gamiila: (awkward moment)
...for having left you in the lurch all this time. I don't know how it happened exactly, but I seem to have suddenly fallen out of the habit of logging onto LJ earlier this year; and the longer I've been out of it, the harder it got to get back into. I got to this stage where I was so depressed, that I couldn't think of inflicting any of my tales of unmitigating woe on you lot. To tell the truth, I'm still struggling, but a few things have recently started happening in my life that have given me a glimmer of hope -- though not of paid employment any time soon, I don't think.

It's been a year since I left Apple. At the time, everyone was quick to assure me that with my cv, I'd soon find work again; but that has proven not to be the case. There just isn't, or doesn't seem to be, that much call for an experienced Customer Experience Manager these days. Trust me to have once again picked a profession that doesn't do well in a recession.

So, I've thrown myself into volunteering again. This time, I'm co-coordinating the annual International Food Fair of The Hague. It's my job to approach and recruit the individual countries' boothholders, and make sure they have everything they need from licences to cutlery and electrics, and a sufficient number of volunteers to serve their customers. The event will be held over the weekend of 17/18 Nov. and my job will officially end on the 25th with a wrap-up meeting and evaluation. It's a charitable event, with the proceeds going to all sorts of projects around the world.

Apart from this, I've also started as a catechist (i.e. the RC equivalent of a Sunday school teacher) teaching 2nd grade (7-8 year olds) in preparation for their first Holy Communion in May. Which can be quite challenging at times! Just last Sunday, after I'd related the story of John the Baptist e.g., Gonzalo raised his hand and asked "Miss, don't you think these kind of stories are a nonsense, really?" He was referring, or so I presumed, to the supposed leaping of joy that John, as a foetus, did when he sensed the presence of his Saviour when Mary came to visit Elizabeth; and later, the vision of the Holy Spirit alighting on Jesus in the form of a dove at the time of his baptism. I don't know what the bishop would have thought of my answer, but I didn't think I could dismiss his objection out of hand, so I told him (and the rest of the class) that no, I didn't think these stories were a nonsense per se, but preserved in such a way that people could remember and pass them on easily in the days before books and computers. He's a clever one, that Gonzalo, and I like that at 7 1/2, he's already thinking for himself and questioning authority ;-).

Anyway, autumn's firmly upon us now, and the day before yesterday I took a stroll through the woods near my home. Thankfully, I had my trusty mobile with me, as without it I wouldn't have been able to show you what I saw...

Toadstools! Mushrooms! Fungi! )
gamiila: (awkward moment)
Still not sure whether or not I did the right thing hiring in the services of a career counsellor. We met again for the second time yesterday and she let me ramble on and on. However, she did suggest I start the search anew by drawing up a plan and sticking to it, rather than continue in the haphazard way I've been going about it the last couple of months. My homework for the next two weeks consists of thinking up, formulating and documenting this plan; and listing all my daily 'successes' in the meantime, a minimum of 10 a day, that I'm to e-mail her at two day intervals.

She's helpfully written down what these successes might consist of:

1) results (i.e. something you have long wanted to achieve, e.g. a diploma)
2) actions (either planned & done, or hesitated & done)
3) expanding on previous knowledge\skill
4) acquisition of new insights
5) recognition and acknowledgement of mistakes

I wonder if she might accept 'ironing' as an action, that I hesitated about doing, but did anyway?
gamiila: (River Song)
I should be putting more effort in. I should be out there, looking for work. I should be writing letters, phoning recruiters and possible employers, but I just can't get myself to do any of it. Instead, I'm looking at pictures of myself back in the day when life was sweet and uncomplicated.

Click here to view these pictures larger

gamiila: (control)
So I made the acquaintance of my career counsellor yesterday, a woman by the name of Vivian. She seems nice enough, but we didn't really discuss anything of much importance in this first session, except for what I hoped to get out of it (some focus and renewed energy for the search) and how soon I could expect the bill and what it was going to come to, including VAT. After we signed the contract, she gave me a book to read and a set of questions to ponder, and we'll meet again in a fortnight.

I hope to God I'm doing the right thing here.

