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Going self-employed?

As I’m sure you’re aware if you’re a regular reader, I’ve been out of work for some time now. I’m not going to go into detail, suffice to say it’s an incredibly frustrating situation.

I’ve been sending out CVs to anyone with an email address, but most of them don’t even have the courtesy to confirm they’ve received my messages, never mind offer me an interview.

I’m getting pretty sick of the whole process to be honest. So much so, that I’m thinking about going self-employed. Initially I thought about starting my own car repair business, but realistically that’s not going to happen. I don’t have anywhere near enough money for tools, premises, etc…

So what else could I do to earn money? The only other thing I’ve thought of is writing. I do a lot of blogging for fun, so why not try and get paid for it?

I had a look at a site called Marked by Teachers, which gives students essay help. I don’t have the qualifications for that kind of academic writing and I’m not a teacher, so that’s a bit of a dead-end for me. I don’t think anyone would really want help from me writing their essays anyway to be quite honest.

Instead, I’m looking at doing some blogs for any website that will take me. I’ve also seen adverts for people wanting fake reviews on Amazon, but that all sounds a little dodgy to be honest.

At the very least, I figure I can do a bit of writing as a stopgap until I find a full time job. The only thing that worries me is that I tend to be terrible at motivating myself. I think I might let things get out of hand and end up spending every minute of my life working or failing to.

It’ll certainly be an improvement on my current position, though. The only issue is I’m not really sure how on earth I go about getting started.

I haven’t done any research and don’t really fancy ending up in jail because I’ve not registered for tax or something like that. Looks like my afternoon’s going to be spent brushing up my knowledge on the finer details of HMRC’s website; oh joy.

Time to practise being an interviewee

Over the past few weeks I have filled my days by sending out CV’s.  I’ve done this mainly over the internet as there seem to be more jobs and resources available online than in the classified ad section of newspapers. I’ve started getting some replies, many of which are the standard rejection, which I’m certainly used to by now!  Some of them, however, are for interviews.

I’m pretty nervous about the process.  It’s been a while since I’ve had to have a proper formal interview.  So I’ve started making preparations in order to increase my chances of success.  The first step I’ve taken is to look on the internet for tips and tutorials.  I’ve used the information that I’ve found to make a list of bullet points of things to remember.  I’ve been going over and over this list in my head.  It contains simple elements of the process: firm handshake, look happy to be there, take a few seconds before answering questions, ask if you don’t understand the question, don’t slouch in the chair.

All of these things may seem pretty self explanatory and obvious; however, when you’re in the thick of it you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll forget.  And it’s always important to remember that the interviewer will be judging me every step of the way. They’ll be on the lookout for flaws, so it’s important to get it right.

Now that I have my list, I’ve started trying to recreate interview conditions in front of family and friends.  I’ve then been using their feedback to try to pinpoint any recurring issues.  There are a few things that keep cropping up, for example, my handshake.  Everyone says it’s either too weak or too strong.  They say a handshake can tell everything there is to know about a man.  I certainly hope that isn’t true!

If you are going through the same problems with finding a job that I’m going through, then you should start making preparations to increase your chance of successfully attaining employment.  Even if you don’t have any interviews lined up, you never know when you might get one, so it’s always important to be ready.  I’ve found with some of the jobs that I’ve been literally getting calls the same day that I’ve handed in my CV.  One of these employers even asked if I wanted an interview that very same day!  Luckily for me I was well rehearsed and able to tackle it!

How I’ve managed to secure job interviews

Searching for a job can be a very gruelling process.  I hate looking.  It’s not the interview that I can’t stand, it’s the anticipation of not knowing what’s going to happen.  Recently I’ve decided that enough is enough.  It’s time to start looking seriously for employment.

In my past hunts I’ve encountered many problems.  I had a poorly written CV, I sucked at interviews, and I didn’t know where to look.  I also made a habit of cold calling businesses that weren’t advertising for positions.  I figured that it was a matter of time before they needed somebody, and thought, why not? Needless to say, none of that worked.

Over the past week I’ve turned to the internet.  I’ve found an abundance of jobs available in virtually every location that I search.  So, I’ve carefully gone through my CV and shortened my personal statement to a paragraph, and practised my interview technique on family and friends.

It seems like all of the hard work is starting to pay off, as now I’m getting calls from quite a few of the companies that I’m approaching.  Whilst I still haven’t managed to get a job yet, things are starting to look up.

If you are in my position, then I’d definitely recommend checking out online classified ads for job information. They can be an excellent way of finding out who’s employing.  I’d also sign up to recruitment agencies.  They may be able to match you up with a job in your field.  In fact, they’re starting to actively search for me, which is taking much of the burden off my shoulders.

Starting a business with the help of factoring

As somebody who is unemployed, I’ve often thought about starting my own business.  I’m a pretty keen mechanic and have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to cars, so I’ve always had the idea of working within the car industry in the back of my head. The main issue I have is with acquiring the finances to start my own business.  It’s no secret that a good company will require quite a bit of capital to both attain and retain business.  After looking around for business loans, I stumbled across a concept called factoring. Factoring is a process which will allow a business to borrow money from a lender before they are paid by the company with whom they are conducting business.  This seems like a great way to get some finance and take on business without any capital.  If I were to take this route, all I’d have to do is find the business in the first place, then the factoring company would take on the responsibility of the invoicing so I could continue trading. I’ve been getting Touch Financial factoring advice since the idea popped into my head, and I must say that they have been an invaluable resource.  After speaking to them I now have a much clearer idea of where I stand within my business, and how to make it work.  They have also given me very valuable advice on how to manage my finances in order to keep on trading. If you are also thinking about starting a business, then Touch Financial could certainly be an option if you have little capital.  If you would like more information on how it will work, then just do what I did. Take a look on the internet for advice, find out what factoring is, and then give them a call!

Writing the dreaded CV

If you are looking for a job, like myself, then you’ll probably have spent a lot of time working on your CV.  One of the issues that I find with writing a CV is trying to say something without coming across as arrogant.  This can be very challenging.  I’ve lost count of how many re-drafts I’ve had to do because something sounds a little ’too much’ for my liking.

Anyway, after looking at a number of CV writing tips online, I’ve realised that there’s one thing that all good CVs have in common.  They are simple.  When it comes to writing a good CV, less really is more.  When I look back at earlier copies of the CV that I handed out to employers I can really start to see why I never got any call backs!  The first versions for example, had almost a whole page about myself.  I was rambling on about things that weren’t relevant to the job, or any job for that matter!  So now the most recent draft has a mere paragraph to sum up myself.  And I must say, it reads a whole lot better.

This got me thinking.  When I was at school we didn’t have any training on how to write a good CV.  I was completely oblivious to the procedures that were involved.  I didn’t even know how to format one!  I don’t know if things have changed in recent years, but with the current state of the world’s economy it’s a wonder how any graduates can get a job.  And the fact that we didn’t get much training in this area certainly doesn’t help.

So basically, if you are having the same issues that I had, keep things simple and straight to the point.  Try looking at a few different websites to get an idea of what the format should look like, and most importantly, tailor each CV to the employer that you’re targeting.  This isn’t as huge a task, as it may seem, however, it will certainly increase your response rate significantly.

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