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.)