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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:19 am 
Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Sales? Retail? Seriously?

That's what people do with gems. They sell them.
:D It's not cancer research, it's not rocket science.....it's business.


Your post is obviously sarcastic, and you are preaching to the converted (it's been pretty obvious to me for years that most industry jobs are in the field of "making someone else money" i.e. selling).

It has already been said in posts in this forum that you do not need gemology to work in retail, and indeed I imagine going off to a layman potential customer about "four absorption lines in sinhalite" isn't a great way to sell stones. Most commercial-level shops I have seen only seem to contain your basic blue topaz, citrine/ammy, blue topaz, red garnet, blue topaz, Chinese peridot blue topaz and blue topaz anyway. Even in the cases of these generic materials, all the neccessary 'gemmology' has been done long before the stones/jewelery reaches the shop.

Therefore, I stand by my original point that, unless you strike lucky on one of the very few genuine gemology-based jobs that are out there, the expensive gemology courses are only really suitable for interested enthusiasts with time/capital to spare and trade businessmen who want some important-looking letters on their business card (or in many cases, just fund their kids to do the course, as they don't have time temselves).

Even in terms of the content, you don't learn much that can't be read in books or on this forum (where often the discussions/information is more up-to-date).

However, I will accept that this problem goes way beyond gemology. Education has become big business, and has become 'scammier' in its nature. From commission-only recruiters, to dodgy online degrees, to rip-off language courses, to the complete over-saturation of graduates in all fields and rising tuition prices - it's all a big mess.

Even the "nobody wants this job, so do this and you'll get a job guarenteed" professions of nursing and teaching have become over-saturated, as many people a few years ago all had the same idea, and quickly filled the vacuum (in the in-demand big city locations at least).

The way I see it is, historically, most people were the working class. They worked in the mines, factories, mills, farms, manual trades, construction etc., and had limited professional aspirations.

Now everyone wants to be middle-class. These low-end jobs (or their modern equivalents) are taken by immigrants, as the native populations have declared themselves too good for such positions. What's left is an overly-educated, under-skilled and under-experienced generation who have been sold a lie. The school sare more than happy to "rake it in", and pursuade the unemployed that further expenditure on expensive courses will 'take them over the line', but the fact is that they are merely falling for the same trick twice; foregoing a few years of income, racking up larger debts and getting a few years older with no further real-world experience to put on their CVs.

Gemology is one of many. The gulf between academic knowledge and useful world experience/skills is wide, and recruiters only want/need the latter. Most of what is taught in a FGA (and I imagine the other courses too) has very little to do with what will make your potential employer wealthier.


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:57 am 
That's quite a blast..... most of which I agree with by the way. That said, apart from letting off steam, what good does it do you or others? As a great man once said, 'Don't get mad; get even'.

You are clearly educated and articulate - eloquent even. That puts you in a category above not less than 80% of your peer group and, thus, eminently fitted to earning a good living. To these demonstrated characteristics all you need to add is:
- A willingness to work harder than your remuneration requires.
- A lack of great particularity as to what you will apply your skills to.
- A willingness to trade-off immediate income against useful experience.

It is in one or even all of these latter characteristics that so many of your 20% cut of your peer group come up short. There is nothing new here. In every generation it's much the same, though the popular cries about it change with the popular view of things in general.

Much is made of a 'right to work', these days considered to be a Human Right, no less. Well, I agree that a person has the right to work. Trouble comes only when a person:
- Interprets that as meaning the right to expect that someone else employ - and pay - you, for no such transferred obligation exists.
- Determines not to work unless work is of a personally preferred type.
- Determines not to work for less reward than - out of nowhere - persons think they should receive.

The facts of life are these:
- if you don't want to - or feel you can't - work at what you enjoy for someone else, then work for yourself - and then learn what hard work really is. No one *ever* works as hard for anyone else as they squeeze out of themselves for themselves.
- However well and hard you work for yourself, expect to starve for up to three years whilst establishing yourself; a name, reputation and those vital first customers.
- To survive for those critical three years (Two out of three who try a business start-up will fail anyway), you will need some sort of financial backing to get through. Parents, legacy, a salaried spouse, a second job - or savings from some years of employment at some kind of work you'd sooner have not been doing.

Think about it and you'll find your own examples to show that, generation after generation, there is an immutability about these ground rules. Occasionally (think Greece?) a whole society comes to accept a common delusion that one can be well rewarded for doing too little/nothing or only what one likes and finds convenient. The longer the delusion takes to disperse, the more painful and desperate the inevitable disillusionment then is.

