Thursday, May 12, 2016

Grim Anniversary

About a year ago I was laid off from the job I had since 2011. The company was in trouble; there were overtime freezes, wage increase freezes, and hiring freezes unless a salesman was applying. Departments were told to lay people off.

I was not in the “in” crowd there. I came to work, did my job (and did it well), and left. Family obligations and such, plus all the reading and writing I like to do at night to wash away the stress and strain of the day. I saw the writing on the wall, as they say. I thought I could make it to the end of that summer and enjoy my first official week-long vacation in three years.

Instead, they gave me a permanent vacation mid-May.

So what have I done the past year?

Well, set aside self-publishing the book, child care and support, and all the exercising to keep myself off the ledge –

I’ve done a lot, but to no avail.

Over the past twelve months, I have:

- Worked with a career coach (a friend) who redesigned my resume and cover letter.

- Targeted 136 local businesses with 254 periodic mailers (cover letter selling myself, my resume, and a letter of recommendation). In my line of work, this is how my position and similar ones are normally filled.

- Applied to 22 online wanted ads geared specifically for my position.

- Met with and worked with three recruiters from three different recruiting agencies.

- Took a ninety minute class to brush up my advanced Excel skills.

- Utilized two friends’ leads (for laterally-related positions).

- Applied – unsuccessfully – to three “dream” jobs.

The results?

Four phone interviews totaling just over 90 minutes and six in-person interviews for just under five hours of total sit-down time.

And I’ve driven 282 miles in the process. (Hey, I keep track – I’m studying to do your taxes, and you can deduct $0.54 per mile driven for job-seeking.)

And still outta work.

But it’s been my experience with these things that once you plant the seeds, opportunity comes when you least expect it. Out of the blue. Always darkest before dawn. And lots of other clich├ęs I’m trying to avoid like the plague.

Hopefully I’ve planted enough seeds. I planted five alone this past week.

Well, wish me luck as I continue my quest to make more money than it would cost to put the kids in aftercare and pay the mortgage.

Note: I wrote down all these stats not to impress you (‘cuz I ain’t since I still lack a job), but to reassure myself that I’m not just taking up space …

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