Jobless Part 12

So it’s getting a bit old. If you have been following along, I have been out of work since January 18. That’s 223 days, if I calculated correctly. Way longer than I ever imagined it being. I always believed if you worked hard and were good at what you do, you’d always work. I was naive.

I’ve lost count of how many applications I have completed. Most are the same information, loaded into yet another app. Some extract info from your resume, though often it does not come through well. I will no longer look down my nose when I see spelling or grammar errors on an app or in a cover letter. It’s hard to make sure it is all right. I am not good at self-editing and it’s not usually possible to have someone review what I submit. I have become a fan of Linked In’s Easy Apply. That certainly helps. I expect more efficiencies will be coming in the future, though the easier it is to apply, the more candidates per job. That’s not always good for me. I’m not glossy. I can’t even fake it. There are days I wished I could!

Maybe it sounds like I am having a pity party. I don’t think I am. I am quite realistic about the process and don’t pity myself. At jesse not more than a few moments. I had other friends go through this in the past, and they were amazing at what they did. There are people that have been out of work longer than me, and they are fantastically smart and capable. I’m in great company. It’s tough to be of a certain age and experience level and want to keep your salary in the range where it has been. A recruiter asked me if I would consider a job that was $15,000 less than what I told them was my minimum. We obviously have different definitions of “minimum”. I don’t feel that I can take a pay cut at this point if my career.

I haven’t been overly impressed with professional recruiting firms in my search. I seem to find better opportunities on my own. I also receive little feedback from them and don’t detect a lot of energy. They don’t seem to employ the same qualities they are looking for in applicants. Ironic. I’ll have a positive conversation with someone from one, they will say they will be getting back to me, then I hear absolutely nothing. Ghosted!

In-house recruiters, on the other hand, seem to have blossomed. They know the companies, know the jobs, know what they are looking for, and are quite open about how they see you fitting in a certain position. That is appreciated. They also usually close the door when you don’t get a job. Such an important thing to a job candidate.

This week wasn’t bad. I had two phone interviews and one in person interview. They all went well. But. There’s always a but! For one phone interview we decided I wasn’t the right fit for the job. They wanted someone who had worked the Fortune 100 market exclusively. I haven’t. While I probably could have done it, they know what they want….and doing a national search they can find someone more in that niche than me. I respect that. The Human Resources Director for that company, however, was a pleasure to talk with, and very encouraging. She said while I wasn’t the right fit for this role, I am the kind of person their company likes to hire. She was going to pass my resume on to their sister company and talk to the hiring manager about me. I took a look at the website of that company and didn’t see anything that felt like the right job for me, but possibly something is not yet posted and will come along. Still….having a stranger take it to that next step for you is a boost, and it gave me a very positive image for this company (who I had never heard of before I applied for this job.)

The other phone interview was quick and the recruiter said she was passing me on as a viable candidate. Awesome! I liked the job description and the job was right in the mix of what I want to do. Then two days later I got an email from her saying that they decided not to fill that position. How many times has that happened? Several. At least this time it was before I had invested more than a few minutes of my time.

The in-person interview was good, but they have six more people they are interviewing. They didn’t say how many they had seen before me either, so there is quite a bit of competition. It will probably be two weeks before I hear from them. What I liked about them…. were honest and straightforward and the kind of people I enjoy. They seemed to have a good balance of hard work, self-awareness, and fun. The job is in south Charlotte, which is a painful commute from Statesville, but doable….though I suspect I would move there eventually. I hope this time they don’t decide on their own the commute is too much for me, an reject me in that basis, as several others have done. It annoys me since I know myself well and have already decided that I am comfortable with the idea of commuting to Charlotte for a period of time. I hate when strangers believe they know me better than I know myself.

One bright spot that I want to mention. I was recommended for the last job by a insurance company rep I don’t even know well. That was surprising and heartening. At times I have felt abandoned by people who I have worked with in the past who know the quality of my work and yet don’t offer a recommendation or let me know of potential jobs, even in their own company. I understand….their lives are busy…but I’d like to think I would have been more supportive if the roles were reversed. While I have helped look for jobs for people in the past, it’s a reminder to be even more diligent in the future. It gets lonely….and it’s nice when you feel like there is a circle that has your back. Loyalty is a good gift.

It’s humbling not being able to find a job….but if I let it, it can change me for the better. That’s my ultimate goal.

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.” – Henry David Thoreau

10 Comments

  1. I”m glad you’re staying positive. Looking for work can be a challenging and frustrating proposition. Sharing the struggles, doing nice things for yourself – these are important.

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  2. Yes….there are certainly moments of frustration, but overall it has been such a gift. I try to do something for others at least each week, and have done some great, indulgent things for me, too. Just time to read for fun for hours on end…..a simple pleasure, but one I didn’t get to take advantage of often when I was working.

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  3. I may have missed your field, but job-hunting, especially if you can’t relocate, can be daunting. It’s been a long time. I usually think these things work out better, but that’s a while to have to deal with it. I send you all good thoughts.

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    1. I work with employee benefits, most recently as a benefits consultant in a major consulting firm. I want to stay at least somewhat in the field (working for an insurance carrier or as Benefits Director for a company mare other possibilities). But I can relocate, which helps. Thanks for the good thoughts….they are appreciated!

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  4. One of the most important things about job hunting is staying positive. I’ve been out of work a while, quite a while in fact, and keeping on with submitting quality applications is hard. After a while you find yourself fighting that nagging feeling of homelessness, fighting the urge to lie in just a little longer.
    I’m in UK and on unemployment benefits at so if I don’t look for work it’s zero income rather than the pitence the state gives me.
    Keeping the routine of job hunting is important, going somewhere to job hunt is one way of doing this. Work hard to hunt down and apply for the right job but keep a sense of humour, you’d be amazed at the things you can find to laugh about especially if you can laugh at yourself. A particularly UK thing is make your UC work search journal username a positive affirmation so each time you log in your typing something good about yourself. And learn how to spin examining how politicians speak is good for this spin is different from lying and puts a bit of fun into job hunting.
    That said I’ve got an interview coming up soon wish me luck.

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    1. Good luck indeed! I hope this is the one. Let me know how it goes. We’re in this together.

      I agree about staying positive and keeping a sense of humor. While I lost my job due to an office closure, I have never really seen it as a bad thing. It was time for me to go somewhere new and I have always believed it was meant to be. I consider it my next adventure. I’m also on unemployment benefits now in the US and have to fill out weekly reports demonstrating I am actively looking. I was already doing it, but there are weeks finding jobs I want to apply for is difficult. But so far it us working out. I had an interview last week and a couple of good calls this week, so I’m feeling good. If they go negative though, it is deflating. Until I get an acceptable offer, I’ll keep looking. I’m putting as many irons in the fire as possible.

      My mom’s family is in S Wales and I will be visiting there in November. The trip was planned before I lost my job, though I can’t make plane reservations until I figure out where I am going to be living! Hopefully if I have a new employer by then, they will be understanding.

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