This has been an extremely difficult post to write. Just thinking about it and working through the questions makes me teary, angry and hell bent on revenge. I’ve been through the process of Thing 21, I’ve sat and thought about it long and hard, I’d rewritten my CV for a specific purpose only to have it rejected. Not for a new job but for something else entirely. The reasons given and the way I was told about it also make me angry and again the tears well up. But I’m not one to snivel in the corner. The rejection has forced me to look long and hard at what I do and to revisit some of the questions raised in this thing & rewrite my CV yet again. I still believe I am extraordinary and for others not to see that ….. well their loss.
What do you like to do? I like helping people. I like to show them how things are done, I like to help them with research. I like finding things out, researching things, exploring how things work and why they are like they are. I like creating things, designing things and systems. I like reading, I like reading to people and I like to make people laugh. I like fresh air. I like working on my own. I like taking photographs.
What do you dislike? rudeness, pomposity, arrogance, I do not suffer fools gladly, noise, heat, dust, hot airless offices, bullying, enclosed spaces, being bored, laziness, lateness oh and of course Peas!
Feeling of deep satisfaction? There have been many feelings of deep satisfaction, usually when I have achieved something, ie a new job, the satisfaction of getting through the interview process. The best “new job” feeling came when I’d applied to be a Superintendent Registrar for Haywards Heath registration district. I got an interview, had to get through a technical interview and I also had to do a presentation on the registration service. Having got through all that and the fact I was skipping a grade/level to get to SR meant I was on cloud nine when I was offered the job. Extraordinary indeed. Feelings of satisfaction on completing something has to be my degree in Geology. Against the odds (I didn’t do science at school, it was all arts subjects) I got a BSc degree with the Open University. One of my lovely tutors wrote when I achieved 100% in an assignment declared it “an extraordinary achievement …. well done”.
As far as creating things goes, I derive great satisfaction from taking a small derelict garden full of weeds and creating a gorgeous garden which gives many people pleasure when they walk past our house. But I suppose my greatest achievement has come in the last few weeks when I received news that my latest blood test showed that I had (through diet and hard exercise) got my blood sugars down to below 7% which means I don’t need to use medication to control my diabetes. My diabetic nurse was overjoyed, ecstatic and declared I had achieved something momentous.
What skills do you need to do the things you like? Communication skills, empathy, a willingness to help. Common sense and the ability to compromise and of course a touch of the extraordinary.
Having read this out to my husband, he commented on my dislikes before reading the skills. “if you hate all those why did you take up with me?” I pointed to the “ability to compromise” 🙂
Part 2 of Thing 21 is all about CVs, job applications, and interviews. My advice is DO read the job description, DO read the essential criteria and DO read the desired criteria. List them all and show how you meet ALL of them in your personal statement. Read your personal statement to friends and family for their opinion. Does it read well, edit, rewrite as long as it takes to get it right. Research the organisation. If you have the opportunity, visit or chat to someone there.
Once you get your interview, dress smart but comfortably, don’t overdo the perfume/aftershave, arrive on time. SMILE 🙂 Shake hands with everyone. Make yourself comfortable, move the chair, ask if a window can be opened if it is too hot/stuffy. Try not to babble, if you can’t think of an answer to a question, ask if you can come back to it. Never assume all of the interview panel have read all of your job application. I’ve been asked some daft questions which were highlighted in my personal statement and because I assumed the panel had read it I stumbled around an answer in disbelief that they were asking me that. Answer all the questions in the belief that even if the panel have read it, they will have forgotten most of it. Sometimes interviews don’t work out at all. I’ve got half way through an interview where I took an instant dislike to both interviewers (one of whom would be my boss) and I’ve stopped the interview announcing that on reflection, this post isn’t for me. Some I’ve been offered the post and I’ve turned it down because the hours/pay/duties aren’t actually what I really want. And of course there is the heartache when you KNOW you are the right person for the job and despite all your Extraordinaryness they give it to someone who is already working for them. These things happen … a lot! For me I had applied for a Deputy Superintendent Registrar post in Sunderland. I was living in Worthing, but if I got it (and I should have) we were going to live with my husband’s aunties until we found somewhere to live. I was called for interview. I flew up as it was quicker. Great interview, then they called to say “Great interview, very impressed with knowledge etc etc but we always appoint within organisation”. So why on earth waste my time!
The advice in Thing 21 about creating a database with everything on it is sound advice. I’ve done this, but need to go back and rewrite it.
….. you just don’t know it yet!