Redundancy and Job hunting - a new position

Well, Monday I started a new job, at a firm in Milton Keynes, so this will be my last blog on this theme. Now is probably a good time to look back and reflect on the experience - which has appeared to me to be fairly short, possibly because I was busy. I was unemployed for about 2 months - how better could I have handled the situation?

I saw the redundancy money as an opportunity, but I did not maximise that opportunity. Stepping back and thinking more about what I wanted to do, and investigating local business and openings may have helped. The money is a rare chance to set yourself up doing something, or to give yourself a break from the rat-race of earning a living, and I could have made mine last for a year, without signing onto JSA. Once I had signed on, the jobseekers agreement put pressure on me to find a job - not work out what I wanted to do.

You have to believe in yourself to really apply yourself to job hunting - to know that you are a person with skills, that would be of great benefit to the right employer. That allows you to stop being desperate to find a job, any possible job, and instead look for the right employer, who is really going to value you. If the employer is not the right one, then you turn them down, preferably more frequently than they turning you down!

I would have liked to spend more time researching, and less time responding the the endless stream of lists of jobs forwarded by various job boards. Getting good information on local firms appeared to be harder than I expected (I failed to discover how to get a list of all businesses in the area supplied at 11kV, relevant to me because I have experience of such supplies), but once you have identified a firm, it is possible to get a lot of information about it, and discover people who work there. And people are the key - it is going to be an existing employee who needs to be convinced that you would be worth employing.

Networking is not my strong point, and I could have done a lot more in strengthening and expanding my network. Over the years I have worked with a vast number of people, and simply to list them (they signed my leaving card, so that will remind me of their names) allows a search for them, which could reveal interesting companies and connections. I never found the time to do that properly in my unemployed period, or to launch out into specific networking events.

Signing off from JSA required a 15 minute phone call, and the first 5 minutes was the automatic system trying to put me through to the right real living person. You declare that you have been job hunting right up until starting the new post - but the accepted reality is that once you are offered and accept a post, you stop hunting, and start preparing to start work. Sometime the state does not make it easy to be honest!

Now I am with a new selection of work colleagues, struggling to learn their names, their areas of expertise, their mode of operation. It will come together, as will learning the way they store information on their computer system, and all the other things which differ between organisations. I am looking forward to reaching the point where I am truly proving my worth in that organisation.