Thursday, February 3, 2011

I ain't doing this for kicks

Lately it seems I've written about a million cover letters. I won't deny the practise has been helpful, but lordy is it depressing! For every application I send, for every half an hour I spend agonising over word choices, I am getting nothing back.

I've heard a lot of people say that Australian employers are by far the worst for getting back to you. I've never tried to get work outside of Aus, but I'm inclined to agree with that assessment. If you don't want to hire me, FINE! Just bloody well let me know! I'm not going to sneak in during the middle of the night and vandalise your shop!

It especially gets me when I drop my resume off at a shop in the city that I walk past often. No emails, no phone calls, and nearly a month later they still have their 'staff wanted' sign up. Doesn't do much for a girl's self-esteem. I've heard back from maybe one out of four places I applied to, and it's all been "Blah blah thankyou for your application we found someone with more experience".

Picture snitched from here.

I pretty much am doing the assistant manager's position at my current job, because we don't HAVE one, and one of the 'co-managers' has been away. I've done rosters, customer orders, banking, returns, opened and closed the store, and tracked the budget. I'm not getting paid extra for it but I don't care. It needs to be done and I'm here pretty often so I just do it. However when I get back to uni, because of our weird shop schedule and overabundance of casuals, I'll be getting 6 hours of work a week. Yup. SIX. HOURS.

Hence why I am looking for another position. New or second job, I'm not fussy. Except that I've been looking since about November.

I have a lot more availability this semester than I did last semester. A lot of places are looking for full-time staff but even more are looking for casuals. I have a ton of experience in a wide range of fields. I learn fast, I'm easy to work with and I'm great with customers. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong! I want to be able to save money while I'm at uni, not just scrape by.

Writing endless cover letters and worrying about money isn't fun. It's sapping my creative energy, hence why I haven't been blogging much. I haven't done any writing for myself lately either, despite having some really great feedback from a magazine.

I've got about a week and a half til I go back to uni, so I'm applying for things left right and center, and trying to muster inspiration to get things started and finished before I get bogged down with studying and assignments. I have been thinking about (thinking about thinking about :P) opening a jewellery shop on Etsy - simple and slightly geeky items, but I don't know if I have the stamina for such an extended creative project! I also don't have the equipment or expertise to do anything beyond beading. I know that some of the stuff I have come up with is really quite pretty and marketable:

The first and last necklaces also have matching earrings. Some of the pieces I can fairly easily re-create... but some of them are really 'one-off' designs that were made out of vintage beads or just took really long to make. I've been working on a gorgeous tiered safety-pin necklace for months now, it keeps falling apart on me! I'm thinking it may need to be soldered. Clamping them works fine for the earrings as there's no strain on them, but the weight of what I want to make usually ends up being too much for a necklace and it just falls to pieces on the third or fourth wear.

I also don't want to just make random junk-y things, I wanted it all to be 'discreet geek': inspired by books, games and TV shows. I don't know if I'm going to be able to come up with enough designs to merit a whole shop... I get inspired by beads, by jewellery and by plain ol' necessity. Most of the pieces in those photos were created because I didn't have a piece with a certain colour scheme, I acquired a piece of jewellery that didn't quite work for me so I altered it, or I saw the beads and just HAD to make something with them. This inspiration process can take anywhere from a day to years.
 I have had these beautiful blue marbled beads for months and still haven't been able to decide what to do with them.

I guess I'm still in a state of indecision, where I'm waiting for things to happen (i.e, uni to start so I know how busy I'll be, and to hear back from some jobs) so that I can figure out what my next move should be.


  1. Hey, I know what it's like after looking for work for weeks, the lack of response just makes you will to apply fade. You don't say much about when you have handed in resumes but I thought I would add something in here for you since I'm a retail manager. I don't know if this will be of assistance, and your probably doing all the right things anyway :)

    I'll tell you what I look at straight away: dressed maturely, smiling & happy/friendly personality, asks to speak to the person in charge (because casuals like to put things down and forget about them straight away so I'll never come across the missing resume until it's too late).

    On the resume I look for an indication of age (since you cant ask, and I want to know what I'd have to pay in wages), availability (since your not going to hire someone if they can only work weekends and you need someone for Mondays), and hopefully they'll have a short paragraph on their long term goals or what they want out of a job at my store. I hardly ever read a looong cover letter because really, I'm just going to look at your work history and skills straight away to see if it's worth an interview. I look at employment history and the length of time there. I like resumes that are to the point, easy to read, aren't 5 pages long and that list skills that are relevant to the position they're applying for. For example, I dont want to read about hobbies or grades, because its not relevant.

    But, that said, that's just me and what i notice or look for with people's applications. I have people handing in resumes every day even when I'm not hiring or have a vacancy sign. So I can understand how a lot of places just don't have the time to phone everyone individually. But if you've had an interview they should make it clear whether or not they would contact you about being successful or not.

    Anyway, I hope you don't think me being to forward with my suggestions and I hope this helps a little. Good luck with your job hunting, I'm sure you'll find something soon!!! :)

  2. Sophie, thanks for the advice. My cover letter is three paragraphs long. I have been applying for multiple positions either online (emailing in a cover letter and resume) or in person, taking my resume into the shop. I always make sure I am neatly dressed and presented. On the top of my resume is my birth date and availabilities. My work experience has dates of employment and a list of duties, making it 2 pages long including my cover letter.

    My issue is companies not even letting me know they're not interested in hiring me. Just a short "We received your application but you were unsuccessful" would be nice so I'm not waiting around for a call that isn't going to come. Like I said, if I'm not a good fit for the position, fine. Just a courtesy email of a few lines would be much nicer than endless silence.

  3. *2 pages long NOT including my cover letter.

  4. oh I know exactly how frustrating that is. Before my current job I was unemployed for about a month and a half, emailing/handing in resumes every day. I don't think I recieved one email back saying I was unsuccessful during that time. I did get an 'unsuccessful' reply about a month after I had found a job though, lol. Hopeless. Anyway doesn't sound like your resume is too long or anything. I hope you find something soon :)

  5. I would totally buy those leaf earrings!! :-)

    Hope something turns up soon for you...I feel your problem. Because I take classes and am in a play, I'll be averaging 8 hours a week of work for the next two months. :-\

  6. Sorry to hear about the jobhunting situation :( fingers crossed something works out soon ...

    On the Etsy front: how about making a set number of pieces (20? 50? whatever you want, really) and then setting up a store, being up-front about the fact that you have these pieces, you're currently busy with University and things and you may not have any more when they're gone, and just keep them on there until they sell? Then you can get a taste for what sells / how things will go, without committing yourself to an ongoing commitment (apart from packing and shipping things!).

  7. Eudoxia: hmm, not a bad idea... I'm going to have quite a bit of free time at the moment, I squished all my classes into 2 days so I'd have time to work, and now I don't have work, so I would have the opportunity to make stuff :)

    Thanks Debbie! I'll let you know when they'r available :P I have to get some more green beads ordered in though, I only have blue, clear and black ones left.


PLEASE don't leave your blog URL in your comment unless you're linking to a relevant post. Thanks!