Busy as a bee.

This last week I can liken myself to that of a very busy bee, with the hope that there will be something worthwhile at the end of it…..a jar of sweet tasting honey……metaphorically speaking that is. This weekend has felt like the longest weekend ever for me, on the edge, biting my nails, all the uncertainty…..and I am not referring to the pathetic efforts of the England football team in the World Cup!

It has been a somewhat  hectic week without any spare time on my hands to be able to do anything but focus, darting here and there, planning, researching on the computer, waiting for buses, keeping topped up with water and caffeine to avoid dehydration due to the very high temperatures as well as staying alert due to fatigue from a few bad weeks of insufficient sleep due to my sleep apnoea,  trying to stay cool calm and collected,  but hopefully by tomorrow I will know whether it’s all been worth it, and if I have that all important new job or not, as there are two companies/organizations who are after me and have shortlisted me then interviewed me and shortlisted me down to the last two and three  in each case and should be some remote chance I get offered both jobs, it’s a massive decision which one to take. In addition to all that this past week I spent 3 days in a class room!

It’s a long story, but here is the shortened version.

Many years ago, in fact before I left school, I had decided I wanted to become a nurse or police officer. I think as a youngster, we all go through these ideals about what we would like to do, and the reasons behind them. I wanted to do something worthwhile, help my local community so to speak, and despite some misgivings by many people over the years, I believed and still do believe in the work of these two very important public services the NHS and Police. I did some 3+ years service in the Specials, but a back injury put paid to my ever becoming a regular police officer.

Unfortunately when I left school,  I wasn’t in a position to go to college, family needs dictated otherwise, and so I was never able to pursue the chance to go through ‘higher education’ in order to be able to train as what was back then known as a SEN or SRN in nursing, or wait until I was old enough before attempting to join the police force. On leaving school, I immediately had to find a job that would help in some way to pay our family household bills.

What a lot of today’s younger generation, don’t realise or can even visualise is that growing up in the 70’s was extremely tough, it was an era of ongoing battles between the government, industry and the ‘old style trade unions’. There was a lot of corruption at the top in industry and politics, a lot less now of course because of better control and various legislation that was implemented, even though we are all aware it stills goes on. In a nutshell, this era  was known as a time of ‘economic rationing’ workers were battling for their rights to earn decent living wages, inflation continued to rise, but wages did not, thus causing industrial action/strikes,  this of course had a major knock on effect through the British economy and other areas of our industry. In  1974 the then Conservative government  implemented a 3 day working week in order to conserve electricity, due to among other problems the miners striking, which was one of several measures they introduced, this meant that money was extremely tight in a majority of households of the working class. On top of all this in 1973 there was a global oil crisis.  Another big employer of the time in this country, and still is big in the manufacturing industry, the car makers.  It is thanks to the generation of workers of that time, that so many of the younger generation benefit  today. And in this day and age so much now is still taken for granted. The simplicity now of choosing which college or university one wants to attend, wasn’t around back then. If you went to either college or university you were very fortunate. As a result of all this now career choices are a lot easier to make now  than back then. A lot of this hardship extended into the early 80’s, before among other things technology took over and played a major part in improving the quality of life which has continued to extend into the new bold 21st century. An electric typewriter in the early 80’s was then the modern equipment of the time, which became  a word processor before becoming the modern computers of today. But through out all this our NHS has survived, even though it is now still fighting to survive.

Over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, I attended what is called by the NHS,  The Learning Hub at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. This is a sort of training schedule for those of us who are unemployed but would like the chance to work for the NHS. I was fortunate to meet a group of ladies on the same course who were all in the same boat as me, some were looking at becoming a HCA  and some at going in for administration/clerical like myself. We had all lost our jobs recently, and some of the ladies like myself didn’t really know which direction we wanted to go in, and were looking at a career change.  I know there is no way I will become a nurse, I don’t have it me to go to college/university and take 3 to 4 years out to take a degree before entering nursing, I suppose realistically that was my childhood dream, when back in the 70’s those dreams really did mean something, but  with time I grew away from all of that.  What I have thought about and often considered for well over 3 years (since knowing I was going to lose my job with D&A) was the chance to work in the NHS in administration/clerical or as a support worker (HCA) When I landed my last job last year, those thoughts went to the back of my mind. In recent weeks those thoughts have resurfaced, and through my local job centre I was able to find out more about attempting to get a job in the NHS.

The idea of this course, which is set in several stages, and only for the unemployed, gives an insight into the NHS which increases your chances of finding the right job and getting in.  A job is not guaranteed, but it goes a long way in working towards your goal. I have recently found one of the mistakes a lot of us commonly make on our CVs is not enough of specific skills to match the right jobs, these days it is called ‘person specification’. We tend to put in a long list of what we can do, whether its relevant to the specific job or not, and we tend to leave out some important information or facts about ourselves that may just make a difference, and give you that little extra edge over someone else.

Only problem is now this past week I have had two job interviews in two days. The first one which was Thursday afternoon came about because I was shortlisted for the job by the local Hays Recruitment agency. Funny thing is I recall when I applied for the job, I thought to myself no chance, but I might as well apply! Within a matter of hours I had a phone call asking me to pop into their offices in the city centre and discuss my application in more detail, apparently because I had SAP computer experience (implemented and used for the last 6 or 7  yrs at D&A) this gave me an edge over the other applicants. As a result of this I had my CV sent to the prospective employer, and was duly advised I had been shortlisted along with another 5 people for an interview. Following a phone call from the recruitment office Friday morning, myself and one other are on the final decision list….they couldn’t quite make up their minds which one of us they are going to offer the job to. Monday I should know one way or the other. In the meantime Friday morning I went for another job interview, this one was following a 15 page written application from a couple of weeks ago which I posted, but on Sat 7th June I received a letter via the post informing me I had not been shortlisted for interview. Ah well some you win and some you lose!

However when returning home last Monday, after my first day on the Learning Hub course, I had been left a telephone message from the manager of the same place I had received the letter from on Sat morning. He stated in his message, that I had only just missed out on the shortlist for interviews, but would like to meet me and discuss my application further. Seemed a little bit strange I thought, but what the heck!! Then at the interview, it all became apparent, I had unfortunately, as the interviewer put it ‘only just missed the cut in getting on the last short list’, but they have since had approval for funding for either another full-time post or they may have to make it a couple of part time posts as administrators They would duly give their decision on Monday as to who would get the second job

The big question is now of course if I am offered one or both jobs, which one do I accept? If I do get either one and start working again in the next few days, it will mean I can no longer advance on to my next stage of the NHS learning Hub course, and yet again my dream and wish for an opportunity to work for our NHS has gone again like a puff of smoke. Once I become employed, the legal requirements mean I have to withdraw from the course, and the next stage was due to start later next month, which included a placement for about 15 hours a week over a three-week period. That in itself would have improved my chance of getting a job in the NHS as well as a more in-depth look at how the NHS recruitment works.

In the meantime tonight I need to sleep on it and try to not worry about tomorrow……easier said than done.


Many thanks for stopping by, and watch this space!


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