Archive for the ‘generation y job hunt’ Tag

Crazy God Things: The Job Hunt

Oh world. God is a crazy God. Friday I thought this world was a mess and that I might not get through it at all. As I mentioned previously, Friday for that matter, the last thread that was holding together the little bit of sanity that was my unemployment broke. No hard feelings, but I did cry a bit and I stayed hunkered down inside this weekend. Friends were celebrating the remission of cancer and 25th birthdays (yeah I know…I probably should have gone out…but I didn’t. Social anxiety a bit maybe? Anyway…).

I took to oDesk on Saturday morning. I got my stuff together and by Sunday afternoon I already had an over on the table which matched, if not outdid what I was doing previously. It’s different work, kind of ghostwriting and guest posting blog entries, but nonetheless it will make a dent in that $200 a month that I will be missing. Yah! I was stoked this morning.

I also found some great jobs to apply for Sunday afternoon, a Volunteer Coordinator position and a few Admissions Advisors at a local private  university which I may have gotten an interview for.  I was ready to be an employed unemployed person.  Cover letters, resumes, blogs to write. It was a busy Monday for this unemployed lady.  So, I turned off tweetdeck, turned off the TV, put on my headphones and starting jamming out to Matt Morris (the other guy in the Justin Timberlake Hallelujah Hope For Haiti song).

I lasted about 30 minutes before I had to check my e-mail. It’s a problem. I know I’m not a rock star. I know I’m not popular.  I’m no celebrity. Hell, this blog gets no more than 39 hits a day and that’s when I write about James O’Keefe (man I still hate that guy).  So, I’m checking my e-mail.  I see some sale alerts, some stuff from facebook (no one got the memo I gave up FarmVille for lent), and then there’s an e-mail from the organization that was going to set up a second interview with me a few weeks ago but never did. They eventually called to get references from me.  I had no idea what this meant. Were they still looking at me? Did they want different references? Did they misplace the application where I put down the same references? What the heck? Anyway. I opened the e-mail.  The person I’ve been going back and forth with wants to talk to me about offering me the job.

Too bad I couldn’t do a happy dance, the dogs were asleep, so was the rest of the house. I didn’t want to wake anyone up. So, I did a virtual happy dance. I tweeted, I updated my status, I took to the blog. I did everything.

Here’s the thing. I lost the freelance gig at the perfect time. I mean, absolute perfect time. This new job, barring I have some crazy false positive enzyme problem that brings back a positive drugs test, is a big job (pee well, my friend…as a friend said). It will require full time attention and is an increase in pay.  I probably would have juggled to find the time to do my writing. And in the end, I probably would have had to quit.  This new freelance gig is weekly. I’ll finish it up this week and say “Hey, this was nice..but it’s really not for me. I cannot commit to this much writing every day…” and we’ll part ways.

This God thing is seriously crazy and mysterious. Things happen at the weirdest and the best and strangest times. Just thank God for all of it.

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Working for the State: A Requirement?

Here’s the current conundrum. It’s an unspoken requirement that you have Child Protective Service experience in the state of Texas to get a Case Manager position. But, how do you get that experience if they won’t hire you either?

Many independent foster care and adoption agencies only require a Bachelor’s degree for their entry level case management positions. A new position, due to funding, turnover, expansion, etc. will appear every few weeks on a number of websites. In their educational requirements they usually list a BA with no experience necessary. I have a great cover letter and resume put together for these jobs. 4 out of 5 times I will get the interview. But, is it even worth it these days without experience with the state? I will get that interview because I have worked with at risk youth and have worked with the community.

Score! I get super excited and walk in confident and even score 41/45 on their personality tests. I get a second interview. They love me. They compliment my domineer. I am very calm. I speak Spanish.  I can work with the bilingual families. They start thinking about how they can use me in their agency.  And then…two or three interviews later someone comes in who has 2-3 years experience with the Department of Health and Human Services and Child Protective Services…on top of all the other things I have. Of course they get the job over me. I’m not upset. They deserve it.  They have case management experience; they won’t need to be trained. Their investment is close the nothing to train the person who has case management experience. But for me? Someone will obviously have to train me (right?).

Had you spoken to me 2 months ago I wouldn’t have considered applying to work for the state, again. The things I hear about the work and the things the Investigative workers see is not necessarily scary, but just something that I would like to avoid. It’s kind of like working in the mail room to get that PR gig you really want. Everyone talks about that one really bad entry level job.

Now, nearly 4 months into this job search I’ve finally broken down and decided that maybe I should consider working for the state-because it is damn near a requirement. Nevermind that the last time I thought that working for the state was the best route for me to take I applied for at least 20 positions within a year and received one interview.

You may be asking why I didn’t continue with the application process last time. Well, I had an interview for two positions –a Conservationship worker and an Investigative Worker just day before I was asked to join ACORN Housing. It was easier said than done to say “I’ll take the job that I know I will love,” than to even worry about proceeding with a job I wasn’t even sure I would get.  Now, here I am…almost a year after I started the ACORN Housing job wishing I had taken the job with the state. Ugh. As is life.

Human Resources: Please Stay True To Your Word

I understand that it’s a tough world out there. I understand the Human Resource world is a busy world. Interviews, resumes, applications, meetings, conferences, etc.  I understand if you are interviewing hundreds of people that it is impossible to call them all back to say “I’m sorry you will not be moving forward in the employment process.” However, if you say, during the interview, “I know that waiting is hard and we will be in touch-whether we hire you or not- it would be nice to get a phone call to find out what the answer is.” Actions speak louder than words. That’s all I’m saying. If you don’t say anything about calling me, though, you’re alright. I still love you. Otherwise….continue reading (well continue reading anyway)….

