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When most people think about the Job Centre they turn into Katie Hopkins, believing all the Tylers and Charmaines are to lazy to work so claim benefits. In reality things aren’t like that, the majority of people at the Job Centre really want to work. They come from a variety of backgrounds and all have different life experiences. This is the only place where name doesn’t matter and you all have one thing in common, you can’t find a job. Unless your privileged or have connections in  high places, your most likely to end up in the Job Centre. As a graduate, your not just in competition with this years graduates, but those  from previous years who are still searching for a job. For those of you who are still in careless student mode, its time to wake up and face reality.

         What is Job Seekers Allowance? 

If your reading this then your interested in Job Seekers Allowance (JSA).  This is a cash entitlement for people aged 18 and above, who are physical able and available for work. This service is currently available in the United Kingdom. In order to receive JSA, you must sign on with the Job centre once every fortnight. At this interview your designated advisor will ask you if you have been applying for jobs. If this interview is satisfactory your card will be signed and you will receive your allowance.

 How do I get it?

Initially you must fill out an application form online and then you will be given an appointment at your local Job Centre. Throughout this process punctuality is very important, as lateness could stop your JSA.

  The Interview

 I arrived at my local Job Centre bright and early on Monday morning. I made a special effort to be early, as I thought punctuality was important when going for an interview. The advisor at the customer service desk frowned at my as I walked in addressing me with a cold ‘yes’. As I explained that I was here for an interview, she began to talk in Job Centre Jargon, which she finally simplified by asking if this was my first claim. By this time I was becoming more uncomfortable and wishing that I could disappear. I was then told that my interview time had been changed and I must come back in an hour. Even though they claimed I was informed I wasn’t, but what does that matter? I’m an unemployed bum who doesn’t have anything to do with my day.

 By the time I came back for my interview the waiting area was full. There were no chairs and everyone was standing up, as if they were pigs going to the slaughter. That same advisor was at the front desk, discussing the expense of her up coming holiday with another colleague. Every few minutes someone’s name would get called and the waiting would continue. Finally it was my turn.

 At the desk sat a bored looking advisor with a soft voice. She ran through all the paper work at an alarming rate, barely giving me time to ask questions. By the expression on her face she wasn’t used to being asked questions.

 Me: Do you get many graduates coming to the Job Centre?

 Advisor: A few.

 Me: Do you have specific jobs aimed at graduates, or are the jobs just general?

 Advisor: Just General Jobs. What area’s are you interested in?

 Me: Writing jobs, such as copy writing.

 Advisor: Do you have a more realistic job option?

 Me: Like scanning shopping in Morrisons?

 Advisor: Yes

 This is the essence of the Job Centre. The advisor did not look at my CV, or ask me about my skills. You can’t rely on the Job Centre to assess your personality and find you a job that will help you reach your full potential. That is down to you. Don’t allow the oppressive atmosphere of the Job Centre, to soak up your motivation and creativity. This is the difference between becoming another statistic or finding a career that you love. Use this time wisely and look for jobs that are suited to your skills and qualifications.

                                        Further Reading 

 Guardian Jobs http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/

 Jobs working for members of Parliament: http://www.w4mp.org/

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