Adrift again

Day after day I’m more confused
Yet I look for the light through the pouring rain
You know that’s a game that I hate to lose
And I’m feelin’ the strain
Ain’t it a shame

Those lyrics from Drift Away by Dobie Gray are pretty much spot on with me these days. I find myself once again looking for employment, not quite sure what people are looking for or expecting.

I spent some time thinking about what to call my blog. I like titles with a bit of humour or an in-joke, but I settled on An American Adrift because that is the way I feel more often than I would like. I’m not always sure what I need to do to get along here. I’m sure some of my particular problem is down to being a foreigner. I suspect some is because of my age. But I’ve always though of myself as being clever and adaptable and yet I still can’t seem to really crack the proper employment market in England.

Part of what makes my attitude worse and feeds my frustration is that I had my ideal job back in America. I’d found my niche. I’d hit my zone. I think that same sweet spot exists here but I have yet to be able to convince anyone here that I can do that job. So, I keep on keepin’ on, making things up as I go along, trying to piece together something like a career out of flotsam and jetsam.

A particularly puzzling aspect of this tale is the lack of feedback from my failed job applications. Seriously, one potential employer directed me NOT to ask for feedback owning to the large number of applicants they received. I can guess and suspect that my qualifications are not quite relevant or that my experience is not current enough. I suspect my age is a factor and there’s no way anyone is going to admit that.

I can’t afford to get retrained but I have applied for some ‘free’ teacher qualification and Playworker courses. Last year I was turned down by four secondary school teaching courses and was told that I didn’t have enough experience in the secondary school system. How do I fight that kind of adversity? I was advised to volunteer in a secondary school classroom but I wasn’t told how long was enough. It all starts sounds like an excuse. I’ve heard for years and years that the UK is looking for people with experience and desire to be teachers. That’s me! But no one will hire me without a teaching qualification and the courses I’ve applied to have turned me down. The Playworker courses didn’t turn out to be free for me because I already have university degrees.

I won’t give up; I’ll keep trying to find a niche. But sometimes I find it very discouraging. Two Master’s Degrees, over a decade of very successful teaching experience in the US, a stint as a database programmer and I still find it hard to get a job in the UK. Of just about any kind. I’ve been turned down for jobs shelving books in the local university library.

And so it goes . . .

Beginning to think that I’m wastin’ time
I don’t understand the things I do
The world outside looks so unkind


  1. Jen O'Rourke says

    Such a shame. You were one of my favorite teachers! I still remember how to do Euler Circuits, even though it hasn’t come up in all those years since I took Practical Math from you. 🙂