OTOH, I can't see what else I can do. Now that I've started on my 9th month of unemployment, it's obvious I've got to do something to get me out of this blasted funk I've been in for the last couple of months - since my fall, actually, in which I haven't really been trying.
gamiila: (*hides*)
It may be the summer solstice, but you'd never guess...It's another dull, grey day full of showers and short on sunshine, like too many we have had this year. It seems winter gave way to autumn, skipping spring altogether; and it's anyone's guess whether we'll actually get to summer later on.

Anyway, I do apologise for having gone AWOL for a while, though not quite, as I have been lurking here, checking on my flist, but not actually updating. There just didn't seem that much point, as my period of unemployment stretched into its eighth month, and there are only so many ways one can hide one's gradual descent into depression and despair. Though I still have no news to report on that score, and I am still none too happy about my situation, I think it's time I let you know that I've decided to try and break through my despondency by calling in the help of a bona fide career coach. When I received my tax return last month, I suddenly had the funds to hire a professional to help me get back on track and find out a) what it is that I'm looking for, job-wise and b) what's preventing me from getting it, so far. Hopefully then, by the end of the summer, I will be in a much better frame of mind again, full of new energy and ideas, and in a much better position to find work again before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, it's been three months since my unfortunate tumble, and my face has healed up pretty well. There is a scar on my upper lip, and although I still have to get used to how it feels (i.e., a bit tight when I yawn or smile), it's not too bad.

see? )

Unfortunately, my teeth haven't fared that well, and I'm going to have to say goodbye to two of them this coming Monday. The canine that was reinserted has failed to re-attach itself, and the one next to it that has gone up into the jaw is causing me such discomfort that it's been decided to extract it rather than leave it. The last X-ray showed it to have been broken as well, so how my dentist is going to get all the pieces out, I can't tell you; but he's had a couple of weeks to ponder the problem and I'm sure I'll be fine. However, I will be left with a gaping big hole in my upper row of teeth, and will need a partial denture to cover it up.

I know it's my only option, but I'm vain enough to hate the idea of it. I may never have had the dazzling American smile that's becoming ever more fashionable over here too, with whiteners and straighteners and whathaveyous, but I had my own teeth for half a century and if I hadn't fallen off that ladder I might have had them for a half century more...but now I'll have to get used to keeping my teeth in a jar by the bed. It's scary, how utterly past it that makes me feel.
gamiila: (I just want to be OK today)
I received a phone call from Verizon a minute ago. Despite the very 'positive overall impression' I had made in my interview, they had decided they weren't comfortable with the fact that I had no previous experience in Sales and so, wouldn't be taking the process any further. I was sorry to hear it, as over the last few days I had allowed myself to dream that my search was almost at an end. Also, the company seemed like one I would enjoy working at...international, technologically innovative, dynamic...

On Sunday, I went to see The Avengers in 3D. It was a spur of the moment thing, and therefore not the kind of film I would have queued up for if I'd given the matter any thought, but I enjoyed it greatly - despite the fact that I've never read any Marvel comics and (apart from the Hulk, who I knew from the 70s TV-series) have no idea of any of these characters' back stories. Robert Downey Jr. starred in it though, and that was enough to keep me happy. Joss Whedon's name popped up in the end credits as the director and gave me a little jolt of recognition and surprise, but the person I went to see the movie with isn't familiar with the Buffyverse and so I didn't comment on it. I understand some people on my flist are looking forward to seeing it and so I won't spoil them with any thoughts on plot or character development, but will only say that it is marvellous good fun (the audience erupted in gales of laughter at several points) and well worth the price of admission.
gamiila: (birds)
Egyptian goose )

As you can see, I encountered another goose at the water's edge - a non-indigenous species this time, the Egyptian goose, which nevertheless appears to be thriving so far north of its original home, the Nile Valley. This particular one seemed to me to be half-tame, as it purposefully waddled up to me to see if it could cadge a few crumbs. Quickly realising I hadn't brought it anything to eat, it disdainfully turned away from me and went back into the water.

So far, I haven't sighted any goslings, ducklings, or cygnets, but I expect it can't be long now. Spring seems to be establishing itself more firmly with every day that passes, and while I'm happy to see it do so, it also serves as a reminder that a whole season has passed without me finding another job. I know that it's mostly out of my hands and I shouldn't beat myself up about it too much, but I honestly didn't expect it to take this long when I started the search back in October.

