The Permanent Jobseeker

Written by Anne-Marie Jennings

Does being a permanent jobseeker make life hard?

It’s been a while since I’ve told you anything about my precarious employment situation
Not because writing no longer holds any interest for me (nothing could be further from the truth)
I simply haven’t been able to sit down and collect my thoughts. Now that the initial learning curve was straightened out somewhat, my focus has been on the job and not what I think about the job
Recently, I have noticed that my thinking has gone from trying to find and keep the job I have right now to finding my next job – because my experience has always been that no job is permanent – even if it is classified as such

A dog might be for life, a job isn't

That has become the new reality in the work world today. In the past, one could be expected to find a job and stay in that job (or at the very least in the same company) for the lion’s share of their career. Some people walked out of high school or university with a job waiting for them, and walked out of that same company 25 or 30 years later upon retirement
And that reality is starting to take up more and more of my conscious thought, because the contract is coming to an end
Granted, I still have four months until I am to be officially unemployed, but there is no time like the present to find something to do next. My work colleagues are all being very positive and telling met that my contract is certain to be extended (simply because they recognize that I am a good fit for the group), but I am choosing to be more realistic – if not pessimistic

I don't want your job anyway

In some ways, it is a defence mechanism. If I do not put too much stock in keeping this job, I will not be as hurt when I am leaving on my last day. By remaining noncommittal, I am hoping to be not as injured when the reality that I am once again jobless rears its ugly head
The bottom line in my case is that the ultimate decision will not come down to my abilities, but to a series of factors far outside of my control. Cost-cutting measures will require my manager to keep her salary budget low or as close to present levels as possible, and since I am the extra body when the person whom I am replacing returns from maternity leave in a couple more months, I will soon be the odd person out
So I have started looking elsewhere – even outside of the city I am in right now. I am practical enough to realize that my next job does not necessarily wait for me in this city, and in some cases, the job I will next have doesn’t even have to be in this same country (yes, I could work in elsewhere in the world if I really wanted to – or had to)
I am fully aware that it is the skills and abilities I have picked up in each job that ultimately lead to my next job in some way or another, and it is those assets upon which I need to focus in my continuing search for employment
But the possibility also exists that it's not my job history that will help me secure my next job. It may in fact be my own personal development that will ultimately make me more appealing to my next employer. Because we are ultimately the sum of our experiences, and it is those experiences that gained skills and abilities that are more attractive to hiring managers and bosses
So far, that has been my experience when it comes to the job search, It is ultimately what you know that defines you, and not necessarily in which type of business or enterprise you learned those skills and abilities
Do I have the time to find a new job before this contract runs out?
To be honest, I do not know
Will I worry about it?
Yes, of course
But I am more than ready to discover where the journey will take me next…
After more than 20 years of real world experience, Anne-Marie Jennings could write just about anything – and probably has. Whether Anne-Marie was working as the sole employee of a bimonthly publication in the Arctic, as a Sports editor who also developed black & white film, or even as a Compliance Officer for Canada Post Corporation, Anne-Marie’s jobs have all involved the written word.

Now firmly entrenched among the under-employed, Anne-Marie will provide an unique perspective on finding your true career path – from the viewpoint of someone on that very search for herself. As she provides her insight through her contributions to the site, Anne-Marie is excited to begin the journey – and perhaps in doing so, finding her own way.

To find out more about Anne-Marie and her life in the Canadian North check out her blog
If you want to know more about Anne-Marie's career journey you might enjoy one of her previous articles
If you would like to see more articles about settling into new roles or following Anne-Marie, please let us know below
© 2011 Churchill Brook International

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