This time last year…


I was going for job interviews. Boy am I glad that is over for now. Not a pleasant thing. I feel for anyone facing that challenge at the moment. It is pretty awful trying to sell yourself and feeling so examined and inadequate. And just generally terrified.


I took this photo this time last year after an interview, when Oxford was still nothing but a tourist attraction to me.




I am so lucky to be working in this beautiful city, which I am only starting to explore now. For the first few months I was in survival mode, scuttling in and out of the city like a startled hamster. Now I am finally taking the time to enjoy the place. I work with really pleasant people, which has not always been the case in my working life, and a friendly department, and the work is just fine. I really am lucky.

Now if I could just find the eject button marked “builders”, all would be swell.

I know I complain about not fitting in, because I am not a scientist at heart, and that is never going to change, but if I have to work in the field, then this job suits me very well. And judging by my state of mind last year, being employed is definitely preferable to lurking around my flat.

It was also around this time last year that I started getting actual readers to my blog! Sweeeet. This was very exciting, because I had been plodding along for quite some time with no clue of how to find other blogs or how to attract people to mine.

According to my blog, this time last year I was committing fashion crimes, feeling concerned about the price of chocolate digestive biscuits, obsessing about South Africa, studying, and visiting the chiropractor.

Bloody hell, except for the job, nothing has changed at all.

What were you up to this time last year?

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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Luke
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 13:35:09

    I tried to get myself a job about a year ago too. It was a little premature though, given that I hadn't actually graduated yet…Unsurprisingly, nobody hired me…But that's why I'm still a student! I'm determined to keep myself out of the real world for as long as I possibly can! :D

    Reply

  2. Tamara
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 14:20:46

    Good question. I couldn't remember until I went back to my blog posts from then (useful things, blogs are). It was when I was trying to find someone to remove my neighbours' child into protective custody because they were beating him. Hectic times.

    Reply

  3. LadyFi
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 14:26:59

    So glad you are feeling more at home.Just one thought: I was reading your blog before you got actual readers… does that make me a ghost in your machine?

    Reply

  4. po
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 14:53:03

    Luke: don't ever stop being a student! The real world is way overrated. If you really have to stop, get a job in a University like me so you can pretend you are still a student :)Tamara:L ooh I remember that, the poor kid ended up in the Ukraine didn't he?Ladyfi: eeeeeek a ghost in my machine talking to me! Must be!

    Reply

  5. Prixie
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 15:42:08

    hah! im job hunting at the moment, for the past three months! there are days I feel it eating away at my courage and soul, but i rather go insane at work than at home with nothing to do! last year this time i was still enjoying london, anxiously waiting for my S.O. to visit. now i am trying to get back on my feet in SA. oxford is lovely. i went there a few times. enjoy!

    Reply

  6. Ches
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 15:46:37

    I was waiting for this time, this year to arrive…

    Reply

  7. 6000
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 16:23:52

    Can you find your way to the Turf Tavern yet? That remains one of the ultimate tests in Oxford.Hint: It's much easier if you've had a couple of drinks first. Strange, but true. Last year, I had a very sick little boy, apparently: Cherry Jelly. Niiice.

    Reply

  8. Spear The Almighty
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 18:36:13

    I was doing the same things last year. The only difference is that I was a little thinner and less grey. It is actually depressing.

    Reply

  9. She
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 18:37:46

    Lucky you to have a job you actually like. I've been (f)unemployed for over 6 months and it really sucks!And this time last year I was school thinking I was doing something that was my passion. Turns out I was wrong.

    Reply

  10. sarah
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 18:41:40

    lordy… what WAS i doing last year? pretty much same as now. flitting about with my head in the clouds being stared at by small japanese people :@so long ago… yoh

    Reply

  11. po
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 18:56:39

    Prixie: you have my sympathy! Keep trying and something will come your way, hopefully something fabulous!Ches: I guess in one way or another, that is what I do every year too.6000: ergh yes I remember your cherry jelly. Frik that feels much less than a year ago. Time flies disturbingly quickly.Spear: yeah I can't believe how simliar September 2008 and 2009 are for me. Somthing must change surely? I'm sure I am much much wiser :)She: eeep I feel your pain, I was unemployed about that long last year. Actually I definitely don't have much passion for my work, but I don't mind it at all and I am very lucky for that. I spent 4 years studying biology only to realise I wasn't all that into it or that good at it at all. But liking your work even a little is better than hating it.Sarah: so does nothing really change? Do we just travel in circles??

    Reply

  12. Dora
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 02:46:42

    About 2 days prior to today last year, I've just given my boss notice and I've just bought my plane ticket to London.Thank you for asking. It feels like such a long time ago….

    Reply

  13. Champagne Heathen
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 09:57:30

    Ooh, pick me Pick me! Feel for me! Not that I even have job interviews lined up at the moment. But my phone is always close. This time last year, I was about to start managing my 1st project, was hoping my guy would survive his time in rural Angola & was preparing to have teeth ripped from my head. And def. did not think I would be sitting in Melbourne jobless a year later.

    Reply

  14. EEbEE
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 15:17:42

    This time last year i was freaking out because i only had three months to finish my thesis.(it's still not finished…)

    Reply

  15. po
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 16:13:25

    Dora: hectic! That is quite a life chainging time? Doesn't it feel like you've been in the UK longer though?Champagne heathen: mmm, so things definitely have changed for some of us. Weird to think you hadn't thought of being in Melbourne yet. I really feel like nothing much has changed.EEbEE: hehehe well, that is the thesis story I know so well. So for you nothing has changed at all then!

    Reply

  16. Rox
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 02:39:41

    I think that was when I had just started reading your blog… remember the interview process, one lab who tested on animals if I'm remembering correctly? I can't remember what I was doing, think I was at the height of my lazy freelancing days. And I'm totally going to steal your post idea, hehehe. ;-)

    Reply

  17. po
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 03:32:06

    Rox: yes that's right! Arrgh, awful interview, they never said it was for animal slicing. I only had two in the end, that one and the interview for the job I have now.Looking forward to your post.

    Reply

  18. Margot
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 13:19:26

    I'm new – I'm glad I found your blog!This time last year? Hugely pregnant and terrified, watching far too many You Tube "birthing" videos, ranting against the use of the word "birthing" as a verb, ever.

    Reply

  19. po
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 14:30:46

    Margot: hello! Oh frik "birthing" is a verb I am not ready to cope with yet.I don't think I even want to know what birthing videos on you tube might be like, because they will probably act as a permanent form of contraception.

    Reply

  20. Helen
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 19:04:24

    Wow, your wardrobe malfunciton post had be in hysterics! I wer my gm clothes inside out all the time, nobody says anything.A year ago I had been in the field for a few weeks, I haad the american with me and it was raining, so I spent a few days with her introducing her to farmers and acting as translator. We met a crazy cow farmer, someone witha shotgun on his stoep and a guy with a pet baby bushpig and a bath in his garden…Good times!

    Reply

  21. po
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 01:20:39

    Helen: that sounds like a good story, this time last year I was wrestling with a bush pig… I like it!

    Reply

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