it? While I can accept a difference in political philosophy what I find harder to swallow is the vindictive joy being invested in implementing the policy flowing from it.

      While in a particularly grumpy frame of mind I did some research looking at the employment histories of the cabinet. It made interesting reading and perhaps one day I’ll blog on my findings. Let’s just say that some of the archest -privateers among them have been remarkably reticent about earning a living at anyone but the taxcpayers’ expense. I suspect though that the planning assumption they work on is that they will save themselves the fuss and bother of building a successful career in business by leaping straight into the Boardroom when their political careers end. A sort of personal privatisation.

      Nice work if you can get it.


      • SCH says:

        I would be very interested indeed in your research – I have a very strong suspicion that we have entered the age of the professional politician, with all the lack of experience and appreciation of the real world that this implies. I don’t mind my neurosurgeon being a theoretician, or my dentist not having worked at anything else, but I prefer my politicians somewhat more seasoned and certainly more aware of the impacts of political decisions on real-world issues. We have (it seems) on all sides of the political debate a swathe of ministers and leading MPs who have done nothing else in life and frankly that makes me nervous – politics is people and knowing what makes people tick and how they respond only from a theoretical viewpoint can’t be right.

      • Dear SCH,

        I share your nervousness especially when the lack of real work experience is compounded by a more than comfortable family background. I saw Andrew Neill ask MillieE if he had ever worried about paying a bill – his face was a picture.

        If we are fixing parliamentary terms perhaps it’s time too to look at term-limiting political office.

        Now you’ve got me thinking.


  6. Mean Mr Mustard says:

    But imagine a typical politician’s CV, if it were honestly written…

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