Finding a job is a little like being hit by a bus, dusting yourself off, then waiting to be hit by the next bus. When you're doing it in a foreign country, it's like being hit by a double-decker bus.
For what feels like weeks now, I've been regurgitating my skills, experience and numerous contracts in overly long and tedious application forms for faceless managers who either don't bother to respond or tell me I'm too qualified, not qualified enough, don't have any UK experience or have too much government experience. Declining my application (and written test) the editor of one travel website memorably informed me I was “a more experienced writer than either himself or the deputy editor and that wouldn't sit well in the office”! But at least he bothered to get back to me.
Probably the hardest thing has been making the mental somersault from being a respected and competent 'someone' to just another displaced foreigner looking for a job in a market that's still deeply scarred by the recession.
Subsequently, a dark cloud of self-doubt has been hovering over me, making me wonder what I'm doing wrong and why these idiots can't see how much value I can add to their organisations.
But on Thursday, three and a half weeks since I arrived in Bristol, the train pulled out of Looserville and into my station. Not one but TWO recruitment agents called with good news and I was able to kick the self doubt monster, Ninja-style, to the kerb. The first job was a permanent role as a Marketing Executive for an Australian financial support company; the second was a nine-month contract, again as a Marketing Exec, for a global, blue-chip financial services organisation (the 15th largest company in the world by revenue, since you ask).
For reasons far too tedious to go into here, I accepted the second role and, even though it's a few steps down the food chain from where I was at home, it's a job and in this country where so few people have one, I'm pathetically grateful for the opportunity.
It happened just in time too, because I've pretty much reached the nadir of the application and interview process; I'm punch drunk from having to 'sell' myself and my career and am ready for the coldest of turkey. Just gotta wait for the two week reference process to be over and I'm in.
The bonus is now I get to do all those things I've been putting on hold until I found work – join a Zumba class, get a subscription to Red Magazine and hand over lots of pictures of the Queen in return for some glorious new clothes.
Must be time to help prop up the ailing British economy...