A Christian Employment Support Group

If you have an overwhelming urge to explore the weightier theological ideas, this is the place to seek fellow-travellers.
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Joyce
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A Christian Employment Support Group

Post by Joyce » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:50 pm

I agree with Ernest that what employers are interested in is filling the gap they have. The last thing they are supposed to think about is who needs the job. It is illegal to assume a male is a breadwinner and therefore more worthy of employment,for example.
When I was a school governor I interviewed applicants for just about everything from bi-lingual nursery assistant to headmaster of a large comprehensive. By the time we had formed the short list from the written applications, everybody we interviewed was almost always suitable. Not getting the job was rarely a reflection on any of the ones not chosen. It could be really hard at times.
After the interviews we would phone the unsuccessful ones at home and debrief them,assuring them that they had not failed in any way and expressing confidence they would get something soon.
Rather than toss a coin,we might for instance look at the department where the vacancy was and choose the interviewee who would best bring balance with the staff we already had. On two occasions,we actually offered jobshares.
On two other occasions,we chose people who had no official qualifications but whom we had interviewed out of courtesy because they had been doing the job temporarily as carers for statemented children who otherwise would have had to wait to come back to school. One of the temps whose task was to read written instructions for an able-bodied child who was having eye treatment tactfully mentioned that she'd noticed another pupil was developing a similar problem. That didn't 'arf raise her chances !
Getting shortlisted for the interview is a job in itself. You have to demonstrate you have read the job description and it's even worth commenting on any other paperwork you've been sent, such as the employer's policy document. "I have read and understood the council's equal opportunities statement" for instance is worth adding to the brag page.
List any life experiences that didn't involve paid work but which could be classed as relevant,eg "While I was at home with family responsibilities caring for my disabled relative I had to liaise with government departments, organise small building projects, keep accounts of finances, have dicussions with medical professionals,talk to solicitors and employ help."
Or "While I was off sick and when recovered registered as available for work, I gained up-to-date experience drafting letters, communicating by telephone, using the internet, liaising with government departments, researching occupations,taking online educational courses, and budgeting. I can use these skills to your benefit by ............ "
It's surprising how many interviewers will know exactly what that is like and what sort of a mind it takes to keep it up.

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Joe Parrish
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Post by Joe Parrish » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:39 pm

Volunteering is one way a person can experience a possible job situation. Doing something which uses one's skills and interests is a way possibly to test a vocation. I had a good job as a business manager and large building manager with a big staff in a huge church in Manhattan, when one day they decided they did not have enough clergy to visit the large numbers of elderly home bound folks. The church then offered good training in active listening and sent me out as a volunteer to visit those folks; doing that I finally discovered what I loved to do and went to seminary--having a wife who had a good job and who helped pay my tuition(!) I had always loved being with my grandparents, who were all deceased, but suddenly I had dozens I had 'adopted' and who had adopted me!

Perhaps a similar route could take a person from fixing something, doing something, experiencing something to becoming interested enough in it to go to formal training in the thing that delighted them most, or to get some sort of interim paying job to put oneself through the necessary advanced schooling.
Peace and Easter blessings,
Joe :)
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:20 pm

Joe,it used to be said that if you burst a bag of flour in any crowded place in the UK,99% of the people you'd hit would be volunteers of some sort, whether through an organisation or informally.
Legislation and regulation has restricted very much who can take part in voluntary work now, and what sort of work they can do. It can take ages to be accepted and in many cases prospective volunteers might be charged a fee.
I too have known people who started off in voluntary work helping out with things who went on to take it up professionally.
There is still scope and there are still volunteers but it's by no means as simple to get involved as it once was.

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:30 pm

Beth, When I've worked out how, I'll PM you a summary I've just written about my working life.
I decided not to post it here because of two situations affecting my life and work that might be taken as political.
If anybody else wants to read it, just ask and I'll PM or email it.
It's a little under two pages long in a Word rtf.
Now to read the instructons on attachments .... :)

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Beth
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Post by Beth » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:05 pm

Funny isn't it? You'd think we'd reward enterprise?

