It's not you... It's me... Just kidding - It's You!

Most people hate awkward conversations. I am not the exception, but I think I might be from this point moving forward.
He may be an ass, but at least you know where you stand.

As you may know, I'm unemployed right now and deep in the throes of a job search. I didn't realize how much I had chronicled in this sparsely kept blog... eek! Before this time in my life, I had never ever been on a job interview and not gotten an offer. I've had LOTS of jobs (often 2 or 3 simultaneously) but I am by no means a job hopper.

Professionally speaking, I've stayed with my employers no less than 4 years, with the exception of the last one that just laid me off. That being said, I am a firm believer in the adage If you don't use it, you lose it. So, in an effort to keep myself sharp I would apply for jobs here and there. The opportunity had to interest me to the point that I could see myself leaving my current-at-the-time wonderful job. Inevitably it wouldn't be enough money, or the supervisor was a megalomaniac helicopter boss so I stayed put.

I promise I have a point and I'll make it soon!
In the event the person we hired
instead of you can't fulfil their duties...

This experience has been a real eye opener. I've met a lot of great people. Learned more about a few fabulous organizations.  Interviewed for some amazing opportunities. And the ones that have had the awkward conversation / email / letter it's been shared that I've been named runner-up for those amazing opportunities at the fabulous companies with the great people more times than I care to admit. Honestly, I'm okay with that - there's some stiff competition out there and I know some of them are better than me! 

My problem is with these fabulous organizations that don't bother to tell me that the job has been filled. Like it's some big secret.

Here's the deal - If I schlep myself out to your place of business, give you a great interview (or a shitty interview for that matter), and take the time to write thank you note / email and I'm not chosen for the position - let me know! I'm a big girl, I can take it. 

Not only is it free, it's respectful
There are more than a dozen organizations right now that if I were called and offered a job today (mind you my unemployment benefits expire in 5 short weeks) I would say thanks, but no thanks. 

It's about respect.

Respect for my time. Respect for my professionalism. Respect for me as a human being. 

Since good 'ol Bill Gates invented Microsoft Word and his buddy Al Gore gave us the internet it's never been easier to let someone know they didn't get a job. (Do you hear that HR people - it's called a mail merge?!? I'm willing to do a tutorial on it, just ask.). 
I guess I should give this back now...

I might be crazy for putting this out there since I'm still job searching, but the thing is - who wants to work for an organization that can't be bothered to tell someone who's spent time (the only truly non-renewable priceless resource we are afforded) that they position they applied for is filled. 

WOW! That was cathartic. I feel like I've just channeled Chevy Chase in the timeless holiday classic: Christmas Vacation -  Holy $H!7! Where's the Tylenol?


What you think vs What you know

When I went to work with a bunch of engineers at a local university, I figured
that I would be okay because my dad is an engineer and nothing can quite prepare you for working with an engineer like living with an engineer...

I grew up with a very analytical father (an engineer), I too am quite analytical but I lack the scientific brain to back it up so most of the minutia that I word vomit tends to be more subjective and creative. This is where I got into trouble. Fast forward to the university job.

I worked for one of the (seemingly) most intimidating men ever put on the face of the earth. Picture a 70-something Westpoint grad / former military interrogator / all-around bad ass that knows everyone in the defense contracting world and is very politically connected. We shall call him "Mr. Westpoint". 

I'm in a meeting with lots of executives and very important partners / stakeholders and Mr. Westpoint asks me a question about the capacity of a room for an event I'm planning. 

"I think it holds a maximum of 750 people for the set up we've been discussing." I reply in an innocent 27 year old wet-behind-the-ears fashion (because, ya know... I am).
Mr. Wespoint leans in and says really quietly, sternly and for the sole effect (I believe) of making my blood run stone cold "You think or you know."
This is one of those situations that makes or breaks a person; I can feel it. I calmly look down and flip through my notes where I see, that YES - the room will hold 750 people in a classroom style setting. 
"I know it will hold 750 people in a classroom-style setting, Mr. Westpoint." I feel my face turning the color of a ripe strawberry, but I hold his gaze and speak with as much confidence as I can muster.
"Thank you." Mr. W replies and we move on.

Professionally speaking - that was the last time I started a sentence with "I think...". I realized that when you are looked to as a subject matter expert you can't afford to think you have to know. You're hired for a job because you have the expertise in that arena, repeatedly responding with your opinion or like you're guessing systematically chips away at your expertise. 

