The HR Juggler

Day 9: A Little Patience…

Posted on: December 9, 2012

Today’s post is by Mik Cowans (@MikCowans) and will certainly resonate with many in the current economic environment.


Having had a turbulent year or so, I thought writing a blog full of experiences, learnings and insight would be easy. But, as I’m sure you can appreciate, ‘lots of things happening’ doesn’t always result in ‘lots of things to write about’.

Instead, I’ll take an emotional stance. I’ll cover the major parts of me that have been uncovered; the reflections, and those being the parts of me to focus one; the resolutions.

Without a doubt, the biggest thing I’ve come to appreciate this year is patience. Being unemployed in the current market will do that to a person. ‘Signing on’ and doing the ‘walk of shame’ on a fortnightly basis was a tough step to take, but a necessary one nonetheless. Being ‘on the dole’, I could have covered many emotions. You surely do have to swallow your pride, manage frustrations and keep disappointments in context . But all of those are minor to the patience such a circumstance can teach.

I found myself in a situation of getting a reply rate of about 5%, at best, to the job-market outreach I was doing, and I was doing a lot. Now, without patience, and appreciating patience as an emotive state, you would surely become highly demotivated, and to a degree, you would of course take it personally. For a good while, and through many a low point, I did, so I’m saying this for anyone who may find themself in such a situation. Doing just that, and staying focused on it, is a large part of what got me through.

I’m now quite happy with a new position at a Digital Marketing Company (Silverbean) up here in Newcastle. But that wasn’t easy. To get here I had to put myself through several unpaid positions and many interviews that never came to anything; quite often with the position going completely unfilled with budgets tightened.

But that leads me nicely on to appreciation, I’ve come to appreciate the many people who’ve helped me along the way. Laura Sharpe, of Sharpe Recruit for going out of her way to personally help, whatever way she could. Steve Underwood, Director at Silverbean for taking a chance and keeping me on, when there was no position in the first place. But appreciation goes much further than that, it’s about being mindful, and in any situation testing your own patience, I’d say remember to be so.

On the note of appreciation, I’m careful to make sure I appreciate the view every morning on the route to the office…


4 Responses to "Day 9: A Little Patience…"

What an amazing post and a raw reminder, especially to those of us, with the good fortune to be in employment, that it is a hard route to a new job for many at the moment. The least we can do is be responsive when people apply (5% is a shamefully low reply rate and, as many who read this blog are HR professionals, we can do something about that…) Thank you for sharing your year. Patience and resilience are valuable skills, regardless of the tough time acquiring them. Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2013 (at Silverbean and in life in general).

Thanks so much Kate. I’m hearing more and more of how tough the North East job market is though – I’m sure I remember reading something of over 600 applications for a single post! I don’t envy anyone who has to deal with that number of respondents. Amazing comment, enjoy the festivities & have a wonderful 2013!

Patience is indeed so valuable, and so is being patiently impatient. I find playing with this paradox to be a hugely satisfying challenge and it’s lovely to read your story about something so important. Most people give up too soon.

It is hard out there, but I have had dealings with Laura @ Sharpe, she is good at finding positions, and good call for Silverbean keeping you on. No one wants to be unemployed.

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