Friday 17 January 2014

Thought Picnic: From Welfare to Well Being

The system we have
Ahead lies opportunity when it appears that one’s hand is shortened to grasp it. I sometimes feel like I have exhausted the channels that I once readily appealed to for a fillip.
The first few weeks of a new posting are not the easiest and when it is far away from home some things usually taken for granted are harder to manage from subsistence to accommodation and other essential things.
We have a system to tide us over during times of unemployment, it is the welfare state, hardly generous but useful. The system is primed to frustrate us off the queue with subtle tactics, like visiting our advisors weekly, filling in job search activity forms, attending courses that belittle you, but you persevere.
The system we work
In the process, you learn better job search skills in the hope that this help can become a thing of the past, and it does for some of us. They could not wait to get rid of us.
There are guidelines in terms of looking for work, I went further afield, looked at more options and presented myself for as many activities as I could.
I attended interviews until became routine, some stretched on, some gave feedback but most came back with disappointing news but one did not relent.
Now, I have an offer, one that took a month from the time of the interview to the signing of the contract to complete.
The system we leave
It is far away from home so I have to relocate but that is two weeks of scrimping and scraping before the first remuneration comes in.
You are then caught in the midst of a promise of opportunity and the lurking inability to do much about it.
One would think those who want us off the queue would open-handedly offer something to see the back of us. Fat chance!
The system we trust
Yes, we need to do the paperwork that we are coming off welfare but moving from welfare to wellbeing is like they are telling me, you’re on your own.
I go for a meeting now just to see whether much can be done, I get a loan or for the worst possible option, reject the offer because I cannot get there to start.
I am hopeful, the better would come of this.

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