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Depressed NQT with no job in September.

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by lily_w, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    Hello everyone,
    I am an NQT who is feeling really down and just needs to write how I'm feeling somewhere and ask for some words of reassurance. I qualified this summer after finishing my Primary PGCE. It's been a really hard year - I had a terrible final placement with an absent mentor and a nasty class teacher who made everything ten times harder than it should have been. My link tutor was very supportive and saw right through her, so I passed with a good grading. I specialised in MFL so I spent a month teaching abroad which was very tough at times but I was glad I did it. When applying for the PGCE, everyone told me to choose the language specialism as schools would be impressed by it and the previous government at the time were trying to integrate primary languages in the curriculum. I now know different - schools don't seem to care that I have the language specialism and the languages scheme seems to have been abandoned. I feel like it was a waste of time and hard work.
    I have applied for countless jobs in my area (South East) and have been to about 7 interviews. Each time I have been rejected with the same feedback - "your lesson was really good and you gave some great answers in the interview but unfortunately this time you were a close second. You were a strong candidate so I'm sure you'll find something soon."
    I am so fed up of hearing this. I have followed all the advice on this website and I don't think these schools realise how much effort goes into each interview. I spend hours preparing a lesson, planning my answers, spending money on printer ink and paper for resources. I feel sick on the day of the interviews because I want the job so much. At the end of the day I feel exhausted and then I'm told (usually late in the evening) that I wasn't successful this time. I just want them to honestly tell me why, because I'm never given anything to work on. It's all positive and sometimes I just want to say "well why didn't you give me the job then?!" Sometimes I think I'm tired of putting myself through it for nothing. I know it's all experience but what use is it when it is now July and my hope of getting a job for September is gone?
    I know I am not the only one in this position but sometimes it feels like it. Most people on my PGCE course have jobs and many secured them back in March/April. I was happy for them at first but now I find it so difficult to hear it. They are constantly talking about meeting their new class or updating their Facebook status to something about their new school/job and it makes me feel so depressed. Some of these people put in the bare minumum effort on the PGCE - they turned up late, messed around in lectures, didn't bother doing assignments until the last minute, scraped through placements, spoke about how they were hungover in school and only went into teaching because they couldn't get another job - but they are the ones with jobs. I had a 2 hour round trip to uni, tried my hardest on placement even though it was difficult and worked for hours every evening. I kept telling myself it would be worth it in the end when I was happy in a school with my own class, but that hasn't happened. I don't mean to sound bitter but it is very difficult to see certain people getting hired on their first or second interview when I know they put in half the work I did and treated the whole thing as a joke.
    I am now looking into other jobs as I don't feel confident enough to do supply and I need money to pay my rent and keep things afloat financially. I hate being unemployed and I honestly didn't see myself in this position. The next few months of my life seem empty to me, with no job and nothing to fill the days. It's going to be really difficult seeing my PGCE classmates starting their jobs in September too. I never thought I'd be in this situation and it's so awkward too, especially as my family often ask me why I don't have a job and I have to explain that I went for interviews but no schools seemed to want me. I would love to get a job for an October or January start but don't know how realistic this is. Just don't know what to do anymore and feel like giving up.

    Sorry for the essay but I'm feeling very sad and wonder why I did all this in the first place.
  2. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Its the climate, there are so many of us in the same boat it could be a fleet of cruise ships! I know its disheartening but you're not alone. There are still primary jobs advertised (I've seen some on Guardian jobs today but that was North West) so just try and see if something comes of that.
    For my specialism the jobs were practically non existent this year and I'm afraid there won't be much for a Jan start. Decide what you think is best, maybe TA work, back to your old industry? Part time admin work and volunteer at local Guides/Brownies? MadScience/ExploreLearning? Museums/Galleries? SOMETHING will come up just might not be what you had imagined... xx
  3. laconn

    laconn New commenter

    Hi Lilly W, sorry to hear you are having a tough time at the moment. Jobs are pretty hard to come across anyway so to have 7 interviews is really positive. Next time you ask for feedback maybe try to be more specific even if they say you were a close second. Explain that you have received that feedback a lot and wondered if there was anything you should work on for future interviews. You say you are not confident enough to apply for supply agencies, maybe the lack of confidence is effecting you at interview. Is there a local school you could get some more experience in? Supply may not be all over the place if that is what you are worried about when I did supply this term I only ended up doing regular supply in several schools. They were really welcoming and obviously wanted me back. I wouldn't rule supply out from personal experience. I have experienced all age ranges because of this which looks great on your applications. Try to stay positive and keep going with the applications when they start to come out again at the end of Oct.
    All the best x
  4. I've had this for 5 years and I've just managed to secure a job teaching as a skills for life teacher/assessor. And when they appointed me they said exactly the same (but this time without the 'second best' bit!!)
    Keep going - your time WILL come - I promise, whatever and whenever that might be. Please don't get too down. I've noticed that at tough times of your life, something always comes up - regardless of what that might be.
  5. ggsh

