Applying for a job

Some years back I got an interview to be a reporter for the Tenerife Sun that needed a new writer after they had lost a member of staff by writing a description of how I could fill the shoes of a successful writer for that publication and demonstrating my knowledge of the island.

I was very optimistic seeing as I had a good knowledge of most parts of the island of Tenerife and a good background in the media, as well as having a BA degree in Journalism, Film and Broadcast. I also have a pass in the BTEC National Diploma in Media Studies and an A-level A-grade in Media Studies. I thought my qualifications and experience would come in handy here.

Tenerife Sun

I set off on the day of the interview thinking that I was going to be successful and land myself a good job as a writer for a popular free newspaper. It did, however, take a very long time travelling to the Tenerife Sun's office in Alcalá. I had to get two buses and then there was a traffic jam but I still got there in time.

Green Beard

Green Bard

Green-bearded Bard of Ely
Credit: Photo by Neil Jones

Bus rides

On the buses

Sadly I didn't get the advertised job because I don't drive and Roger Diss the editor said he couldn't expect me to make bus rides that take at least 90 minutes to get there and get home every week day. I had to admit I could see the sense in this.

However, because he found me a very interesting and knowledgeable person he offered me a regular column instead, which I accepted and took great pride in until I lost it when the paper closed down. While I was a regular columnist I used to travel on the buses around Tenerife and mostly write stories about the flora and fauna I saw on my journeys.

There used to be a colour photo of me showing my distinctive green beard and I used to often get recognised by members of the public who would speak to me and say they enjoyed my articles.

Credit: Photo by Steve Andrews

My job application

But back to my job application, this is is what I had submitted that got me the interview that led on to me having a writing job here in a Tenerife newspaper:

Why I can fill the shoes in question

As someone who has spent a lot of time walking in Tenerife I feel that I would be ideal for the job advertised because when you see somewhere on foot you really see it, and you learn a lot about the place that other people might easily miss.

For example, I have recently discovered pools of freshwater in a desert location that most people pass by. Those that travel by car on the road nearby haven’t a clue about the shoals of mosquito fish, or the bright red dragonflies and a solitary tree-frog tadpole which all live in these ponds.

On another ramble along the coast of Tenerife I spotted specimens of the deadly Portuguese-man-of-war on a local beach and I lost no time in spreading the news via the island’s media.

But when I first came here on a holiday I spent most of my time in the north of the island, and this really helped me to learn some basic Spanish, as well as making me realize that this is where I wanted to come and live.

I have walked all across the mountains from San Andres to La Laguna, and what a walk that was. I saw the beauty of the countryside and people farming in traditional ways, and it was like being transported back to my childhood. My grandfather was a beekeeper, you see, and to find people with hives here brought memories flooding back.

Tenerife pyramid
Credit: Photo by Steve Andrews

Pyramids of Tenerife

On my second visit to the island I went to see the Pyramids of Guimar and this fascinating place became the subject of an article I wrote. Recently I have heard news of a pyramid in Icod too, and I know this is something I personally need to investigate.

And it was in Icod de los Vinos that I had discovered a newspaper that confirmed for me that the island of Tenerife welcomed me, and was where I should be living and working. I was in the Mariposario del Drago at the time, when the receptionist gave me a copy of Tenerife News. Browsing through it I thought, maybe I could write for this publication, and after contacting the paper afterwards that is exactly what I have been doing part-time for the last year.

The Walk of Life by Dire Straits

I mention this because it reveals something, which appeals to me so strongly about Tenerife, and that is the way that every journey I take here rewards me with some fascinating discovery I can use. Sometimes it’s as if the place is a huge jigsaw and part of the game of life here is finding the right pieces of the puzzle.

Speaking of finding things you need here, the place I am currently living in I discovered via a Tenerife message board, and having spent a lot of time in the north, I am now learning all about life in the south.

The rock band Dire Straits once had a hit called “The Walk of Life,” and that is what I’m doing!

Copyright © 2012 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.