Long Week

April 18, 2010

Day 23 of unemployment

It’s been a long week. I’ve been back and forth between my hometown, Birmingham and Nashville several times. I’ve gotten little accomplished other than seeing several friends, attending a luncheon, attending a wedding and getting the ball rolling on a new website for a non-profit I’m working with. This week I’m going to get back to business, the business of job searching that is.  I have little more to say right now but I wanted to share with you some wise words from a friend of mine. Read, do and be enlightened!

6 Steps to Overcoming Ignorance (By Missy Golson)

1. Read a history book….only one not from Texas.

2. Look up the word “socialism” in the dictionary.

3. ‘Just Say No’ to Glenn Beck.

4. Have one of the major newspapers delivered to your email each morning: NYTimes, Washington Post, LA Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal–just to name a few.

5. Double check your facts: We now live in a world with any and all information at your fingertips. If you want to check the accuracy on matters ranging from ‘what exactly is in the healthcare bill?’ to ‘which political party enlarged the government the most in the last 50 years?’, you can find all of these facts at reputable websites i.e. think tanks, government sites, CRS, journal articles, etc . No, no—Ann Coulter’s blog doesn’t count.

6. Embrace elitism. Sometimes you just know when you’re smarter than other people… and you need to share the truth with them.

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Moving Day

April 11, 2010

Day 14 of Unemployment

Today’s Accomplishments:

  • Visited my aunt and uncle
  • Visited the refugees and gave them a copy of the documentary they are featured in (Check it out for yourself)
  • Ate a great lunch on a lovely patio with my parents
  • Visited a friend’s storage unit to pick up some furniture she is giving me
  • Packed up the contents of my Nashville home into 1 truck, 1 SUV and 1 Uhaul trailer… my life on wheels
  • Drove the caravan back to Alabama
  • Unpacked said caravan
  • Had some dinner
  • Watched a WWII documentary
  • Began this blog post…

It’s been quite a day. I’m very tired and still have countless boxes to unpack or move to storage somewhere. I’m officially at home with my parents. This feels….interesting.

In other news, I had an interview on Friday that was quite possibly the best interview I’ve ever found myself in. If the interview had of been a date, there would have no doubt, hands down, unquestionably been a second one. The group’s mission statement and my resume’s purpose statement are almost mirror images of one another (and no, I didn’t tailor my statement of purpose to fit theirs… it just happened that way) . So what’s the catch you ask? Well, the group isn’t technically hiring right now. They are in the process of doubling the size of their staff but are in the planning phase. They are laying out what positions they need and what the roles will be. The good news is that when this happens there will likely be a spot for me. The bad news is, the time frame is anywhere from a month to a year. Regardless, I feel that I am off to a good start and am very encouraged by this.

Maybe I should sleep now – it’s been a long day!

I’m Asking for Help

April 1, 2010

Day 4 of Unemployment

Sometimes in life you meet people who seem as if they are placed in your path simply to lift you up.  Lately people have been coming out of the woodwork to offer me help in my job search and, in like manner, in my life’s journey. I am truly blessed and thankful for such wonderful friends, family and connections.

I received a call today from an old mentor. She had no idea about my current life situation. She actually called to ask a favor of me. How quickly that turned around (ha!). I have yet another wolf in my wolfpack out there sniffing out a new career. I sent her an e-mail with my resume and wrote the following:

“I have tried doing the job search thing on my own. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it without help or using my contacts. I did and that wasn’t the best experience. I learned that I am a people person, I network and make friends because I am naturally inclined to do so. I now have no shame in using the resources I have made available to myself over the years especially if it will make me happy in the long run. I have helped several friends search for jobs lately, I don’t know why I was ashamed to ask for help before but I’m over it now 🙂  We live and we learn…”

After I sent it, I realized it was something I needed to share with whoever might be following this blog as it is a little insight into how I ended up where I am.  Sharing this has made me even more ok with asking for what I want. I want your assistance, I want a great job, I want to be needed and important, I want to help people, I want to be a part of something larger than the people in the place where I work, I want to be as happy as I am when I am serving others, I want to be intrigued and engaged in the subject matter I’m dealing with, I want more.

Priceless

March 30, 2010

Day 2 of Unemployment

Cost of Groceries for one for a week – $43

Cost of movie from RedBox for the evening- $1 (though I will probably forget to return it so it will be more like $3)

Cost of a day spent at home applying to jobs – $0

Knowing what your pets do all day while no one is around to watch them- Priceless!

Apparently Ren and Stimpy (Gellar and Alburn) get a big kick out of staring outside. There isn’t anything out there… maybe some butterflies or something but no cars, no people, no animals… nothing right now. They just stare. It’s a little weird honestly.

I would let them outside but the dog digs holes and howls at our neighbors and the cat hasn’t ever been out. I don’t think he’s tough enough to hack it as a street cat. Plus, I watched this documentary on how domestic cats are creating an imbalance in the ecosystem by over predation. Basically, the world wasn’t meant to have this many cats but our love for the animal has led to an average of one per household.  And while they are domesticated, they are still hunters and kill lots of birds, rabbits, mice… This causes problems – you understand.

So the dog and the cat get to stay inside with me and stare out the window at nothing while I apply to jobs.

