Friday, 10 October 2014

Lets Talk About Jobs in Scotland

The number one email I receive on a consistent basis has always been about where and how to find jobs in Scotland. I also get a lot of people asking if I could assist them with their search. I've been thinking for a long time about how I could possibly help you. I hope this gets your wheels turning.

Let me tell you a little bit about S1 Jobs. They are a site that specializes in jobs in Scotland. Not the whole United Kingdom. They are just focused on Scotland. They have a great blog and their site is full of helpful information. They also have thousand's of job listings!

S1 Jobs and I have teamed up to hopefully answer some of your questions about working in Scotland. We each asked and answered 3 questions. I really hope this helps some of you know where to start your job search in Scotland!

S1 Jobs: What was the reason for choosing Aberdeen for your profession?

Me: While my husband had a good job in Glasgow, he wasn't growing and getting where he wanted. It was one of those jobs that you could stay in for the next 20 years but also never grow and learn more. We wanted an opportunity to better our family and my husband wanted an opportunity to learn and grow in his chosen field. So the hunt for a new job began.

Aberdeen is a thriving oil and gas city that has so much to offer this country in terms of financial gain and a standard of living that isn't just about money either. There is so much happening in Aberdeen! Aberdeenshire has so much beauty and fun to offer a family. We wanted to be a part of that.

S1 Jobs: What were the factors you had to consider when choosing a location for work?

Me: We lived outside Glasgow for over 5 years. While we did enjoy  it, my husband's communte to and from work was very long. We didn't have much in the way of entertainment and shopping where we lived so we wanted a place we could get everything we wanted in a smaller, cleaner city than Glasgow--without the commute. We also wanted to be quite close to the country without feeling so far away from the world. Aberdeen could give us all those things. The sea view didn't hurt either!

S1 Jobs: What were the challenges you encountered whilst finding work in Aberdeen?

Me: Aberdeen is a competitive place. The people are very educated and experienced in the oil and gas industry. It can be a difficult market to break in to when you don't have any prior experience. But, we felt like the companies we interviewed with were very open to the idea of what my husband had to offer and we secured a job with a great company! We've been living here just over a year now and couldn't be happier!

Now, I got a chance to ask S1 Jobs some questions too. I had YOU in mind.

Me: I get a lot of emails asking about how to find jobs in Scotland from people all over the world. Does S1 Jobs have any options to filter sponsored job listings for foreign applicants?

S1 Jobs: Not exactly, but we don't necessarily need to have that option. The application process is open to anyone who wants to work in Scotland. There is no preferential treatment to anyone currently living there. The decision lies with the employer on who they would like to hire. If you are looking to work in Scotland, regardless of where you are searching, the results will be the same. 

Me: What differentiates S1 Jobs from other job seeking competitors like LinkedIn, Monster UK, Total Jobs and others?

S1 Jobs: S1 Jobs is a site that specializes in job located in Scotland. For those who are looking for work in Scotland, we are able to funnel their search to the location they desire and focus only on Scottish jobs. We don't see sites like LinkedIn as competitors but more as another tool for users to utilize to further their job hunt.

Me: What is your number one piece of advice for job seekers that makes the most difference to their CV or cover letter?

S1 Jobs: It depends on the employer and what they require from you. One number one tip would be make sure you show the  best examples of your skills in the cover letter or CV that match what the employer requires from their desired employee. Don't exaggerate but make sure your examples are:
  • True
  • Accurate
  • Displays the skills that they are asking for
And ....there you have it. S1 Jobs is THE place to find jobs in Scotland. You are welcome to apply no matter your country. Take a look, get yourself registered and start applying! I really do hope you find what you're looking for.

There will be a few more posts in this series on Finding Jobs in Scotland so stay tuned. Good luck on the job hunt!

S1 Jobs also asked me what my dream job would be. I said a novelist. I would love to write fiction someday. They had an illustrator come up with this little picture to inspire me. Which I find...hilarious.

ps. This post is NOT sponsored. Unless you count that little illustration up there. It is purely a collaboration to help all of you looking for jobs in Scotland. Good luck!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Meet the Mormons

Friday October 10th (that's tomorrow!) a full length documentary titled “Meet the Mormons” will start airing across the USA. It tells the stories of six extraordinary members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Meet the Mormons" is intended to entertain, inform, and enlighten, not to proselyte. ALL the net proceeds are going to charity too! If you've ever wondered what the Mormons are all about or if we're even Christian then go see this film. Then tell me all about it!

