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There is a remark I once heard years ago. I was nearly twenty years old. I had been unemployed for just over six months. Almost a year before that I had been working in a care home as a Care Assistant and I loved it but an accident led to having to take six weeks off of work and I was let go. I was also in the early stages of pregnancy and despite looking for work caught between recovering and being pregnant no one wanted to hire me so I was enrolled in a six-week course to give me extra help in finding work. Upon finding out I was pregnant one of the trainers informed me that I would find it the hardest of everyone there to find work and that it would never be easy for me. At that point in time, I did wonder if this was purely down to the fact I was pregnant at such a young age or due to my appearance at the time combined with such.
Over thirteen years later and three children I am now looking for work once more. For ten of those, I had a partner (I shall skip the dirty details and life's complications from this article) who worked while I raised the kids and looked after the home. Just over three years ago the relationship came to an end and due to the fact I had a little one I received Income Support. That little one is now five years old and I am encouraged to look for work while receiving Jobseekers Allowance.
Applying for Jobseekers has changed a fair bit to what I remember. I now visit the Jobcentre one a week instead of a fortnight and the internet has opened up the possibilities to look for work mostly through my computer which I do on a daily basis. While I appreciate what the Jobcentre do and understand their job is to get me to work I find that they are so very focused on getting me into work that they do not actually take situations/circumstances into consideration.
Consideration Number One: I have no family support. There is no grandmother/aunts/uncles etc to help with the children's care while I am at work. No one to pick them up or drop them off at school. There is me, only me for the day to day raising of my kids.
Consideration Number Two: My children's father has them on an inconsistent basis and regularly only informs me he is going to have them the night before.
Consideration Number Three: I have no transport of my own and I live in the middle of nowhere, relying thankfully on regular public transport which also means getting the children to child carers for me to work is neigh on impossible around school hours.
Now, none of these considerations should prevent me from finding work. Nor do they excuse me from looking for work. I have gone out of my way to find a job because I want to work. I would love to work, I want my children to be proud of me for reasons beyond being their mother but with all those considerations in mind, it means as that trainer stated to me so long ago I am not going to find it easy to get into work but I am going to try my best and hopefully succeed.