Human Resources is usually the first impression of the company a potential employee gets on the company.  If the interview goes so-so and the HR person says, “Hey I’ll call you back no matter what,” and they end up calling and saying, “Hey sorry there was someone better than you.” I won’t hold that against them. I will keep them on my list of good companies and companies to apply for in the future, when there may be another better position for me. I may even pass on the name to others in my professional network. Their Human Resources department is reliable, dependable and stays true to their word. And so is the company! If, on the other hand they say they’ll call and say something and they don’t I probably won’t keep them on my list because they aren’t true to their word and reliable. Sure, it may be that one individual that I was working with – but they have to remember they are representing their whole company. And they just left a bad taste in my mouth. Their actions weren’t that great – actually kind of bad.

Many of the positions I have applied for have been in small organizations and companies. It’s a small victory even getting an interview. Some have even shown me the stacks of resumes they’ve gotten via Craigslist.  So- say from that stack – a small company interviews 13 of 100 resumes they received.

They interview people for two or three days. They also say they’ll call back these potential employees back no matter what.  In my estimation this type of phone call could last about two minutes. Just a quick, “Hi this is so and so from small organization. I’m sorry we won’t be proceeding with your application.” A few questions will be asked and a polite thank you will be exchanged.  Thirty seconds for a breather and then the Human Resource person will continue with the next person. That’s about Thirty Three minutes. Thirty Three minutes of your time Human Resources….that’s it. Like I said before, I understand your time is money and I want you to use your time wisely but can you use it to do some community relations work? Let the community know that you are true to your word – reliable, dependable,  a good person? It would just be nice to know there are still good people out there (I know there are some!)

I say these things because this has happened to be a handful of times. It irks me to know that there are probably a handful of other people that may have been waiting by the phone for the same “yes” or “no” answer that I was. Of all the job hunting, job interviews, thank you notes, and uncertainty that I have had to feel in professional life I have been told 4 times that I will receive a phone call about my professional fate. Of those 4 statements, I have only actually received 1 phone call back. So, HR professionals, stay true to your words because 3 organizations have lost 1 great voice due to bad actions.

Pull a Florida: Your Criminal Record & The Job Hunt

There is a constant buzzing in my house, it’s the TV. And the TV is usually stuck on CNN or Fox News Channel (don’t hate!). I really cannot put my finger on what makes us a “newsy” family, but it’s always on. FNC has this great ongoing segment called On the Job Hunt.They have news segments covering jobless rates, finding a job, job tips, and all those juicy things people looking for a job already know. Nonetheless, I stopped to listen to this tidbit of information.

They were in Florida this time around and mentioned that many jobseekers today are sealing and expunging their criminal records in search of their perfect job.

This got me thinking. Especially for young job seekers –nothing can stop us. Nothing is ever going to stop us. And the first real hurdle in our lives is usually finding the post college job.

Did you think of that MIP? Speeding Ticket? That one fight you got in at the bar on 6th Street? It’s a different market; perhaps we should pull a Florida. This isn’t to say, as some of the comments have come in on the FNC website, that serious offenders should be sealing and expunging their records (here is a brief explanation of what qualifies for expungement).

That night at Mistletoe Madness, Margaritaville freshman year where your whole dorm floor got caught with alcohol and you got an MIP could be keeping you from getting your dream job. Or, you got in a fight that night. Or even several speeding tickets – but your dream job is a Case Manager and you have to have a clean driving record. You had a stellar interview and they love you. Then they run that background check. Whoops. What do you tell your once future boss? My bad, I was stupid. I just don’t know what happened.

Now what? Just keep that in mind. It’s something I didn’t even think of. It’s these types of things that slip by. Just another tiny tip in the maze that is the job hunt.

The Dream Job Versus The Job

One of my best friends in the whole wide world is going off to graduate school in a few weeks. Well, not so much “going off to” since the university is about 5 minutes from our mutual stomping grounds, but she will be starting school, and I will continue my job hunt. As we were talking about her classes (they sound fun and I kind of get that itch to go back….) she asked if I had applied for jobs in areas that do not appeal to me (i.e. – telemarketing, seasonal tax preparation, administrative assistant)

This got me thinking, when is it time to give up on your “dream job”, move on and look for just “the job”? I’m going on about 10 weeks of sustained unemployment. I’ve mentioned before that the average job hunt takes 6 months, that’s 26 weeks? I haven’t even hit the halfway point. How am I supposed to start really worrying about things when I haven’t even hit the official average halfway point in the job hunt? Of course there are the days where I wonder why that interviewer didn’t call back. I rocked that interview. Or wonder why I never did get a call back about that position for which I poured my soul out in my cover letter never did call me back

Here’s the thing. I went to my local workforce office today to take a typing test for two jobs. Surprise! I wasn’t the only person there. And if I had asked how long a handful of those people have been unemployed, I’m sure that at least a few of them have been unemployed longer than I have and haven’t given up looking for the “dream job.” So, no best friend who most likely will be in my same position two years from now (with a big juicy diploma and a fancy M.A. at the end of her name), I am not giving up looking for “the dream job” just to find “the job.” Well, at least not yet.