Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Many thanks to the comedian and writer Wendy Wason who flagged it up to me when she was reviewing the papers on BBC London radio on Sunday morning.
Monday, 9 April 2012
He claims, we are told, to be protesting against elitism. The boat race is contested between crews from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Mr Oldfield was educated at public school and has studied at the London School of Economics. So we're not talking a life of deprivation.
Now it's fair to say that I'm fairly anti elitism in our society. OK so I've not been on the front pages of the national press but I would suggest that as a protest against privilege in our society In My Shoes kind of knocks Mr Oldfield into a cocked hat.
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Many of us find looking for work daunting enough even if you have the relevant skills or experience for the job. I have a bulging file of rejections and letters letting me know that unfortunately I have not been successful. I even attended an interview for a job that I was overqualified for thinking to myself I’ve got this job in the bag, as a lot of you would, but as with most things in life nothing ever goes according to plan. The interview itself wasn’t too bad it was what the employer said at the end which confused me “I’m sorry but you’re just not what we’re looking for at the moment”. WHAT! I have the relevant skills, I have done this job before so I have experience, I am what you’re looking for.
I came away from the interview like every other one: dejected, angry and relentlessly cursing the fact that I have to go through this every time. But that’s not the end of it because we the jobless still have these skills that are not being taken advantage of and are just going to waste. Like a lot of people, I have experienced homelessness and have gained skills and knowledge throughout the journey and I am becoming quite concerned having talked to a number of homeless and non-homeless people that they share this common grievance.
When asked, a number of people agreed that it seemed as though image was number one priority-not the fact that you are capable of doing the job. I have, in frustration, even resorted to embellishing my CV and skills a little in the hope that it would show me as the best candidate, but never did. Why is it so hard for these employers to accept the fact that OK, you might not have done this kind of work before but it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to do it, the more you do something the easier it becomes until it is second nature-that is the process of learning. To shed some light on this matter I actually spoke to a few employers who remarked that it was down to a few reasons, that companies have a quota to meet on employing people belonging to certain groups (this seems to be about image again not whether they can do the job), but mostly down to the fact that they can’t afford the time or money to train anyone.
I believe that there is something that can be done and networking is the key. We’ve all heard the saying “its not what you know but who you know” and through my own experiences I’ve found that this has never been truer. Being part of an organisation called Camden Calling and meeting the group leader within two years I, along with other members are about to finish the first series of our radio podcast shows and start the second series with internet radio station Recharged Radio, I am currently creating music to put with poetry to record a spoken word album which I will be performing onstage in April along with the videos. So by just meeting the right person a number of doors have opened up.