Kids, unemployment is the worst. After being without a job for almost six months, I’ve learned a few things. So gather ’round and listen up.
1) Resumes should be updated all the time, even if you have a job because you never know when you’re going to need it. Don’t let your resume get dusty! Bring it up to speed and kiss Times New Roman goodbye. Calibri is the way to go. In 11 point font. And don’t add your address because you never know what creepo hands it may fall into. A resume is no more than two pages. The local library offers wonderful programs for job readiness. You can even schedule a one on one appointment for a resume review with someone at the Job Help Center at the Main Library if you live in Charlotte. Charlotte Works is another helpful resource.
2) In addition to your resume being hip, your LinkedIn profile should be with the times too. If you don’t have LinkedIn, get one. Recruiters are on there scouring for potential hires. The library even has classes on LinkedIn if you are new to the “Facebook for jobs”.
3) These days, networking is vital. How are you supposed to get a new job if you don’t tell anyone you are looking? It’s no longer about who you know, but who knows you. So leave your house and go talk to people! Make a point to connect with people everywhere, at the grocery store, in line at Starbucks, at your kid’s soccer game, at your neighbor’s cookout, etc. Even if your neighbor can’t help you out with a job, she can point in the direction of someone who can.
4) Job hunting is no different from online dating. The same algorithms are used so have in your resume what employers are looking for. Use the job description to extract keywords. Tailor each resume to the job you are applying for. I know this sounds like a lot of work, because it is. Just do it! Just like with dating, it’s all about selling yourself and expressing why you are the best fit for the company. Mention awards and glowing remarks from a performance review. Like a captivating online dating profile is a tool to land a date, a resume is a tool to get that coveted invitation for an interview.
5) Don’t include your graduation date. It will only serve to age you. Only include hobbies/activities if they are relevant to the job you are applying for.
6) Save the cover letter for showcasing your personality. Make it stand out. If you are funny, be funny in your cover letter. It’s your chance to let hiring managers see how awesome you are and how much fun it would be to have you around the proverbial water cooler.
7) Call in the professionals! If you haven’t had any luck on your own landing a job, perhaps it’s time to call a career coach who will finesse your resume to ensure it gets read. Think of it as an investment into your future. The sooner you get a job, the better off you will be!
8) Say yes to everything! Say yes to whatever the Universe throws you because it will eventually lead to something you were looking for. And remember, nothing in this world lasts forever, including unemployment. Keep the faith!
9) Got any more tips? Leave them in the comments section!
I housesit for the week and live the life of someone more literary than I could ever expect to be. I housesit for a published author who decorates with books, titles I have never heard of. It makes me jealous. It makes me feel that I have accomplished nothing in my thirty three years.
I babysit for an afternoon for a mother of two who is a nurse in need of someone to watch her kids while she naps in preparation for her 12 hour shift. I lull a newborn back to sleep, look around an unkempt playroom and ask myself if I’m ready for this.
I often wonder what my life would look like no longer cloaked in fear. Jamie who never speaks up, never gets angry. Instead, I stew in my jealousy, a hearty broth of constantly comparing myself to others and wondering why I don’t have the same amount of happiness spilled onto other people.
The only thing I want my legacy to be is a baby and a book. Someone with eyes like mine to leave my journals to. I’ve documented every day of my life for the past thirteen years. Every. day. of. my. life. There has to be a book in there somewhere.
As long as I’m in Charlotte, I will always be alone. I have never known such loneliness than I have in the past five months. I spend so much time alone, practice for widowhood. My friends are too busy for me. It’s hard for an unemployed single girl to relate to tales of husbands, kids, jobs anyway. Empty-handed, I bring nothing to the conversation table. My family is distant in more ways than one. I live alone in a messy house in preparation for departure. I don’t know how or when, but I’m moving out of this State of Loneliness, no longer will my feet be planted in this Tar Heel State.
Meet my new best friend, Jamie Tworkowski, compassionate mind behind TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS. In his new book, If You Feel Too Much, he shares his personal struggles with depression and having a volatile relationship with his father while adoring his mother. An avid surfer, he lives in Florida, just thirty minutes from where my parents are. He’s accumulated a lot of stamps in his passport from traveling the world with his speaking engagements, pouring love and hope into the hearts and minds of the people who need it the most. All people need it. People need people, he writes. He is a big Ray LaMontagne fan. If you love someone, tell them.(I wrote a love letter yesterday to a man whom I believe is my soul mate.) He says that GOD gives a shit about you and there’s no shame in asking for help. There’s no pride in going it alone. We were not meant to be alone in our questions, our feelings, our joys. Don’t think that your friends and family are too busy for you and you would be a burden. Trust them enough to bring them your troubles.
At church Sunday, the pastor preached from Genesis that all the things God created in his week of Creation, it was all good until he saw that Adam was alone. It wasn’t good to be alone so enter Eve.
In this season of one job rejection after another, the worry barking outside my dog, begging to be let in, I need all the HOPE I can hold. There’s not much else we can cling to.