To return to the beginning. Patently, you have a good mind and skill set. Last time I looked, bus-drivers in London were able to earn UKP 50K+ a year. And you can write..... As a freelance you can expect to be paid not less than UKP 100 per 1,000 words. A reasonable target output is 2,000 words a day. That's 50K a year too - and no need for a PSV licence. How do you get people to publish what you write? Know your market(s); there's no point is offering stuff that is wrong for the readership. By finding out who the buyers are; cold calling them with examples of your writing and having maybe 100 doors slammed in your face before one stays open. Don't wast your time and money with cold mail-shotting; door-step 'em or telephone - the latter if you can find a way around the 'office dragon'. No one says its easy..... But it can be done. It's just that so many are too easily discouraged or are not prepared to try at all.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:53 pm 
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You two should form a club for pessimistic, cynical deppressives.

I have been self employed (working for myself) since I was 22 years old. I have taken employment when it was particularly well paid but only until I had saved up for and bought the car / boat / house / whatever. Invariably I then pick up my self employment career and get on with life.

Quote:
-
- However well and hard you work for yourself, expect to starve for up to three years whilst establishing yourself; a name, reputation and those vital first customers.
- To survive for those critical three years (Two out of three who try a business start-up will fail anyway), you will need some sort of financial backing to get through. Parents, legacy, a salaried spouse, a second job - or savings from some years of employment at some kind of work you'd sooner have not been doing.


Sorry to be so objectionable but what a load of bollocks the above is. I have never required to be supported by parents, wife, legacy, savings, etc etc. If your business isn't making enough money to keep you then you aren't doing it right. or you should be doing something else. I can understand building a hobby into a business might take a while and would probably require a second (first) job to support it until you build up your contacts but any business you work at full time should be capable of supporting you...or you aren't doing it right. (just my 2cts as a self employed person)

Get a job...or get a positive attitude. Personally I like being self employed...I work shorter hours and no one tells me off :P


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:31 pm 
The amount of abusive drunk pikeys he/she will have to deal with means London bus drivers deserve their 50k.

I've never really written anything, to be honest, except dicking-about on internet forums.

The internet has thousands of 'blogging' people who can write (with millions more who cannot). I'm not sure it is too rare a skill, as again there are more people who can write than there are things that need to be written.

I have two friends who are supurb illustrators. Neither of them get anything other than a bit of freelance stuff, as again there are currently enough supurb illustrators to do all the illustrations that need to be illustrated.

I might just work as a work-at-home pyramid-scheme downline sucker, or an amateur forex trader (to lose to large trading firms in their ditry zero-sum game). Looking at the 'employment' ads on the internet, these are the positions for which there is the most demand.

I recently bought some Wrigley's 'professional' chewing gum. Can you chew gum for a living? I'm so there...


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:41 pm 
Frank wrote:
I have been self employed (working for myself) since I was 22 years old. I have taken employment when it was particularly well paid but only until I had saved up for and bought the car / boat / house / whatever. Invariably I then pick up my self employment career and get on with life.


Good for you. That might give you a just a few more years at it than me (as a second career) - had you not been popping in and out of waged employment.

As you opted for waged employment whenever you needed to save, its fair to conclude that you made more money working for someone else than when working for yourself. It follows further that you have preferred a pattern of shorter hours to having more money and building a business with the surplus of income over and above subsistence. It's a fair choice - but there are others.

Since a 40 hr week is now pretty standard in waged employment (before overtime) this suggests further thhat your preferred kind of self-employment has been for less thn 40hrs p.w. and thus it might be called part-time employment - enough to keep you comfy. Fair enough. Whatever floats your boat (house etc.). It's lifestyle choice.

Quote:
-
- However well and hard you work for yourself, expect to starve for up to three years whilst establishing yourself; a name, reputation and those vital first customers.
- To survive for those critical three years (Two out of three who try a business start-up will fail anyway), you will need some sort of financial backing to get through. Parents, legacy, a salaried spouse, a second job - or savings from some years of employment at some kind of work you'd sooner have not been doing.


Quote:
Sorry to be so objectionable but what a load of bollocks the above is.


Don't say you are sorry, Frank. It's your customary standard of courtesy and self-indulgent choice of language. One expects nothing more from you; there is no disappointment.

Quote:
I have never required to be supported by parents, wife, legacy, savings, etc etc. If your business isn't making enough money to keep you then you aren't doing it right. or you should be doing something else.


Ever hear of working capital? Assets? Who paid to feed you and keep a roof over your head whilst you were looking for and then earning your first fee? Where did the money come from to buy your tools/other equipment? It may not (or may) have been thousands, Frank but there was some up-front expense.

You saved that money, it was given to you or you borrowed it. Depending on the form of business, the 'up-front' sum run even to hundreds of thousands.

Quote:
I can understand building a hobby into a business might take a while and would probably require a second (first) job to support it until you build up your contacts but any business you work at full time should be capable of supporting you...or you aren't doing it right. (just my 2cts as a self employed person).