Speaking of searching, I still haven't been able to find my dad's photo album, which given the fact that my flat measures a mere 75 square metres, is definitely starting to worry me somewhat.
gamiila: (good days & bad days)
I'm beginning to think I may have been a tad unrealistic in my expectations of finding employment after leaving the Apple job back in October. Another month of not having had any luck whatsoever on that score is drawing to a close and it's getting increasingly harder to motivate myself now that I seem to have lost the knack of writing cover letters that prompt recruiters to invite me to an interview at least ...I haven't had any such invitation in the last 8 weeks. In fact, I'm lucky to get any reaction at all, even if it is just to tell me my application has been unsuccessful for whatever reason.

It's not the money worries - which are luckily still hypothetical at the moment and nothing some careful budgetting wouldn't be able to take care of; it's the daily interaction with colleagues and customers that I miss, the feeling that one is part of a group and is making oneself useful and just doing something, as opposed to this enforced idleness. Much as I love to read, it's not an activity that is all that fulfilling in itself.

Anyway, for today's picture I give you: lunch!

kippers )
gamiila: (oh yeah)
...that's how I'm hoping this year will end for me. Though it still might.

I can't believe I haven't been on LJ for a full fortnight when I've had no lack of things to talk about, but of course there were the continued DDoS-attacks I read about on LJ's Facebook page (it still cracks me up that LJ has a Facebook page)putting me off, and also my superstitious nature that believes that if you come on and talk about what you're most hoping to get (i.e., a job), it will likely never happen. And it still might not...but I've decided to throw caution to the wind and tell you about it anyway, as it just happens to make a good story, IMO.

The last you heard from me on the job hunt before this was that I wouldn't be adding the position of Quality Coordinator to my cv. That was a weird process to go through - I'd applied for it quite early on in my current stint of unemployment, had had an interview, and then didn't hear back from them for a week or two. Just as I was getting ready to phone and ask what was going on, they phoned and told me that they were going to re-advertise for the position as they'd had a re-think concerning the roles and responsibilities, but that my application would go forward as it had been largely due to the observations I'd made in the initial interview that they'd realised the job description as it stood had been unsatisfactory. A couple of more weeks went by and I was invited to a second interview, with both the Dutch (hosting) and European (reporting) executive managers of the organisation. The latter had to fly in from France for this especially.
What followed was the most chaotic interview I'd ever been in.

It started off as one would expect, with pleasantries and a run-through of my cv and qualifications, but then it quickly degenerated into a farce when the two gentlemen couldn't agree on anything to do with the job, the responsibilities or even the line of questioning, kept talking over and interrupting each other, and me, and had forgotten to book an interviewing room so that halfway through the meeting, we were kicked out of the one we were in and had to go searching through the building for another space to continue our conversation. We went in and out of lifts, up and down corridors and stairs, opening and closing doors at random...it was a total shambles!
To cut a long story short, I soon realised if I took this job, I'd always be piggy-in-the-middle between these two managers who simply couldn't agree on anything, and brought an end to the proceedings.

One of the criteria for continuing to qualify for unemployment benefit in The Netherlands is that one applies for a certain number of jobs every week, and keeps the Job Centre apprised of this activity. Sometimes, when I can't find the required number of suitable job postings, I will slip in a CSR application, banking on a swift "you have not been selected as you do not fit the profile"-reply. After the fiasco related above, and with the week drawing to a close, I found myself dashing one of these off at the last minute. Imagine my annoyance when, out of all my applications for that week, that is the only one I get invited to an interview for! I am so annoyed, in fact, that I decide to not do any of my usual homework and just go in a perfect blank. On the way there, I happened to read an article on Social Media and how it can be used as a powerful means of communication in business. I decided to use my newly gained knowledge for the purpose of small talk...and found myself lecturing to a captive audience! It turns out this is exactly the Manager Consumer Care's hobby horse and she is currently trying to get a Webcare-project off the ground..."In that case", I told the supervisor conducting the interview, "be sure to warn her about A, B, and C", still paraphrasing the advice I'd read not an hour before. And after I had disclosed my salary demands, I shook hands and left the building secure in the knowledge that I'd successfully scuppered any chance I might have had of securing a job in customer services. How wrong can you be!

