THE ART OF… JOB HUNT {DAY 38. – 217.}: wrapping a full process cycle

Everything ‘the Art of…’ is about processes that bring something more than goal-related fruits.


I’d like to share some of those last 180 days of job-searching now that I reached a point of being hired and fired again within 2 weeks’ time.


What I’ve learned about myself and… the job market

I have not learned so much about the job market. For me it has been more of a black box.


There is something non-sustainable (energy-wasting) about job market, I feel, if:

-one is not invited to many job interviews without really knowing why

(no resources for individual feedback? – I understand. But if I at least could learn from those rejections: a wrong school? Lack of similar job experience? Because I’m not a Dane? Cause I haven’t had a stable full-time job for the last years? Or I don’t know anyone in a company? My CV being in English? Because they don’t really read my application? Me being good, but others are even more fitting?)


-there are sometimes 500 candidates per position


I think a job-searching process should be skill- and power-developing if it takes so much time and energy. But I feel I’ve been mainly creating texts for evaluation!


That I have learned about my job-application strategies:

(this I heard from those who really read my CV and application – and I don’t know the real percentage of those)

-my profile is very rich and interesting

-from such a profile, I need to create at least 3 different CVs, more target group-oriented:

one IT (and IT-related projects), one education/workshops/events, one creative (art, culture, research)

OK, this and a CV på dansk, right? it is slowly coming, in reasonable bits through my resistance towards – again – creating so much text for evaluation.



My Danish, my accent, my polishness…

A couple of times, I heard that I can easily be an asset without perfect Danish – even in education, as – because of my background, personality and accent – students might listen even more.


A couple of times, I heard that my accent can be an obstacle: e.g. in a role of #1) a street interviewer in Roskilde or #2) a support/company to a blind, handicapped man.

It seems (I heard) that could have something to do with #1) provincial vs international environments and  #2) some people are vulnerable and they need someone “familiar” around

If I accept such explanations (of stereotypes towards foreigners), I will myself be creating stereotypes about certain people and their reactions/decisions…and this I don’t want to feed.

So in this way, I prefer an open-mind in dealing with a black-box, than “knowing” by putting people in a white-box.



What I’ve experienced/gained while trying to experience finding a job 

In November and December. I kept rolling the ball I have started many weeks before when I tried to create a new job role myself, my unique package kit: a potential “performer/educator/interviewer” job in collaboration with Roskilde Kommune with an aim of inspiring and educating people to sort garbage (communication and presentation of myself with that angle is part of this blog post).


Another parallel effort was en experiment of “giving it all” to an application for a job I really wanted (going deep instead of wide). The position of Udeskolevejleder in Boserupgård Naturcenter in Roskilde. I wrote a perfect application – that I also “reused” as a base for one of my profiles (in my virtual CV) – including visual part, including calling the center’s leader beforehand, including a trip to the forest and connecting face-to-face with the team there, including calling the same leader after not getting a job for getting a constructive feedback. This application took the most time in my job-searching career.


After Christmas in Gdynia and New Years in my beautiful Polish mountains, I had some tough winter weeks, where my mind was so obsessed with finding a job + negative thoughts that I couldn’t relax walking through a park. The process was tough and fruitless.

I also received a reply to my application from Københavns Universitet:

Kære Iwona Rejmus

Tak for din ansøgning til stillingen som Kontorfunktionær.

Vi beklager at måtte meddele, at vi ikke finder dig kvalificeret til stillingen.

Ved udvælgelsen af kandidater er der lagt vægt på indgående kendskab til universitetsverden og erfaring med engelsk som primære arbejdssprog samt professionelt kendskab til design, sociale medier og internationale relationer. Sluttelig var kandidatens personlighed udslagsgivende for at få tilbudt stillingen.

As they argue, they put special focus on certain skills, therefore they didn’t find me qualified for the position. Hello, but all those skills/experience you need are precisely what I am and can! So either I don’t communicate what I can clearly, or you don’t read what I communicate.


Then when I realized I was one day too late for an important application deadline – hinted by a friend – and I normally keep deadlines – I felt it’s enough and time for a new chapter. I will not send applications, I will only network and meet companies/organizations face-to-face.

job searching tattoo  jobsoegningskitI took a bike, my job-searching kit (CVs, motivation letters, a city map and QR stickers – also on my chest) and spent a day visiting kulturhuse and ‘områdefornyelse’ places in Copenhagen. Even though I didn’t find a job, connecting with real people face-to-face gave me so much energy, motivation and (mutual) inspiration.

I knew that no matter how my situation looks after Sisters Academy (Feb-March 2016) – my last planned project on the horizont – I will continue with such a campaign.

Around that time, some new discovery (-> decision) also happened. I realized that all those years of unemployment I have been using actively for developing myself and sharing my treasures with other people, creating value, just not being paid for that. Maybe my way is to become a helper for handicapped people, while I continue doing what I am doing. This new turn on my journey unexpectedly gave me relief and inner peace.


What I’ve been working with for the last years and am not gonna stop…

I work with sharing knowledge and skills by injecting my energies in different contexts, a practice that I call Portable Door (Labs): performative education, co-creation events, self-developing workshops (towards authentic communication and against stereotypes):

100 faces of ‘each other’: workshop designer and space leader

Sisters Academy: teacher, performer, researcher for innovative education

Authentic Relating Denmark: workshop designer and festival co-creator

Menneskebiblioteket: a “book” in the Human Library

Huskunstnerordningen: week-long performative teacher at Danish schools (folkeskoler)



What I want from the process now, dreams and realities…

I was hired as a helper for a handicapped woman, but it was a chaotic and unstable start and had to stop, now I am soon visiting another potential family…and meanwhile I will keep searching for a job in a company/organization. I feel that a full cycle of job searching has been experienced. I’ve learned a lot. I am grateful. I am hopeful. Ready to start from scratch if needed, alternative ways of employment – even internship in the beginning. Handicaphjælper, yes, but not too long, as I cannot isolate myself from the job market. My final goal is to find a meaningful job, improving Danish, working as part of a team.


Thank you for all the help and inspiration to those that contributed to my job-searching journey until now. I needed to look back, evaluate, share before I start a new phase with fresh energy…

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