Well, that's a view, if a very blinkered one. It's a valid view where the time from getting a one-man job to getting paid for can be measured in hours. With some work, the time from contract to payment/stage payment can easily be 40-90 days and sometimes appreciably more. Also, for some work there can be upfront expenses that run well into four figures or more. And if one works in far-off places, hiring on sub-contract a small team of specialists to take along.... You pick up all their expenses and pay them out strictly at 30 days (because you said you would and they rely on that) and the customer settles with you at 90 - 120 days. We come back to a working capital requirement. There really can be more to it that just your '2ct' view, Frank.


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Good grief.
:-({|= This pity party has been going on for years.

Whatever anyone suggests, Kyriakin, you shoot it down.
Excuse after excuse, year after year.

I would venture to say that every member of this board who wants to work IS working.

Someone must be supporting you. I guess your job has been convincing them to continue.

8) Job well done!

Sidebar: You are really very funny in a clever way. Have you thought of developing a stand-up comedy routine? Seriously, I think you may be missing your true calling.


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:08 pm 
Kyriakin wrote:
...[writing] I'm not sure it is too rare a skill, as again there are more people who can write than there are things that need to be written.

Very true. Then look at your local newstand and all the weekly/monthly/quarterly journals and specialist publications. They all need fresh content for every issue and few if any retain staff writers. Its all commissioned pieces (if they try and get you to write for nothing 'for the exposure', walk away). Many use a small pool of regular freelances but there's always some falling out, missed deadline, sickness etc. And mags that are just starting up themselves.

Quote:
I have two friends who are supurb illustrators. Neither of them get anything other than a bit of freelance stuff, as again there are currently enough supurb illustrators to do all the illustrations that need to be illustrated.


I didn't say it was easy. I did say it could be done. It kept me (just about) for a year or so whilst I was starting up.

Quote:
I might just work as a work-at-home pyramid-scheme downline sucker, or an amateur forex trader (to lose to large trading firms in their ditry zero-sum game). Looking at the 'employment' ads on the internet, these are the positions for which there is the most demand.


Yup. As you say, trawling for suckers. I have a son who learned that lesson a long while back. He's now got his own little film/video editing company with commissions from the TV companies etc. Subsidiary in Berlin too. Presently, he's on a month's contract in India, running a training course. As for most of us, it took him a while to get started.

Quote:
I recently bought some Wrigley's 'professional' chewing gum. Can you chew gum for a living? I'm so there...

If you can do that and pee at the same time, you have a great future awaiting you in politics :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:55 pm 
Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Good grief.
:-({|= This pity party has been going on for years.

Whatever anyone suggests, Kyriakin, you shoot it down.
Excuse after excuse, year after year.

I would venture to say that every member of this board who wants to work IS working.

Someone must be supporting you. I guess your job has been convincing them to continue.

8) Job well done!

Sidebar: You are really very funny in a clever way. Have you thought of developing a stand-up comedy routine? Seriously, I think you may be missing your true calling.


Hang on. Supporting me?

I've been working full-time for 22 of the last 26 months since I stopped my FGA study in early-2009. I'm trying to slowly chip-away at my $50,000 university student/tuition debts while doing so.

It's just that these jobs have had nothing to do with anything I have ever studied for; beit university or post-university study. I'm on about $30k at the moment, which is ok by most measurements. However, this is with low job satisfaction, which is more important to me than salary to me, and hence why I keep job-searching even when employed.

All BS aside, my grievance can be summed up in one sentence:

I'm annoyed that I spent a lot of time on money on a course for which there seems to be very little real-world demand for, and that lacks 'transferability' to other industries.

End of. It need go any further than that, and I am yet to see anyone provide any evidence that this isn't the case. All I get is baby-boomers filling up my inbox with snooty PMs. The unfinished FGA was not the issue, as looking back at all the sent Hotmails since 2009, most have been worded with something along the lines of "studied for the FGA from 2008 to 2009" (i.e. sounding like I did finish the FGA, without being a flat-out lie and with plenty of 'wriggle room').

This is the employment section of the biggest gemology forum on the internet, and I can see three gemology job postings in the last year (conveniently located in Sri Lanka, or 3-5 years experience etc.), one receptionist/secretarial, one ring designer and one diamond setter posting. If no-one is going to post jobs in this part of the forum, why not have a discussion about why? Conversely, if (as is suggested in my inbox) there are dozens of industry vacancies out there, and I am too negative/lazy to snag them, feel free to post them in this 'employment' section of the forum.

PS: What exactly have I newly "shot down"? You mean being a professional writer? Never even considered it, to be honest, and that's hardly what I'd call an 'excuse'.

PS: It was your sarcastic-tone "sales/retail" post that kicked me back off on this. I had considered the case basically closed for the last 6 months to a year.


