I don’t like looking for a job. I never have. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not alone in this. My husband has been out of work since the end of August and has applied for 50-60 jobs. He’s had one interview. Since he’s in the education field (doctoral candidate), several jobs that are posted are still “sketchy”. They are on the budget chopping block, or their start time has been pushed back, pending enough financial support. That’s discouraging also.
I’m looking for a job, too. My skill set doesn’t pay as well as his does, but he did promise that if I found a full-time gig, he’d do all the chores. Exact words: “If you get a full-time job, I don’t see why you would have to do any chores.” Huzzah! Where do I sign?! I know it would be a big transition and I would miss the kids immensely. But the good thing about our marriage is that we are partners and we will do whatever to make it through.
How you apply for jobs is different than the last time I actively looked, which was in 2003, practically the dark ages. The economy then was similar to what it is now. Back then, you found an ad in the paper. You faxed or mailed (!) your resume, cover letter and references to a P.O. Box. I signed up with 2 local agencies and they gave me leads as well. You networked with your old co-workers and friends. I applied for over 200 positions that time, and in the end, a recommendation from a friend helped get my foot in the door. And, I learned later, that I briefly sold Avon. Who knew?
Now, it’s all online. Does anyone put ads in the paper anymore? Heck, does anyone *read* the paper anymore? I love books and reading, but I don’t even read the paper. Mainly because our regional paper never seemed to get delivered to our house, even though I tried multiple times to straighten that out. Apparently, we were too rural, even though we live in town.
You start looking at things in your field and it feels kinda like an Easter egg hunt. Anything under here? You find a promising position on craigslist.com. So, you apply online. You craft a cover letter of stunning sophistication, attach your resume with relevant experience and pop! You email it out. And then…you wait. And wait. You may not even know the name of your prospective employer. You hope to goodness it’s in the right area, and not out of Maine like one of the positions I applied for, or a scam, like another one. That is the hardest part; there’s no real way to follow-up, except to email the anonymous craigslist-generated email account. If you get a contact name, you have a better chance of hearing back. They feel accountable somehow. It’s slightly more accessible.
I think it’s the waiting that kills me. You wait and wait and knit a sweater. Or not. I knit about as well as I play tennis, which is rather abysmal. The good thing about looking for a job is the dreaming aspect of it all. This time, I’ve looked in all kinds of fields I wouldn’t normally even think twice about. Now, I don’t look very good on paper. I quit my part-time admin job at the church back in December 2010. Yet I find myself wondering,What’s out there? What’s possible? And what is God up to, anyway? I’ve no idea. But it’s fun to explore and trust and hope, together.