Sunday, June 17, 2007


So I’m job hunting. I found out late last week and I quite sure that if I blogged about it before now you would have seen visible tear drops on the web page blurring out a word or two.

My contract is up and funding does not stretch to its renewal. I was really hoping it would but it wasn’t to be. There were a lot of things I had hoped, worked for but they weren’t to be.

Some of you know what I do in the real world already and for those who don’t I have been working with the Labour Party. I never blogged about it before now because when I started up the blog it had nothing to do with work, it still doesn’t really. But as time went by I pushed and pushed the idea of blogging to people in the party. And more and more the lines blurred.

However I have still tried hard to keep work off my personal blog. I never intended and still don’t intend this to be a space where people debate the Labour Party - there are more than enough sites out there for that without my own personal space turning into another one.

As well as being a press officer for the party, I have also maintained the website (along with our brilliant webmaster Tom); take many/most of the party’s photographs that you may have seen in our literature and have developed the party’s Flickr account which has become a valuable working resource for the party. My images have appeared in local papers all over the country, on the RTE website, many other websites and on our own literature, leaflets, policy documents, manifesto, etc. I’ve done the party’s YouTube account and made the ‘this is…’ internet ad-campaign series which Labour released over the election.

And I’ve loved it all. I have loved working somewhere where you have the opportunity to develop other talents and put them to use. I have found things in myself I never knew where there and that has been amazing.

Now I find myself as one of the other casualties of the election. When I was reading articles after the election particularly the accounts from journalists of the sadness accompanying TDs packing up their desks I couldn’t help thinking about the staff behind them losing their jobs. Now I am one of them. This isn’t completely out of the blue. My main role was to work with candidates on the press side, now that isn’t there anymore and there isn’t a job there now. I had just hoped that something would come up.

Job uncertainty is not something that I have ever gotten used to. But then who in that position does get used to it? When I took the job originally three and a half years ago it was for a six-month contract. But I felt that moving from a full-time job to a six-month contract with Labour was an opportunity I couldn’t pass by.

For me part of the horror of job uncertainty is the worry of money. At this stage in my life I feel the money worry monster is part and parcel of me, part of my personality even. I have never been an adult and not seriously worried about money. If it is not something you worry about you cannot underestimate how deep and gnawing it is. It affects everything, absolutely everything.

Sometimes people talk about spending obscene amounts of money on clothes or whatever and I don’t get it. I never have. Probably because I have never been in a position where I can spend €300 on a pair of shoes and think nothing of it. I have never spent that amount of money on shoes or clothes. In fact I recently (well its not recently it was in the last two years) spent €100 on a coat and had to have the decision on spending that amount of money validated by my Mum who of course said ‘yes buy it’.

I’ve been bringing up my daughter on my own and financially its been more than tough at times. When she was a toddler I managed to put myself through college and that was difficult. Life after college was also hard, having to work my way up through low-paid jobs to prove myself and get experience behind me. Money has always been tight and hasn’t really gotten any easier. And it is something I have always worried about. I have always looked forward to the day where that isn't the case and here I am, 36 years old and still worrying.

I cannot be without work for a week, I suppose who can. All I know is my own situation, living in Dublin, bills to pay, rent to cover and teenager to bring up, oh yeah and the debts incurred because of living in Dublin.

So now I need to decide what I am going to do next. Time to dust off the CV, update it and get it out there. Then I’ll put on a big smile and pretend that I am not worried to be looking for work because I have to.I have a lot of decisions to make. Do I go for another 9-5 job? Will another job I want to do come up in the time I have to find one? Do I try and go out on my own, be my own boss? What would I do? Can I earn enough to allow me to do whatever that may be? Why oh why have I never been in a position to save money. Cos I could do with having a stash of savings right now. Right now it is time for days of action.

Anyway that’s my tale of woe. Wish me luck. Oh yeah and gizzajob.


Anonymous said...

Redmum, talk about hiding your light under a bushel! Congratulations on all the wonderful work you did with the Labour Party, that's quite a resumé right there. Of course that doesn't help with the worry right now, a worry I know all about as I've been living with it too. That part about it being part and parcel of your life really rang a bell with me.

I wish you all the best of luck that something better than you can imagine is just around the corner.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck with the job hunt. If I hear of anything I'll be sure to let you know...

Omaniblog said...

I found your post via Damian Mulley's blog. I think that's read by a lot of people, many of whom might have contacts in the business world. One of them, and it only takes one, may be in need of an experienced innovative pair of hards used to hard work.
The Irish Times 'Innovation' is out today. There might be something in there there that is the link needed to bring your talent and the business imperative together.
My circle is small but I'll put the word about.
By the way, I think you've written the application form already
I'll keep in touch.
Maybe you'll post about the job-seeking process...

Katherine said...

Well best of luck, job hunting is no fun at the best of times. But you are deadly so you should be fine!

Anonymous said...

