Day One: Applying for a real world job online

Every adventure begins with a degree of uncertainty and I have to admit, late at night it’s prompted me to question myself a little.  Leaving your job in a recession isn’t looked on as a prudent move and I’ve found myself wince a little when telling my friends and family what I have done.  I can see an instant flash of fear across their faces when I break the news: that ‘holy-shit-she’s-lost-her-mind’ moment quickly masked by stretched smiles and wide eyes.  

It’s not that they don’t approve as such.  Of course it’s clearly well-intentioned concern and it isn’t as though it’s something I haven’t questioned myself on as well but deep down I know it was just something I had to do.  That said, the job hunt must begin.  Having nothing lined up is a sure fire way to prompt a person to action.  But where to start?

It seems the kids are doing it differently nowadays.  Gone are the days of printing off an application form (2 copies in case you mess the first one up), painstakingly completing it in your best handwriting, black ink and hot-footing it to the Post Office or better still hand delivering it.  Everything is done online, often through a specific online application form system that cruelly times out before you are quite ready to submit why you are the best person for the job.  It seems to be a case of ‘fastest finger first’ making it a bit tricky to take the time you would normally allow to properly go through an application form.  

After a bit of practice I began to get a little more confident and, perhaps foolishly, caught myself saying “hey, maybe this isn’t so bad?”  It was then my worst fears became real in the shape of the dual platform application form.  (N.B. This is just what I call it.  I’m pretty sure I’m not tech savvy enough to know the correct terminology).  The dual platform form – DP for short – struck fear into my heart.  I was drawn in by the excitement of the job description, and reading through the job spec I knew this job was right up my street.  The application form started fairly normally luring me into a false sense of security until I arrived at the ‘Additional Information’ section and there it was staring me in the face: Your YouTube video. YOUTUBE!  A 3 minute video of me answering 3 questions spending no more than 60 seconds on each answer.  Let me tell you now, this is very difficult to achieve when you aren’t able to simultaneously film your answers and time yourself.  

Finally, after what felt like 100 attempts, my video was ready to upload at 10pm.  With a midnight deadline for submissions I felt a smug sense of calm as I began to upload my first ever YouTube video.  Having uploaded videos to Facebook fairly quickly before I anticipated submitting my application with plenty of time to spare.  However, YouTube had other ideas informing me the upload would take 118 minutes.  I felt a searing pain in my chest and my palms began to sweat.  How could a 3 minute video take so long to upload?! What if my form timed out before the upload was complete.  Not the type of questions you want to be asking yourself before a deadline.  Eventually after what seemed like an eternity my 3 minutes of fame were online and accompanying the rest of my application with 2 minutes to spare.  

Phew.  I later received an email informing me I was unsuccessful but they’d keep me on file which was more response than I had received from other applications.  Looking on the bright side, at least I’m prepped for future applications but I can’t help but wonder if this type of process alienates capable potential employees and dissuades them from applying.  


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