Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back in Employment

Well, after months of uncertainty I finally received a job offer. Not a job in teaching, but almost back to what I was doing two years ago, before the deeply demoralising experience of teacher training and its aftermath. The process of writing a teaching job application is lengthy. I like tailor each application to the school in question so first of all I do my research, using online profiles, OFSTED reports and school websites, all of which is fairly time consuming. Apart from an application form there is also a supporting letter of up to 2 sides of A4, addressing the specific criteria of the individual person specification. So I would say that each application demands, at least, between 2 and 3 hours work fitted into the rest of life. I stopped counting my actual job applications after 75, most of which were condensed into the period between April and July. Having had no success by the end of term, I decided to apply for any job I could. As a family, we got to the stage where we were dipping into our savings to subsidise our income on a monthly basis and I figured it was better to have income than status. Also, if I remained in schools-based work, there was always the possibility of getting into a teaching job via the back door.

This ploy has proved more successful and I had invitations to 6 interviews in the month of September. I was accepted to the waiting list for an 18-month contract working in Job Centre Plus (a growth market, it seems!) I was a bit miffed about my lack of success in interviews for support roles in schools, given the breadth of my experience. However, I felt some of the panels may have been a bit intimidated by the thought of a 'receptionist' or whatever with corporate vision and an educational philosophy! Sadly, official unemployment rates do not reflect the number of people who are, in reality, seeking employment. People like myself, with a partner in employment, do not qualify for job seeker's allowance and so tend not to be registered as unemployed. Teachers usually register with supply agencies but I found that during the whole of September I only managed to get half a day's work, grossing me £47.50. Teaching jobs I applied for seemed to trawl, on average, 70 applicants for each individual post and support worker posts barely fared any better.

I initially applied for a job as a Teaching Assistant at my school but was unsuccessful; however, they called me back to interview for the post of Cover Supervisor which I was subsequently offered. The money is fairly crap, to be honest, but at 30 hours per week and term time only, it has its compensations. Of course, I am back in secondary schools work so at the moment I am not entirely sure what the future holds for me in vocational terms. I would like to improve my earning capacity, but frankly, teaching requires a lot more than 9 to 5 commitment and that is rapidly losing its appeal. Maybe it is down to the fact that I feel a bit burnt out by the whole process at the mo, I don't know. Certainly I am in need of respite. Being skint and incomeless is lousy but I figure that you can substantially improve your quality of life with a relatively small increase in your cash flow. Right now, investing in my relationships is more important to me.