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  • Nearly exactly like me BM!  Inc working with great people and great service users.  However, money's not great and I can't actually afford to live independently (renting cheap room off mate at the moment) which I find v difficult and a bit scary in terms of my future.

    We need to have a RW careers convention!

  • Parky, I'm the same re bridesmaid thing.  I've just applied for 6 LSA jobs (all supporting statemented children or those on the autistic spectrum), been called for 6 interviews, been told at every single one that I gave the best overall interview, BUT I don't have sufficient recent classroom experience.  Which they will have known from my CV. . .

    I know that I could do every one of those jobs, but I haven't been given the chance, because they'd rather take a risk with someone who ticked less boxes but who has been doing a similar job than someone who (according to the feedback) ticked more of the boxes, but "might" take longer to settle in.  I've got a brain, 3 (so they told me) glowing references (one I've read as it was given to my by the Head of the last place where I volunteered, years ago, and I used it) yet still not good enough to get the jobs. 

    And while none of them would be prepared to give me the role on a paid basis, they'd all be more than happy for me to work there, full-time, for nothing, just so I can get this "experience".

    I was completely financially independent when I met the ex, gave it all up due to his work commitments.  Had the children, then he b*ggers off, leaving me now, at my age, being turned down for jobs (that pay less than a cleaner) while trying to find the means and wherewithal to support us in the future when maintenance payments stop.

    Sorry, rant over, just makes me image

    image

  • That's what I did my voluntary experience in Jeepers, supporting statemented kids and helping them re-engage with education.

    Often interviews have to be judged as' what do they want to hear?' instead of 'what passion,  commitment, experience, common sense and good judgement can I bring to the role?'  A lot of organisations are going to have to change the way they recruit - there are a lot of hapless, incapable tw&ts out there working with vulnerable people when they are not capable - accidents waiting to happen you could say.  It's not just in that sector either.  Jeepers - things have to change, surely?

  • Well, you'd like to think so, Parky, but bringing up my two (both autistic) and seeing the lack of support everywhere, coupled with the ConDems cuts etc, I have serious doubts.

    It all boils down to money.

    I learnt - from one very frank head - that the main reason why my lack of experience mattered was because of budget cuts. If I had been appointed, no matter how excellent I might have been, I would not (legally) be able to take the class when the teacher was on non-contact time, so the school would have had to have paid for a supply teacher to provide cover.  If they have an LSA even with minimal level of experience, then the school could get away with using the LSA to provide the cover, thus saving the expense of a supply teacher.

    As you say, it's a question of giving the answers that they want to hear, and I did.  But I don't have the experience, so, to be quite honest, all of the interviews were a complete waste of time as I was never going to get any of the jobs because of this. 

    Talk about Catch 22.

  • compo 1compo 1 ✭✭✭
    well where I work I only like a few of the workers there is a north/south divde my ideal job would be to work in one of the shops at Lands end or monkey world
  • I currently work at 2012 - I love it. I don't think about having to get up each day and go to work so for that am very lucky. I've never been driven by money and have always enjoyed what I do - sadly though it means I've never accrued much money, although day to day I certainly enjoy myself and am never short for what I like doing...

    I have lived with the attitude that there is one life only - I enjoy it and when I've had enough of something, I change it! It's only me to think of though so it makes it easy.

    Good luck in finding what makes you happy.
  • I have a simple structure to my days... go into work, fuel up for my lunchtime run, recover, fuel up, and prepare for my evening run.

    I find the 8hours at my desk at work are a great way to fuel and recover for the running, the real work of the day image

    You can drive yourself mad in office type situations, comparing yourselfs to everyone else, but at the end of the day if you are doing the things you want to do outside of work it doesn't matter.

    I always wonder if being a fitness instuctor or something linked to running would actually be a good idea, or would end up with the actual running becoming a chore! Maybe the last thing you would want to do after training people all day is actually anything active yourself

  • Stevie G . wrote (see)

    You can drive yourself mad in office type situations, comparing yourselfs to everyone else, but at the end of the day if you are doing the things you want to do outside of work it doesn't matter.

     

    Love that.

    It's like I keep telling myself when I'm there - this is not my life, it's just the thing I have to do for 8 hours a day to finance it.

  • Stevie G . wrote (see)
    I always wonder if being a fitness instuctor or something linked to running would actually be a good idea, or would end up with the actual running becoming a chore! Maybe the last thing you would want to do after training people all day is actually anything active yourself


    I have a friend who got his dream job running a motorcycle dealers as he loves bikes.

