Earning enough to live, & avoiding JSA and all its hassle
The object of this page is to get someone, who is currently unemployed, and if they are in UK probably on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), work and earning decent money, whilst they keep job hunting, the principle should work for most Anglo Saxon free trade economies. Basically as everyone will tell you, finding work is easier if you are in work. Actually this isn’t accurate, what tends to happen is you aren’t as ‘eager’ to take any job that comes along if you have some money coming into your Bank account. So what happens is, one has a tendency to only apply for the jobs you feel you can do, or would really like to do.
Professionals, Managers and those over 50 also find themselves in the same boat, this is still for you Your career path may have stalled, but keep in there, and don’t let the bastards grind you down. Managers and skilled workers, just aim at a different agency type or qualification level, and Women looking to get back into work, you have just managed your household, if you can organise your family, you can manage a warehouse or office?
If you are doing agency work, it will be easier finding your true vocation but still haiving an income, to support you. I was a long time ‘unemployed’, in the sense I didn’t have permanent work, however I was busy most of the time working. I turned down jobs which I didn’t feel suited to, but did not have to worry, because the money from the Temporary jobs kept coming in. In fact if there is one drawback to, finding work while having temporary jobs, is occasionally not having enough time to be scanning the jobs available, on the job websites.
Many a time I was too busy working, to look for a job!
Having an FLT licence can help getting warehouse work. Also this gets you above minimum wage if that is the position you find yourself in.
It was only a few years ago I was job hunting, and since then have come across lots of people who don’t seem to be getting good advice on what to do when unemployed. Namely taking Temporary jobs to pay your bills.
I was in the job market for over two and a half years, but rarely had a week without work, whilst my strategy will work in UK it should also work in most ‘Western’ Countries, give or take some places on the European mainland notably France.
The following Countries have Government websites to help you find work.
They are all quite good, they are all certainly well meaning, but they are all only as good as Government Departments can ever hope to be, which is average, at best.
I will continue to add to this list, and any help with foreign speaking countries own Government websites will be appreciated. Finding work while doing temporary jobs should work in most developed and developing economies.
The UK Job-search, is very successful for locating job vacancies, because most employers use it, as their first stop for general employment, but the actual Job Centres, where the unemployed can go for help and advice on getting work, are average at the very best, and near to useless more than half the time. A note here all the staff I came across at the Job Centres were very helpful, and worked very hard, however their re-mit seems to be to try and get people permananent jobs.
This isn’t helped by some Politicians who continually criticise zero hours contracts. In UK you are no longer tied to one contract, so do not worry about signing up for them, you can have as many as you like, and they usually bring work.
But staff at Government agencies are bound by rules that come from Politicians, do I need to say more.
Politicians stand on their hind legs, get elected with no qualifications, then insist that a person who has driven a fork lift truck for the best part of ten years, with no accidents, cannot sit on an FLT unless thhe person coffs up a few hundred quid to get a licence, where is the incentive for finding work there.
The staff in job centres are very well meaning, and certainly the staff I came across were very dedicated and very helpful, but were next to useless. They had lots of ideas and strategies, about finding work and getting jobs, but none of them got to the nub of the matter, paying the bills.
This led me to the temping agencies, the first of which led me a merry dance, and for which in hindsight, I am grateful, because I learnt that Job Agencies are a mixed bunch, although on the whole they are just trying to get work and get paid, and their work in the most part is to get you work, and that means money.
If you have a skill, aim immediately at agencies that supply people for that skill, a friend’s wife runs an agency supplying skilled welders, quite niche but also useful for people with that particular skill. This type of agency will usually pay a fair wage, so should be well above the State minimum.
Is a Zero Hours contract for you?
The respective job search, job bank, job finding websites will all have various vacancies, the ones to sniff out are the ones the Unions hate, those taking on temporary workers, some agencies just supply for half a day, others have contracts for set periods, but may not get any work, so Zero hours contracts.
There is nothing intrinsically bad about Zero hours Contracts just be very careful, because it might not suit you and your circumstances. The Unions and Union leaders hate them because it gives companies flexibility, and the Unions don’t have ‘control’ over you, which is all they are bothered about. If you think otherwise, I suspect you have never been a shop steward, I have. Unions are for the Unions, not for Companies being as flexible as possible and making a profit, which is the only thing a company exists for.
So it is down to how much work you need, if it’s lots, just to keep paying your bills, then avoid zero hours contracts, that tie you into that particular company, and just stay on agency work with no stated contract. This might be zero hours but not ‘Tied in’ this is the most flexible option, because agencies that require at short notice, will phone you with work when it arises.
Agencies can supply crap jobs, but they pay you money.
