The Woes of Finding a Job

June 28, 2010

It’s getting ridiculous.

How many resumes have I sent?

How many interviews have I been on?

I’m not sure I can even tabulate.

I feel like I should somehow be exploiting this miserable process – a reality show?

A sponsorship? Kind of like one of those fundraising walks – you know, five bucks for every resume I submit, ten for every cover letter, and fifteen for every phone interview… Maybe it won’t help cancer, but it will keep me funded for all the coffee drinks I seem to need to fuel me through this ego-busting experience…

The problem is, when it’s been going on this long, finding a job starts to feel like a job, and you don’t really want to actually get one. Well, of course you want to get one, but part of you feels like you’re maybe getting used to the panty hose and the questions about your greatest weaknesses.

I think that even tripped me up a little on my latest interview.

The question came – What would your current employer say is your biggest weakness?

To which I used to kind of say something vague like “Oh, that I work too hard, that I’m a perfectionist.” I actually am a perfectionist, but I don’t know that any of my supervisors would complain about that. I don’t really know what they would complain about, and that question is so darn tricky. Who wants to talk about weaknesses to a possible employer?

I’ve been doing this so much, I actually was bubbly and enthusiastic about my faults, and I think it did me in.

The main hindrances to me finding work include –

  • the economy
  • my main job skills are extremely niche – web writing and strategy positions do not abound
  • the jobs that do exist in my general area of expertise tend to not pay enough to make it worth it
  • I’m overqualified for the jobs that are available – people are reluctant to hire me to be an admin assistant because they probably worry I’ll leave as soon as something better comes along, or won’t be happy enough to be productive
  • I’m pretty sure there’s a voodoo doll with my name on it somewhere

Okay, maybe not the last one, though sometimes it feels like there are forces at work that have nothing to do with the quality of my cover letter or the abundance of my experience. People have friends. Personalities have preferences.

I haven’t had the worst of it. If I’ve sent out fifty resumes, I have heard of professionals having sent out a hundred. If I’ve been looking for three months, I’ve heard of people unemployed for over a year.

To all you out there hitting the pavement – good luck and keep your teeth clean.

To all of you with jobs you hate – be grateful – at least you do not have to talk about your weaknesses to total strangers while sweating in your possibly running pantyhose while your bank account bleeds…


Not for the Thin-Skinned Mamas

June 11, 2010

Thanks to K for showing me this blog, Uncensored Motherhood.

I think.

I mean, it’s raunchy, it’s gritty, it’s a little gross. That is – it’s real.

The Julie Andrews side of me really wants to look the other way and go sing with some animated bluebirds after reading this.

Shout Out to you, EH

June 11, 2010

You were totally ridiculous.

There I am, in clothes I grabbed from the bottom of the “clean” heap that is growing like a landfill on my bedroom floor. My eyes as puffy as marshmellows, wrinkles like fault lines criss-crossing age spots, hair ragged and indecisive. I’m struggling to make ends meet, find work, keep chaos from crumbling my sanity.

Next week I turn 35, and I tell you how I haven’t accomplished the things I’d hoped to do by now, and it just feels crappy.

If I could only insert a YouTube video here now of your response.

You kind of started to do one of those car dances people do behind the wheel.

And you started brightly chanting in this giddy skippy way that was completely unreasonable for a Chinese restaurant – something like:

What are you talking about? You’re a single, working mother, you got two fabulous kids, you got great hair, you’re smokin’ hot, you’re super smart, you’re on your own …

You made it sound like these were GOOD things. No – not just good – admirable, sexy, and fun.

I am still laughing.

And that’s what I want to thank you for. I don’t for a minute believe any of your compliments – though, thank you – but making me laugh my ass off at my life – making me imagine, as bizarre as it is, for a minute that the circumstances of what has felt like utter failure and hell were things to be thankful for – to celebrate – to car dance about – well, that’s something to cherish.

You lifted my spirits. You injected me with some of your sassy vibe. You’re crazy, but I love you for it.

Funny how sometimes we can get so wedded to our self-sculptured concepts of who we are – like having one of those drama masks over your face with a permanent frown or smile, despite the reality underneath.

Sometimes it takes someone else pulling the mask up – or showing you a mirror – to remind you that you’re wearing it at all.

Here’s to Friday, here’s to reminding each other to dance and laugh at ourselves and not take everything so seriously. Here’s to friends!