diary of a desperate jobseeker

I'm exhorted from all sides to `structure my day' to stop me from getting into bad habits such as going to the pub
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Week 3: letters written, 15. Replies received, three.

My one positive response so far turns out to be a turkey. I know the company well, having done some subcontract work for them. They don't really have a job, but if I show them how to improve their production for not very much money, then in two years' time when someone retires, or if someone dies, they might consider me for a proper job. It seems that as a rule of thumb they always employ two people in finance for each one they employ in production. I resist the temptation.

Two other replies, both negative, not even a definite maybe. It seems that only B&Q are interested in late forty-somethings. The well-known attributes of older people - that they turn up when they are supposed to, they know something about the products they are involved with and they don't pretend to be ill - is of little interest to most employers.

Now that I am no longer leaving the house at 6am for work, there are some not-so-subtle changes in the domestic routine. Although I've always done the cooking and shopping, I have been spared the mysteries of the vacuum cleaner. My wife tells me that she would rather see a man with a vacuum cleaner in his hand than some other things she could think of. In the interests of family harmony I resist a witty response. Sometimes, you just know that trying to be funny is going to get you nowhere.

I am exhorted from all sides to "structure my day". This is to stop me getting into bad habits such as going to the pub at lunchtime. Like Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation. Being unemployed is an insight into retirement, except that the retired can return from the pub and kip all afternoon. I, alas, have tasks to perform.

One of these tasks is to rewrite my CV. It is many years since I have done such a thing, so I go to the library for help. I find a book called Finding Work After 45, which sounds suitably depressing. The section on CV-writing makes interesting reading. On no account must you mention your age at the top of the CV, otherwise the potential employer will read no further. You have to leave this bombshell until the end, by which time you hope to have impressed him with your amazing skill, experience and charm.

My charm doesn't seem to be getting me far at the moment. I think I need a new strategy for next week.

The author lives in Hereford. He worked as a factory production manager before being made redundant. His diary appears every Thursday.

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