    After 20years of working them now though he no longer rides as I think work has taken his enjoment of bikes away.

  • Stevie G . wrote (see)

    I have a simple structure to my days... go into work, fuel up for my lunchtime run, recover, fuel up, and prepare for my evening run.

    I find the 8hours at my desk at work are a great way to fuel and recover for the running, the real work of the day image

    You can drive yourself mad in office type situations, comparing yourselfs to everyone else, but at the end of the day if you are doing the things you want to do outside of work it doesn't matter.

    Work certainly gets in the way of doing the things that I want. I only started running as I work a split shift and had 5 hrs in the middle of the day to fill. I commute by pushie and it takes an hr - I I went home everyday I'd only really have 2 hrs to do anything - sometimes less as work often over runs in the morning. So I started running 3x a week until I was running about 9 miles, then I joined a club. My real passion is art but i hardly do that now as I don't have the time. Thats why I want to chuck my job in - or at least work all my hrs in one block. As it is I'm away from home 6:45am - 6pm. - except on mon, tues and weds when I don't get home til 9:30 as I run or swim on those days, but that's my choice.
  • Jeepers/Parklife - in the health sector (and I suspect it will be similar in education) strict  recruitment guidelines are applied, which leave the selection panel with little discretion.

    Each post will have a person specification listing attributes, both essential and useful/additional, the successful candidate should possess. These are largely culled from the job description. The selection process should be designed to ensure the applicant who best meets the person specification is selected.

    When recruiting all the interview questions relate, either directly or indirectly, to the person spec. Each question has a 'model' answer and the response is scored against that. For example, to my question "what would you do if a patient complained about the standard of care s/he had received" I am looking for the following elements: listen, apologise, deal with, if unable to resolve pass to senior colleague/ if resolve still inform senior colleague, document. Each element scores a point, with a maximum score of 5.

    Each question is weighted, depending on how directly it relates to the person spec and whether it is an essential or useful attribute. Each response goes in to a scoring matrix, the successful candidate being the one with the highest total score.

    The process has meant that I have missed out on some individuals I subjectively 'know' would be good appointments (attributes, such as the passion and commitment you mention,  cannot be objectively measured - although they are, to some extent, accounted for indirectly). However, overall, it works well. My experience is that fewer poor appointments are made than in the days when interviews were largely based on gut feeling. Importantly the process is demonstrably fair and facilitates better quality feedback to unsuccessful interviewees.

    You should be able to get detailed feedback from the interview panel chair, which should enable you to understand why your application was not successful and what you could do to increase the likelihood of future success. If dissatisfied go to their HR dept.

    Sorry this is so long, but hope it is of some help in your future, hopefully successful, job hunting. Good luck out there.

  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    I've worked offshore/rigs for 20 years now (different jobs) - I mostly enjoy it and it's varied, interesting and keeps the brain ticking over. Biggest difficulty is having a family which requires a decent level of commitment/compromise between us and of course I miss out on a fair few family events/milestones. Kids are never too happy when I'm away times like Christmas - although now they are older they know it doesn't affect the present situation!!

    The main upside is that in my time off we can do the things we want too as what I do outside of work is the most important to me. If I get to the point that unhappiness with work was affecting my quality of life I'd change asap - life's too short. Although I don't know if I could do a 9-5 regular job after all this time!

  • thiswayup, thanks for the info, but as a Chair of Governors of a school, I have been involved in the interviewing process, as a member of the panel,  because it's standard procedure to include a member of the governing body in all interviews, even for admin staff.  I've been involved in all the processes, from discussing the staffing needs with the head, to wording the ad, deciding upon the interview questions, then interviewing the candidates and getting feedback from the children with whom the candidates have done their teaching task.  I've also been involved in the decisions about appointment, so I was able to draw on this experience to use in my own interviews.

    My comments about the lack of success in my own interviews are based on the feedback I asked for.

    And, as perhaps I didn't make sufficiently clear, it was from this feedback that I was told that in every case, my weakness was my lack of recent classroom experience.  This gap is abundantly clear on my application form (with dates) and is something that I was trying to address at the time of the interviews, (by doing voluntary work for a few weeks starting in June this year) but there's nothing I can do about other than be honest about the reasons why I had to stay at home. 

