Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Search Continues.

So, I have been unemployed now for almost a month. I can't even tell you how many jobs I've applied for. I had one interview for a one-year grant-funded position with a $9000 pay cut. I signed up with a temp agency who hasn't called me with any assignments. The university I graduated from twice won't call me for an interview for love nor money. I do have an interview this Friday (yes, Friday the 13th) with a data research company.

I've discovered, of course, that the job search world has changed immensely in the last 15 years, and that the "experts" provide conflicting information. Dumb down your resume, because if you have an advanced degree, people think you won't stick around. (Really? Even if I was at my last job for 15 years?) Don't dumb down your resume, because your education is important. Don't include any dates that might allude to your age if you're over 40. (Never mind that age discrimination is illegal.) Call the company. Don't call the company. Go visit in person. Don't go visit in person.

You can see how a prospective employee might get easily confused.

I grew up during a time when the prevailing philosophy was "get a job, stick with it till you retire, and you'll be rewarded for your loyalty and dedication." That's just not true anymore. I visited with a career counselor a week ago and he said they're now telling people to be prepared to have 4-6 different jobs during their careers and 3-4 different career paths. Well, all righty then. That would be great if I were just getting out of college, but I'm 43 years old. How many other career paths can I expect?

I've also noticed that nearly everyone wants a background check and a drug test. The background check I can deal with, but the pre-employment drug test? I'm not crazy about that. I don't have anything to hide - I'm a real goody two-shoes where that's concerned - but it's the principle of the thing. I feel like it is a violation of my 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search & seizure. Why would you ask someone for evidence of wrongdoing without just cause? Isn't that against our philosophy of innocent till proven guilty? They're assuming I might be guilty and I have to prove myself innocent. Not only that, I'm not real crazy about having to discuss any medications I do take with anyone other than my healthcare professional. That's just not anyone's business.

But apparently that's the way of the world now. If you want a job, you have to take a drug test, whether it's relevant to the actual job description or not. So be it. If that's what they want, I'll do it, but I don't have to like it.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying taking Sampson the Giant Puppy for walks, and having naps in the afternoon. But I do want to go back to work. I have bills to pay, and the dog has to eat. I have to eat. Maybe, if a miracle occurs, I can finally get the clutter in my house under control.

Or not.

Till next time ---

1 comment:

  1. I felt insulted every time they gave me an AIDS test when I was pregnant. They tested me THREE TIMES IN NINE MONTHS. AND I had to get tested before I got pregnant. What did they think I was doing? Hey there sailor, how do ya feel about the first trimester?? Wink wink. What a waste of money.

    Argh. The only resume advice I have is to always keep it one page and to ALWAYS tell your references to expect to be contacted. I had to have shredded at least 100 applications because I could not actually talk to any of their references.