My First Day

March 30, 2010

Day 1 of Unemployment

Today is my first day of unemployment. It was pretty great! When I got up this morning I had a message in my inbox from the CEO of a company I had applied to a few months back. At the time the position I applied for had been filled before they ever looked at my resume. I received the world’s nicest rejection letter in which this CEO told me she was very impressed wiht my resume and would be keeping it on file. She said she would contact me immediately if there were any other openings and that she would be sending my information around to some of her contacts. Well, this morning a position opened up. Unfortunately it is only a part time job. While the job would be great, I wouldn’t have health insurance and would have to find another job that would fit in my schedule so that I would be making enough money to stay above the poverty line. This is not ideal but it was nice to find this lovely e-mail in my inbox on my first day of unemployment!

What did I do today? Well, I slept late, had lunch on a patio in the wonderful spring weather with a friend, took a mid-day nap with the sun in my face and my cat cuddled up next to me,  went to the grocery store… and applied to a job or two. The worst thing that happened today was that I broke a fingernail. If everyday of unemployment is this nice, I just may never work again (Don’t take me to seriously here. If you know me you will realize that I am not the type that sits around and does nothing for long. I predict I will be over this unemployment business VERY quickly.) The beautiful weather this time of year makes me feel like I’m on spring break (minus the three S’s- Sun, Sand & Sea).  If you ever have to be unemployed, opt for an out of work stint at the beginning of spring!

-1: The Last Day

March 27, 2010

Welp, that was it. I’m no longer an employee of that company. My life is now hanging in the balance. Where will I end up and what will I end up doing… we’ll have to wait and see.

My sweet co-workers/friends got me this balloon arrangement to celebrate my last day. There is a Whinnie the Pooh and a My Little Pony balloon in the arrangement and a large one that says congrats and when you hit it the song ‘Celebration’ plays. They told the balloon lady to put together something really embarrassing. Mission accomplished!  It was really nice of them though. I will miss those people – but I will see them again, I have no doubts. I can be pretty bad at keeping in touch but it will happen eventually.

Well kids, I have some bad news to share. I didn’t get the job in Birmingham. I’m bummed but not going to dwell on it. Everything happens for a reason right? I know I would have been fantastic at that job but that doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t be too. Ultimately, it’s my Alma Mater and I want what/who is best for them/us.  Congratulations to whoever it is who got the job. I’m sure he/she will do great things for the college!

Back in the day I spent many summers at camp. I was a camper as a child and later on I was a counselor. At the end of each night I would have my campers join me in a Pow-Wow. At this Pow-Wow each camper was asked to list the low point of their day (the pow) the high point of their day ( the wow).  If I were having a Pow-Wow today it would go down like this:

Pow: I didn’t get the job in Birmingham

Wow: I have unlimited possibilities right now and have the freedom to go explore them.

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window”

– Maria, The Sound of Music

I woke up this morning singing an African Spiritual- “Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom, freedom is coming oh yes I know…” Obviously my psyche is obsessed with my impending departure from my current job, my current living situation, my current state of mind… all of it. Freedom is coming, and yes, I know it!

(I googled this particular spiritual and found several choirs singing it. But then I found this video and had to post it instead. It more adequately illustrates my exuberance than the somber choral spiritual videos.)

While at work today I had two different responses to my resume that I submitted on Monday. Note that I only sent it to two places. This means I have a 100% positive response!! I have an interview set up with the director of a department of NASA for the first week in April and I have to return a call to the Alumni Office of my college for an opening there tomorrow.

Nothing is certain until it’s final, I know. But these first glimmers of hope are helping me realize I made the right decision.

“I’m coming on the other side of something and I have a new hope that blows away the smaller hopes I knew before… I am compelled” ~ Sara Groves

Considering my need to send out a handfull of resumes a day, I need to spend some one on one time with that document and whip it into shape.

I’ve thought a lot about presentation style for this document. Two years ago I had sleek black folders that I put my resume in. There was a copy of my transcript from college on one side and a copy of my resume on the other. I created a little calling card and put it in the business card slot. Now, after two years of working in the marketing industry, I have gained more of an eye for design and my old resume packet just isn’t going to make the cut.

My friend Sarah visited last weekend and brought with her the most beautiful portfolio I think I have ever seen. She just graduated and is looking for a job as a high school history teacher. To begin with, all of her information was in a gorgeous, leather portfolio with scrolling burnt into the leather. Once you opened the portfolio there were sheet protectors containing pages and pages of documentation of how awesome she is: Resume, Awards, Certifications, Lesson Plans and more. I opened it and wanted to hire her myself!

I want a portfolio that looks that stellar. Sarah is going to make a fantastic teacher, I know this because I have known her for years. However, if I had just met her, I would know that to be true just from looking at the presentation she had before me. Now I have to figure out how I can meet or exceed this type of presentation with my own information.

Suggestions?

-10: The Letter

March 15, 2010

I did it. I handed in my two weeks notice. I was scared and didn’t know what reaction I might get but I waltzed in this morning, handed over the letter I had drafted (see below) and politely explained my intentions.  I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say, it went well.  One day down, nine to go until I’m done with this page in my journey.