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spikegifted.net - Archive Q2 2003

June 2003:
- From the very beginning, I recognized that looking for a job is not going to be easy, given the current depressed state of the financial services sector in the UK and around the world. However, I didn't anticipate that it would be as difficult as what I'm experiencing. It is now near the middle of June and I've yet to be selected for an interview, neither for permanent positions nor contract roles. The process of finding a job is in itself full time work and I'm making myself fully aware of the fact that this is not a job. This is to focus myself on the prospect of returning to full time employment. This is a time to draw on my energy to remain positive. By my estimation, I still have a window of around two weeks to get to interviews and start on the road to employment. However, once this window is passed, it would be September before activities pick up again because of summer holidays. Well, I live in hope...
May 2003:
- Well, after hope was previously raised with a few possible openings, it would appear that the agent in question hasn't gotten as good a contact as they've claimed. The jobs that was mentioned are now filled, according to rival head-hunters. What's worse is that according to some of the agents, the market has actually slowed in the past couple of months - just when I started looking for work! However, the same agents are saying that there seems to be some movements again. I'll believe them when I start going to interviews. We're now at the end of May and I'm beginning to feel a little concerned. I think it is time I start getting people to start looking for temporary positions for me.
- There seems to be some movement in the market. Based on what the head hunters are saying, there are a few suitable opportunities in the market, however, the employers are not making the necessary moves at the moment, which is rather frustrating. I'm just looking forward to get that first interview.
- Happy Mother's Day. I know that I live in the UK and here Mother's Day is in March. However, my mom is in Hong Kong where Mother's Day is celebrated at the same time as the rest of the world - 2nd Sunday of May. Don't even try starting an argument about which is the 'proper' day!
- Now was the turn for the father of the Ruler_of_spike to visit us in London. I must say, now that I've been relieved from the stress of my previous employment (but now I'm stressed about finding a job), I found the weekend a lot more enjoyable than when her brother visited. We took him to all the usual London landmarks. We were originally concerned about his mobility, due to his week knee, but as things turned out, he did just fine. It was a lot of walking for anybody's standard and unusually the various parts of London Transport managed to put together a good performance and we weren't often delayed.
- I went to the local 'Job Centre' and it was a soul-destroying experience. I had to sit there to fill out forms after forms. The information they require is nearly all the same and it turned out to be a huge administrative exercise rather than anything complicated, but it still wasted over 90 minutes of my time. And that's not all, this is not the end of it! I've to go back for an 'interview'! I just can't imagine how much these guys want to know.
- Looking for work is not as easy as it would appear. On the DCM side, there is simply nothing available which suits my limited experience. On the risk management side, there are few jobs in the market, but the competition is very fierce. It is not easy to decide where the emphasis should be placed - DCM or risk management. Having had a chance to think things through, risk management appears to offer more opportunities at this moment in time.
April 2003:
- I'm humbled by the amount of good wishes I've received from my family, friends and former colleagues. Words of encouragement and support are much appreciated. I try to put up a brave face, however, it still hurts like mad inside.
- The one thing that I've feared, which also have occupied my mind for the past 6 months, has finally happened. I've been laid off by my employer as part of the 'cost cutting strategy' of the firm. This is a scenario that I've contemplated over and over again since late 2002, however, the actual act of being laid off is not something I envisioned and it comes as a great shock. I've been with the firm for 5 years and 3 months and I've performed a number of roles in the firm during this time. I feel numb and completely lack energy to do anything. I don't even know what I want to do next. This is a very humbling experience.
- A deal for a mining company that I've been working, on and off, for the past 2 years is finally close to being launched into the market. I've been involved in the presentation initial introduction back in 2001, the deal pitch in 2002 and then after we've won the mandate the rating book. It would be really great to finally see the transaction being launched.
- After some hard work, the deal with our client was close to be launched, but there were some problems (legal, regulatory, etc) which prevent that from happening. It took a little while to have the whole thing straightened out, but eventually all the obstacles were clear and the deal was launched.