Monday, 20 December 2010

Back to Work session

Had the new "Back to Work session" at the job centre, which I had been able to ask to do on a one-to-one basis rather than in a group as is normally the case. The session is based on viewing a standard Powerpoint presentation and discussing my own situation with respect to points raised. It started with the general conditions of being available and actively seeking, no need to remind me on that but appreciated it is standard, and I know there are some that DO need reminding of this!

Generally I think the man empathises with my situation. He did speak of "Flexible Routeways" and the courses I did at college and I explained how I'd already been through these, and they had not helped as much as I'd hoped as it was too much "coach the jobseeker" and not enough "introduce me to employers" and he took my points ok. He appreciated the main point was I would be seen in my best light if employers could take me on their Work Trial scheme.

There was discussion of "new approaches to job seeking" especially discussing the speculative applications situation, with the presentation reminding the point that many jobs are not advertised, suggesting the possibility that people write, phone or visit major employers. Naturally each of these things work better for some people than others, and I explained with my hesitant speech and nervous body language writing obviously works best for me as if I phoned or visited nervously I would leave a lasting bad impression and would blow any chance I might have had if a job arose in the future.

I already made the point of adding speculative applications to make up the tally of 3 applications in a given week. I have seen on internet that Jobcentre advisors are varied in their interpretation of the "3 STEPS a week" rule, especially on MoneySavingExpert where some people were saying their advisors were hard and fast about requiring 3 APPLICATIONS a week, but the debate was as to whether a "step" necessarily meant an "application", but a means of searching ie Jobcentre vacancies, newspapers, asking around; recognising there will not always be that many advertised vacancies in a week. The man I saw admits he knows 3 steps doesn't necessarily mean 3 applications, but the forum threads suggests some advisors misinterpret this. It doesn't hurt to send out letters to make up the tally anyway, one just might land in the right place at the right time.

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