There was a PSA on TV in Canada in the 90s, which looped “you can’t get a job if you don’t have experience… you can’t get experience if you don’t have a job.”
That about sums up what’s been flipping through my head for the past six months living in England.
I’ve sent out countless résumés and applications (Brits are very fond of ignoring your CV in favour of annoying pre-formatted application forms to fill in), from which I’ve managed to land half a dozen interviews. Unfortunately, each has inevitably been followed up with “we went with a candidate with more experience.”
It’s really quite discouraging.
Of course, I’ve been told what I already knew – that volunteering can be a good way to get in the door at a charity – but like unpaid internships, I can’t morally bring myself to work for free until someone is kind enough to pay me for it. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.
Especially when we’re getting to the point where we need to decide whether we’re going to give up on the UK and move back to Canada in August – thus killing any ability for me to secure the type of non-profit that I’ve been looking for.
Basically, it’s been a fairly frustrating time, made bearable by some wonderful new friends, establishing Sunday Assembly Leeds, and travelling (which is also partially why I haven’t blogged as much lately – it’s sometimes too hard to give a damn).
Hopefully my next update is better news. I still have a few active leads but I’m feeling justifiably cynical.