Things to do when you are looking for a job (not including actually looking for a job)

Applying for jobs is a strange experience. It is a time to consolidate all your fabulousness into a few, succinct paragraphs, which Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and 39 episodes of Absolutely Fabulous would confirm is simply not possible, sweetie darling, but I’ll watch them all for inspiration anyway.

I don’t know who made this video, but it is brilliant, thank you. If any prospective employers find themselves on this page, I just want to state for the record that I don’t condone the actions of Patsy and Eddy, I just think they’re great and would dress up as them every single day (and not just every Hallowe’en) if I could, but I’m poor, and looking good costs money.

A recent attempt at Ab Fab dressup. Rest assured my 'emergency vodka bottle' was a cunning disguise for the litre of water I needed to drink every 2 hours to prevent my sickly wee kidneys from getting upset.
A recent attempt at Ab Fab dress-up. Rest assured my ’emergency vodka bottle’ was a cunning disguise for the litre of water I needed to drink every 2 hours to prevent my sickly wee kidneys from getting upset.

Only joking. But what does cost money, is each and every one of my concocted plans for how to best-spend the next few months of having little commitments, full health, and the itchiest feet in the world (not in a gross, infectious way, in this way). My current priority is learning to drive, a goal I’m sure I will achieve easily and safely as soon as I save up the money to get ‘left’ and ‘right’ tattooed on each hand, as going round roundabouts the wrong way is dangerous and apparently not even something that drivers with L plates can get away with. Aside from that, the job hunt is in full swing and I am trying to stretch the money I have left to last until the (touch wood) fabulous day of absolute employment. If I’m especially lucky, I might even be offered Patsy’s job which seems to require stopping by Harvey Nicks and crashing parties with Jennifer Saunders on a semi-regular basis. I could do that.

In the meantime, I am attempting to be a budget machine. Which leads me to my second list-based blog post (the first one is for invalids and sufferers of the sniffles), because if there’s one thing Buzzfeed has taught me, it’s that nothing sparks off argument and discussion like a list.

Things to do when you haven’t got enough money (and looking good costs money)

1) Stay in bed. Bed is inexpensive. This tactic does not work if you, like me, live with your family. At 8am every morning the ten-year old will be sent up to your room to practice the violin and within half an hour both sibling and instrument will be sold on e-bay and sent off in exchange for some much-needed shoes money. Parents will get upset and take away your bed. Nobody wins.

2) Surreptitiously steal your sister’s clothes until she starts padlocking her wardrobe (sorry, I will buy you lots of clothes when i’m rich).

An outfit mash-up from all the cupboards in my house plus some of granny’s hand-me-downs? Dressing on a budget needn’t be hard if you take Ab Fab as your inspiration. And can run fast when you spot the owners of your ‘borrowed’ clothes.

3) Spend time in the great outdoors! Make friends with woodland animals who won’t invite you out to Costa where you have a great time until you remember your budget only allows for 1/3 of a cappuccino.

Free ice skating for the frugal with top notch health insurance.
Free ice skating for the frugal with top notch health insurance.

4) Take up ice skating. If you live in the UK the current weather will allow you to do it for free. You could also start climbing trees. Have no fear, Acrophobics, trees are much more accessible after 90mph winds!

Here's one I climbed earlier. I was only going to the shops to get some milk #countrylife
Here’s one I climbed earlier. I was only going to the shops to get some milk #countrylife

5) Cancel your Netflix subscription and start reading books.

(No, I haven’t actually done this yet. I am just not ready.)

6) BUT when you get round to it, the library is the only worthy destination for born-again book fiends. I am currently reading A History of Japanese Art, A History of Art for Dummies, A Guide to Literary Theory and the History of Photography. Art books = pictures galore. Why didn’t I realise this sooner? Added bonus of having piles of oversized books everywhere making you feel distinctly smarter and more ready to face the world.

7) Volunteer. I feel a lot better about spending the rest of my time writing nonsensical lists and falling out of fallen down trees when I spend a few hours at the local museum. They have a lot of cool things, if you find yourself in Elgin during the summertime (they close over winter, which makes volunteering even better because you can see all the behind-the-scenes magic) then pop in for a visit!

8) Act out interview situations in a mirror for practice. Also good for theoretical Oscar acceptance speeches and practicing what you will say when Benedict Cumberbatch comes to his senses and proposes to you instead. Another good past-time to get to that stage might be to learn to sing in French. One must always be prepared.

Perhaps a bit of jogging wouldn’t go amiss in a jobhunter’s schedule either

9) Of course, all this advice is quite silly and mainly just a bit of procrastination for both author and reader (sincere apologies to anyone who has read this far expecting it to be somewhat useful). In the past few weeks, I think I have reached the conclusion that the best thing to do is simply keep trying and don’t lose hope. If completing a list of activities like those above (AFTER sending off a pile of applications, of course) is enough to keep you smiling in the meantime, then they have achieved their purpose. Don’t forget that when you get hired, you will suddenly be able to afford a whole Costa coffee, but also probably be lacking in time for reading ‘A history of Pocket Watches’ (this was an over-sized book in Elgin Library. Over-sized! I am desperate to know what they possibly have to say about this topic in such a large book) because as the Queen of tact, Jessa of Girls points out below, a job is a commitment. I sincerely hope for myself, and any other job hunters, it will be an immensely enjoyable and rewarding commitment, but in the meantime, try to enjoy discovering your passion for off-rink ice-skating just as immensely and all will be well.

Yes… even the days when you feel more like staying home and selling your siblings on Ebay.

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