Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Moment of Clarity

"Going to get serious for a moment. Please excuse this mess."

As I walked out of the house at 4:45 AM (yes, that’s what time I leave for work every morning) it was eerily calm and quiet outside. It seemed much darker than it should have been and completely still without a sound. I had to concentrate just to hear the traffic on I-95 (usually not a problem). It was at this moment that I had to remind myself that the world moves on, with or without me.

Yesterday was not a very good day at all. I was notified that the extension of my time here was not going to be approved. I received a call from my contract company telling me I had 13.5 business days left and that we must begin the process for my "deportation" (kind of what it feels like when you have to leave a government organization…especially as a contractor sitting at the client site). I have to admit, it hit me pretty hard especially since I still had no interviews in site.

When I got home, I was not in a very good mood. A little depressed, stressed and confused. My wife was trying to keep my spirits up and my kids were running around living their ‘free from school’ summer lives. At one point my oldest daughter decided to hide around the corner and scare the bejeezus (shut up…it’s a word) out of my son. She scared him so bad his socks were the only thing left where he stood a second ago. I laughed for the first time that day.

Losing your job can be very hard on a person, especially when you realize that there are 4 other people (along with me…no my ego doesn’t count…this time) that depend on the money you bring in. I got scared yesterday and my "socks" were left where I stood. I don’t scare easily. The only thing that truly scares me is letting my family down. That’s how I felt for most of yesterday.

This morning, in those few steps from my door to my car, in that oddly silent moment, I remembered that this isn’t that bad. I have been through much worse. This isn’t even close to the worst moment of my life.

A few years ago, my youngest daughter was diagnosed as an epileptic. I held her many times while she seized that day. The worst part was knowing I can’t do anything to help her. After each seizure, I looked in her eyes and saw the confusion in her face and the desperate pleading for some protection…but there was nothing I could do.

But I can do something about this. I refuse to give up and I am in for the fight. A moment of clarity in those few steps from door to car this morning. It’s rare to get a moment like that, but when you do take full advantage of it. I will continue to push and find my way back to work for my family…and for myself. This is just a job. My life is at home. I don’t work for the job, I work for my life at home and I refuse to let this job come between me and my life. There is a new job waiting for me and I will find it.

Time to reload and renew. Let’s get this ball rolling. Sorry for the serious moment, but I needed it. I promise to get back to a more light-hearted blog in the next post. Just needed a kick in the ass today. I am good now.

Status Update: 15 days until unemployment…until I get to have my summer life. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

'Happy' 4th of July

It’s the 4th of July holiday weekend, a few short weeks until I am out of job. So far I have learned that what I am doing is either not working, is working, but taking its sweet old time or is somewhere lost in between. Basically what I mean is I haven’t learned anything. Except how NOT to find a job.

I keep taking the advice that I have been given. I have used the methods that I know to have worked many times in the past. I feel I have done some things that have yet to be tried or discovered…and I am still sitting here waiting for that first interview. What’s it going to take? A Bribe?

At this point, I am not sure even a bribe will work (like I have the money for that). Maybe it’s time to try that blackmail thing I mentioned a few posts back? NO…I am most certainly not trying the sexual act…GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER…I have at least another week or two before I have to start thinking about that. Hmmmm???

I am starting to get a little desperate. I have even lowered my standards and extended my commute, which I definitely did not want to do. I am tired of driving over 100 miles every day. It really kicks my butt by the time I get home. My main goal has been to shorten my commute. My salary range does not seem to be a problem at this point, so I have not messed with that (I think most companies would be willing to pay me next to nothing to sit on my butt and pretend I know stuff…so no need to mess with that).

So where do I go from here? I am not so sure at his point, but I will let you know as soon as I do. The one thing I know is I can't give up and I can't let it get me down. That's the best advice I can offer at this point, but I feel it's great advice.

Have a Happy 4th of July and remember that those fireworks could have been made by someone in my position ("I will get those SOB's")…which could spell disaster for you. I’m just sayin’...have a safe Independence Day.

