Watford Gap

On Thursday I had my interview in Harrow. It was the first interview I’ve managed to land in all the applications I’ve sent out. It was nice to at least be considered.

I’m using the past tense here because I sense that the opportunity has closed itself to me. I thought I did well in the interview – I’d prepared answers to almost all the questions they asked. Except one – how will I deal with the relocation if offered the job?

I had done some basic research. I knew how much it was going to be to live in the area. Plus, there is the fact that the transport links are excellent in almost every direction in London. I would be fine, I said. I could live in a cheaper area and just travel more. Bad answer: cos, of course, travel costs would then increase to compensate.

But, in truth, the salary is probably not enough to live in London from the job. £19k a year is only £14.5k net. Rent at £800/month is nearly 2/3rds of my income gone. This was what got me. I felt a bit stupid. I blustered with excuses that I could carry on with freelance work that I get from time-to-time from a friend, and also that I could referee to earn a little extra, but I think the damage had already been done. I looked like I hadn’t done my research properly, and that’s fatal.

The daft thing is that the salary for the job is actually better than what I would get if I chose to pursue the London MP assistant career. Which is such a bad choice anyway because the progression route is so badly defined. The miserable pay is a result of the huge demand: everyone wants to work there so they reduce the wage. Only the most desperate apply. Am I that desperate?

Anyway, they said I would hear either Friday or Monday. Friday went without a call, but at least I have the weekend off from worrying about it now. In any case, there’s nothing I can do. I guess I have to keep looking. There can’t be many people who get their job at their first interview, anyway. I knew I wouldn’t be that lucky. I never am.

The day itself was actually a lot of fun. Travelling by train is always something I enjoy (as long as I get a seat!), especially now I’ve got an MP3 player. The time just flies by. The weather was excellent, and I even got a chance to sit in the park for a little while before hand to prepare myself for the interview. It’s a very nice area. I really would have liked the job – it would have suited me perfectly, I think.

If I don’t get it, I’m going to have to reassess my position. Maybe my experience is just not good enough to apply for these kinds of jobs. I feel like I’m trapped in the old circular logic: to get experience you need experience. No one advertises their post saying “Inexperienced PA required immediately!”.

In any case, if I don’t get it I don’t think I’ll be doing any more applying for jobs a long way away unless they offer to reimburse my expense. It cost me £70 in total, train fares, taxi fares. And I did a lot of walking. It was a nice little adventure, a nice break from sitting here all day, but I could do that anywhere and it wouldn’t cost me so much money.

The waiting game is on hold until Monday. I’m sure I’ll be put out of my misery then.

UPDATE: A few minutes after writing this post a rejection letter turned up. Oh well – at least I didn’t have to wait all weekend after all!

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