Watch the trailer

Find a theater near you HERE

Check out David Archuleta's new song for the film and download it free HERE

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

I'm sorry I'm not better looking...

+ I like to sing. I like to sing in church actually. Although I don't think I have a particularly wonderful voice, I know I can carry a tune.

+ I play the flute. Well, I should say played. I got a music scholarship and had my first year of college paid for. I wasn't too bad. But, I wanted to go off and travel and serve a mission for my church so I sold my professional flute about 12 yrs ago so I could go do those things. I have never ever regretted it. But, I miss it and sometimes wonder if I can still play. And what would I play if I had one?

+ I'm a morning person. In college I would rather go to bed at a reasonable hour 9-10pm and wake up at 4:00am to finish studying or writing that paper than stay up late. I just can't function late at night. I'm no good at girls night. It takes me days to get back to feeling like myself.

+ I've never had a single drop of alcohol. Or coffee.

+ I'm an extrovert by nature but since I moved to Scotland I have turned more introverted. I think it's more of a survival mechanism. But, I miss having friends.

+ I hate butter.

+ I have an obsessive personality. I get obsessed over movies, books, music, food...everything.

+ I haven't been back to the USA in over 5 yrs.

+ I can't keep a secret to save my life.

+ My first job was a summer intern at a chemical plant. Think 12 hr shift work and hard labor. I learned a lot.

+ I helped renovate an 1860's Italinate house.

+ I only got one chicken pox and I picked it off. I have a scar on my forehead. You can see it clearly in the picture above.

+ I suffered with migraines from kindergarten through high school. My last migraine was a few days after I graduated HS.

+ I have the exact shade of blue eyes as my grandpa.

+ My mom says I was a horrible baby. Until I was potty trained. Then I was always happy and smiling. (It's the independent in me!)

+ My best friend Sarah and I have been friends for 34 yrs. Our parents are friends and she has always been a part of my life.

+ When I was little I used to hug our live Christmas tree every time I passed it. We re-planted several of those tree's in our yard and they grew to be taller than our home.

+ I have all these ideas for novels but whenever I go to write them, I just stare at the page. I'm much better at telling a story than writing it. I need a Dictaphone. I still have dreams to write and publish a novel someday.

+ I've been overweight for as long as I can remember.

+ The one vacation I want to go on is to an all exclusive resort like Sandals. I just want to sit on the beach and do nothing but swim, sleep, read and eat in the peace.A butler and a pool in my room wouldn't hurt either.

+My husband and I only saw each other 4 times (one week at a time) before we were married.

So, tell me something that most people don't know about you!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Life Right Now + autumn recipes

Well, it's been raining all weekend which has actually been quite nice. We stayed home and ate cinnamon rolls (which Sebastian called donuts). I tried to take several naps but kept getting woken up. Which happens when you're a Mum. It's part of the job description. There is a steady rain and a fierce wind out right now. I'm afraid the leaves won't last through this week. We might be looking pretty bare at the weekend. Autumn comes and goes pretty fast around here. Which is a shame because I really enjoy this season.

I just dropped Sebastian off at school and he did awesome! I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him I would be back soon. He looked at me and waved saying, "See you later Mum." He's doing great! Now the real school work begins. One step at a time. That's how we do it. One step and day at a time.

I've got to clean this house since I'm here by myself right now. Which is also awesome. I'm going to clean as fast as I can and see if I can get a pot of soup started. It's that kind of weather. Then I will need to pick Sebastian up from school and get soaked again.

Check out these British autumn recipes::

+ Butternut squash soup with chili & creme fraiche

+ Autumn vegetable soup and cheesy toasts

+ Basil and garlic macaroni and cheese

+ Exploding toffee apples

Have a great Monday! What are your plans for the day?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

I Believe

I hope everyone has had a happy weekend. I don't usually blog on a Sunday but I wanted to share something with you. We've been listening to inspiring talks full of direction, instruction and help from living prophets. This weekend is the 184 Semi Annual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Or as some like to call us, the Mormons. If you have ever wondered what it is that I believe or are even just curious, I urge you to have a little listen right here.