An invitation to come in for a second interview arrived two days later. This time with the supervisor I'd met before and the Manager Consumer Care. This interview took place yesterday. And even though I went in there thinking we were still discussing my candidacy for the CSR position, I'm glad I didn't pull out as I so nearly did because -- they only went and offered me the job of Project Manager Social Media!...which unfortunately doesn't exist yet. In fact, today's the day the Manager Consumer Care presents her carefully worked out plans to the Board for their endorsement, and if it is and she can get the budget for it, only then will the job be created for me. If not, then the search for employment continues. I should know my fate by the middle of next week at the latest.
gamiila: (bow tie)
Is it bad of me that, despite the fact that I wasn't particularly busy over the weekend, I still managed not to remember that it had been two full years since my father's passing? I would have forgotten all about it if Mum hadn't mentioned it on Sunday.

We met to go to the pictures together, and we saw Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer in a really sweet film called Beginners, in which Christopher Plummer plays a 75-year old who after 44 years of marriage comes out as gay, and almost immediately falls ill with terminal cancer. Ewan McGregor plays his grief-stricken son, who has commitment issues in his own life; and another important role is filled by the dad's Jack Russell, Arthur. It didn't disappoint and I'm glad I picked it out of the meagre list of films shown here in town, most of which seem to be of the 3D-variety.

I went to pay my respects to my Dad's gravesite this morning and when I got back, I was approached for the position of Contact Center Analyst by the same recruitment company that got me the interview at Apple back in January, so with a bit of luck and even if this doesn't work out, they'll be able to help me get into another job soon.

By the way, did I mention that 2 days after I had left the Apple office, the MacBook I had left on the train was handed in there? I didn't, did I - but it did! :-)

And...

Oct. 4th, 2011 03:12 pm
gamiila: (A & M)
...I'm unemployed again.

What a difference 6 months make, though. The government cuts and lay-offs have severely eroded the service the Job Centre offers, so instead of a civil servant being assigned my case, someone you can actually meet and have a conversation with, I'm now having to deal with something called an 'e-coach'. Which, according to the website, means there's a whole 'team of experts' ready to take my questions, concerns etc. via a URL that doesn't appear to be working. So I've no idea what I'm supposed to be doing now, i.e., what rules apply to my particular situation. I won't let it worry me this week, though. I've only just had my last day at work yesterday, and I think I'm entitled to a bit of R&R before I start the search again.

OK, so I said I would be looking for another job while I was in the one I've just left. But it turned out to be undoable, or perhaps I'm just not very good at multi-tasking. At first, I was far too busy finding my feet and learning the ropes; and then when we got to mid-summer and things started to slow down a bit, they slowed down in the rest of the country as well. In The Netherlands, it's no use looking for a career change in July/August/September, a period that -for reasons that escape me- is colloquially known as 'cucumber time', as most people are off on holiday and therefore very few jobs are advertised. So, I've decided to start looking in earnest from next week onwards, but not before. I'm sure my e-coach won't approve of my decision, but there it is.

(I have put my cv back online, in case you're wondering if I'm just going to sit back and relax completely; and I have had some tentative and encouraging contact with head hunter firms already, and have also had 2 job offers, but neither of them appealed).

Last Saturday saw the return of Merlin to our screens, which I'm counting as a good thing as with the season finale of Doctor Who on the same day, I would otherwise be bereft of good enjoyable telly on the weekend...at least until Christmas when The Doctor will be back for his annual special. What sad news though to hear that almost as soon as I finally manage to get BBC Three in my area, Auntie's decided to axe Doctor Who Confidential, which is brilliant at showing the behind the scenes work that goes on in bringing a series to the screen. Meanwhile, I've watched the finale twice, which is unusual for me as I don't tend to re-watch things I've already seen (or re-read things I've already read); but I'm still not capable of putting my thoughts into words. I did love it, though, and I ::heart:: Matt fully as much as I did Chris, which is saying something.

The sun was out all through last week and yesterday, with temperatures reaching into the mid-20s, so we finally did get to see a little bit of summer, but it's turned again now and the familiar grey clouds and drizzly rain are back, along with temperatures more usual for this time of year. Let's hope no volcano blows its top (Etna, I heard, might erupt soon) in the next few months, or next year might equally lack a summer to speak of.
gamiila: (nothing ever happens to me)
LJ's been a right pain lately, and I have been away from it for a whole week, for the first time in my life preferring to spend my time on Facebook instead. The last week (make that the last month, actually) has been pretty uneventful, and yet today I feel like I want to do more than just jot down the few words Facebook deems sufficient to call a status update.