    ggsh New commenter

    DON'T GIVE UP! You have just started your teaching journey and are in the best place to apply for jobs. 7 interviews sounds like really good stats! (Unsure how many jobs you have applied for, but it does sound good). Also, you are getting positive feedback. There is a lot of competition about, simply by the amount of applicants for each teaching post. I agree with previous poster - <u>there are still jobs being advertised</u>. Check jobsites and local council vacancy bulletins for daily and up to date job info. You may get lucky. And if not, try supply work for a term and if you can afford to do it - on non-supply days - get into a school on a voluntary basis - good for application forms. Think Christmas. Keep looking and applying. [​IMG]
  6. I came second at every interview l did! BUT i now have a permanent job!

    I did about 5 interviews and came second every time, then literally at the very last possible moment l got another interview but it had two posts! The second, which l got was a maternity cover, but it rolled into a second cover and then into a perm job after about 18 months.
    And the lady that came first never got her contract renewed at the end of the trial year.
    Still rubbish at interviews! Would like a move now but can't face any more.....
    But keep in there - the job l got finally was the right job, and l can see the others weren't (now)
    Was tough at the time though

    Good Luck
  7. I can completely sympathise. I also had a horrible placement (and my uni tutor sided with the mentor), qualified in Dec 2010 and have been unsuccessful in finding a teaching post. I have just accepted an LSA post in a secondary school. Not exactly the ultimate prize but a job, nonetheless. I know SE is a tough area for getting jobs in - I trained down there and because the situation here is so tough, I have kept an eye out for any SE schools I might know that would make a relocation something I would consider... I would say look for TA/LSA jobs. No, it's not what you trained to do but it will make it much easier to get that teaching job. You could think of it as a kind of 'gap year' - you'll be in there, getting the experience and making contacts, but with no marking or planning or suchlike, it'll be a nice, easy way in! Or there's supply. I have been doing it for a few months now and it has positives and negatives - the main one being the lack of steady income. BUT my confidence as a teacher grew and I became a much stronger candidate for teaching posts because I could draw not only on TP experiences, but also on supply experiences. Did you train at Goldsmiths? I thought about their Upper Primary+German PGCE - a month in Deutschland sounded pretty spesh! [​IMG] xxx
  8. Lilly W, I am feeling exactly the same accept I qualified last year and have had an extra year of depression!! LOL the most important thing i can say is - do supply. You may be nervous or not feeling confident but trust me you will get over it. I have supplied for over a year now and have requested an extension for Sept but without this supply experience I would have nothing over the hundreds/thousands of NQTs that qualify every year.
    Even though I don't really enjoy supply, it does keep me going I'm still meeting children and to some degree doing what I enjoy but the main thing is, it helps get your name about and you really do become a far more confident practioner simply because you have a wide range of experiences (some bad).
    Keep your chin up, I hate to say it, but this could just be the beginning of a rough time for you - I'm finding it too hard and I qualified last April. But despite this - if you really want it you'll have to battle through and take advantage of every little bit of experience (I know people that volunteer) that's how hard it is.
    b7031475 likes this.
  9. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    I really don't know what to do about supply. It's not very practical as I don't have my own car at the moment and can't afford one so I'm not sure how I'd get to the schools. Also I'm not the kind of person who can cope well with being phoned up last minute and told to go somewhere - I would worry about where I'd be asked to go and what the children and staff would be like. My final placement was horrible and I felt ignored and unwelcome the whole time and I've heard supply is a bit like that. So I would have to ask for long term supply positions if anything.
    It's just a bit difficult at the moment...I'm trying to think of alternative jobs I could do.
  10. Supply is terrible, I need a permanent position otherwise off I go. Even the exam board I have been appointed to be an examiner at, will not respond to my emails. That is a non starter too it seems.......
  11. I have a morgage and a family so supply wasn't an option for me either. If you do decide to try your hand at something else, go for something that would be an advantage to you, should you wish to return to the profession. I have just spent 18 months working in the children and family services department for a LA and the experience I gained there enabled me to stand out from the crowds AND appear more experienced as a teacher, even though I'm only an NQT. From this post I was able to update and learn a lot about all of the other services who work with children (which can be an advantage in a deprived area) and learn additional skills such as Information Sharing, Child Protection etc. In addition, a little while after I'd been there I linked up with the workforce development team and was able to do some training on behalf of the council which gave me more experience of teaching too.
    There are quite a lot of jobs out there which would enable you to do this. Think LSA/ TA - if you can get one they'd be a great way in. Otherwise, anything to do with children and families or in an educational capacity. Try to avoid admin at all costs! Also, have you thought about doing some sort of temp job like weekend work in retail or similar to tide you over AS WELL AS applying for teaching jobs and some supply if you can get hold of it. Otherwise, try private tutoring - that can always help to bring you in some extra cash. ('First Tutors' website is an excellent place to start.) But most importantly - do not give up hope. It has taken me 5 years of on-off applying for teaching jobs to get my first step in. You really have to be determined - and remember - it's okay not to apply for jobs now and again if you really feel like you've had enough. You need to be able to show enthusiasm when you're applying and if this is waivering then you need to get that back again - sometimes this can just mean stopping applying for a couple of weeks until you really feel like trying again (my longest was a 6 month stint!). It's the only thing that has got me this far. Just know that if it's meant to be you will find something in the end - just like I have done.
    Sorry for the very long reply but I just wanted to help. I know how it feels and I just wanted to let you know that it can be done - it might take a while to find, but you WILL get there in the end.
    Good luck xxx
  12. I forgot to add, you could also try to get some voluntary experience in a school that you know and would love if you have something to tide you over financially.(Plus this would get you a good reference too if you've had a bad experience elsewhere)
  13. Nadine86