I have been uplifted and given peace to my soul. I know my Father loves me and has a plan for me. I trust Him. I'm so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who hears me and answers my prayers. I love these weekends. It has been much needed.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nursery School Update

Sebastian started Nursery School a few weeks ago. He is attending a mainstream Nursery School (typical public school with normal children). He is the only child in his class with autism spectrum disorder  or any other special needs. We are grateful his class is small and we like the teachers. I have to say he really is loving it. He's having so much fun. He's doing so well! He's picking things up quickly. He's improving every day and I'm happy with our decision to put him in public school.

But here is the secret, I have been attending school with him for the past month.  It has been much harder than I ever imagined. I was literally staring at a classroom of normal children and Sebastian stuck out like a sore thumb. I hadn't seen him like that before. He's normal to me. This is how I've only ever seen him. But to see his struggles on display every day has been truly heartbreaking. We've had a few traumatic experiences that have set Sebastian back to square 1. You don't know the term advocate for your child until you are a special needs parent. I have actually been nervous for school every single day. The stress has been unbearable. Lots of tears have been shed.

The other day on our way to school we were walking along side one of the other kids in his class. I finally looked over and introduced myself to his mother and she said, "He is Sebastian? Is he getting better?" I'd never talked to her. I'd not even seen her, but she obviously knew us. I laughed and said, "Getting better? Well, Sebastian has autism spectrum disorder..." and began explaining his unique rhythm. I don't know why I hate that so much but I do. I felt exposed. Like people were watching us like a freak show or judging us from afar. I can't even write about it now without tearing up.

Monday was classroom picture day.  All the kids got set up and we tried to slip Sebastian in at the last minute. It did not go well. There was kicking, screaming, flailing arms, running away. It was taking a very long time. Then the photographer said, "Let's just take the picture without him." and I lost it. I took Sebastian in the corner of the room, out of the shot, and sat on the floor and let the silent tears stream down my face.

Sebastian's teachers were great and all suggested to the photographer than Sebastian sit on my lap so he could be in the picture. The photographer then said, "Well he's throwing off the aesthetics." But the Deputy Head Teacher (kind of like a vice principal over the Nursery) told him to take the photo anyway. So, I am in Sebastian's classroom photo. Red crying blotchy face and all.

I had a friend say, "it's just a class photo." but the thing is, it isn't just a class photo to us. A class photo represents a normal childhood experience. Normal isn't something we get to have. If the kids in Sebastian's class didn't know he was different...well now they do now. His whole struggle was on display for them to watch. Every eye was on us. It was the things the photographer said--so easily excluding him from the picture. This unimportant class photo means a lot of things to my family. Most of which no one will understand unless you yourself are a special needs parent.

But yesterday we had a miracle. We got into school and Sebastian was happily starting his routine and I sat in my usual spot to observe. Sebastian kept looking over at me or coming over to say hi. I'm his security blanket. His interpreter. But after 15 min I moved to a different spot, where he couldn't see me. He ran over to the spot where I was normally and didn't find me, but he just went off and went back to playing. Then teacher quickly shooed me out of the class and I walked out the front door.

I didn't know where to go. I was scared and worried and afraid for my little guy. The only thing that helped me was that I knew he was safe. I knew the environment and I knew he was in a safe place with people who would help him until I could get back to him if something was to happen. So I walked to a nearby cafe because I was too afraid to go more than 2 blocks away from the school. I sat and had lunch by myself. I've eaten a meal in peace approximately 5 times since he was born. It isn't a luxury I get to have. I sat and ate and read a book. Then my phone rang. It was the school.

Sebastian's teacher called me to let me know that he was doing great. That he knew I wasn't there and he was fine. He ran to the front door not long after I had left and said, "Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!" But then he said, "Mummy coming soon." and went back to playing. I actually started crying on the phone.

I ran home quickly because I didn't know where else to go and cleaned my kitchen then came back to the school way to early for pick up. I sat outside the school gates but could see him playing on the playground from afar. He was having fun! He was following the rules! He was happy! I couldn't take my eyes off him. When it was finally time for me to pick him up Sebastian was happy to see me and he turned around to his classmates and said, "See you later tomorrow!"

His teachers gave me a glowing report of all his days activities and they even had taken several photos to show me just how much fun  he was having and all he did. It was a miracle!

I'm hoping today goes the same way, with much less worry on my part.