Perceptions

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perceptions after taking an online course entitled: On Strategy: What Managers can learn from Great Philosophers. So in the first lecture, we learn about “The forgotten half of Change” which is perceptions.

 After my cousin left, I had just arrived home back in the sticks of Cambridgeshire and I think I had pretty much decided on going back to Paris – well I had pretty decided on going back to Paris before I left Paris, but anyway, I finally decided to just suck it up and tell my mum that I was going and there was nothing she could about it – not like she was paying for me or anything.

I think the most annoying thing about my mother is that, she sees me in a certain way, even though I’m constantly changing (growing up etc, I am a 25 year old woman who lived in Paris for 5 years – paying my own rent and education), but her perception of me is still this young girl that she needs to make decisions for and that is fine – I guess that’s called parenting is all about. But I feel like asian parents have a particularly over-bearing way to do so. Anyway, she wasn’t happy about it and couldn’t understand why I wanted to go back and asked what I could possibly do there – apparently, all she thinks I can do is wait on tables and I got the same reaction from my dad (well, he’s generally much nicer and less irritating) but he also said to me “Oh, I hope you’re not going back just to wait on tables.”

I can’t get my head around this idea – I mean sure, while I was studying, the easiest job and the easiest way to make money was to become a waitress but this was always on the side of my studies and it was never meant to be my  full-time profession. There’s nothing wrong with working in the restaurant business, most of my friends do but that’s certainly something I’d consider.

I’m so sure there are plenty of jobs out there, some even catered just for English speakers like teaching English as a foreign language is a prime example. One of my friends actually got a job writing about apps just because she was a native English speaker. So yeh, after 5 months of wining about unemployment and being stuck out in the middle of nowhere applying for jobs that I’m over qualified for or under qualified for, I am going back to Paris on 13th May. 

I can’t wait for the French job search to begin. More soon.

Ex

I haven’t been writing for the last few days because I’ve been pretty busy. My cousin from Hong Kong was still in London so she wanted me to go out with her. I’ve spent an okay week but then I got a sudden rush or sort of need to check my ex’s Facebook. My cousin is 31 years old and a month older than my sister who has just gotten married. Apparently, when you are over 30 and single, times get kind of desperate.. at least in Chinese families. My cousin spoke a lot this week about her love trials etc and it just made me miss my ex so badly. I’ve been doing pretty well this last month. I haven’t even checked his Facebook or felt depressed but yesterday, I couldn’t stop going through his pictures and looking up for advice online about getting over an ex etc. I am feeling pretty lame right now and almost embarrassed but at least I didn’t try to talk to him. I’m proud of that fact.

On the job front – still nothing and my parents and my brother are really starting to get on my nerves. I’ve been looking up Eurostar tickets. I’m seriously considering just picking my stuff up and moving back to Paris. I can’t stand being asked when I’m going to get a job or when will I be getting married. Does life really have to be like that? Being born, going to school, trying to get into uni, finishing uni, getting a “real” job, getting married, having kids, growing old, death. I think everyone needs to stop planning my life out for me and just let me live it. JEEZ

Résumé

Today is my 3 month anniversary as an unemployed person and 5 month anniversary since returning to life in the UK.

Granted, it’s not really something to be celebrated but looking back on how time has gone past; it has definitely got me thinking.

In these past 5 months, I have moved home to live with my parents, quit a job, done a temporary assignment, broken up with my boyfriend, sent over 400 CV’s and applications, attended 6 interviews, been to Germany, seen my sister get married and I am pretty much in the same place as I was 5 months ago.

Unfortunately, things are not looking to change any time soon. I still haven’t worked out where my life is headed, chances of me getting a job any time soon seems slim and I’m starting to lose momentum in even applying. Everyday, I’m just waiting for the phone to ring – anyone want to hire me? My job search is going south – the same agencies are advertising similar positions and I have already been to register with them and I haven’t received a single call about a job.

I feel like I’m stuck in this house with my parents with no friends who live nearby and nothing to do. I need a new hobby. I need new friends. Suggestions welcome.

UK students taking languages degrees at record low

I’ve been thinking for some time, well.. for the last two days since this article was published that I’d like to write my blogpost about it. So here it is..

Number of undergraduates on full-time modern foreign language courses at lowest point in a decade

I can’t say that I’m surprised. When I was choosing my GCSE’s (almost 10 years ago, FML I’m OLD) I remember the reluctancy of my fellow classmates to choose a language – at my school this happened to be compulsory and the options were French, German and Spanish – of which, I chose French and German. One of the reason’s why I chose to continue doing languages at A-level was the simple fact that I was good at them.
And then when it came to choosing a degree at University, I again went down the languages route because it was my best subject and the pull of spending 3 years living in Paris was too great.
After graduating I still had no clue what I wanted to do so I enrolled at the University of Paris Sorbonne IV to study a Master’s degree. I don’t want to say that it was a mistake but I do feel like a pure languages degree can be a risk. Because although, language graduates have another language under their belt, there is not much else there, at least, not on paper in order to attract potential employers.
I have found during these few months that although employers find it interesting that I studied a foreign language and lived abroad; there is nothing concrete for them such as a vocational qualification or a good couple of years experience for them to grab hold of so I always get “We loved meeting you and hearing about your adventures in Paris but we feel there were a lot of other stronger candidates in the mix.”
Sometimes, I regret not choosing to study something like Business Studies with French – because it seems like even if some candidates have not have had a wide range of experiences I see some job advertisements which state that candidates who have a Business related degree or have studied a vocational qualification may still be considered.
So, for now, I have to say that my languages degree isn’t worth a lot on the job market. Although, I believe that language learning is important; I’m not sure that pursuing a languages degree is necessary…

Incredible

So back in February I was starting to feel very desperate and just wanted to go back to Paris so I started applying like crazy to some internships and jobs over there and today I finally got a response from someone. I mean it took them more than a month to reply asking if I was still looking for an internship and when would I be available to start.