I got my last job through work experience, which was unpaid. That left me very vulnerable when it came to leaving. (If I could have left and paid to finish my training that would've been a different matter :biggrin:)

I won't be put off volunteering because of that though. I heard recently "convenient is the new local". If I could find opportunities that suited my skill-set on-line I'd go that route with volunteering to try and build my trust and professional profile gradually.

I keep a listening ear out and have been building up a network of friends who are great themselves at creating opportunities. It's often easier to join in than to start something to begin with :) I'm motivated to help people I like as well. :) :) Volunteering in a situation where I found it difficult to please people caused pain in the past. Maybe there was some perfectionism on my part. :) :) :)

In general, I think building up mutual trust should be a priority for an under-employed person, like your story of your Grandparents, Joe. You had that emotional connection which helped you discern you were doing the right thing.
Last edited by Beth on Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Beth
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Post by Beth » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:07 pm

Joyce wrote:Beth, When I've worked out how, I'll PM you a summary I've just written about my working life.
I decided not to post it here because of two situations affecting my life and work that might be taken as political. :)

Thank you, Joyce! That would help me so much!! I'll PM you.

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:55 pm

I wrote about recruiting earlier, in the main, my objective there was about recruiting civilian staff from the job market to work within a civil service environment. I also have extensive experience of recruiting young people for the Armed Forces, which while you're required to observe the norms of employment law, you are off course, permitted and need to be quite selective about those who you make a job offer too.

The reality is that being a member of the Armed Forces is a job which can be full-on, 24/7 for short periods and with perhaps shorter hours, but still 7 days a week at other times. You are also putting people in roles, where they are volunteering to put themselves in harms way if necessary in the service of their country, not something you do in most jobs, with a few exceptions such as the emergency services.

The issue with being quite selective about who you employ is that you often have to break the bad news to those who fail to make the grade, either before joining or who you discover can't meet the physical, academic or sheer mindfulness and determination to undertake intensive and extensive hard mental and physical training. Others may find that obeying orders comes hard or that working in a small team, basically in a self sacrificial way for the benefit of the whole team doesn't fit in with their concept of what should be expected of them.

Breaking the news that they've not come up to the expectations is hard job, but a necessary one, and I did it on many occasions. It's always hard to see someone you've given lots of time and effort to, who you've built up a relationship with have to go - moral courage is needed to do it, because it's not right to keep people on the hook, in the hope or expectation that they'll eventually measure up. You don't have the resources in a finite, tight manpower structure to do so.

I suspect that on occasion some fail the test of moral courage to tell someone it's time you went - and I observed over the years many people, long serving, doing an below average job, who were tolerated because someone down the line hadn't done what needed to be done, and by than, it was too late to change it.

It sounds quite judgmental, but I can assure you it wasn't and isn't. People (in my experience) were given every possible chance to meet the standards, and more before the hard decision was taken to let them go. I always personally did this, with a meeting and a full explanation and the reasons, pointing out that they could appeal the decision if needed. Few chose this option, most went with good grace, if a little disappointed.

In trying to relate this to the concept of an 'addiction to unemployment' I'm afraid that I only met those who were striving and really wanted to be doing what they were applying for. Some of them were unemployed, but were volunteering or doing whatever they could to find work. The Armed Forces (part-time, paid employment) was one among several or more options that they were exploring. To a man or woman, they were frustrated by their lack of work, and were determined to take any job offered, and often did, rather than be idle or on the dole.

