Searching for Work. Emulating Job.

Job SearchI have been unemployed — and actively seeking employment — for about 17 months. I took some time for retraining in the middle of this work drought, and the certification I earned has increased my job prospects.

I’ve had a few interviews and a couple of good leads since I was upgraded. But nothing has materialized.

I remember hearing Jimmy Stewart telling Johnny Carson something about himself that I found incredible, given Mr. Stewart’s long and illustrious film career. He told Carson that in between movies, he would panic and loose heart, fearing that he would never work again. That the last film he had completed would be indeed that, his last film. Of course, the call from the agent would come in and the feeling would dissipate. Until the current project was done. Then the cycle would begin anew.

I fall into the Jimmy Stewart Syndrome at least once a day. When I realize what’s going on in my head, I take a deep breadth and try to return to the present moment, looking for peace and safety. I then look at my To-Do List and I take the next right action towards improving my financial situation.

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A Report from the Front Line

I am getting ready to go out again in search of employment. This is part of my new strategy since my previous seven strategies produced zero results. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. After a couple of interviews, I was told that I was under consideration. Since the consideration has not turned into a job offer, I’ve decided to take a more proactive approach.

I joined the unemployed corps voluntarily in April of 2008. I closed a business that had turned into a not-for-profit entity without my consent. At the time I made the calculation that, given my experience, background and educational level, it would take me four to six weeks to find a meaningful and rewarding position with a reputable organization. The data that I used on my calculation was drastically altered in early summer when all economic indicators — contrary to what then candidate McCain said at the time — showed an economy booking a trip to the Southern Hemisphere. By fall the economy had gone south, taking with it most of the optimism of the average American including those in charge of hiring. My chances of getting a job went from pretty good to dismal in a matter of weeks. It didn’t help that my field (architecture/construction) were one of the hardest hit.

As the economic outlook worsened, I did what a good number of my countrymen and countrywomen had chosen to do: I signed up for a certification course to sharpen my skills and improve my hireability (just made that word up!). The tuition was covered by the state. A very socialist idea, by the way. The government is very interested in getting me back to work. They also prefer productive, tax-contributing members of society. We agree on that.

I condensed my resume to one page as was recommended by an employment guru — at this stage I am willing to follow directions, no matter how silly they seem to me — and I printed a bunch. I stuck them in a file and off I went to knock on doors and shake hands. I’m hoping to run into a business-owner that believes the economy is returning from its southern vacation.

While I’m out, I will buy a lottery ticket for the Mega-Millions drawing. At times the odds of winning the drawing have seemed comparable to the odds of getting hired. All I need is a dollar and a one-page resume. One of them will pay off soon.

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