Cross-purposes of interviewing for jobs with fear and doubt

By Jay

I had an online video interview today. It was for a library and admin type role, with a requirement to be on site a few days a week, located in a town some distance from where I live. I applied for it vaguely thinking that now is the time to move away. However, when I got the interview invitation, the reality of moving away from living with family was difficult to face. I suspect that I won’t have to consider it, in this case – though I have applied for others, as I’m quite sure that I didn’t get selected. I was told I would find out today or next Monday – and as I didn’t receive an email yet, I suppose, the rejections are sent out next week.

I didn’t prepare much at all for the interview. I only really looked up the organisation to avoid embarrassment should I be asked to demonstrate awareness of what they are and do. I also started a few notes on some of my relevant experiences. I was feeling such despair since my attempts to start a job earlier this week, which I quit after a day in a pique of overwhelmed emotions and now regret.

I finally selected an interview date for this one, which would be conducted via Microsoft Teams. It’s an online video call software with other messaging and communication features. I saw that the organisation was conducting, virtually, two solid days of interviews, which made me quite sure that I’d fail. I’ve failed or been unsuccessful, depending on how to think of it, with two interviews in the past weeks.

Continue reading “Cross-purposes of interviewing for jobs with fear and doubt”
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Trying to find a path to financial sustenance and survival

By Jay

It’s sometimes said that if you don’t get selected after an interview that it probably means the job wasn’t right for you anyway. Invariably, this will be said of those who, due to some perceived vulnerability, struggle to compete in the job market. In other words, the market is generally right and it’s probably for the best – and, you’ll find your rightful place eventually. Like other generalisations about the efficacy of market situations, it will be accurate about some but ignores the impact that the whole set-up and process has on vulnerable individuals. Repeated rejection and isolation will take its toll on some people, whilst others will have the resilience and support to absorb set backs. Many people will never find their ‘rightful’ place.

For someone with social anxiety symptoms and feelings of hopelessness, for example, career options and ambitions may be narrow and difficult to navigate. An interview can feel like a form of humiliation, exposing one’s confusions and vulnerabilities or, even, disabilities, in a situation of judgement. Interview rejections are an added pain upon that experience. Attaining roles that only offer routine work, without support for progression or poor work conditions can contribute to worsening health.

Decisions by interviewers may often be well-founded, intentioned and, perhaps, often correct Placing someone in a role beyond their capacity would likely be harmful, as well as counter-productive for the organisation. However, implicit in the logic of our economy and the sustenance market that provides its labour is that wealth and control is, generally, for the ‘able’ or ‘most productive’ and the rest is for the less able or vulnerable.

Fortunately, in an economically privileged country like the UK, there are opportunities and there are legal protection against discrimination and, also, some affirmative action schemes for disabled individuals. The publicly funded sector, I have found, can be somewhat easier to find and maintain roles in, due to less of a pressure on output – though, in the UK, the public sector is under attack from government through defunding, creating fewer opportunities and more difficult working conditions.

Continue reading “Trying to find a path to financial sustenance and survival”

There is always a reason to keep going – Finding Room to Fail

By Davey; https://daveycobb.com/

I have struggled with mental health issues my whole life. Varying degrees of sporadic anxiety and depression have prevented me from achieving past goals, helping others, taking care of my physical health, enjoying a good social life, pursuing several career paths. I look back at most of my life and realise that these two dark clouds – depression and anxiety – have covered me wherever I have been.

The key, I have found, is to not blame myself for any moments that may have occurred when mental health has prevented me from doing something. It took me many, many years to overcome the habit of laying heaps of blame at my own door, bemoaning my past actions, telling myself I should have pushed myself more. I found that such a way of thinking added many more layers to my already poor self-image. By blaming myself in such a harsh, direct way, I convinced myself that I was useless, powerless, and would never amount to anything. I held myself back, told myself that there was no point in applying for such and such a job, or pursuing a particular flight of fancy. I pitied myself. I bullied myself. Deep down, I hated myself.

I was wrong.

Continue reading “There is always a reason to keep going – Finding Room to Fail”

Of a simpler time – a poem

By Akhilesh; https://akhileshmagal.in/

Don’t you remember those days?
When you knew where you lived,
from the neighbours around you.
When you knew who you were,
from those loved ones who reminded you of yourself in dark times.
When houses were built to house people,
and not empty things and objects that no-one really wants.

Do you remember those days,
when the summer rains would blow from the west precisely at four in the evening?
And the kind Ajji next door will remind you that your clothes are out.
When everybody knew everybody and their everybody.
You hated the fact that you couldn’t be invisible.
Be careful what you wish for.
Today all of us are invisible in the maddening crowd,
Invisible and insignificant.

I remember those days,
when we didn’t know where we would be eating tonight.
Not for any lack, but a surplus of loving kitchens.
When, cricket was played on the streets,
until the street lamps glowed orange, or until the ball was lost.
Those unfettered days of freedom, have we tasted,
and nothing seems sweeter than that first love.

My friend, let us remember those days,
When life was far simpler.
The continuity of the past brought a comfort in a fast changing world.
Our desires were simple, our possession simpler.
Our minds in search for the truest expression of the self.
Our bodies clothed by simple expressions of the tailor,
Our hearts unmasked from the insatiable greed of being a consumer.

I remember those days,
When the streets would go quiet by seven,
And the night would cast her shadows deep into
the ancient trees that dotted the square.
When the morning would indeed be our morning,
rising with dawn to welcome the sun’s blessing into our homes.

Alas, todays illumination is without,
from cell phones that cast eerie shadows on your dim faces well into the night.
And today’s connection is to be found in an etherial realm.
We are closer and yet father than we ever could be.

I yearn for those bygone days,
where simplicity was a virtue.
And a human was still a human.

Akhilesh, India
https://akhileshmagal.in/