Get A Job March 23, 2010

I have been unemployed since last July. Nine months and counting. Wow, I really didn’t think it would last this long.  I used to be a VP of Information Technology. It was a nice job at a small company that went out of business.  I have 15 years of experience and for some OCD reason, two masters degrees.

In these nine months I have sent out over 400 resumes. It is easy to apply for jobs online. Point, click, select, apply and I am in the great big pile of resumes. Sometimes my resume gets plucked out of the pile and I get a call. I actually have some marketable skills and experience.

I have spoken to dozens of recruiters and many hiring managers looking for the exact fit in their IT departments or organizations. I am not standing on my laurels and applying to only management jobs. There aren’t 400 of those jobs out there to even apply to. I apply to Sys Admin jobs, non profits, big corporations, small businesses, consulting, full time, whatever I find that fits my skills.

Unfortunately, my skills are not in very high demand now. If I were a C# programmer, or some other kind of developer, I might be working right now. I wish I could program. I’ve tried, but I just can’t do it very well.  I am just an IT manager with server and network administration experience. So are a lot of other people out of work.

Last week I was lucky enough to have 3 interviews. One major publishing house, one non profit and one small company.  I heard back from the publisher. They like me personally, but decided to go with someone with stronger skills. I wish them luck. It was a great interview if nothing else. I haven’t heard back from the other two companies. These days everyone is taking their time.

I have had several other interviews in the 9 months I have been out of work.  I am guessing because I haven’t exactly kept track, but I am guessing that I have had about 8 or 10. They all went very well. At least I thought they did. I am a likable guy and have fine tuned my interview skills.

I  think interviews are a lot like first dates. You are nervous and hoping for the best. Maybe something good will come out of it, but more often that not it doesn’t.

Like I said, those that are hiring are looking for an exact fit. If the applicant is lacking one of the required skills they are not considered.  Unfortunately for me, I have been lacking one or two of the skills I needed for the jobs I was considered for. The talent pool is large these days. There is no need to train someone when there is someone else already trained waiting for a job too.

I have had a few interviews where I have never heard back from the person I interviewed with. They have literally ignored my emails inquiring as to what happened. Nothing surprises me anymore. People are able to be rude and inconsiderate because the market allows them to be. To those people I say, I hope you don’t find yourself on the outside looking in. If you do, I can assure you that you will want to be treated with respect.

When I am wranting on this site about the giant mess that our economy has become, I am wranting from personal experience. There was a time when I guy like me would have found work right away. But nowadays, there are not enough jobs to go around. I am stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for my next job and hording money like a Chinese Peasant. No Offense.

I had a very nice interview yesterday. It was for a non profit corporation that trains teachers to use technology in their classrooms. Fifteen year ago I was an elementary school technology teacher. One of those masters degrees is in education. I would be coming full circle so to speak.

I have cast a wide net in my job hunt. I am hoping it helps me in my search.

One of the recruiters I met with remarked that I didn’t seem depressed. I told her that my unemployment wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t depressed because I hadn’t done anything wrong. I really don’t feel like I am responsible for my unemployment.

I am caught up in an economic tsunami. I can’t fight the tide right now. I just have to be patient and hope the tide turns.

I hope enough of us unemployed, formerly middle class knowledge workers will demand that the dark forces controlling our economy will be brought to justice and made to pay for their crimes. I hope we demand economic fairness. I hope this happens but I doubt it will. In the meantime I am collecting my unemployment insurance and being a drain on the economy.

I am wishing I win the Lotto so I can relax in my unemployment. The real drag about being out of work is the lack of money. The lack of work part isn’t really all that bad. I am enjoying my time with my kids and they are enjoying time with me. I can always make more money, but I can’t make more time.

23 Responses to Get A Job March 23, 2010

  1. Jason says:

    Just a thought: doesn’t it seem odd that the people who are most educated, who possess all the degrees and skills, are the ones who seem to be having the hardest time finding work? Consider: I’m a self-educated blue-collar guy with a couple years of college (and all that was random, I’m-doing-this-because-it seems-interesting, no degree intended). As a kid, I remember being told I’d amount to nothing if I didn’t get a degree. Everyone was being pushed and propelled to attend college… but I didn’t know (and still don’t know) what I wanted to do when I grew up. It didn’t make sense to me to spend thousands of dollars on classes I didn’t really care to take, so I opted out. I spent three grand to learn a trade, and haven’t been out of work since.

    I only say this because it seems a cruel joke on those who worked hard to obtain all the certifications and degrees society said they needed. We were pushed and prodded to go into debt, to become slaves to a system that has produced a thousand systems engineers and zero mechanics. I almost opted into the lie…

  2. Aimlow Joe says:

    I guess it depends on your trade… a carpenter or plumber or electrician might have a tough time finding work in an area hard hit by the housing crises…and the average guy now makes less than he did 40 years ago so even if you are working your money doesn’t go as far.

    The real issue of course is that anyone who wants to work ought to be able to find a job that can at least afford them a respectable living.

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