Yes many agencies mess you about, yes many are only paying minimum wage and requiring unskilled labour, yes they contact you last minute with crap jobs, but they get you work. Also it will put money in your pocket, and most agencies will be okay with you about doing college, or having to go to a training school, if you let them know what you are doing, again flexibility, in fact some agencies will immediately mark you as a good option because you are doing something like College, as long as it looks as though they will benefit from the kudos, of sending someone along to a job, who is willing and also wants to improve their circumstances. It is just what good employers are looking for, and if that reflects well on the agency, you are in their good books.
get all the Licences and certificates you can
Unskilled, why haven’t you got a Fork Lift Truck (FLT) licence, and don’t answer you can’t afford it and the Government requires you to jump through hoops with JSA, I have already said bin JSA get with agencies paying you money, and use it to get all the Licences and certificates you can while adding experience to your C.V. This is one of the tricks to finding work while job hunting, getting enough do$h flowing into your bank account so that you are able to afford to take whatever course, to get you a certificate, in your chosen field. Food hygiene or food handling NVQ anyone, or CILT Qualification in logistics management, your professional management skills might take a boost, and might take you, in a new direction.
Put yourself in the Employers shoes, they have an increasing order book, but it is increasing erratically, so they employ only when they need someone, that way if for the next few months trade slackens they are not burdened with an employee who has no work, and hence is not earning them money. That is inefficient, and inefficiency costs money and is not profitable, efficiency translates into profit, and that usually increases the amount of work required from the company, which translates into JOBS.
Just before I changed locations with my current job, one Monday a woman who is a manager for one of the Temping agencies came in, she was there to see the warehouse manager, for an update, we’ll call her Natasha, not her real name. Natasha was Just a little hacked off, she had had a phone call the previous Friday evening just before five 0’clock, could she supply 6 workers for the night shift (starting at 10 0’clock finishing at six the following morning) “surely they must have known earlier in the day they needed more people in.” She had the unenviable task of getting 6 people on a Friday evening, into work at short notice, to work overnight, with no extra overtime rate, this was not finding work, it was finding people to do that work.
I noted that some of those who came into work had blamed Natasha personally, for being incompetent and leaving things till the last minute, they complained, “why hadn’t she phoned during the day, and I could have got a few hours sleep, for the night ahead.” That is the nature of temping, sometimes it might be the agency that is lax, but some of the time it is poor management at the place of work. Although often it is someone who has blobbed last minute, and left the company in the lurch, or a last minute order that needs fulfilling.
What do you mean you have a broken leg, feeble excuse, those containers don’t unload themselves you know lol.
And if an agency has sent you along to help unload a container that has just arrived, and you enquire about permanent jobs, what do you say if he/she asks what other skills you have, if you are able to reply an FLT licence, it might just get you the next vacancy they have available.
Where do you get that building trades CSCS card?
Security guard SIA licence
Agency work will give you, more money and more experience than charity shop work and will open you to jobs you possibly didn’t know existed. If you are highly skilled then choose your agencies with care, but the same principle applies, you can widen your job opportunities. At the same time I became redundant, a highly skilled manager I knew did likewise, he found himself taking all sorts of fairly menial or lesser jobs to pay his mortgage but ended up, changing from the building trade to wind farm electricity generation. He had done a temporary management job where he heard through the grapevine this vacancy was open. Whilst it is not impossible the job would have come across his radar, it is unlikely.
The worst job I had was the glass recycling on the ‘Top conveyor belt’, this is the first point, when the large crap, is taken from the assorted shite, that has been thrown by people into a recycling skip (US Dumpster), supposedly these are exclusively for glass but some have all sorts put in them for recycling, used nappies, tampons and something you are not sure what it is, but it is soft to the touch, gets cleared out (they do supply industrial strength rubber gloves when you are going through this crap lol) are the worst, a purse with over £5 in loose change was one of the better finds.
It is best to take even poor jobs, this helps you finding work while job hunting, and keeps the money flowing into your bank account. Mister Micawber’s great dictum in Charles Dicken’s novel David Copperfield, will always hold true,
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six pence, result misery.”
You might only be keeping your head above water, but that is better than drowning, and read my ‘About me’ for my experience on that score.
The primary source for jobs in UK is Jobcentre, then any local agencies or specialist job vacancy sites. Because the number of specialist sites is huge, I have restricted the links to just the Directgov site plus a few of the large majors in job hunting and vacancies. Jobs like welding or graphic design have from a handful to dozens of sites dedicated to them, so trying to list all industries, so to speak is your job, good hunting.
Gumtree is best used putting in your local Town/City or County which will then show up vacancies mainly local to you. http://www.gumtree.com/jobs