Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Clock Ticks On...

So, my little unemployed clock ticks on....

I have sent Company X about a dozen resumes since I moved to my current location. I've never gotten a call from them... until today.  And they called me about a job that would, quite frankly, bore me to death.  AND would be a step back in pay.  Every time I manage to make a wage I can live with, I lose the job and then end up having no choice but to take a job that pays less and then I inch my way back up to a good wage, the company goes bankrupt/downsizes/decides to cut all persons with my job title and I take a step back again. (No, I am not quitting or being fired for doing something wrong)

In the past decade, my earnings have spanned a range of $15,000. (Low being $... high being $+15,000).  And it has not been consistent... it's been low paying job, high paying job, low paying job, high paying job, low paying job, high paying job so when someone demands your salary history, they have no real way of pinpointing your actual value.  What they are used to seeing is that say, in 2000 you made $10 an hour. You worked for that company for 3 years and left when you were making $13 an hour.  Then you got a job that paid $13.50 an hour, where you worked for 5 years and when you left that job it was for a job paying $20 an hour and so on.

In my case (this is an example, not at all my real earnings) it's been more like  in 2000 I was making $10 an hour. I got laid off, took a job making $9.50 an hour (and worked a second, sometimes a third job). Worked there for almost 2 years then that company went out of business and I got a job making $15 an hour...got downsized after 6 months and took a job that paid $11.50 an hour, that was a contract position that lasted 8 months and then the contract ended and I got a job making $20, which lasted for 6 months before I got downsized and because of circumstances took a job for $12 an hour... and had a second job.  The point being there has been no steady progression but I have a threshold of "this is what I NEED to make in order to not have to work two (or more) jobs".  I live in a very inexpensive apartment in a not so good part of town.  I ended up shouldering all of the marital debt in my divorce, so I have to keep making payments or my credit gets trashed and nearly every employer these days runs a credit check so defaulting is NOT AN OPTION.  The internet is pretty much my one luxury.  The rest of my money pays the bills and keeps a roof over my head. I haven't got a dime saved for retirement.  I (thankfully) do not have student loans (of course, I am being hurt by not having a degree, but the crippling debt I would have had to shoulder would be worse than trying to convince employers that real world experience is just as valuable as being able to quote something you learned in a textbook).

And so, the clock ticks on... And only time will tell what happens next...

Friday, July 27, 2012

No Progress

I wish I could tell you that the interview the other day went fabulously and that I am once again gainfully employed. Alas, such is not the case (as you might have figured out from the county clock on the sidebar).

I'm not sure what went wrong. I really thought that things, while a tad weird, went ok.  I met with someone who works in the office but not really for the company I'd be working for. The interviewer was an outside consultant who had no HR experience and seemingly no interview experience.  I did the best I could given the situation to try and sell myself as an excellent candidate for the position but have heard nothing which I am guessing means that they are no longer interested in me. I was told by the interviewer that I should hear, likely that day, from my initial contact person.  Well, it's the end of the week and... nothing.

Ok, so... gotta move on.  But really, how hard would it have been for the initial contact to shoot me an email saying "you know, we've decided to go a different direction".  So, yes, I am disappointed and feel confused about what went wrong.

I have also found a trend on applications that I am not enjoying.  Applications asking for graduation dates which makes it pretty easy for them to decide that you are too old for them to consider hiring. Not impressed, folks.  Age discrimination is allegedly illegal. And yet, they find "weasel" ways around it.. like asking the year you graduated from high school.

Also, I was contacted by an agency that said they were going to send me an email and then I heard NOTHING from them. Again, just tell me you aren't interested so we can both move on. Hrumph.

I should get to bed now, it's going on 2:30AM and I think my insomnia is considering giving me a break and letting me sleep...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview - Round One

I have an interview tomorrow. I had a phone interview with this company last week and tomorrow will be Round One of the face-to-face interviews.  Other than a couple of rejections and a couple of dead ends, there hasn't been much forward progress, so I am looking forward to this but, of course, have some trepidation, as I always do, going into a situation where I am uncertain of the outcome.

I am thinking a great deal about appearance related things. I have put a clear coat of polish on my nails and I am agonizing over what to wear, what do do about makeup and the like.  I am just not very good at the feminine arts as I have generally regarded them as a waste of time over the years.  I know that not being the pretty one has cost me a job more than once. And I got one job because the boss's wife was a jealous woman and the boss wanted to "hire someone so unattractive that (my wife) could not complain about her".

So, think good thoughts in my direction as I head off to the interview tomorrow!  I'll let you know if I make it to Round 2 or if this will be "Game Over"... at least for this position.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Schedule/Time Management

When I am not working, I try to manage my time well. I know that I must devote time to the job search but I also know that sitting in front of a computer 10+ hours a day with no break will do me no favors physically.

I try to do my hardcore search activities Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then Tuesday and Thursday I use to do errands, work on housework and attempt to keep myself from becoming a completely worthless lump.  That doesn't mean I don't do any searching on Tuesday & Thursday, just that I diversify my activities more on those days.

I've already reached the point that I have no idea what day it is. I try to mostly take weekends off from the search only because getting burned out and being "at work" all of the time is not healthy.  It's not healthy when you are working for an employer and it's not healthy when you are "freelancing" (or searching for a new job).

So, I am keeping quite busy. I have an errand to run outside of the house tomorrow, not far from home.  I think I will try to get in a workout tomorrow, as well.  I've gone from walking 5000+ steps a day to around a  thousand and feel like I need to be more active.  And I have a bunch of shredding I need to do (I save it for "down time" and haven't gotten to it for quite some time.... way past due!)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weird Feeling

It feels weird that it is Sunday night and I am not mentally planning my workweek. I have things on my personal agenda for the week, to be sure, but it's weird that I won't have to get up in the morning and I won't have to worry about the things that I normally worry about on a weekday.

The problem I have with being off work (aside from the lack of a paycheck) is that I need to have a great deal of self-discipline to use my time well and to get things accomplished. So many shiny distractions.  But, I have worked as a contract employee enough that I am sortve used to having to have an office mindset even while at home.

Still, I feel a certain lack of purpose when I am not working and I am more than a little worried about a number of small things and worried that I am going to have a big fight over unemployment (because even though they TOLD me I was being laid off, this would certainly not be the first time that someone I worked for was less than truthful). And I am hoping that I will get a good reference from them, but if there is a kerfuffle about unemployment, that will definitely make things weird.

Well, I have a few things to get done before bed, so I'd best get to doing them. Goodnight!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th was indeed unlucky...

About five minutes to 5PM this afternoon, the bossman called me into his office and I was pink slipped.  Budget stuff... Lack of work...  A familiar tune to me (sadly).  

I had planned to work for the company until the owners retired (which I figured would be another 5-10 years) Now, 19 months later, I'm again looking for work.  I know that this is not my fault but I feel like I've failed nonetheless.  And I know that people won't be able to get past the short term jobs I've had (many have been short-term contracts and I state as much, but it never seems to make a difference) so I will have an uphill road to finding a new job.

On the positive side, I will have new tales of job hunting to regale you with. I may be able to blog more frequently (keeping an eye, of course, on making sure I am making the most of my job hunting time).

Funny thing... the bus routes were slated to change at the end of this month and I would have had to travel pretty much my whole commute by bus instead of being able to take the train.  So, the positive here is that I HOPE I can find employment closer to home or at least with a reasonable commute.

So.... Friday the 13th goes down in my book as being pretty unlucky.  And it's back to the drawing board for me!