Christmas part-time jobs

As the end of the year draws near and is almost upon us, we come to the festive climax of the year, in my opinion.

For the last several weeks everything has been about Christmas. On the one hand, if you are faithful, this is the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in the town of Bethlehem over two thousand years ago.

On the other hand, if you are in business, or employed, this is most probably the time of the year when things are at their highest level of activity. People rushing round last minute to get the gifts that they have forgotten about or suddenly realise they did not have.

One thing is that, at this time of the year, retailers are in need of help and support. Traditionally they look to the young employment group for their assistance and, to be honest, there is plenty to choose from. Trying to then find a job to help with the holiday dreams, students are being subjected to the same hard rejections as they will need to bare when they are older and following their dream career.

I always use this time to reflect back to when I was in the same position. It taught me a life lesson that to this day, thirty years later, I still consider one of those life truths like taxes and death. The truth is that knowing someone in the know can be a huge help when trying to gain employment.

At that time the person I knew was my grandfather. He held a senior position in a retail chain store and was able to encourage the individual responsible for hiring the holiday help to ensure my name was on the list. Thus it was that I found a role that would help me earn the extra income through those holidays and then through the year to the following holidays. It also helped in enabling me to experience first hand the interactins with customers and the need to accept the customers position. As an added advantage, it provided me with a huge host of memories about incidents with people that, even today, brings a sense of humor to the daily grind.

But I would probably not have had that job if it was not for the person I knew and their desire to use their influence to help a young student find employment.

My wish therefore to you is that, if you have a position of influence, however small, use that to help a student embark on their working career. If you are a student looking for a job, my wish is that you are able to draw on the influence of someone you know to get you that much needed work experience.
Let me know if you have had a similar experience.

All the best wishes for Christmas 2012 and I look forward to talking again next week.

Creating a consolidated CV package

Welcome to this edition of my blog on my personal experiences in the world of employment trials. It is not an easy world and in some respects you need to develop a thick skin to traverse its quagmire of tribulations.

Recently a role became available and I considered applying for it. Drawing on all the advice I had received, I researched the role and identified the key elements they were looking for. These I ensured were highlighted in my application.

Then I considered the organisation offering the position. I was fortunate in that I had enjoyed a long term relationship with them before and therefore had a large amount of information available. I think the main advantage is that I knew when the areas of concern were and therefore knew exactly how I could help the organisation with overcoming those issues. The thing was, how do I capture this in the application without sounding like a know-it-all.

There was one part of the process I did enjoy. That was being able to review my CV and identify in each role I have had, those elements where I could demonstrate my ability to solve the issues the organisation was having. In most cases this meant eliminating items from the list, but in some, with a little suffle of my grey brain matter, I was able to identify extra elements to add. This can be the hardest part in most cases. But the advantage of this is that it does focus your CV and ensures that the whole application package is a consistent whole.

When I considered that the whole CV package was in a state to be submitted, I hit send and the whole package was fires off. At that moment I was committed to the application and I realised that the CV needed to now do the job.

Although I at that moment, believed that I was the ideal candidate for the role, my application was sitting in a pile of other applications with the employer. I knew though, that I had done everything possible to ensure that my applicationmgot noticed enough to encourage the employer to call me for an interview.

The result of all this was that I did not make it to the interview stage. When that happens it is always a moment where I wonder whether it was worthwile going through the effort. The time spent researching the role, gaining knowledge about the employer, and the time reviewing and crafting the application package, all so that the employer can call you up and let you know that you did not make the first cut.

I did learn that the person they gained was probably a better person for the job than I was. For that I am at least grateful. I now have the pleasure of working with this person as I continue to assist the employer with those tasks that I had undertaken when I had learned about the position in the first place. But looking forward I know that this is limited and soon I will be looking for another job to substitute the income that I will be losing from this job.

Let me know if you have had any similar experiences.

ROLE Magazine

ROLE Magazine (Photo credit: Monyokararan.)