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:37 am 
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That's what this industry does.....it buys and sells.
Everything else a gemologist does is peripherally related and ultimately funded by those who buy and sell.

It has been suggested over the years that you
-get a retail or wholesale job
-start appraising
-explore positions with auction houses
-become self employed
-research and write articles
-apply as a diamond grader with GIA (they are always hiring)
-develop a stand-up routine

Every idea (except standup) has been met with excuses as to why those options won't work for you.

The discussions are futile and redundant at best.

I'm afraid there is nothing more we can do for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:20 pm 
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Quote:
As you opted for waged employment whenever you needed to save, its fair to conclude that you made more money working for someone else than when working for yourself. It follows further that you have preferred a pattern of shorter hours to having more money and building a business with the surplus of income over and above subsistence. It's a fair choice - but there are others.

Since a 40 hr week is now pretty standard in waged employment (before overtime) this suggests further thhat your preferred kind of self-employment has been for less thn 40hrs p.w. and thus it might be called part-time employment - enough to keep you comfy. Fair enough. Whatever floats your boat (house etc.). It's lifestyle choice.


As you say...It's a lifestyle choice. Still doesn't the fact that I can live quite comfortably on less than normal hours mean I have to be doing something right? doesn't that make my opinion at least a little valid? Of course I used to work long hard hours...thats why I can have a 'lifestyle' now...not as good as my old dad who was retired at 50 with a good pension though

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Ever hear of working capital? Assets? Who paid to feed you and keep a roof over your head whilst you were looking for and then earning your first fee? Where did the money come from to buy your tools/other equipment? It may not (or may) have been thousands, Frank but there was some up-front expense.

You saved that money, it was given to you or you borrowed it. Depending on the form of business, the 'up-front' sum run even to hundreds of thousands.


Actually none of the above is true...I'm a tool user. I earned my tools at the same time I was learning to use them, there was no up front money, just a bit of my wages every week for tools. All tool users gather their tools in this fashion whether they are jewellers, mechanics, cobblers or blacksmiths.

Quote:
Well, that's a view, if a very blinkered one. It's a valid view where the time from getting a one-man job to getting paid for can be measured in hours. With some work, the time from contract to payment/stage payment can easily be 40-90 days and sometimes appreciably more. Also, for some work there can be upfront expenses that run well into four figures or more. And if one works in far-off places, hiring on sub-contract a small team of specialists to take along.... You pick up all their expenses and pay them out strictly at 30 days (because you said you would and they rely on that) and the customer settles with you at 90 - 120 days. We come back to a working capital requirement. There really can be more to it that just your '2ct' view, Frank.


you are no longer describing self employment, you are talking about business done by companies...sure some jobs need hundreds of thousands or millions to complete...How many of these jobs are funded by parent? a working spouse? or are supported by savings and legacies? People tackling these jobs draw up proper business plans and take them to banks or capital investors for funding....these ventures are seldom taken by the self employed unless you speak of some business run by one individual.

As for your cheap shot about my "self indulgent language" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: kettle calling the pot black mate


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:32 pm 
Frank wrote:
Quote:
.....you are no longer describing self employment, you are talking about business done by companies...sure some jobs need hundreds of thousands or millions to complete...How many of these jobs are funded by parent? a working spouse? or are supported by savings and legacies? People tackling these jobs draw up proper business plans and take them to banks or capital investors for funding....these ventures are seldom taken by the self employed unless you speak of some business run by one individual.


Really? A one man business is a one man business. Whether one operates as a sole trader or as a limited company should depend entirely on which is the more tax effective. Since govts like to play games with the tax rules, it can work well to run both shells, choosing which to put business through according to the tax rules of the day. Think of all those gentlemen scurying about the streets of Antwerp and Tel Aviv, in black coats and with packets of diamonds in their waistcoat pockets :lol:

Quote:
As for your cheap shot about my "self indulgent language" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: kettle calling the pot black mate


Frank, we are done here. You are just making noise and looking to squabble. Have fun. (Sound of door closing)...


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:06 am 
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:smt085

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Keep em comin!!!

Most of the fire on the wall has been put out :)


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:44 pm 
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:D :D :D BYE :D :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:55 am 
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Just popped in to see if anything was going on. Wow! Didn't this go in a different direction to the one intended.
My final message is this. If you want to work, these are some pointers. Have a plan. Don't just do a course and expect a job, research it. What would be the point in doing a course advanced floristry when you live in a desert? Decide where you want to be and plan your route to it, you may find something different on the way, but that's what happens.
Some people are destined to put obstacles in their own way. Positive attitudes go further.
That is all I have to say on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:58 pm 
There's some proper mint positions on the Gem-A LinkedIn thing the last week-or-so.

The dreaded "E-word" pops up in all of them though. Ditto most of the ads on Jackson Maine.


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