“This would be a great opportunity to explore a new career” said the lady being interviewed on the radio.
Like millions of other people, I am currently unemployed and am not finding job hunting easy. There is not much available and what is on offer isn’t that appealing. There have been stories in the news this week about thousands of people applying for a single position as a bar tender. If candidates with masses of qualifications and years of experience are finding it tough, what hope is there for people like me?
So, what can I actually do? When I was at high school, we had to fill in a skills survey and the results arrived a few days later in the post. I remember opening the letter excitedly only to find that my top match was prison officer. This experience has made me a little sceptical of the careers guidance profession.
An online job search this morning was fairly typical of the last few weeks. Almost everything on offer was either construction (to which I am not well suited) or care providing (which apparently needs certificates). I saw a company advertising for a ‘Front End Developer’. The skills required included ‘React.js, Angular & Vue.js’ and the fact I have no idea what language this is, almost certainly means I am unqualified.
I decide to start filling in a government provided, online career guidance skills assessment. They are free and are supposed to only take a few minutes. It is a long series of questions and I need to tick a box on a scale between strongly agree and strongly disagree.
- I am comfortable telling people what they need to do
- I make decisions quickly
- I prefer to follow what other people are doing
The questions keep on coming and as my brain starts to melt, the ‘I am unsure’ box gets used more and more.
- I set myself targets
- I am a competitive person
- I like to see things through to the end
By the time it is all over, I am completely beaten into submission and have no idea if I agree or not. The only positive decision I have made so far is to get a lottery ticket and hope that it solves all my problems.
Eventually the results come through. My top matches are
- Member of Parliament
- TV Stuntman
I wonder what I must have ticked to make this combination of results.
A quick check of the job centre shows that neither of these occupations have any current vacancies. It is true to say my scepticism for careers guidance remains unchanged.
Now, where is that lottery ticket?