The weather's been seasonably balmy and springlike the last two weeks, and I've enjoyed going out in it; though it turned yesterday and the rain hasn't let up for a minute today at all. Still, temperature-wise, it's not too bad -- and this is causing me a few headaches as I will be starting on my new job on Monday (officially, my starting date's tomorrow but my boss has decreed that out of practical considerations it would be better if I didn't come in till after the weekend) and I don't know what to wear. Coupled with the fact that I don't really know what to do either, this is making me rather nervous. I bloody well hope all will become clear to me within my first few days at work (and then I can start to worry for real).

There's a Dutch nursery rhyme that sings of a boy called Johnny, son of a count, who wears a plumed hat and a basket on his arm, and who answers the question as to where in The Hague his father lives by pointing his finger...and so, opposite the houses of Parliament, which started out as the Count of Holland's castle, a statue has been erected of this little man, who may or may not represent John I, the last scion of the indigenous House of Holland, whose father was murdered in 1296 when his son was still a minor. The boy then died, some medieval chroniclers claim of poisoning, but more likely of natural causes, three years later.

In Den Haag daar woont een graaf... )

I've handed in the paperwork to end my benefit -- as the job I'm progressing to is parttime rather than fulltime, I was entitled to claim a supplement, but only on the condition that I continue my search for fulltime employment by sending out two applications a week and keeping in constant touch with the Job Centre, and I couldn't be bothered. Which means that for the next six months, money will be only slightly less tight than it is now, but at least I'll be in work and will have a chance to get on with it. I will start looking for further employment later on in the year, say three months from now.

I've also been a good girl and sent in my tax self-assessment before April 1st, and -provided my calculations prove correct- can expect a windfall by July/August. Then maybe I can put that towards a holiday after my contract finishes? I'd love to visit the USA again...or maybe I could finally turn that long-held dream of mine into a reality and book that trip to Iceland (and possibly, Greenland) I've been wanting to take since my early teens.
gamiila: (bonnet)
I can be quite succinct on that: I have never (yet) thought about ending my own life. I don't know the time, the place, the circumstance, but one day I will die, and I can't see that there's any need for me to take matters into my own hands on that account.

the rest of the days )

I've become quite active in a group of unemployed people on LinkedIn in recent weeks, and yesterday I met with some of them in Utrecht, to share experiences and trade tips and ideas. One woman told me that in 2 years' time, she hadn't received a single invitation, and asked what she was doing wrong. She'd brought her cv and a sample (16!) of her 'best' cover letters and was clearly hoping someone would help her with them, so I offered to take them home and have a look...the despair is palpable in every page. She's been in higher education, but keeps applying (and being turned down) for simple data entry jobs and it's clear that she's lost all confidence. She keeps talking herself down and saying she "doesn't mind doing menial work", keeps mentioning that she's been "unemployed for a long time" and that she's "looking for a steady job in a small and friendly team" -- and after reading all these letters I'm not surprised no one's ever called her up for an interview. I want to encourage her to start applying to jobs that she's actually qualified for, to stop painting such a negative picture of herself, and to make her letter reflect an actual interest in the company and the job she's trying to get, but I'm not sure how to pour my concrit into words when she's so fragile and defensive already.

::sigh:: I can see that I'm going to be wrestling with this for the rest of the day.
gamiila: (not this shit again)
If I thought writing a good motivational cover letter was hard, now I know that purposefully setting out to write a bad one is harder still. I just sent off my first attempt and am mortified at the thought of the reception it is likely to get, but I had to do it: in order to retain my right to unemployment benefit for the next two months before I start in my new job, I have to keep complying with the condition that I apply for a minimum of two positions a week. Obviously, as I'm not currently free to accept any offers, I'm having to make reasonably sure that I don't receive any. So I've singled out call centre jobs as my best bet for being turned down, and am keeping my fingers crossed they won't want to employ someone who's so clearly over-qualified and over-experienced.

