And so the hunt begins

After spending a rather stressful time getting back to Wigan from London on Saturday evening, the last thing I needed was a letter from my employer saying that they would not be extending my current contract and therefore I was out of a job, but that’s exactly what happened. Yes, they waited until less than a week before Christmas before breaking this news to me and didn’t even have the decency to tell me to my face.

I’m not overly disappointed about having left that employer, I’m not going to go into it fully but let me put it this way, I was far from happy with the role and hadn’t been happy for a long time. The reason I don’t want to go into it is because I still need to rely on these people for a reference and I’m less likely to get one if I did go into it, all I will say for now is that the role was not as advertised.

Anyway, so the hunt begins for a new job again and I’m expecting it to be a tough one to be honest. Since I started changing gender in 2012 I have found it exceptionally hard to secure new roles. I’m not saying that it is because I am changing gender that I am struggling to find a new job, but there have been occasions where I have walked in the room and I have known from the first few seconds that I wouldn’t get getting the role based on that I was changing gender. Both times the person developed a “deer in the headlights” look on their face and it made the whole process exceedingly uncomfortable.

It didn’t matter what I said, how qualified I was or if I was the best match, these two employers were not interested in recruiting me as soon as they saw I was changing gender.

  • Postal Order, Blackburn – I had applied for a role in a pub to supplement my wages at BT and I had been offered an interview via email. I had worked in a few bars and in the email it was acknowledged that my experience was excellent. I turned up to the interview and was lead up to the manager and I have never seen someone try to hide their shock and fail so miserably. He didn’t look at me again during the entire interview and it came as little surprise that nearly a year later, I have still yet to hear back regarding that role.
  • Fox’s Biscuits, Batley – I went for a Project Co-ordination role there a few months ago and despite having a warm greeting from the receptionist, when the interview came down she looked absolutely mortified. She lead me up to the room where her colleague was waiting and again, I got the “what the fuck?” look on her face. Again, I was barely looked in the eyes throughout the entire interviews, wasn’t given a chance to really talk or anything of a remotely similar nature. It was little surprise that I didn’t get the role.


I walked in and might as well have been greeted by Macaulay Culkin

Now, again, I’m not going to blame my gender change for not getting certain roles but I know for a fact that on those two occasions,that was the reason I didn’t get it. The thing is that their reaction didn’t bother me, I get the shocked reaction all of the time in the general public, but it’s not what you expect in an interview situation. You expect the person interviewing you to be professional, or at the very least attempt to hide their shock and/or disgust.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been some positive experiences in interviews because of my gender change. I went for a role in Preston where me and the two girls there got on fantastically well in the interviews, they asked me questions about the change whilst I was there and I was told that had it not been for an issue at their end with one of the Project Managers, I would have secured the role because, for lack of better words (and this is what they said) “they loved me”. It’s great to have that sort of experience and I love when that happens.

But anyway, so I am now looking for new employment. I’ve moved back in with my parents for will hopefully turn out to be an extremely temporary basis and I’ve already got a few promising leads, so hopefully I’ll be able to find something, even if it’s just to tide me over until I get something more permanent. But for now I am in a position I haven’t been in since January 2007, unemployed and without any form of work to keep me going whatsoever.

It’s an interesting time to say the least. I’m not expecting to get anything sorted before Christmas, that despite the promising leads, but at least it all means I get to spend Christmas with my family, which has to count for something.


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