How Do You Get off The Hamster Wheel?

Yesterday I received an email from an agency who have been looking at my skills and experience online and thought they had found a suitable position for me.

Contained within the email were the Pros and Cons the employer had listed for me.  One of their issues with me as a candidate was that I had too much experience!  

After years and years of applying for jobs where I was ill-qualified or inexperienced I now appear to have leap-frogged straight over the time window of the elusive, perfect balance of skills and experience into a realm of being over experienced but under qualified!!

To be fair, there’s not a lot I can do about that! Doing a job which “pays the bills” is not an optional extra when you’re married with two kids, it is a necessity! Yes, I want to do something more challenging but I don’t have the spare finance to retrain. And so for now, my fate and career satisfaction remains firmly in the hands of the HR Managers who, in a saturated job market can afford to be choosy and yet may choose an inexperienced graduate over a seasoned battler from the world of business.

The other reservation which most surprised me was that of my creativity. They stated that although my creativity is most evident in my blog, my poetry and in my spoken word performances; there was very little evidence of this in my commercial experience.

I am somewhat at a loss as to how to make a break into a creative writing/marketing career when I am doing all I can to hone my skills in my spare time (for no payment!) and yet have less opportunity in my current job!

I wonder how many of us are stuck in the 9-5 grind doing what is necessary to feed the mouths and keep the roof on, but aspiring to a vocation which is more fulfilling?!  Am I less of a candidate for a job because I have taken till 38 to discover what I want to do “when I grow up!”

How many of us, at 40 or 50 are still in the same field that we entered at 16, 18 or post university?  I would suggest that the life experience and cross-industry insight that an applicant of my age has gained is of equal worth of a degree, if not more.

The ability to mingle with diverse people, to relate as a consumer as well as a provider, to think on behalf of the business as regards cost and reputation and to lead as well as to follow are invaluable skills I have gained in my 17 years of working in the professional realm.

You may think, well why don’t you tell them then? Well I have replied to them, to be honest I don’t expect to change their mind but I can’t afford to be choosy about the jobs I take, unlike some new graduates and that loyalty and focus means I have much to bring to the table.

It is now up to the HR Manager in question to take a risk and offer a position to what would be a truly grateful candidate…

  Don’t Forget To Charge Your Phone!

Each night before I climb into bed
I charge my phone
For the time it stole from my family and friends
I charge it for the times when I’ve failed to make amends

Why bother talking anymore?
When texts are dull
And Snapchat poor
Just “like” their latest FB post
Then everyone will “like” you the most!

Facebook has its very own casebook
Of folks who’ve forgotten how to communicate
Without a #lols pink heart smiley face,
How can we possibly keep up the pace?!

You see that beauty every day on the train
Come winter or summer, come sunshine or rain
Yet you’ve never said “hi, what’s your name, where you from?”
This strange world we’re living in is 50 shades of wrong!

Rather than actually talk to her
(The thought just makes you blush!)
You send a text to Metro for tomorrow’s Rush Hour Crush!

Without your #selfies
Spooling memes and laddish banter
Your bravado on the morning train
Is as flat as fortnight old Fanta!

So when you get into bed tonight
Don’t forget to charge your phone!
Charge it for opportunities lost
For friendships never found
Charge it for the people you could have given a smile to
As you travelled the underground.

Who would want to talk to a real human being
When streaming is all in HD?!
Who bothers to talk to their neighbour
When the world is craving to see
Your endless conveyor of selfies and salad
And that vid that they took of that old Top Gun ballad
You were killing on Friday…
(But not in a good way!)

Is it me or is it weird
That your hipster style beard
Has developed its own Facebook following?
And the time you spend just wallowing
In sycophantic hyperbole is better spent,
Indulging in some pointless comment
Than actually going somewhere exciting
Than living a life that’s truly inviting?!!
Not just “checking in” and taking a pic but being there
Breathing the air…

Live and unplugged
Your life is full of acoustic opportunity
To step out of obscurity
To kill the rat, to leave the race
To feel the fear and turn and face
The world in glorious technicolor
With sunsets and rainbows
And sunshine and showers
With laughter and tears
Barbed wire and flowers

Embrace the emotion of being alive
And break from the bondage of having to strive
To compete with the Instagram/Facebook/Vine vibe.

So charge your phone
If you’ve any sense
You’re more than entitled to some recompense!

P J Deakin 2015 ©