The last thing I want to do to any reader is to bore them with too many details about my problems; however, I do need to tell my story. I have recently entered the job seeking world after making a painstaking decision to quit my job and return to school to finish my Bachelor’s degree. My husband and I considered this decision a wise investment. I have been working for over twenty-five years to provide a second income for our family. While all of my jobs have fulfilled this need for a second income, and they have been very rewarding and enlightening, but they were never what I really wanted to do for a living.I am not complaining, mind you, about any aspect of my life including MY choices for employment. I have been blessed with this opportunity to make a dramatic change, and I was never under the illusion that this would be an easy transition. I want my readers to understand what I am trying to accomplish in this blog. My journey into this new world has shown me that our new system of job seeking is flawed.
I have been working long enough to remember the days without internet and job seeking websites. Back in the day, when we were looking for a job, we either heard about it through networking, or we simply found the job advertised in a newspaper or some type of publication. Does anyone remember those? Please understand that I am not against our new technology. I absolutely love what we are able to accomplish in this new world! But when it comes to something as personal as trying to place yourself in a job or a new company, I feel we have lost some of our soul. We have become the page that pops up on the screen. We have become disembodied.
After graduating in May the old fashioned way from a very large and very respectable major university, I began my search. My husband and I both knew the process would take a while so we allowed six to eight months for this search. If anyone has been through this process before you understand how looooooooooong six to eight months can be. I think I should also mention that I have prolonged this search by turning down some offers. I considered each offer thoughtfully, but I had to consider my investment as well. All of these offers came from jobs I had done before. This is where I believe I have a problem with my network. I have built a network from my past work experience that is very positive, and now I wish to leave that industry. All of my past employers are listed as references, and I still have very good relationships with all of them. I used to think this was important, but this “good work ethic” quality doesn’t seem to be helping me now.
I recently came very close to getting what I believed to be my dream job. The pay was not very good and I was overqualified for the position, but I really wanted to get my foot in the door of this community. I did do some networking to get an interview, and it paid off. I had two interviews, and I spent three weeks waiting for the search committee to make a decision. I had two letters of recommendation from people within the company. One letter was from a personal friend and the other was from my last supervisor. When HR contacted my references, I heard from both that they gave me a great review. In the end, however, I was notified that the committee was unable to come to a “consensus decision”, so they were going to repost the position is a few weeks. I humbly asked the hiring manager if he would be willing to give me feedback, and he agreed to help me in any way. From his feedback I realized that being overqualified for the position actually hurt me in the end.
I have decided to simply use this experience as a stepping stone to my next opportunity, but that lands me back in the same soul-less arena I was in before. I am back to a simple disembodied page on a hiring manager’s screen. This is where the reader of this blog finds me today. Judging by the amount of people out there looking for a job I know I’m not alone. I invite anyone out there to post your story, successes, failure, or concerns in this space. Lets help each other get through the flaws in our new system. Lets try to find a way to fix the flaws and become corporeal again.