Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another day, another round of applications and crappy phone calls.

See, although I talked about how great it was going to be being a gentleman of leisure, the reality is just a little different.

The good news this morning was the final bit of pay from Smith's Wood appeared in my bank account today which means I don't feel so bloody poor for the time being.
It's very strange this being without a job lark. Although I knew I was going to be jobless for a while once we got up here and I'd planned and budgeted for that it's still a very unsettling feeling. Last time I didn't have a job I had very little responsibilities and knew that I could always get some hours at Nostalgia.

But this time there is no safety net and I find myself unemployed and looking for work. I have started applying for jobs. The plan remains the same though.
With leaving Birmingham, I decided it was time for a change and I'm finally going to give up being a poorly paid lab tech at secondary schools and try and become an even more poorly paid Teaching Assistant in primary schools.

I've always been told I'm very good with young children and seem to have the patience and tolerance to cope with them and genuinely enjoy spending time in the company of children.
But even knowing it's something I'm very good at, the prospect of completely changing jobs to do something I know I'm going to love fills me with dread.
On the one hand I know I'm a good catch for any primary school - a bloke for a start, which is a rare thing nowadays in primary schools, plus science background, intelligent and with good computer skills.
But on the other hand I've got to get my foot in the door first and actually get an interview to show them how good I am.

So today was spent doing much the same as I did yesterday, applying for Teaching Assistant jobs, whether or not they ask for qualifications, phoning round the relevant agencies and training providers to talk about what training courses I can do and generally spending time updating my CV and writing covering letters trying to tell prospective headteachers how bloody good I am.

One thing I have noticed is that most training providers could really do with a bit of training themselves. Or maybe they're just not used to people who've actually thought about what they want and how they want to do it.
Because I had a really hard time explaining my situation to everyone I spoke to today.
All I want is two things (well, a job, good life, health and happiness as well, but I don't think Learn Direct are the right people to ask about these.)

An ICT course. This needs to be very short and give me a qualification that proves I can do everything I know I can already do. Essentially all I want is the test element of the European Computer Driving License course.
I do not want to spend 36 weeks of evening classes once a week learning how to word-process and use spreadsheets. All I need is the piece of paper telling employers I can.
(I think I'm going to have to sweet talk the local adult ed centre into letting me register on their ECDL course and just take the tests for the ICT thing.)

An introduction to being a Teaching Assistant course. One that sets out the basics but most importantly gets you into the schools and gives you a practical taster.
And I don't think this Teaching assistant course exists. It really seems like catch 22. You have to be working in schools as a TA to do the practical assessed part of the TA NVQ, but a lot of adverts want qualified TAs now.
(I may end up seeing if I can volunteer as a TA in the local schools to get the experience I'm after. Great, poor, working and still no money coming in.)

Learn Direct appear to have a serious problem understanding these two simple things I'm after.
I even phoned back later on today to see if the second advisor was any better than the unhelpful prat I spoke to this morning.
She wasn't.

So we continue tomorrow.
A fun day beckons. Visit the local adult ed centre to talk computer courses, more phone calls about TA courses and registering with local councils for posts as a TA. Write letter of application for jobs and as an introduction to the CV I've just finished trying to explain why I want to be a TA.

But despite all this it's still the best thing being up here.
So please don't worry, all is well.

My Life / House Move - Yorkshire 2006

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