You know what I mean. Things you know you should do, but don’t. Like recycling everything that’s recyclable, composting food scraps, using your bank’s ATMs only and turning things off at the wall.
I’m terrible at all those kinds of things (although I am fanatic about never using other bank machines or taking cash advances; the fees are just outrageous!). I’m also thinking specifically about two big things: job hunting and budgeting.
It’s one of those mantras you hear over and over. Tailor your resume. Tailor your resume. Tailor your resume. And for God’s sake, tailor your cover letter.
I haven’t had to jobhunt for myself for a VERY long time. But I sure do remember those days. Mass CV drops and more or less stock covering letter with each. I read all the relevant advice. I saw it, and registered it in my brain, and thought “yeah, sure that’s what I’m already doing”. But I wasn’t! I was maybe changing a verb or two here, a couple of words there, maybe adding an extra line – something generic like “happy to work weekends and evenings”. KWIM? Somehow, I thought that was being clever and tailoring a cover letter.
When lo and behold, one day it really sunk into me that each letter really had to be THOUGHT about and made really individual, I totally reaped the benefits. I was getting replies from most jobs. I was maybe applying to slightly fewer as applications took longer, but I was getting interview offers. I never used to get responses before that – it was really amazing.
Instead of taking my generic cover letter template, I was starting afresh every time. This made sure no two were the same and I really had to think about every single sentence. I really read job descriptions and looked out for key words, and tried to address every single skill and quality mentioned in my letters.
I’ve been doing the same with BF. That’s why each application takes so long. I’m starting with more or less a blank sheet every time. And with him, I’m also tailoring CVs according the jobs. He’s applying for ALL KINDS of jobs, so it’s vital. Jobs in which he has experience in, I’m playing up every single relevant skill he’s got. Entry level job? Reduce his work experience and only briefly mention his duties. Add in his education details. Random jobs, well we take those one at a time and bring any relevant experience or strengths to the front. Me, I’d only ever applied for retail/customer service/hospo type jobs so my resumes were pretty much all the same. My first admin job I emailed in and don’t believe I even sent a resume, nor was one even asked for. That was a lucky break indeed.
I was thinking of a budget as a set thing. Heaps of people and books reinforce this mindset with big huge spreadsheets, with monthly or even ANNUAL budgets. That’s too big for me. We’re just beginners. I need to look at the smaller picture – get the day to day stuff under control before worrying about irregulars like insurance or car crap. Our payments are weekly and we get paid weekly, so that’s how I now do it.
I used to think, but our income varies CONSTANTLY! This is impossible! I tried to make it work. I went off of what a normal 40 hour week would bring in. I drew up a beautiful plan with amounts for groceries and bills and whatnot. But it just never worked out. I gave up.
One day it sort of came to me. Budgets need to be flexible. Why hadn’t it worked for me? Why the hell didn’t I just tweak the budget EVERY TIME we got paid, to the exact amount that we had in our account? Instead of moaning about the fact that BF had had one half day and we were short by however much and this screwed up everything?
Earth shattering stuff I know. But it’s what made all the difference. One of those things I just don’t know why I didn’t figure out/ do before.