    The irony is I'm told that I need experience to get the jobs, yet no-one is willing to give me the chance to get that experience.

  • thiswayup - that seems a real crap way of interviewing and assessing - I would never ask for any kind of post interview feedback.

    Interviews tell you more about the interviewer than the interviewee - and don't forget - your being interviewed as well. How you come across is important, also the general atmospheare of the place. I quite often don't really put any effort into an interview if I don't like the feel of a place.

    Also it doesn't allow for interview nerves - not that I'm nervous at interviews - I'm rather weary of them. This probably comes across - I'm just bored.

    if you want clones with lack of imagination then go ahead - carry on the way you're going - seems totally wrong to me. But then I'm not looking for a job where I'm just a number and no one wants to know anything about me - just tick all the boxes and you're away! CRAP

    I would not be happy in that type of job. Like I'm not happy in the job I've got, which probably is that type of job. Don't know how I would've ticked any of the boxes at all.

    The job that I'm in the process of getting just asked me to volunteer my time for a day and they assessed me on how well I worked with the kids. The kids liked me so thats what counted. the other job just took me on without interview which was mighty odd - warm and upright - you'll do.

  • Bikermouse  - I was outlining the mechanics of the recruitment process for Jeepers/Parklife as I thought this may be of use to them. However just because I described the mechanism does not mean I appoint robots.

    In terms of the interview itself this is as it has always been - introductions, make comfortable, outline formalities, interview questions, their questions, round up and conclude. Appointment has always been made on the basis of who answers the questions best, the only difference now is that the assessment of how well the questions are answered uses objective criteria. This does not in any way affect the feel of the interview.

    We have a very diverse set of staff, who would strongly object to being referred to as 'clones'. One of the advantages of using objective criteria is that it makes it more difficult for recruiting managers to appoint in their own image.

    My staff are not a number to me and I will always do my best to support them - for example I have just moved my annual leave from next week to mid November at a couple of days notice to cover for one of my staff who has some personal problems. I don't understand how you have inferred from my description of the recruitment process that staff are just a number.

    With regard to your experience of the selection process I think using work based assessment is  excellent where it is appropriate. It is not appropriate where I work and the selection process we use is the best available way of getting the right people in to post. That you have been unhappy in your current post is not surprising given the interview process (or lack thereof) described. Which kind of brings me back to the OP as people are usually unhappy at work because they are not in the right job.

  • thiswayup wrote (see)

    With regard to your experience of the selection process I think using work based assessment is  excellent where it is appropriate. It is not appropriate where I work and the selection process we use is the best available way of getting the right people in to post. That you have been unhappy in your current post is not surprising given the interview process (or lack thereof) described. Which kind of brings me back to the OP as people are usually unhappy at work because they are not in the right job.


    Did you not read what I said - that I was selected using your method. - That is the most likely route of why I am unhappy.

     - that staff are expected tp perform in certain ways and not be individual. I do not rate your process very highIy. You do not assess what an idividual can uniquely bring to a post. you iron out idividuality and creativity.

  • Sorry BM did read what you wrote and, in my defence, it is rather ambiguously worded. I read the one day work based assessment as being the interview for the post you are going to start and the other job, where you were taken on without interview, as being the post you currently hold. Reading back, in the context of what you have subsequently said, I am now presuming both refer to the post you are going to.

    I don't want to champion the recruitment process we use at my workplace - like any selection process it is flawed and I have my own criticisms of it, which I have taken up with HR. The reason why I challenged what you wrote earlier was because the criticisms you levelled were not valid ones. The purpose of the selection process is to appoint the person who has the skill set that best meets the job criteria, not stifle individuality.  For where you are going to work the key skill set is presumably an ability to interact well with children and, in doing so, you ticked that box. Where I work it is not practical to do a work based assessment and hence we interview. The only changes that have occurred in how we interview is that the interview questions must relate to the person specification (i.e. be relevant) and we must be able to clearly show (using the scoring matrix) why we have chosen a particular candidate(i.e. the process be demonstrably fair).

    Interestlingly the only dept head who I hear continuing to complain about the new recruitment policy is a white, middle-aged, middle-class woman who had previously only appointed white, middle-aged, middle-class women to her department.

  • Thiswayup - I'm hopefully lining up two jobs, both casual appointments. 

