I should be getting on a train to Nottingham straight after work tonight.
I should be having an interview for a new job at the end of the week – my first bite from dozens of applications.
I was hopeful, I was thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so difficult for me to get a new job, that maybe, just maybe, the relocation might go OK…
But no. Instead tonight I’ll be at home doing one of my usual evening things.
Because it turns out that the whole ‘interview’ was a scam.
Beware if you’re applying for a ‘marketing’ job that promises training for graduates – it might be part of this scam. I’m just incredibly pleased that I found out before I wasted my time (4+ hours on the train to get up there) and money (£50 for the train ticket)!
You see, I was using a reputable employment website to do my usual weekly jobhunt when I spotted a trainee position in marketing. The company sounded young and expanding and like a promising place to work – they were looking to train future marketing high-fliers and even mentioned that they were particularly interested in a new and exciting area of market – P2P (Peer to peer – using filesharing searches to deliver targeted advertising).
Good idea, I thought. Could be my chance to get into copywriting, I thought. A job where I might actually get to use my writing degrees, I thought.
So I applied. And the next day I got a call back from not just one company, but two! Both asked me to come for interviews! At last – I had a positive response after months of applying unsuccessfully for jobs! I was glowing and hopeful.
After getting off the phone with the second company, I noticed that they both had the same number. Hmm… Well, there’s no laws against someone running more than one company and they were both in marketing, so perhaps the two companies worked in diffierent, but complimentary areas and out of the same offices… Indeed, the firm at which I work now shares a building/address with a different company – nothing strange there.
Still, I’ve inherited a certain amount of caution (read, paranoia) from my Dad, so I looked up both companies. They had websites. Not great websites, but websites which kinda befitted companies newly expanded into the UK. OK, not too strange.
I got on with making arrangements for the interview up in Nottingham, which is half-way across the country from Portsmouth.
On Tuesday, I waited to hear back from this guy who was meant to be calling me to finalise a time for my interview either on Thursday or Friday, meaning that I could buy my train ticket on Tuesday and thus get it slightly more cheaply than buying it on the same day. Great.
It got to late afternoon, still no call… I decided to have a quick look at their website. The more I thought about it, the more it didn’t make sense for a marketing company to have a crap website with no logo. So I googled the company and the word “scam”.
Unfortunately, there were lots of results. It turns out that they lure people in with the promise of training for a glittering career in marketing, looking like a great opportunity for graduates. Then part of their selection process, the ‘second interview’ ends up being a 10-hour-long day spent doing door-to-door sales. Unpaid. They do this with dozens of ‘potential recruits’ every week, thus assuring themselves of free labour. If you do get a ‘job’ with them, then you end up doing door-to-door sales on a commission-only basis.
No sales, no wages.
What a glittering career oppotunity.
So, yeah, I’m pretty annoyed.