Job, schmob – I need a career…

POST #2: I Should Of Got My Spelling Write

Well, it’s in: my application for the BBC’s Journalism Trainee Scheme.

Trainee. Hm. I need training. Well, retraining, certainly. There’s something about the word “trainee” that makes me think of apprentices on one of the government’s Yoof Training Schemes, for some reason. I’m no snob, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. That label.

Actually, that’s rubbish. I think maybe I am a bit of an intellectual snob. I do constantly look at people and wonder how the heck they keep their jobs, let alone get them in the first place. Not just anybody, you understand. I mean people who have better jobs than me. For instance, I recently applied to one of the country’s (in fact, world’s) leading academic institutions for a communications role. I won’t name them in case it comes back to bite me on the bottom when I eventually win the Booker Prize. But anyway, the first sentence, from the head of that department, read: “May thanks for your email.” That’s right. “May“. Given that much of the job would have involved proofreading for this person (or at least, this department) I kinda think that he should have practised what he inevitably would have preached and proofread his own emails before sending them out. In a two-sentence email, there were three mistakes. Nothing as forehead-slapping as “should of” or something equally toe-curling, but honestly, sir, if I’m going to spend time asking you for a job, at least have the grace to make just a little bit of an effort when you tell me to sod off.

Applications, as many of you will know (unless you’re lucky enough to be in your dream job already, or ambitionless enough not to care that you aren’t) can be very tiresome and very long. The one for the BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme, for example, requires one to write four mini-essays. That’s quite a lot, I thought, as I got down to business. Not only that, but you have to constantly use the lingo of the day which, in my experience, mainly refers to being “passionate” all the time. Passionate about editing. Passionate about new technology. Passionate about being passionate… How anyone can be passionate about auditing or chartered accountancy is beyond me, to be honest. Whilst I like working with words, I hold up my hands and say that I’m actually a lot more passionate about being happy, healthy, enjoying life with my wife, Formula 1, the odd glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and chocolate.

But rules is rules and I’ve just made pretty damn sure that I’ve come across as passionate in all four of my application essays. And they’d better bloody believe it; I spent hours on that mother…


October 24, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. I always convince myself that being happy in what I do and happy in my home life is a full time job in itself. I too support a well-paid and thoroughly achieving wife and I’m pretty sure I do it well…..

    Good luck with these applications. I hope the responses are/were equally pashonut.

    Comment by Chris | November 9, 2009 | Reply

    • I think getting the whole work/life balance thing right is really difficult to do, so congratulations, Chris, that you have managed it! I hold up my hands and say that, in personal terms, I have no grounds for complaint. I got married last year, I live in a lovely flat…all the usual things which people often take for granted but which are all actually pretty great. But I have to confess that I have this gnawing, nagging distraction that, professionally, I’m completely underachieving. It’s not necessarily all about money, though. But I’d like to go to work and feel satisfied, challenged and motivated…none of which I currently feel.

      Comment by Ashley Morrison | November 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. Congratulations on your new blog!
    I agree with what you said about the ‘passion mantra’. Job applications often sound as if one is offering soul rather than skills. They also take time…
    If I was employer I would certainly offer job to a person who is balanced and sane rather than to a ‘workophile’.
    Keep your passions and your blog alive.

    Comment by Andrea | November 9, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Andrea,
      Thanks for following my blog! I wish I could follow yours too, but I’m a good few years away from my Serbian being at the required level to do that! Since my latest blog post, I’ve just applied for another “creative & copywriter” job and I actually carefully avoided the use of the word “passionate”. I don’t think I substituted it for anything quite as boring as “very interested in” but whatever I did, it did the trick… I got an interview this time!

      Comment by Ashley Morrison | November 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. Great news! Keep us posted as to how the interview went!

    Comment by Chris | November 11, 2009 | Reply

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