It has all been an emotional rollercoaster selling my business, trying to re-invest in a project to renovate the building I bought to run my business from, and having an awful time this summer with the building project. I am absolutely boracic, skint, and still have to work out how to get through the next six months cashflow.
This makes me think of how many people are out of work and desperately hope for a job. Any job.
I have an interview to do hand finishing in a curtain factory. Believe me, this is ideal! I would not be able to stand up all day as I used to Hairdressing. The factory is in a small country industrial complex at the bottom of our road, which means no trying to drive into work, and paying for parking. This alone is worth the cost of running a car plus about £110 per month parking. Say the real cost of petrol and car expenses is £50 per week, just getting to work (as my area doesn't have a good bus route), will be £310 per month just to get there. It would be cheaper to buy a bike! I used to have a motorbike for work which was much cheaper to run.
Then if you are working in a shop, and especially in a high fashion hair salon where there is no uniform, you have to buy work clothes. These days there is such pressure to 'look the part' and have such a high degree of personal presentation for business jobs, you need to spend a lot of income on this too. I always advocated a uniform, but my staff would always be moaning and resenting it. Now I see the salon have stuck to uniforms since they own it!
My point is that for someone who has been out of work for some time it is an awful process to try and get back on the ladder. What I think would be a great initiative to sit alongside the employment agencies, is a business makeover department. Somewhere that people who are in business drop off their slightly worn, or not favorite suits, and workwear. A pre-interview styling session, to include a bit of grooming and presentation help. This would be great for a moral boost for anyone needing to get the confidence to go to an interview.
Considering the diversity of skills I have, that I won so many business awards, and training in business awards, the thought of going for an interview is still scary! I was the one doing the interviews for the last 15 years. I don't know what I am worth in any other job market. This might be minimum wage, and 'flexible' hours, but it is better than having so much time on my hands, and no day to day income. You never know, I might be just the person they need! I don't mind what I do, and sitting quietly with sewing will suit me fine.
I explained I am a good dressmaker, and had made curtains for myself, but not commercially. However sewing uses the same skills whatever you are making. If you can sew... you can sew. I much prefer doing things that have a tangeable end result, a process. I like to see work finished, and a sense of contributing to an end result. Believe me I learn fast! I am very much a see-do type. I have a high degree of concentration, and I don't get bored doing something repetitive. I find it quite meditative and theraputic.
There were so many factory jobs available in the UK, close to where people lived so they could walk to work, or just a bus or train ride away. With outsourcing all the mass production to the far east, we have ended up with very poor quality products in the shops, and huge unemployment.
There is no point in having unrealistic aspirations for career development, when in truth you need a wage that can pay your living needs, and a home, and friends to enjoy. This past 20-30 years of constant demand for 'more' and 'better', as our expectations and aspirations have been increased, is what has probably led to so many of us being in financial straight jackets.
Yes I worked really hard for unimaginably long hours to achieve the result I wanted. I was very careful, even though I made many mistakes. I don't want to put myself through that kind of anguish again, and I don't want the responsibilities that go with owning a business any more. I would far rather support someone else who has that responsibility.
There is no green grass on either side of the fence at the moment, and for most people in employment, they never realise how lush the grass is until there is a drought.
Well I went and tried! There are a couple more ladies to be interviewed, and one of them returning to the Island is a curtain maker. Looks like I will have to get on the paintbrushes and see if I can do some arty stuff to sell!
Right, I need to make some nighties for the 93 year old aunty, so no more for today.