I don't want someone who thinks they know how to disarm a bomb - I want a freaking bomb disarming EXPERT! 

Do you agree? Do you have any similar stories? Did I leave anything out?



With faith comes patience

My entire life, I've been told a few things... 

  • Patience is a virtue
  • You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need (Thanks, Mick Jagger)
  • When you give your worries to God, you will find peace
I do my best to "live" these things every day. Admittedly, I've had varying times of success and failure - now being one of those times of recent failure followed by a brief pity party and then re-realization that although "I want what I want, when I want it" (thanks Father John) life rarely gives us what we want when (and how) we want it. 

I've half-jokingly posted on my Facebook that God is trying to teach me a lesson that (after 35 years) I still haven't learned. But more so, I think He's also trying to give me a gift. The lesson is patience; the gift is faith. Faith in Him. Faith in His plan. Faith that He will take care of me (because He always has / does).

So this week, I've decided to stop acting like the stalker ex to the job I desperately want. I'm not calling, emailing, sending notes, popping by or devising some intricate and complicated code that probably wouldn't work anyway - I'm just stopping. I get it. No more praying for this job or that job. I will continue applying for the things that interest me. I will continue kicking ass at job interviews. I will continue helping myself and then let God take it the rest of the way. (I refuse to add any more song lyrics to this post - sorry Carrie Underwood).

So I will ask for, and graciously accept, your prayers, happy thoughts, good mo-jo, good luck, positive juju and any other karmic universal fabulousness you are willing to throw my way. Happy begets happy. Positive begets positive. Faith begets faith. 

Here I am - Happy. Positive. Faithful. Ready.


A watched phone doesn't ring

In case you didn't know, I'm unemployed right now. For the last 2 months I've been running around like a crazy person trying to apply, interview and seem right damn near perfect for any job I might remotely be qualified for / think I could get excited about. I've met a lot of great people. I've also decided there are some companies, locations, and people I'd rather not work for / with / at / in. This list will... not be published.

Last week, I waited by the phone to hear about a job that I *REALLY* want, at an awesome company, with (seemingly) fun and friendly people and it's right around the corner from my apartment (Trifecta, right?!?). I couldn't ask for anything more - except for them to call me. The candidate pool was narrowed to me and 2 others and I was interviewed last. I waited on pins and needles (not to mention the toilet - sorry for tmi) all week to hear back. I emailed a "thank you" on Friday after the interview. I dropped off personalized notes to the front desk receptionist on Tuesday. I emailed the decision maker on Thursday (just to make sure she got my note). All I've gotten?? Crickets. Now before I get flack for too much communication - it was all innocuous. Very quick, brief and to the point. I'm not trying to be annoying - just trying to find out if I got the job. Have I mentioned how much I REALLY want this job? 

Today I called my HR contact. That was an hour and seven minutes ago... tick tock! My stomach is in knots. I can barely think straight, much less concentrate on anything (it really is a good thing I don't have a full time job right now - although I doubt the pressure and anticipation would be at this level if I had a steady income)

So back to phone watching... at Starbucks. Trying to get some contract work taken care of and test my telekinetic powers to WILL my phone to ring. Damnit!
Found this card and although I think it's geared towards a recent grad - I think it fits where I'm at right now. God help me if I'm still job seeking by Thanksgiving. Julian's bottom bunk - here I come!


Coffee and Wine

Today I saw this little gem on Facebook and I just had to share.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE wine, coffee and encouraging words that can be summed up hilariously on an ecard? 

The search continues...

I realize that most people (especially in this economy) have experienced job loss. I've been on the search since March (actually a little before) and I've had TONS of traction, but still no luck. You'd think I'd do something constructive with my time - work out, eat right, write more... But alas, I'm two months into this unemployment thing with nothing really to show for it. 

Wait... does an almost empty DVR count?

The good news is that my spirits are up and that I average at least one interview a week. Did I mention, I send out about 20 applications a week? Pretty much every interviewer asks "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" If you would've asked me that in September, I would've told you - I want to be an executive director of an alumni associaiton now... I just want a job... that pays... well.

Tomorrow I have a third interview with an awesome employer that could be my dream job (at least at one point in my life). I know my friends are tired of me saying it, but I really want this job. 

In the meantime, DVR shows anyone?