    Nadine86 New commenter

    You're my long lost twin...You've said said exactly what I feel! I'm in the same boat. I've just finished my PGCE (secondary) and I keep coming second in interviews. Now I'm beginning to think that's a lie, everybody can't come second! I feel there is no hope and I'm afraid to do supply, as I have seen how they have been treated in the past. I have three years experience as an LSA but I'm afraid I won't even be able to do that now, as they would think I am over qualified and would leave as soon as I got a teaching job. I have no idea what to do. I'm running out of money and my mum is telling me to go to the job centre but I am worried that I will be given bad advice and told to look for jobs outside of the profession. I feel depressed and stuck.
  14. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    The JobCentre aren't a career advisor though, they're just there to try and get you of benefits so of course they'll tell you to get any job. If you need to claim then go, your bright enough to get this far and you can make your own career desicions. Look at work in museums, PGL, Mad Science, Explorer Learning, etc... or TRY and get back to LSA, they can only say no. Its hard in every proffesion ATM so just keep the JSA box ticked by applying for good jobs, you don't have to take something on minimum wage xx
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    unless in your area that's all that's advertised! What does one do then?
  16. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    Newbeginnings, how did you go about getting jobs that still allowed you to gain teaching experience (like the children and family services department job?) Was there anywhere specific you looked? I'm looking for something like that now but in my area there doesn't seem to be a great deal.
    I'm glad other people understand how I'm feeling. I hate being unemployed, I just hate getting up in the morning with nothing to do and having so many empty weekdays in front of me. I think I will look into tutoring as well and hope that something comes up for January...
  17. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    I filled my last three primary vacancies last week, I'm afraid, though it's not unknown for jobs to come up early in the autumn, or at least for January. I have a central process for applications which I'll be running into the autumn to cover NQT posts up to and including January starts; the applications come in to me through our online system, and I then circulate them round the heads as posts come up, which is how we filled the three last week for example. Although clearly I do this better than anyone else, there are some other Local Authorities who have similar systems, like - deep intake of breath at mentioning the nearest competition - Hertfordshire, so it's worth doing some research on LA websites, and posting applications if the LA of your choice has such a system. It may not do any good, but you may just get a call out of the blue... (And, given that of course the first application you put in will be to Luton, if you then get a job somewhere else, do drop me a line to tell me so we don't keep touting your application round long after you've been snapped up!).
  18. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    There has to be something advertised thats not minimum wage. What did you do before teaching? What's your degree in? I've been applying for loads back in industry. Not getting anywhere but it would tick boxes for JSA if I was eligible and keeps me from getting too down. x

  19. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    If you can start your own business, if only to keep you sane. I've started freelancing as a graphic designer and have expanded into wedding stationery, itso nly breaking even at the moment 9wedding fairs cost a bomb!) but it gives me purpose to get up in the morning and something to aim for & hopefully by the end of this year I'll be turning a profit... You could work this round tutoring (thats the reason I started it) too x

  20. I could have written this myself. I put in so many hours of work during my degree and placements, it was unbelievable. I had some huge trouble at home with two loved ones with severe health difficulties, which including caring for one relative, so it was difficult for me but I struggled on. I was graded good or outstanding on every placement and didn't seem to stop working. I had a 2 hour commute just to get to uni- a 4 hour round trip. I put my heart and soul into my training and graduated with a first class degree.
    Yet there are people all over Facebook who seem to have just walked into jobs without really caring. One person from my course barely turned up, failed 5 assignments (that I know of) and has secured a job. Another has named children/ schools in negative comments on Facebook.
    It frustrates me so much that I put so much into this and there are people who don't seem to care at all who are just breezing through the application process. Yet the ones who are really dedicated to teaching, who have worked their socks off and really want to make a difference are left behind.

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