Knowing what you want shouldn’t equate to picky.

An aside on the job-hunt front.

My landlord upstairs knows I’m job hunting and keeps telling me to apply for positions at her work because she thinks I’m perfect for them. I’ve been non-committal. She works at a job services/placement agency (JSA) i.e. they are paid commissions by the government to place unemployed people who are on social welfare into jobs.

To be frank, I know that, no matter how good she believes I would be good at the job (and I don’t think I would be), it is not a job I want to do. I don’t think I’d be suited to it because it’s dealing one-on-one with people, the majority of which will range from apathetic about getting a job to hostile towards a government agency that they believe is failing them.

I know this because I was once unemployed, on social welfare, job-hunting and required to go to the agency to keep getting my welfare payment. I felt I received minimal assistance in finding a job. But I didn’t get angry at the agency – I just accepted it as another paltry attempt by the government to show it was doing something about unemployment. While I was there met quite a few others in the same position as me and they hated the agencies and the people who worked there. No one believed they were a help at all and they were just after the placement commissions.

Of course, one might think “well if they get commissions for placing people in jobs, wouldn’t they try to do as many as possible?”. Well, yes, I think they do. But unemployment levels in Cairns is in the top five for Australia (9.8% in April). There just isn’t that many jobs. Plus, the agency only qualifies for a commission when a person, placed in a job, stays there for at least 3-4 weeks (or something like that). I think the number of placements they make also factors into their commissions. Anyway, as a result, they will place people in any job, regardless of their qualifications and/or experience. My JSA consultant put my resume forward for a retail sales position at a hardware store. It was all about lets get you in a job and then you can look at something you are better suited to later.

Now I that I think about, I think that is what my landlord is trying to do. I told her last night I have an interview for an assistant accountant position. Then this morning, she tells me that her work is looking for a receptionist in their city branch and I should apply. I know i should just tell her I don’t want a receptionist job. That I don’t want to work at a JSA. But given her personality, it’s a fair chance her reply will be “why not? You’d be perfect for it. It pays well enough, you could get permanent, sick days and holidays… it’s a job. You’d be stupid if you didn’t apply”. She doesn’t listen to me. I would think a reasonable person would be able to tell i wasn’t keen given I keep giving non-commital answers and not sending her my resume, no matter how many times she tells me I should.

I know many people will say I shouldn’t be so picky. But I want to have a job that I know will keep me moving forward. That I will enjoy. While i do have reception experience and do a fair job of it, I don’t like it. I want to work in accounts. I have 5 weeks before my contract ends. I think that gives me a good amount of time to focus my job-hunt on what I want to do. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Oh, I have decided though, I will send my resume in for the reception job just to get my landlord off my back. I find it highly unlikely HR will seriously consider me, and if they do, well fingers crossed I have a job before they get back to me. 🙂


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