Friday, June 15, 2012

So I've been looking for a job.  Again.   I was employed but it was a long way from home and weekend overnights which took a horrible toll on my family.  So I got a day job with the same company but it was still a 50 minute commute, not the hours that were promised to me when I accepted the job, and no pay increase. I asked for a raise and the HR person tried to hide the laughter without success.  I was told that since I don't supervise anyone I wasn't really eligible for a pay increase outside the normal annual raise, still eight months away.  Nevermind all the extra projects I'd taken on, the fact that it took less than one day to train me, and the fact that I needed no supervision at all... After putting more than half a paycheck into my gas tank and asking again for even a small pay increase, I've been unemployed (again) since April.

Searching for a job has been... interesting.  I have a bachelor's degree and about a hundred years' experience managing everything from a convenience store to a million-dollar office, but I have only gotten one phone call from all the applications I have filled out.  It was for a $7.25 an hour part-time position in a town 90 minutes away.  I didn't even mark that store on the "Where would you like to start your career with us?" list.
The job market is really tough these days, despite the media's insistence that companies are adding jobs and the economy is turning around.  There are so many people looking for jobs and I don't make the first cut for most of them.  I think I know why - here's the list of strikes against me:
  •  Being a stay-home mom for 12 years left a huge gap in my paid employment history
  •  I have a rather generic bachelor's degree - English and Political Science - and no additional education
  •  I have a degree
  •  I have no food-service or medical experience
  •  99% of all application processes start on-line, which means they never get a chance to meet me face-to-face
I have current applications at WalMart, Target, CVS, Walgreen's, QuikTrip, Casey's, Flying J, FedEx, UPS, all the grocery stores and city offices within a 40 mile radius, the county, the state of Missouri, and the post office - all of which I am apparently over-qualified for because of the bachelor's degree.  I also apply regularly at the hospitals and all the big industries here in town  (Bayer, Sprint, Cerner, Yellow Trucking, Black & Veatch), and all the smaller office jobs that come through on CareerBuilder, most of which I'm underqualified for due to lack of an associate's degree and/or specific industry experience.  On average, I submit six applications a week.   If I could get past the online process and have an actual interview, I could win the job - I interview really well.  But alas...

So I'm trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up.  I've read the parachute books and taken some quizzes online, and I've tried to come up with a list of things I love to do so I'd never work a day in my life, all that stuff.  What it really comes down to is that I should marry someone really wealthy, because I love being a stay home mom. 

Yeah, well... let's work on plan B. 

I love to write, and that's something that occasionally people do make money at.  I'm submitting short stories to literary journals, writing in my blog again to get my skills back, and I'm polishing up a novel and will continue the search for an agent.  I wrote a screenplay about my experience at a large discount retail store, got some great feedback from my friend Jennifer about fixing it up, so I'm working on that and hope I can figure out what to do with it once it's done.  I would love to write for a living - I could be home with my kids and never have to worry that the HR girls are making fun of my thrift-store jeans and the shirt I've had since 2002 (which probably also came from a thrift store).

I also had an idea for a good use for old abandoned grocery store sites, an idea that would require money, time and sweat in large measure.  I don't know if it would ever make money, don't know if I'm even qualified to think about something on that scale, don't know if I would be setting myself up for a gigantic failure.  I thought and thought about this idea, and almost had myself talked out of even looking into it, and then this was posted on my Facebook home page by a fan page I like, it's a quote by Gary Vaynerchuk. 

"I beg you to take a shot.  Roll up on that hot chick in the bar and ask her out.  Roll up on that good-looking dude and ask him to coffee.  Roll up on your business idea and make it happen. Because being 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and having regrets that you didn't swing the bat is the worst of them all. Our "at bat" is in front of us. Take a swing."

After I stopped editing this quote to fix the grammar, I signed up for a one day seminar at the community college for entrepreneurs.   Then I searched some of the job sites for editing jobs.  I have enough regrets.  Sa-wing batter...


Susan Raihala said...

So glad you're back, and hope the job thing works out. Patience is hard to come by when bills are due!

Best of luck swinging that bat. You've certainly got a lot of ducks in the water right now, and one of them is bound to fly.

That's what we call too many metaphors. ;)

natalie3m1 said...

Thanks, Susan! Your blog has been my "I have a few minutes, I need something wonderful to cheer me up" read, although I don't comment. I do read and enjoy!
And I don't think there's such a thing as too many metaphors, really! Cliche away! :)