You could send your CV to

Boliath said...

So sorry honey, was afraid this might happen.

To anyone reading contemplating hiring this woman, let me tell you that I have known and worked with her for over 20 years and you will not find a more determined, innovative, motivated, and intelligent person to add to your workforce.
Hire her now, pay her what she is really worth (a lot) and you will not regret it.

Best of luck to you darlin'

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear your contract is ending. But remember to be positive.

You're an award-winning blogger/writer and you're a great photographer (21 in flick's explore).

Once word gets out, you'll be swamped with offers.

Unknown said...

Hi Redmum,

Another visitor coming in via DMulley, via RedCardinal... the blogosphere has most certainly been set in motion!

I'm Alastair, I believe we met briefly at the BarCamp beers.

I was wondering if you are considering freelance and part-time work? It's been the case in the past that I've needed to outsource writing for client sites - and I'm not the only one out there looking. It's hard to find reliable, quality writers and if you establish good relationships as a freelancer you might find it being quite lucrative.

I can't offer you anything right at the moment but my business model is to develop relationships with trustworthy, competent people and maybe we'll have the chance to work together in the future.

Of course freelancing is risky and depends on your skill-set, financial needs and home situation, and some people just have to have the security of full-time. I know I did for a long time :)

If you haven't plans, why don't you come along to the Open Coffee on Thursday morning? At the very least you can sell yourself to a few more influential bloggers like Damian who will pass the word!

Best of luck with things!
Alastair McDermott, MD, Log On Internet Marketing Ltd.

Dea said...

Redmum - so sorry you have this worry hanging over your head. You are incredibly talented and I am sure you'll find something soon. Congrats on all the wonderful work you did for the labour party. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you! ;-)

Anonymous said...

While I was out of work last year I came across your blog - it really gave me a lift and was a welcome relief from bullshit recruitment agency websites .Im back workin now ...ach sin sceal eile .
Best of luck and dont accept any ould 're waaaay too good for that !

Anonymous said...

Hi Shauneen... I remember how you struggled in that local s-it paper in Phib, and the money hassles come Friday evening most weeks. I think you've done brilliantly and with all that experience behind you, it should be feasible to go out on your own. There's a lot of freelance journalism about, and you are doubly skilled with the photography; that's what I would do. It may entail a bank loan, etc. I went from low-paid job to low-paid job (without having to bring up a child) eventually buying an apartment with that so-called affordable shared ownership scheme in Smithfield that I simply could not afford. It was hell and Dublin City Council tried to take it off me a number of times! I sold up and moved to Belfast where life is much easier, and guess what? There's no f--king junkies on the streets! Best of luck with your next endeavour. June Caldwell (

cork-host said...

You did "This is..." Godd grief, you're feckin brilliant.

I'm in job hunting mode too. I'd suggest punching above you weight and applying for the brand manager jobs currently being advertised.

You created the bits of the Labour campaign that I remember. I think you could get something else in my head.

Jenny said...

Just to let you know, you’ve been tagged at:

John of Dublin said...

I found it very emotional to read your blog and my heart goes out to you. It reminded me of me being scared s*itless when redundancy struck me 7 years ago with a wife and 3 teenagers to support and mortgaged to the teeth. I started my own business and although terrifying at least I felt destiny was in my own hands and it became increasingly exciting and rewarding. I'm not saying this is best option for you but certainly be confident and strong. You are very skilled and there are many opportunities. I will keep my eyes and ears open for you.

Neil Ward said...

Ah jaysus missus - I just heard about this today. Awful, awful news, and I'm really sorry to hear it.

As well you know - you're fecking brilliant, so I'm sure something will come along in no time - your work over the campaign (and well before that) was second to none, and I'm just sorry you're not reaping the rewards that should accompany that work.


Ian Poulton said...

Hi Red Mum,

I voted for your party (as I do every election!). Sorry there's not funding for your post, perhaps one day the politics of the Civil War will die out and Labour will become a major party.

Good luck with the job search.


Anonymous said...

Red Mum

First of all your work is hugely hugely excellent and it will be a really big loss to Labour.

I found that post quite emotional and I also think that you should be congratulated on the the way you have handled parenthood - having met your daughter briefly at party conference - I think that you should be a proud parent

Best of luck with it all (and thanks for helping me out at times too) -

Ian (Labour LGBT)

dervla said...

Just catching up with this now. Bummer news. If I hear of anything I'll let you know. Chin up :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm only reading this today for the first time Redmum!! Can't believe it; but I know you, you're a winner! I'm sure it won't be long until a job worthy of you comes along and they'll be bloody lucky to get you! The best of luck! BTW, my sis who now lives near you has contacts in the recruitment world down there so if you need her details let me know!

Neil Ward said...

I'm hearing rumours that you are once again gainfully employed - are they true, or is it just the rumour-mill working overdrive?

Oh, and you got a nice little bit of coverage in the Trib last weekend ;-)