    I still see that method as flawed - you are only recruiting people who answer your qs. in a set way. This does not allow for individual intrepretation of the given situation.

    ie - your complaint scenario - this assumes that there is only one way to deal with a complaint and only one right answer - this is clearly erroneous - there should always be more than one right answer to any q.

    having dealt with complaints in my working life my answer would not be as you describe. i would be looking for any other informationthat was being communicated and trying to work out if the words spoken related to the actual concern of the person making the complaint. In my working life complainsts are often a way in for someone to start talking about what is really on their mind - if i dealt with the situation as you describe I may be failing.

    This is why I say your method of recruitment is fudamentally flawed. You will only ever employ people who answer in a certain way - maybe those who have learnt what answer you want rather than those who have other experiences.

  • Well I've just written my letter of resignation.

    I looked at some online examples - they all seemed to suggest that I should be thanking the company for the opportunities that they have given me and that it was a hard decision to make - if I said either of those things I would be lying.

    I'm leaving because I've stagnated and am not going anywhere and it was an easy decision to make to leave - the only thing that was hard about it was to leave with nothing to go to but I have to move on.

  • thiswayup, TBH, I would have thought that the same criteria are applied in most recruitment processes.  For any given post, a job description would have been created, together with a "people spec" and clearly, the candidate that is appointed is the one who ticks most boxes / gets the highest point score, as well, often, as being the one who will fit into the organisation.  But interviews are a two-way process, it's also about deciding whether you would like to work for them.  I've had a few interviews, some recently and withdrawn as I wasn't happy about certain aspects.

    I used to work in marketing / advertising and have never attended an interview where a work-based assessment was not used.  We used to have to go through three, maybe four interviews: the first would be with HR to assess whether we ticked enough "corporate" boxes, then, if successful, we'd be interviewed by the line manager to assess our skills and experience and compare them with those listed on the cv.  If we passed that hurdle, the next interview would be a working assessment.  I have had to write and present marketing plans from a brief notified in advance, do the same for a brief given on the day, been asked to take part in planning meetings (where the account team is working on a brief - the closest to being in the job), and in one rather bizarre interview, been asked to comment on the agency's response to a client brief, this time, "working backwards", using the finished article to work out what the brief might have been and then to say what if anything, I'd have done differently and why.  Then, if all that goes well, there's the final interview with board members, usually a meal to assess your social and potential networking skills.  Then, if you're lucky, you might get the job.  Assuming you still do after all that!

    bmm, I'm with you re interviewing with the children.  It's a format that we use in the school where I'm a gov, even for admin staff.  The children take the applicants on a tour, then have a Q + A session with them afterwards.  We (the interviewing panel) then ask the children for their feedback.  Interestingly one candidate recently was very nice to the children in the Q + A session, but didn't think that she was "on trial" while on the tour and showed a very different side.  She didn't get the job. 

    I've also been taken around by children in some of the schools where I've applied, luckily I realised that they school might be using this to gauge overall suitability to work with the children, so treated every moment as equally important as when being interviewed by "the grown ups".

    Thanks for the info re the recruitment process, thisway up, but I have to say that I found it a tad patronising that you assumed that neither bmm nor I would know anything about the way in which interviews are conducted in our fields.  One of the first things that I do when attending an interview is research - included in this being the way in which the interview is likely to be conducted, the sort of questions that will be asked any the way in which I would respond.

    However, in schools there are no HR departments, so if you're not happy with the result, there's not much that you can do about it.

  • The first job I ever had was in a 'thereaputic community'. I was interview by the people that I would be working with / for. They decided if they wanted me around or not. The interview was very informal, we played games, had dinner and talked. I got the job image but it was only a temp contract image and after staying there afterward I had to get another job as I lived alone and needed to eat so I left. Now that would be my perfect job if I could do it again.

    Yes - I've applied for jobs in schools where the children have interviewed me and shown me around - I must have done well as they wanted to appointed me but there was a better candidate on the technical front.

  • Thiswayup - as you say, strict recruitment guidelines may be in place (I've worked in HR in a couple of organisations inc the one I'm in now (in a previous role)).

    I've seen discrepancies which have pissed me off somewhat:

    In my current organisation, the Director is allowed to have the final say and she has her favourites.

    In my previous HR role, we interviewed for my boss's replacement and the best candidate had to give a month's notice.  They couldn't wait that long to hand over and gave the job to someone else who, in my opinion at interview, wasn't up to the role.  I was proved right .... image

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