I have been taking advantage of the last days of the January sales to expand on my more serious work clobber collection. Even though the dress code at Apple isn't massively formal, I still thought it best, given that I'll be joining the management team, to stock up on something a bit more representational than jeans and cargo pants: neat yet comfy trousers, skirts with hemlines 2 fingers above the knee, and quite a few swishy cardigans. I'm a great fan of cardies: they're comfortable, they're warm and, provided you choose the right style, they're great at hiding those bits you don't want to draw attention to (in my case, the rack). My only worry now though is, that I seem to have bought a lot of stuff that is grey...but I'm hoping my co-workers won't really notice the predominantly monochrome quality of my wardrobe so much if I just invest in some colourful accessories and tights.

And can I just state that I was massively disappointed when, on logging on this morning, I found that return tickets to Sydney, Australia were still not available at 430 euros, as I had dreamed.
gamiila: (bonnet)
...and I've fallen so far behind...

At least, my LinkedIn is starting to work for me. People I don't know personally have now started to link in with me, and one or two have actually taken the trouble to point me to job openings. None very pertinent so far, but that's my fault for not properly defining what I'm looking for exactly. That'll be my task for the coming week then, and while I'm at it, I can stop giving out the impression that I'm desperate, as it's not currently doing me any favours.

Also, I keep being told that I should set up a Twitter-account as more and more job opportunities are being tweeted these days. But I'm not sure how this works and so I haven't followed that advice yet. What would I call myself, for one thing? What if I set up an account and I don't use it, as I don't use any of my social media-accounts except for LJ? I'd only be clogging up cyberspace.

So, I turn to you, oh flist, to tell me: Twitter -- a good idea, or a bad one?
gamiila: (winter)
Since this current cold spell began about a week ago, I've been having trouble maintaining a nice even temperature in the flat. I'm not surprised, as the central heating system was put in long before I bought the place, in 1970; and the heating engineer that I employ to check it through once every so often tut-tutted quite ominously last time he was here in September. Over the years, he's been keeping it going by making a few judicial repairs that have required quite a creative use of materials and expertise on his part, but due to the fact that he's come to the end of his own private stock of obsoleted parts won't be able to continue doing that anymore. Frankly, he told me, the whole system needs to be ripped out and replaced. I told him I had lost my job and couldn't afford to go to the expense just now, so he did what he could and said I had better hope for a mild winter. Now that hope's gone out the window, and I'm sat at the computer wrapped in a blanket and my feet pressed up against the one radiator that seems to be giving off any heat at all.

Earlier in the week, by which I mean some time last week (honestly, all the days seem to roll into one when you're unemployed), I was sent on a motivational workshop by the Job Centre, and wasted two hours of my life listening to the most obvious and facile observations on the subject by someone who no doubt gets paid handsomely out of community funds to speak to the unemployed as if to an audience of retards. But, at least I got complimented on my shoes by quite a few people (I was wearing my pink, purple and blue floral pattern 2008 Irregular Choice oxfords). Of course, the trainer then had to warn me against ever wearing them to an interview...to which I retorted that it all rather depended on what position I would be interviewing for.

Also last week, my nephew Romeo came to the realisation that he no longer believes in Sinterklaas, and was subsequently rather shocked to discover that this means we won't be celebrating it as a family any longer. As his birthday is only a few days later, he worried that might have been cancelled as well, but luckily we managed to reassure him and now he's happy in the knowledge that whatever happens, there will be presents for him in December ;-)

This morning, I found out it's possible to link/import your blog to LinkedIn...for a while I was tempted, but then dismissed the idea as possibly the worst in the world.
gamiila: (tea for me)
Slight panic this morning when I woke up to find my LJ account had been reverted back to Basic overnight, because I'd forgotten to update my credit card details in time. I overcompensated in putting it right and now I've got 201 user pics that I don't suppose I will ever even fill.

cut for whining )

Finally, to add to my woes, the other day when I went to have my hair cut, I was surprised to see how flecked with grey it had suddenly become.
gamiila: (*hides*)
I passed the six-months' stage of unemployment yesterday, and to mark it, I went to a Monsterboard Meet-Up. I might as well have saved myself the bother (as well as the 20 euros return ticket to Amsterdam), as none of the speakers told me anything I didn't know already. "Make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your cv", was the first speaker's advice to a roomful of 200 job seekers. "Never leave more than one button unbuttoned if you don't want to wear a tie to your interview", said the next. "Think about your profile picture on Facebook: do you really want to introduce yourself to the world and his wife holding a beer in your hand?" was the subject of the personal branding coach's talk. I can't believe I wasted an entire evening listening to this sort of drivel, when I could have been at home watching EastEnders!

