Posted in Lessons Learned

Pavement Pounding

Life being what it is, there are some financial demands.  I haven’t found a way to live my dreams without a sturdy money base.  It’s unfortunate really.  But there it is.  Reality rearing its ugly head once again.

I’ve greatly enjoyed my time as an unemployed writer.  Writing, exploring, gathering material, information and new writer friends.  Alas, my unemployed writer status could turn into a struggling writer, and then to a starving writer.  Seeing that particular outlook wasn’t in my most recent dream, I decided to get a job to secure my lifestyle.

I’ve read all the articles on the difficult economy and the strife of the unemployed.  I’ve watched others as they search high and low for jobs.  Many of those jobs have been far beneath their education and skill levels.  But finally, jobs were found and starvation and homelessness were averted.  At least for the time being.

Then, I got a real education.  I knew my savings wouldn’t last forever.  I really like having a bit of a nest egg.  So it became my turn to pound the pavement.  Sadly, there is little pavement pounding to be done now days.  Every job opening is found online.  Every application filled out on my laptop.  There is little opportunity for human contact.  No phone calls or face to face meetings to discuss how you might fit into a job that they have posted in the front window.

I began with updating my resume.  Whew… that took a bit of effort.  It’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve been job searching.  I attended a job-search workshop at the local employment service.  The workshop was very helpful, but scared the pooh out of me.  I learned that I’ve got barriers now that I didn’t have the last time I wanted a new job.   Armed with my new obstacle-burning employment plan, I went online and filled out a nearly a million applications.  (Actually it was more like 30, but after the first two it seemed like a million.)  Then while was sitting there waiting for the onslaught of employer phone calls that didn’t come, I panicked.  I called my bravest, die-hard friends and they graciously listened as I went on and on about how I’d soon be living in my car.

Any of you who know me even slightly, know that patience is not one of the virtues I possess.  I have practiced it over and over again.  But it just doesn’t stick.  Fortunately for me,  life filled up with activities that diverted my focus for a couple of weeks.  Then the phone calls from cheerful human resources managers began to flow in.  I even had to get my planner out of my desk, blow the dust off and open it up to schedule the interviews I was being offered.  With much relief I accepted every interview.

More realities followed.  Most employers are hiring for part-time positions that offer a pay check but no benefits.  Being part of the middle-age group of unemployed hopefuls, I find health insurance however, to be a necessity.

I really was being flexible in my search though.  I did job-shadow for a kennel manager position.  At the end of the day after giving 8 puppies baths, medications and nebulizer treatments, then cleaning a dozen kennels, I was offered the job.  16 hours a week at $8.00 an hour.  Now puppy poop aside, I wasn’t going to avert starvation with that position.  I kept looking.

I tried a new online job search site.  It had 253 new jobs in my town just waiting to be filled.  I was hopeful that one of them would be for me.  It took a few more weeks with several more interviews and one near miss.  But finally, I am once again employed.

I arrived this morning at 9:00 for my new employee physical.  After being given a once over I was deemed healthy enough to work.  Yay!  I will attend general orientation next Monday.  And then I’m back to being a fully contributing adult in the work world.  (I will be fully enjoying my last week as an unemployed writer though.)

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11 thoughts on “Pavement Pounding

  1. Cograts on your employment!!! That is great! I know that there are a lot of jobs out there but maybe just not in your specialty and that is the frustrating part! Everywhere I go around here I see “hiring” signs but I suspect they are many part time or temp positions and yes—those do not have great benefits so I am glad that you found something that works for you! Enjoy your last few days as an unemployed writer!

  2. There are always so many aspects to consider when accepting a new job. I think I’ve found the perfect fit both for me and for the clinic I’ll be working at. 🙂 The office manager is a writer too and I’ve invited her to my writer’s group.

  3. Hi Jeannie. Not an easy siituation to be in ( I know), bt it sunds as if you found something that could work for you. Good luck in your new adventure. I am certain you will face all new challenges as you did in the past. With positive thinking and hard work. I knoow you will come out on top 😉
    Please keep up your writer’s dream. It sounds like the perfect place for you to be and you should never give up on a chance to realise it.
    Take care Jeannie. I am routing for you!!!!
    Lots of love, hugs and xxx

    1. Thank you Thys. I chose this position for it’s hours and benefits. It is less responsibility than my last position which will allow me to put alot of my focus on my writing. Everything is lining up so that I can continue that writing dream.
      Thank you so much for your continued encouragements.
      Hugs back in your direction,
      Jeannie

  4. Whew! The more I read the more scared I was for you. So glad it has all worked out, Jeannie.

    My prayers are with you on the new job, aaand your writing. Hang in there.

    Hugs and Blessings ~ Maxi

    1. Yes Maxi, it was pretty scarey. I had voluntarily quit my last position. A good one with benefits. But I had this dream…. and I chose to follow it.
      I do have a financial safety net.. but those don’t last forever without putting something back into it every now and then.

      Writing is a very solitary activity. It’s you and the characters in your story. But being the social type person that I am, I need a balance. My new position will fill the bill perfectly. I’ve met the staff and they are quite a crew of hysterical ladies. They’ve graciously offered to provide me with material for my writing with their daily antics. I think I’ll fit right in.

      Hanging in there as things continue to develop. Thank you for your support.

      Hugs,
      Jeannie

  5. Jeannie, you have done so well. I am so proud of you for all the changes you have made and the courage you have shown…go Jeannie…sparkly pants over those tights of yours and carry on flicking that cape….and I can’t wait to read your first book…love you xxxxx

  6. Yes, those stupid online forms. I remember when I was looking for work my parents were mad because they said I just “sat online all day”. I kept telling them that this is how it works now. No one wants to see your face or get to know you. So if you do not look great on paper, than do not bother putting in your application because your social skills do not matter until the actual interview.

    So glad you were able to find a job! That makes like a lot better when you know you have a little something coming in!

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