End of the Unemployment Line

Joan. Got. A. Job.  I start a new full-time HR position in less than a week.  The U.S. unemployment stats for June 2017 just decreased.  Here are a few stats of my own as I searched for a new employer:

I was jobless for 141 business days.

I applied for 26 positions, both full-time and part-time.

I worked with two local staffing agencies.  I signed up with one in February and found them to be a bit unorganized and scattered with poor follow through.  The second one appeared to be more organized and thorough, but I never had a chance to really utilize them.

I completed four phone interviews and five in-person interviews.

I was fortunate that I could be picky in my search for what I hope is my last long-term employment home.  I interviewed prospective employers just as they interviewed me.  I did find some of the process to be a little disconcerting.  I passed on a position where the Director of HR (one of three people interviewing me) made what I believed to be an inappropriate comment.  Also, there appeared to be a lack of follow through after the selection process was complete.  I still have yet to hear back about at least two positions that I interviewed for.  I find that to be rude and inconsiderate.  I was told by a recruiter that she hears about unprofessionalism quite often from their recruits.  WOW!  REALLY?

I do feel that I made good use of my “down” time.  I was able to chauffeur a friend to appointments as she was unable to drive for a bit due to a foot injury.  (I call her Miss Daisy, but she goes by J.B.)  I had a few marathon luncheons with some great ladies, and spent many hours volunteering.  I watched a little morning TV as I performed chores, as well as lots of HGTV, mostly during the winter.  I took a Tuesday morning spinning class where I met a few nice, mostly retired women and worked up a sweat thanks to Chris the Brit.  I wrote, though not as much as I had intended.  I did complete my motivational speaking piece and my son helped me convert it to Power Point.  Now, I just need to find some folks to motivate!!!

In the end, the job that just felt right was one of my easiest interviews.  My new boss was friendly, laid back and did not grill me with a list of obscure and unimportant questions.  I am hopeful that I can call this place home for the next five to ten years.  By then, the kiddos will be out of college and we will be of a “certain” age.  I can already see the light in my retirement tunnel!

Dream Job(s)

Counselor, Writer, Professional Organizer. This is a short list of career paths that I would feel privileged to travel down. I have attempted to complete the requirements necessary to become a licensed counselor, but a family crisis (read: Type 1 Diabetes) put the kabosh on pursuing a counseling degree.  Although I lack formal training as a therapist, I often find myself in situations where I actually provide advice, guidance, or just an ear to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. Perhaps, this is the capacity in which I was intended to fulfill my counseling abilities in this lifetime. No degree required and no income earned, but it is rewarding for this old soul to serve as a life coach for those in need.

Dream Job #2.  If you have read the “Who is Joan” tab on this blog, you know that I have been writing FOREVER (or at least since early elementary school when I could grasp a pencil and actually spell.) I launched this blog on March 1st, and spent the next five or six weeks feverishly cranking out the stories that had taken up valuable space in my ever-shrinking brain. Then, spring arrived, complete with grass-a-growing-that-needs-a-mowing, mulching, planting, yada, yada, yada. (I squeeze the yard work in when I am not working at a paying job, or helping with homework, or walking the dog, or doing laundry, or cooking, or running errands, etc.) It is not surprising that an April “funk” set in and I rebelled. The first casualty of my ever increasing to-do list was writing. I just stopped. It seems that for the time being, Dream Job #2 won’t be a “job” at all. It will be a hobby, such as reading or gardening, or it will be a special treat, like getting a massage or a facial. No resume required and no queries to write! Whew!!!!

Dream Job #3. I am an exceptionally organized person. I am not sure how I actually obtained this particular “gift”, but I think it just may have something to do with being an anal perfectionist. It seems that there is quite a market out there for people who help others create a method out of their madness, or calm out of chaos. (I understand that there are cable TV shows devoted to this very cause.) I am not sure that I will ever host my own “Clear Your Clutter” program or advertise my organizing services, but I do know that I have helped many a folk reclaim a desk, bedroom, office, kitchen, etc.

The moral of this story is that while my resume states that I have a BA in Psychology and am currently employed as an Administrative Assistant, I am also a counselor, writer and professional organizer. I am not reimbursed monetarily, however, I am rewarded and enriched in many other ways. As MasterCard commercials like to say-that is priceless!

Self-Induced Unemployment

In today’s economy, there is no one in their right mind who would quit their steady, paycheck-producing job, except me. (The operative words were “right mind.” There is nothing “right” about my mind.) I resigned from my part-time, administrative assistant position in December of 2008, with no hint of a job prospect on the horizon. Now, before you start thinking that I had totally lost my marbles, I do have a plan.

1. I have an alternate source of income, which covers the necessities-food, utilities, gasoline, medical expenses, my Walmart habit, etc.

2. I own my home and car.

3. I have no credit card debt. (Yes, you read that correctly, and I know that it is un-American.)

4. I have an emergency fund. (This makes Suze Orman proud.)

5. My son and I lead a pretty frugal lifestyle. We rarely dine out, have no cable TV and we eat Macaroni-and-Cheese every night. (Just kidding about the Mac & Cheese. That was a flashback to my college days.)

With #’s 1-5 in place, I have the freedom to take the time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  First, I would like to do some volunteer work in the mental health field, which will enable me to utilize my BA in Psychology. (I have to dust off the old diploma and get some current work experience on my resume.  I have been busy doing other things, like raising a child, surviving cancer and doing clerical work.) I am actively seeking a volunteer position that will hopefully, someday, turn into something permanent with pay. (I’ll let you know how that goes.)

Secondly, I am finally taking the time to do some writing. (This is also referred to as “pursuing your passion.”) I believe that most of us, if not all of us, would love to get paid to do something that doesn’t even feel like “work.” I am not being compensated for the writing I am currently doing-blogging, journaling, and putting the finishing touches on a short story-but that is okay. I am practicing (and practicing and practicing) for the real gig.

By the way, that job that I “quit” back in December? I am the ex-employee who just keeps showing up. (Actually, I have been summoned by the HR Manager to help out with various projects.)  I just punch in my code, enter the building and begin working. No one has called the cops-yet.