Status Update: Celebrating my independence with 20 days of employment left. yay…(insert your own raspberry sound effect here).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The HR "Process"

I have been throwing my resume out there to anyone who will look at it…and even some who won’t. The big problem is, I don’t think they are looking at it (a couple of places balled it up and threw it back in my face. I hate it when they do that). It may not seem right, but with so many unemployed candidates out there submitting resumes, getting some HR grunt to actually look at your resume and pass it on to the hiring manager seems to be the most difficult task while searching for a job. As I said before, they are only looking for a few key words and if it is presented properly, then hopefully they will find them…but don’t count on it.

I have a friend who works in HR and they told me that the best thing you can do is follow up on your resume submittal…especially if they give you a contact in the job posting. Give them a call and ask them if they received the resume you just submitted. It doesn’t seem right that you should have to do this as well as fill out your app 17 times on 17 different apps each day. Other HR people I have talked to have said that basically you need to do the HR grunts work for them…What??? Really?

Something is wrong with this process. I am not applying for an HR position, but I am gaining so much experience “doing their job” that maybe they should get rid of those grunts that aren’t doing their jobs and hire me. I have plenty of experience now. Somewhere along the way, this system got royally screwed up.

I remember when I first started looking for a job at a tender young age (innocent Joey). You would either show up and fill out an app or drop off a resume and many times before you even left, you were setup with an interview. Now you have to fight (with words and phone calls…en garde…can you hear me now?) just to get them to view your app or resume. This process needs to be fixed. I understand you don’t want to interview every person that applies, mostly because there a ton of idiots out there (including myself in that statement) that shouldn’t be applying for certain positions, but they should at least read over each resume submitted. Although if you did interview all the idiots, think of how much funny and interesting things you would have to talk about later at the bar. Maybe they just think I am one of those idiots. That actually explains a lot. Damn.

Status Update: 25 days until unemployment…still no interviews, but I keep hoping for one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Taking a Punch!!!

So I am at work talking to my buddy and telling him some of the jobs I have applied for. It’s kind of secret among our group that I am on my way out. As I am talking to him, my manager comes and asks me how my search is going. I let him know that I keep submitting, but no interviews yet. In the next 5 minutes 3 other people (from outside of our group) come up and ask me the same thing…So much for keeping it quiet.

One of these people starts telling me that another guy in our group is also looking because their hours have been shortened. I am thinking, “great, more competition on the job market”. I have been looking for a month and a half with no interviews setup yet. This other guy that just started looking this week, gets an interview set up for Friday…WTF!!! Now I am left to wonder what the hell am I doing wrong. This guy starts looking 2 days ago and gets an interview for this Friday. You’ve got to be kidding me. I talk to companies on the phone all the time. They always tell me they like my resume and then give me some suggestions. After that they tell me, “sorry we don’t have any positions available right now though” and I am suddenly confused. “So why did you call”??

Look, I am thrilled that you like my resume and you think it’s pretty, but if you don’t have a position available, or have some info that will help me obtain a position with your company/client…THEN DON’T FREAKIN’ CALL ME!!! C’mon, really? Thanks for getting my hopes up and then punching me right in the gut (at this point I hear Nelson say “HA HA”). Seriously, that’s just WRONG.

So I guess I need to go talk to this other guy and see what he did and find out if he did anything different than I have been doing. Never be ashamed to ask for help, especially when it comes to job hunting. You never know what you can learn. I need to get an interview soon or my fun loving, happy rants will turn into negative, disgruntled horrors (like they haven't already). He better have gotten his interview because his Mom works there…or something like that.

Still searching and it still SUCKS!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cycle Set to...Frustration!!!

Searching for a job is nothing more than repetition. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. If you don’t want to enter the same information over and over and over again, day in and day out, then searching for job is really going to suck. I get so sick of entering in the same info. I always long for the days when you would just send in a resume and hope to hear back from the company because they liked the format of your resume...not the actual info (who needs that stuff).

