If you were to get onto my laptop and search the internet history, you will find the normal stuff: e-mail, social networking sites, my blog, blogs of others, a few retail websites.... and Career Builder. I've been visiting Career Builder a lot. Sometimes I am on there three times a day hoping new jobs get posted. Navigating around that site has become second nature to me. I have a love/hate relationship with this site. Ok, maybe not the site, but how it makes me feel sometimes when trying to find employment.
As many of you may know, I have had a very consistant job history until about two years ago (My Sacrifices blog reflects the holes in my employment). I hate not having a job. I have to be working somewhere, even if I miraculously win the Powerball and would never need to work again. That's just in my nature.
Dealing with the recession definately took an impact on my job hunting. Jobs that I was qualified to do were being filled by others that had too much experience, but they needed the job so they wouldn't lose everything. I had many calls for places. I even had two excellent interviews at Best Buy in summer 2008, but sadly they could not hire me even though they needed someone. This was the story of my life then, until Cargo Largo got ahold of me. That was the worst job... EVER. I was warned how bad it was beforehand, but in desperation to have income, I took the job, and suffered through it for 9 months.
Enter Career Builder.
That site has been my number one resource for a year now. The more I use it, the more I realize how few jobs I can actually have with not completing a college degree (FYI, my job history involves restaurant, retail, customer service, and some office/clerical work... see how I have limited choices?). Those times where it gets me down is when I either log off Career Builder for a few days or take a chance and go for jobs that require more experience (in the hopes that someone will look at my ambitions and eagerness to give me a chance).
Once I do apply for any number of jobs, then I feel the "games" begin. I have held enough jobs to know that there are several different ways to go about hiring people. Some companies look for applicants who persistantly follow up on their resumes. Some don't want to be contacted at all. With more companies going paperless, I have noticed an increase of e-mail interview setups (and "position has been filled" e-mails). Attempting to figure out which company plays which game is frustrating as hell. I thought I was awesome for persistantly following up with Blockbuster Video for three weeks, which helped me get the job, but it seems that today, you cant find an employer who will hire you that way. Then there is the issue of finding extra ways to boost up your work credentials, like adding letters of recommendation. Many of the jobs I've been applying to lately don't want to look at them. They seem to not care, unless its a quick reference that they can call over the phone.
I also have recently discovered a dark thing from my past that may have been preventing me from getting many jobs that I have been interviewed for... my 2004 misdemeanor. I wrote several bad checks with the promise from my ex-husband that he would get money into my account so I wouldn't get in trouble. Yep, didn't happen. I had to go to court and was placed on six months probation. I thought that was all over back then, but last month, it cost me a job at JC Penney. How I was able to pass three background checks (in the past six years) without that ever showing up is beyond me. There is no worse feeling than getting ready to start a new job then having it taken away from you days later. But, this setback was a good thing since I now have to really pay attention to the "Have you been convicted of a crime/felony" question. I may have been unknowingly lying on job applications.
The whole process of applying, following up, and interviews has become more of a burden to me the past year. It makes me tired of "playing the job seeking game." I see people that take their jobs for granted and wonder how someone like me, who is looking for a job for all the right reasons, can feel a little bit worthless? Moments like this is what put me in a mini funk a few days ago (and thanks to some rock music, the outdoors, and a glass of wine, I got over it pretty fast).
You want to know something ridiculous? I've been ranting about my frustrations of finding a job when I was offered one six hours prior to writing this blog. I took the job and will probably be starting it in the next 24-48 hours. And what's even more ridiculous??? I didn't even have an application on file!