The Day Job

Up until the middle of December I had been working a fixed-term contract in the IT department of a utility company here in Dublin. It was good work, but the project I was working on finished, and they didn’t need me any more, so my contract was not renewed.

As it happens, the end of the contract came at about the same time that the musical commitments at the cathedral were ramping up for Christmas, and so it seemed like an ideal time for a break.

However, it’s now almost five weeks since I finished the day job. And although I have been enjoying my ‘gentleman of leisure’ status and long lie-ins, it’s probably about time for me to re-enter the job market. After all, my savings will only last for so long, and I don’t relish being thrown out on the street in a couple of months.

Anyway, so I put my CV online at the website on Tuesday evening, and have been fielding calls from recruitment agents ever since. It seems to be the way that things work here in Dublin in the IT field. You post your CV online, and wait for the phone calls to come flooding in. On Wednesday morning, for example, I had fielded six calls before 10.00am, and the phone kept going for much of the rest of the day too.

The IT job market seems very buoyant at the moment, and there are lots of opportunities for experienced people. Indeed, I’ve already secured my first interview tomorrow, with a big multinational company. The role description sounds very interesting, and I’d probably bite their hand off if they offered me the job – but I have to caution myself about getting too excited about the first job that comes my way.

It’s all too tempting – especially when you’re between jobs like me (i.e. unemployed) – to get excited about the first thing that comes your way, even if it’s not entirely suitable. You get your hopes up, only to realise later that you came across as a complete idiot in your interview. And so, perhaps I should view this first interview as a practice – and not get too worked up about this role (even if it is a perfect match).

I also need to guard myself against accepting offers of jobs that I don’t really want. It’s all too easy to wooed by job offers, even if they’re utterly unsuitable. Indeed it wasn’t until quite recently that I realised that, just because someone offers you a job, you don’t have to take it.

In the last 2 years or so, my whole attitude to work has changed somewhat. I’ve turned down more job offers in that time than the total number of jobs I’d had in the proceeding 15 years of my working life – which is quite a scary thing to do, particularly when out of work (like I am now). But I feel that it’s better to take on a role where I’m going to be happy over the long term – which will be better for me and my employers.

Of course, I realise I’m incredibly lucky to be in this position – to be able to pick and choose between job opportunities. I understand that other people are forced to take on some pretty shitty work, just in order to make ends meet. And to a certain respect I can understand their situation, as I’ve worked some pretty dire jobs in my time, including shop work, and also some time working as a bin man (just don’t ask me about the maggots).

Anyway, I’ve got this interview tomorrow. And hopefully one or two other interviews will also be offered next week. And at this rate, I’m in serious danger of being fully employed again by the end of January. Which would be both good and bad… Good because of the money it brings in, and the interesting projects that than spark my imagination and creative juices. And bad because it indicates the end of my at-home holiday.