Not Remotely

In recent posts, I’ve referred once or twice to my search for ‘the next thing’ – job, purpose, whatever it may be. Until now, I’ve not had any reason or desire to discuss it in depth. That’s business and this blog is pleasure, and I generally try to keep anything too heavy out of my posts (there’s enough misery in the world at the moment as it is). Unfortunately, though, I now feel I have to update you properly on my employment struggles, because something is bugging me – and I can’t help feeling that it shouldn’t have to.

At the end of June I will have been unemployed for six months. In that time, I’ve taken every piece of advice I can get with regards to where to go next, and browsed a cacophony of job sites using every single search term you can think of. Nearly every one of those has been prefixed with the word ‘remote’ – given the difficulties I had finding somewhere to live in London, I concluded it might be better to find a role that suited home working, so that I could theoretically do it anywhere. This is where my problem arose, although not in the sense you might think. A shortage of remote roles was not an issue – if anything, it was more a lack of honesty that wound me up. After a while, I noticed that every time I got excited about something I’d seen, and had readied myself to apply for it, I’d dig a bit deeper and find that in actual fact, the job in question wasn’t quite as remote as it claimed it was.

Usually, such jobs are hybrid positions – although why some employers are quite so reluctant to use that term is beyond me. Instead, they lead you to believe that they will suit you perfectly, and that you’ll be able to do them from home with no issues, before admitting they want you in the office (which tends to be nowhere close at all) three days a week. While that might be fine for some people, it’s not generally very practical for me, and I can’t help but feel it might have unnecessarily prolonged my search. I might not have wasted so much time getting my hopes up if every posting had been unequivocally clear about its expectations of me. What’s more, after the lockdowns and pandemic-related disruption we’ve had over the last two years, surely a hybrid job could easily be made remote with careful and regular cooperation? Perhaps I’m making a fuss about nothing, but after all the disappointment I’ve already had, I could do without any further setbacks. I suppose the only upside is that with every hurdle, I’m that little bit closer to a breakthrough. After what already seems like an eternity, one must be coming soon.

Mason

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