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Posts Tagged ‘Stimulus’

I’m sitting here having reworked my resume yet again in an attempt to make it more user friendly. I’m modifying the functional format into one a recruiter I met recently calls “functiological” meaning that you list your skills and accomplishments under your chronologically listed places of employment and not simply rehash the job description.

Many hours later, it looks very different. This proved to be helpful. Now my facilitation at Seacoast Peers for Careers could be more prominently displayed, a definite asset for a particular job for which I was applying. We’ll see what happens as the closing date was Friday, October 9, 2009. The position would be working with adults developing careers skills, basic computer skills, counseling them, and offering support through a job club experience. Gee, doesn’t that sound like me? Here’s hoping!

I found that posting on one of the 12 search agents and 8 other sites I check almost daily.

Doing some quick math means that over the last 18 months of looking I have clicked my mouse at least 8000 times to read about an opening. It brings the total number of jobs I’ve applied for to over 130 (12 with one company alone).

Of that number, I’ve had only 17 interviews. And of that 17 only 8 potential employers followed up. Fortunately two of them offered me the part-time positions I currently hold, 8 hours a week at UNH and 7 students for the Virtual Charter School. I thoroughly enjoy both of these jobs and hope they can turn into something permanent.

That’s a lot of numbers and not really very good results. And I’m not alone with statistics like that. I have a friend who has not had one interview in a year of sending out applications. Another friend’s company is relocating putting 90 people out of work.

It’s still a very tough world out there.

I’m tired of all the numbers. All I want, like the other 7 million who are unemployed, is ONE good offer.

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In the work world, Wednesday is often referred to as “hump” day, implying that one is now on the downward end of the week — the better end of the week leading to the weekend and no work. That term has always disturbed me just a bit because I’ve never lived my work week waiting for the weekend. I do realize, that having been in a profession I loved is not the case for many people; and getting “out of there” is high on the list.

Continuing in my quest for on-going employment, I find myself looking eagerly for Wednesdays now, though, and not because it’s “hump” day. My reason is because it is the weekly gathering of Seacoast Peers for Careers, an empowerment group that I facilitate in the fellowship hall of my church in Dover.

We have some members who have come faithfully since our first meeting in June, and we have a few who have joined us in the last month as a result of seeing an article in the local paper. We’ve had speakers on a couple of occasions, but often we meet to share where we are in the moment. Sometimes it’s about a job lead; sometimes it’s about an entrepreneurial idea; sometimes it’s to help rework a resume en mass. Always it’s with laughter and a sharing of a “blessing” from the preceding week. The use of that word is most intentional because I think it helps us focus on the good that happens along the journey with some of the best experiences happening BECAUSE we were in the work search and, therefore, following a different schedule. It forces us to realize that although our bank balances may be smaller, our hearts have many opportunities to be full of joy.

Every Wednesday I know that the meeting has made a difference in the lives six to eight other folks who continue to be the face of unemployment in 2009. Every Wednesday I am energized emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.

Every Wednesday I receive so much more than I give.

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I had an interesting phone conversation the other day. It started out with the usual pleasantries of “how are you feeling” and then proceeded to my hearing, “It’s awful. There’s not going to be an increase in Social Security this year. The government is giving away so much money and what good does it do to give handouts and where is it going to take us? And this health care thing, that’s not going to be good.”

I’ve heard lots of comments like that before, long before our current situation; and I have to admit that once or twice I’ve probably been judgmental about who gets benefit from governmental funding whether it’s federal, state or local. Based on my own story that many of you have been following, I’m now one of those getting benefit of a governmental program.

I calmly replied, “I’ve been looking for a job for 18 months and have been unemployed for 14. If it were not for the Stimulus, I would have run out of benefits last December and where would I be right now? I am very, very thankful that those funds have been made available. I know how they are affecting my ability to continue. And I am in a much better situation than lots of people.” We didn’t talk too much after that because there was a bit of discomfort on both sides.

I’m not weighing in on whether all of the decisions made or to be made are good ones, but I do know that there are faces attached to additional unemployment benefits, cash for clunkers, and the availability of health care for everyone in this country. Today, one of those faces is mine. And depending on how tomorrow turns out, another face might just be the one you see in the mirror each morning.

Makes it a bit more real, doesn’t it?

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