Saturday, March 15, 2014

Job hunting!

Well, I’ve been so quiet the past six months or so on the blog that even my father recently asked me if I’d still be writing in it! I know I tend to give him less credit than he deserves for his internet-savvy-ness, recalling the time ten years ago when I found him in front of the computer on the Yahoo! homepage and I had to show him how to type an address in the URL bar. Now he emails me videos and sends me links to possible job opportunities! Still, considering that my parents talk to me regularly and therefore know more than most about what’s going on in my life, if even he’s missing my blog, it’s a sign that I’ve definitely been absent here.

I’ve thought about writing a post often, but simply can’t find the drive, or don’t feel like I have anything interesting to say. That’s difficult, because I’m “supposed” to be a writer, right? Simply choosing to do my Master’s in a field other than English and Creative Writing shouldn’t have sapped all of my creative juices, yet I feel that it has. I haven’t written anything creative other than blog posts in over a year, something that I find it quite embarrassing to admit (but less so knowing that some of my friends are in the same boat). Obviously I’ve accomplished other things in that time, but I don’t like the feeling that I’m disconnected with the creative part of myself. I still have lots of ideas and inspiration, but rarely the mood or motivation to bring them to fruition.

I know a lot of this is stress related. I started applying for jobs back in August and until January I had not received a single interview or even a positive response. I initially attributed this in large part to the limitation of my visa status, as prior to approval of my spouse visa, any potential employer would have needed to be willing to sponsor me, which is an expensive and complicated process. Despite knowing that this was probably the main factor in making my search difficult, by mid-January, having applied for nearly twenty jobs and not having received a single response, it was difficult to not let it get to me, and it did. I was getting extremely discouraged, and started experiencing a LOT of self-doubt about my skills and abilities and just generally letting it all affect my sense of self.

Then in mid-January I got invited to my first interview and I was thrilled! While I didn’t get the job, on my train ride home from that interview in Cardiff, I got the call telling me my spouse visa had been approved. This is a HUGE deal. On the phone with a very professional UKBA officer, who confirmed my contact details and very calmly told me my application had been approved, I nearly cried with joy. Not only does my visa have no work restrictions, which should make my job hunt a lot easier, but it means that I can finally stay here with Josh long-term without worrying about getting kicked out of the country. I’ll have to reapply in two and a half years, but when reapplying you’re almost guaranteed to get approved again. For the first time in our entire relationship, I feel like we’re NOT living on “borrowed time”, counting down the days/weeks/months until one of us will have to leave. That is such a huge weight off my chest.

Since then, I’ve also had another interview with an organisation that I’d applied for jobs for pre-visa and not heard back from, which confirms my suspicions of visa status affecting my job hunt. That interview went splendidly—in fact, I was told that I was only “a tiny bit away” from getting the job! 
Now, nearly getting a job is no accomplishment—it certainly doesn’t bring in paychecks—but it’s progress! The more interviews I have the more comfortable I’ll be with them, and I’ll be applying for more jobs with this organisation soon and have a better idea of what to expect if I do get the job!
I’m really feeling positive about the fact that I’m getting interviews now that my visa has been approved and I have no work restrictions, and I spent the morning working on applications for 4 jobs that have just come up, all with organisations I would love to work for! I also passed my driving test on Thursday, which means I will soon have my UK driver’s license, which will make me much more marketable as an employee. 

The other really positive result of getting my visa is that Josh and I could FINALLY plan a visit to the United States! We will be leaving in ten days to spend two weeks seeing family and friends I haven’t seen in over a year and a half! I could not be more excited, and we have been practicing by playing a heck of a lot of cribbage :D So there you have it, a long-overdue update on what's been going on with me. I would be lying to say nothing has happened in the past few months, but sometimes I forget the good things that have happened due to what feels like stagnancy in my job status. It takes time though, I suppose, and as you can see there has been progress!

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