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Posts Tagged ‘journey through unemployment’

Well, life sure is interesting. I have been unemployed since June 30, 2008, when my teaching position as computer technologist (responsible for staff development, computer integration, and tech support for 200+ laptops and 50 desktops) was eliminated due to budget reasons. I have been in the job search since last March when the “talking” first began. I’ve been through a RIF (reduction in force is what the educational world calls an elimination of your job) before, so I know that once the “talking” starts, it’s pretty much assured that you’d better get your resume updated.

One of the employment search sites that I use (www.workforce50.com) sent me a survey to complete sometime back for the purposes of information gathering for the media. I started to fill out the survey then tried to get out of it not being sure just who was going to “see” the info I was providing and wanting to do additional research on the organization.

Well, serendipity, astrological convergence, or God’s plan (my choice) had the survey get sent anyhow. On Sunday, January 18, 2009, I got an email from the Gene Burnard, the principal of this company, saying that my survey was one that was being considered for a media event and that he would call me on Monday to ask if I were interested in being part of the process. He called punctually and told me that 40 people responded to this survey and that I was one of six that was being considered by CBS News. Sure, I thought, and when do you ask me for money ….

After a lengthy conversation, I told the gentleman that I would talk things over with my husband and, if interested, I would do as he asked and submit my resume and a photo later in the day. I “googled” Gene and discovered that had been interviewed by Boston.com, and his company was respected in the industry.

Feeling a bit more confident, I decided I would go for it. Circumstances prevented me from responding till after 4:30. Within 30 minutes of my click and send, I received a phone call from someone saying she was from CBS News and that I was one of two who were being considered as representing the 55+ crowd looking for a job in 2009. There would be three others (recent college grad, hourly wage earner, six-figure earner) and that those selected would each receive career counseling, resume review, possible clothing makeover, interview, and going live in NY on March 23 on the CBS Early Show, all as part of a week-long series on job hunting in 2009.

She asked my “back story” and said she would be in touch within one or two days to let me know the decision. Yeah right ….  My mind was thinking the next step was  “Gee, we’ve redone your resume and it will cost $500 if you want to see it …..” See what all those phishing scams have done to our “trust” factor.

So, what did I do next? I “googled” the producer and found out that she (Audrey Gruber) has gotten awards for pieces she did for Anderson Cooper’s 360 on CNN among other things and was the producer for The Early Show. Oh, my, she’s REAL! This was on the up and up!

On Wednesday, January 21, I received a phone call telling me I had been selected!

So, here I sit, nearly 60 years after my dad was one of the first TV repairmen in NYC as people started to get TVs in their homes, and I’m going to BE ON TELEVISION! Holy cow!

I have met with the career counselor, Kit Harrington Hayes four times. Kit specializes in the over 50 crowd and is stupendous. She has a background in education; so she understands me, and has done some creative tweaking to my resume. A couple of samples are shown below:

BEFORE:

Supervised one-to-one laptop program including conferring with parents and students about expectations, discipline, commitment, and responsibility.

AFTER:

Managed one-to-one laptop program resulting in a buy-in from parents and over 800 students around the issues of expectations for use, commitment, and responsibility.

BEFORE:

Mentored probationary staff using models of clinical supervision including pre/post conferencing.

AFTER:

Mentored and coached teachers new to the school system using models of clinical supervision including pre/post conferencing ensuring their successful integration.

BEFORE:

Awarded two $30,000 Technology Learning Challenge Fund Grants, one for professional development, one for networking and related items.

AFTER:

Awarded two competitive $30,000 Technology Learning Challenge Grants, one for professional development of 100+ teachers and paraprofessionals district-wide and another creating local area networks in two school buildings.

Amazing! Action statements! Way more attention grabbing!

I have no idea where this is going, but I’m excited and am learning a lot. If my story lands me a job, wonderful. If my story can help others learn a few things and make their own lives better, WOWSA.

This blog will chronicle the adventure as it plays out and perhaps highlight some other experiences I have had on the unemployment journey.

Your good thoughts and prayers are most appreciated as I continue on this roller coaster ride!

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