I wonder the distance between a love letter traveling from Here to There. I wonder where it is the day after I put it in the capable hands of the United States Postal Service. I wonder about the states that separate here from there. I wonder what other declarations of love its traveling with. I wonder if it’s nestled among a pile of “I miss you”s and “I love you”s, or if it’s mostly overdue bills, junk mail and slow-moving bad news. I wish I could scrawl ‘fragile’ over the contents of my heart like I did with the box I just mailed.
NSFW means nothing to the unemployed. Short of porn, I am looking at everything that has been labeled NSFW. It should be more like NSFPL (not suitable for public libraries) for poor folks who don’t live with Internet.
When cable was still a companion, I watched “Becoming Us” on the Family channel. And it was during an episode where young Ben gets a driving lesson from his former father that I wondered:
How soon in your transition from a man into a woman do you become terrible at driving?
Don’t worry, sweet readers, now that TV will no longer be a distraction, I will be more enticed to seek gainful employment and soon my blog posts will be full of new job antics!
Four and a half months of unemployment feels like the longest weekend ever. And lonely too because no friends are available to play. My days are peppered with home maintenance, and I use that term loosely as it means finally driving down the street to Home Depot for replacing the lightbulb in my fridge that has been out since last year. It’s been a fun game of playing what’s in the Tupperware? in the meantime. In addition to home maintenance, I tackle car maintenance. The guy at the other end of the phone of the tire center wrote my last name as Sunnycard which was close enough. Imagine how much of our lives is spent schooling strangers on the correct pronunciation of our names. I also spend a lot of time at the public library job hunting, and when I say job hunting, I mean watching “Orange is the New Black” like it’s my job. Season three is just as entertaining as the first two and I’m Team Ruby Rose. My days of mysteriously free cable have ended with the introduction of a digital cable adapter. I’m trying to be strong and not get emotional about having to say goodbye to my pixelated friends on the food network, TV land, TLC, FX. Ugh, I need a tissue. How am I to relate to my peers now that I have no popular culture reference points? I drown my sorrows in food and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. After scoring a giant box of bruised tomatoes from the farmers market last week, I’m feeling like Bubba from “Forrest Gump”, except for extolling the versatile virtues of shrimp, I’m waxing poetic over tomatoes. Tomato soup, tomato sandwiches, salsa, caprese salad, etc. Its only slightly crazy that I’m cooking up a storm considering its been SO hot lately. Why do I still live in the South with its oppressive heat and humidity? Starbucks cupcake frappuccinos are a delicious way to beat the heat, albeit a pricy one with a $4.28 price tag, but it was a birthday present gift card. I had a birthday last week (or did I actually turn a year older if I removed my birthday from Facebook so friends were left to do their own remembering? Another post for another day about how we outsource our lives to social media) and feel that 33 is the age when you start doling out zero fucks. I always admired old people who spoke their minds as if old age was a carte blanc to say/do whatever. I think I’m closer to bellowing “get off my lawn” with each passing year. I already see 5:00 as dinner time. I welcome the gifts of 33, and if they happen to look like something an octogenarian would like, then so be it.
In preparation for my move to places unknown, I’m cleaning out my home office/junk room and unpacking pieces of paper that are old enough to drive. I have progress reports from middle school and report cards from high school. Some teachers remarked that I was capable of better work or showed great effort.(Apparently I was giving high school the ol’ college try). I had terrible grades in math and science, but my parents didn’t encourage tutors so I blame them for me not being a doctor. If I were in 26th grade, I wonder what my report cards would be. Probably the same sentiments.
A self-proclaimed unadulteress, I am failing as a an adult in the home maintenance department. Did you know that you’re supposed to clean things that clean things, the washing machine and the dishwasher for example? This is breaking news to an almost 33 year old. Why does no one tell me these things?
In preparation for the big move, I’m sorting through old exams and notes and papers from college and wondering what the point of all that time and money was. I have no need to retain what strategic branding is from my marketing class or how microeconomics is different from macroeconomics. A college degree is great until you realize that your dishwasher reeks of neglect and only when it’s a segment on “The Today Show” do you realize that every exam you kept from German History 320 won’t help you know what to do to get rid of the stench.
Why isn’t there a class that teaches low functioning adults like me basic life skills? Someone please teach me how to change a flat tire, how to stick to a budget, how to clean gutters, how to prevent insects from getting indoors, how to sort laundry, how to know how much money to put into an IRA, (what does IRA even stand for?) how to initiate small talk at job networking events, how to write a resume worthy of not getting sucked into the black hole that is the online job application process, how to stop a running toilet (for months, I’m only using one half of the one and a half bathrooms of my house. My knowledge of plumbing ends after twisting the silver football shaped gizmo to the right), how to make $45,000 in advertising sales on this blog so I can stay at home with my kids not that I have kids. I’m telling people that I’m a stay at home mom. And then they’ll ask about my kids and I’ll tell them that I don’t have any. Did you know that women of child bearing age should be taking prenatal vitamins? Ugh, screw you, blissful ignorance, you have done me no favors!
Am I alone in this? Is there anyone else out there who feels incompetent to tackle the real world? Why doesn’t someone write a book called “What you should know by the time you are 33″. I would dog-ear the shit out of it.
My next post will be coming to you from my parents’ basement. Obviously I shouldn’t have left it in the first place.