I don't try to relate this across the board, just relating my own experience of a system over a good many years, which worked well, but where the paper trail needed to get someone into the system was a nightmare. I actually believe that this put more people off joining than the actually physical demands expected of them. :(
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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:53 pm

"In trying to relate this to the concept of an 'addiction to unemployment' I'm afraid that I only met those who were striving ................. To a man or woman, they were frustrated by their lack of work, and were determined to take any job offered, and often did, rather than be idle or on the dole. "

Same here, Ernest ! Most people's definition of an addiction would be an excessive and lengthy attachment, with actual or potential bad behaviour as a side-effect, to something that would in normal use be pleasurable or helpful. The original encounter with the addictive thing is voluntary. The addicted person usually needs help to give it up and may need to avoid it at all costs for life. An addiction would need to fit at least those criteria for me. Unemployment does not fit them.
Can some people become habituated to unemployment ? Yes indeed, if it goes on long enough, because humans are adaptable and some adjust to anything, but getting used to a problem is not the same as addiction. Neither is getting depressed, frustrated or despairing about their situation. To call them 'addicted' is unjust because they didn't enter it voluntarily with a view to pleasure. They don't deplete family resources to fund it nor any other things that addicts do - they want it to end and the ending won't be painful.
Are there people unwilling to work ? Yes. I've met a few but they aren't addicted. They'll give their reasons. I was shocked at the age of seventeen to meet in my job for the first time men who were getting more money on National Assistance than my superior officials received in salary. They said then, and those like them still say, that if they were offered work for more money than they were getting already, they'd take it but they couldnt otherwise afford to come off the dole. Whatever that position is called, it's not addiction. Every colour of government I've lived under in the fifty years since then -red,yellow and blue - has tried to tackle that issue and they've all been criticised by one lobby or another.
If unemployment addicts do exist in this country, there aren't enough of them to make it worthwhile starting up a group like the ones for gamblers, alcoholics and drug addicts as suggested in the OP. If there were, somebody would have set up a rehab home by now and be trying to get a government grant or lottery funding for it.

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Joe Parrish
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Post by Joe Parrish » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:38 am

Pam wrote:To be fair, by 'a sort of addiction', I understood Corbin to mean that if people become hopeless about finding work it may become very hard for them to break the cycle of being unemployed. <>
Pam, :)
I think you are right on as to a better word or phrase to use. Indeed when folks are away from work 'too long' they will find a job that begins at 6 AM or 8 AM (or nights only) to be too early/late; eight or nine hours of continuous work will be impossible, at first. Here the younger people rarely have only one job, especially if they have a family, so 12-14 hour days are not such a rarity. The 'trick' many have found is to create a job, become an entrepreneur. One of our Habitat families mothers had three jobs at one time in order to care for her youngsters--one weekends only. Many of our best actors spent time as restaurant waiters @ less than $3/hour guaranteed.
Peace and Easter blessings,
Joe, praying for the unemployed, and underemployed, as he is also now :huh: :)
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Pam
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Post by Pam » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:44 pm

Joe, that's becoming commonplace for young people over here as well - and the not so young if they are made redundant and have to work to fulfil the financial obligations they undertook when in a better paid job.

It's taken quite a few of the young people under thirty I know several years to find full employment, with spells of study, volunteering and low paid work while they acquired a good CV.

Of course the problem then is that if the well qualified people are taking jobs that the less well qualified could do, it leaves no way for the less qualified to get their foot on the ladder. :sad:

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Joe Parrish
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Post by Joe Parrish » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:06 pm

Yes, Pam, :)
I have seem more and more here trying to get a four year college degree now, even if it nearly bankrupts them because of the cost and pile up of student loans required, as that is about the last competitive edge here, though it too will one day disappear or is already disappearing as an advantage.

My friend, a very gifted carpenter, found himself out of regular work, decided to get training as an EMS, Emergency Medical Service, ambulance, medical, worker, and apparently is absolutely loving it, as he says he loves saving lives.

Guess if one can build a house one can splint broken bones, minus the nails! :o

Thanks for your note!
Peace and Easter blessings,
Joe :)
Peace and blessings,
Joe

corbin
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Post by corbin » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:33 pm

Talking about unemployment, with all the technology that's going on around us, do you think work as we know it will ever disappear.

Corbin

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Beth
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Post by Beth » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:07 pm

Hahhaha! Don't do that to me, Corbin. There's a Science Fiction novel in the making there. :confused:

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