The other day I was on my state website looking for jobs, when I found 3 jobs that fit my skill set. So I hit the first one and found that I was going to have to go through the institution’s website to apply. There are 7 pages of info to fill out. 7 pages? I thought this process was supposed to be easier on the internet. Oh crap, here we go. I was fed up with it before even started. So I prepared my fingers and started typing.

Finally done, I hit submit and went back to the job search page on the state website. I clicked the 2nd job and it took me to an application page through the state website. To my surprise it was the exact same application I just filled out. But here is the kicker. I couldn’t use the one I just filled out, because it was through the institution’s website. So I went through the process once again. Done…at least I finished it and it will now be saved on the state website for any future positions I apply for through their site. On to the 3rd job.

I clicked that link and it took me to another organization’s website. I clicked ‘Apply’…No freakin way!!! The same freakin’ 7 page app I just filled out 2 times already. I look to see if I can import what I just did…nope. I have to start all over again. At this point I walked away. Eventually that day I filled out the 3rd one with much disgruntled frustration.

How hard would it be to have all of these state run sites use the same freakin’ job app? I think they do this just to frustrate people looking for a job.

So beware out there, they will do everything they can to frustrate you, but don’t give up. If you do, you just have to start over and retype it again…Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Though Shall Be Judged!!!

Let me be frank…I HATE RESUMES!!! The career world acts like the resume is the end-all-be-all of a great employee. You know what a resume is? It’s a buttload of crap you threw on a piece of paper. Sure it has some facts on it; education, previous employers, criminal activities (what? Don’t judge me…alcohol induced stupidity should not count as a crime…unless you are driving), etc. Mostly what’s on your resume is a bunch of BS they judge you by that you hope gets you in to the interview.

The first line is the worst.

Objective Example: Obtain a position at a company where I can maximize my management skills, quality assurance, program development, and experience…blah, blah, blah.

Sure…that’s what you are looking for. The truth is you want a job where you can sit at your desk, collect a paycheck and hope to God they never figure out that what you put on your resume is pure crap.

Most resumes never even get read by the employers anyway. They just look for a few keywords that match the description of the job you are applying for and then pass it on to the recruiter or hiring agent.

Job Description: Need a Network Engineer proficient in IPv6, Wireless technology, and network Security.

They look for these words; Network, IPv6, Wireless and Security. Next time write, “I have no idea what IPv6 stands for, or how a Network can work being Wireless. And when did the Network need to be policed by a Security officer”. Your resume will be pushed through to the recruiter right away.

For a good resume, try to be truthful, but throw in some of those big technical words they are looking for in the job description. Let's face it, you can't get your foot in the door without the resume (or a bribe, a sexual act, blackmail). You will be judged entirely by this exaggerated document.

Let The Search Begin!!

Here’s my situation. I work for a company who contracts people out to a huge company/agency. I sit at the client’s site, so it feels more like I work for the client company than I do my actual company. The client is HUGE and trust me, you all know them very well. but I am not going to name them. These people are crazy.

A few weeks ago, I was informed that because I am part of a certain contract that is coming to an end, they will not be renewing it or moving me to another contract because there simply is no funding. I was the only one informed and it’s not because I did a bad job, but because of how the contract and project were originally handled with the budgets…like that actually matters when it comes to your self-esteem or future opportunities.

So I was a little hurt, but I said to myself in my best Godfather voice “It’s not personal. It’s business” and then I puffed out my chest and burped. I am no Godfather…more like Fredo. So time to get back in the saddle and start looking for a new job. I was excited for a new beginning…until I started the search. Now, I still have my job for a few weeks, so I am not in a big rush...yet. They gave me a little time before I would be laid-off, so I can’t complain about that. My complaints and frustrations and main content of this blog will come from my search. Hope you like it…because I will tell you this…searching for a j - ah, screw it just read the name of the blog.