Is it just me or is a month a long time to wait for a reply from a job – I understand if it’s some sort of high level position but it seems bizarre to me that he’s coming back to me now. Anyway, I replied quite happily informing him that I would be available in 2 weeks so if all goes to plan I might be heading back to Paris after all.

Talking about Paris, I have been missing it lately so I was searching around for some blogs on WordPress and I have to say I am unimpressed with some of the Paris blogs out there. I don’t mean to offend anyone because I’m all for moving to Paris and following life long dreams and well what can I say.. it’s Paris. But Paris is not just taking photos in front of the Eiffel Tower and eating macaroons at La durée. Just saying.

Struggling

I’m struggling with so many things right now. What I want to do with my life? What am I going to do if I go to Germany? What am I going to do if I get the scholarship to go to Germany? When am I ever going to finish my dissertation? Should I go to Paris while waiting for the job in Germany? What should I write about on my blog?

So many questions going on in my head. I feel like I’m going to explode or implode? Another question.

It is actually really hard work to keep up a blog and to keep writing so I’m kind of happy that I decided to do this because I’m a real procrastinator and I will do anything but commit to anything and this blog has pushed me to do something and the comments that I receive from kind strangers about my life is encouraging.

I have been doing a lot of things lately, and also doing a lot of nothing. But, I’m happy to report that I completed a certificate for Microsoft Excel 2010 and yesterday, I started the introduction on my dissertation so I’m finally pretty positive today. But, I think the highlight would really be speaking to my friends on skype last night. They were surprised to hear how “chipper” I was sounding, considering that I live in the middle of nowhere, have no friends, no job and no life, but, somehow, feeling content, which is unusual for me.

Also, for once, I had a pleasant experience at the job centre. Another sign on day, but not another horror story. I had the same woman as I had two weeks ago and this time she didn’t suggest that I go into Accountancy or Teaching so the visit was all-in-all quite painless as she saw that I had been applying for jobs and I had been to 2 interviews in the last 2 weeks.

After that, I decided to go to a recruitment agency that had called me up yesterday, and here lies my mistake. I should never have gone there, it was a sheer waste of time as usual. There were trying to push me into doing a night shift at a call centre catering for Canadian-French speakers. I’m all for work and doing things to get more experience but I’m really not interested in doing shift work anymore. I did a lot of that when I was a waitress – 55hrs a week finishing at 2am/4am. It’s not a life. So I kindly told the recruitment consultant that I wasn’t going to be interested and she made me register with her anyway – the registration consisted of filling in a form, a signing off a couple of agreements as well as an aptitude test which was ridiculously easy with a few simple calculations and matching up so stuff. She then had a quick chat about what I was looking for and I told her that I was only really looking for office work with normal office hours and she said that it was unlikely that she would be able to help me with my limited experience. It’s so annoying this whole “limited experience” thing. I have a year’s experience in a office and degree in French – but somehow I’m not qualified to do some filing and admin work and my job pool is limited to serving and call centre shift work. Where am I suppose to get more experience if I can’t even get temp work. Recruitment consultants are only interested in making money and will never be interested in helping me find a job, they just saw “French” and tried to push me into a call centre job. Well, no thanks.

Side note: a receptionist position that I applied to a month ago, now wants to interview me. How random.

Life issues

Yesterday, I found out that my interview in Germany was a success!

I’ve been avoiding calls for a few days now since I got back from Germany. I’m not really sure why, but everytime I saw the phone ring I just let it. I think it was the fact that if I answered the phone and it was a big fat no then it would have been back to the drawing board.

Anyway, the problem is that the training programme they have for the position actually begins on Monday and the HR woman felt that that was a little soon for me since my interview only took place on 6 days ago – the move to Germany, finding a place to live so they have basically put me on hold. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. My sister’s wedding is next Sunday anyway, so it would have been pretty annoying to start a training programme for a week and then fly back and sort of get around it or attempt to take one day off which would have been completely ridiculous. However, the company basically don’t know when they will actually have the next training programme, but they indicated that it might be in May since they need at least 5-10 people for the training programme etc, they are obviously not just going to do another one just for me. So, all in all, I got the job but I haven’t because I have to wait at the least another month or maybe even 2 months but they have indicated that they will get back to me as soon as they know when they will have the training and if I’m still interested in the position then we will go from there. So now, I’m evaluating what to do. I really want to go to Germany and I want this job but I’m bored of sitting around and filling in applications. Plus, if I was thinking about accepting this job in a month or two, then it would be stupid to start work and then stop again. I’ve been thinking about temping again but it seems like this kind of work isn’t readily available or they just don’t have that many temping jobs round where I live. I’ve decided that I might go back to Paris for a while, at least, while I’m waiting because I feel like staying in the UK is sucking the life out of me and I don’t want to work here so what’s the point in applying for a load of jobs I don’t want to do?

Finally, I am also applying for a scholarship to study in Taiwan for a year but I’m not really sure about this one, I would love to learn Chinese but I think I need to give studying a rest now and get some really solid work experience under my belt… Also, I am afraid of what my parents will think… Although, learning Chinese is important to them as it is a part of my history and our heritage, it seems that all they are interested in is getting me into a stable job, earning enough so I can buy a house and pay off a mortgage and basically begin my adult life. But I’m not interested in that, I want to live from country to country, learn new languages, travel, make new friends. I have absolutely no intention of putting a down payment on a house and then being stuck in the UK. I have had some talks with my sister about this as I guess my parents really don’t get it – they project too much hope or my mother has imagined a life for me that I don’t want but I’m still feeling guilty so…

Time will tell.