My former manager has offered to endorse me on LinkedIn. I will have to write the recommendation myself though, then send it to her for publication. She's Polish, and embarrassed about the fact that she has difficulty writing in Dutch (and that after several years of twice-weekly lessons, English is still a mystery to her). I've written plenty of recommendations and evaluations for other people in the past, but I must admit, I find it difficult to blow my own horn. It feels so phoney...Plus I'm wondering why I'm even doing this, as no recruiter's going to read it, anyway...but it will make Gosia feel better, thinking she's still helping me in any way she can. She's still fuming about the way I was let go, but in her current position as Business Controller is unable to re-hire me. She's tried, but was overruled by HR.

So a new month has begun, and realistically, I don't think I'll be back in work before the year is out. Let's hope that 2011 when it arrives will be a better year than 2010 has so far proved to be.
gamiila: (cross)
So, what has very nearly 6 months of unemployment brought me, apart from stress, boredom and a profound questioning of my own abilities? Weight gain.

The weather's turned cold and so I've put away my summer things and put my winter clothes back in the wardrobe. There are several trousers and jackets that no longer fit. To say I'm disappointed in myself is an understatement. Three years ago when, over a period of five months after surgery to my ankle, I managed to lose close to 20 kilograms, I swore I would never let myself gain it back...but what have I gone and done now? I can't get back into the trousers I wore as recently as last March! I must have put on 5 or 6 kilos since then; and though I'm still 3 sizes down from what I was in 2007, I am very very ashamed and cross with myself.

The problem is, there is nothing in the world makes me feel as good as chocolate does...but no more! You all will be my witness that there will be no more chocolate for me from here on in until I've found a job! Which considering Sinterklaas and Christmas are just around the corner is going to be quite a difficult thing to avoid, but I can't afford to give in to temptation if I want to be back inside those trousers by the new year.

Also, I shall look into taking more regular exercise. Cycling to and from my volunteer job should be a start (and yay! I start tomorrow!). I cycled over the other day for my interview and almost killed myself in the 15 minutes it took me to get there, I'm so unfit; but practice should make perfect and should help me get my waist back into shape before too long.

We've come to my choice for favourite last scene\line in the 30 Day Movie Meme, which I've only just realised has 31 days in it; and I don't think there's ever been a better ending than this one:

Casablanca )

the rest of the days )
gamiila: (facepalm)
So, what has very nearly 6 months of unemployment brought me, apart from stress, boredom and a profound questioning of my own abilities? Weight gain.

The weather's turned cold and so I've put away my summer things and put my winter clothes back in the wardrobe. There are several trousers and jackets that no longer fit. To say I'm disappointed in myself is an understatement. Three years ago when, over a period of five months after surgery to my ankle, I managed to lose close to 20 kilograms, I swore I would never let myself gain it back...but what have I gone and done now? I can't get back into the trousers I wore as recently as last March! I must have put on 5 or 6 kilos since then; and though I'm still 3 sizes down from what I was in 2007, I am very very ashamed and cross with myself.

The problem is, there is nothing in the world makes me feel as good as chocolate does...but no more! You all will be my witness that there will be no more chocolate for me from here on in until I've found a job! Which considering Sinterklaas and Christmas are just around the corner is going to be quite a difficult thing to avoid, but I can't afford to give in to temptation if I want to be back inside those trousers by the new year.

Also, I shall look into taking more regular exercise. Cycling to and from my volunteer job should be a start (and yay! I start tomorrow!). I cycled over the other day for my interview and almost killed myself in the 15 minutes it took me to get there, I'm so unfit; but practice should make perfect and should help me get my waist back into shape before too long.

We've come to my choice for favourite last scene\line in the 30 Day Movie Meme, which I've only just realised has 31 days in it; and I don't think there's ever been a better ending than this one:

Casablanca )

the rest of the days )

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gamiila

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