So here we are on Day 50 of the job hunt.
I have been spending a lot of time in front of the computer, and I think the “Sent Resume” stack has topped 30 at least. No new movement at all in terms of responses, not even a “No, thanks” in the last week or two. I’ve also been doing a lot of networking and learning more and more about social networking.
As I have said before, you do a lot of introspection when you are unemployed and figuring out where to go next.
What I find odd about my particular job hunt, is that it’s got multiple goals. I am using letters, rather than numbers in this list, because there is not necessarily a hierarchy.
A. Replace my previous job: This would mean working for a non-profit organization or perhaps a small/medium for-profit, either in human services, running a program or doing communications-heavy work. In this case, I would hope it would be local enough that I would not have to replace my $1,000 pickup truck. A longer commute would probably force that issue. Here we’re also looking at salaries similar to what I was making, or maybe a little higher.
B. Get up another step: Find a job that really meets my skills, and in the better scenario, one which is fairly local and represents a raise of more than $100 a week. This could happen. These jobs exist, and this would be a case in which the layoff would prove to be a boon in disguise. I believe in this. I really do. What kinds of jobs are we talking about? There are likely some that I have not visualized yet. Some of those I am thinking about would involve being a reporter or editor at a newspaper or online media outlet, running publication relations for a company or group, directing the training department or a training program at a company of almost any size, being a director of volunteers, running a human-services program such as a homeless shelter, food bank or something similar, likely for a non-profit, or working in one of these fields at a local or state agency.
C. Get back in the classroom: This has always been the long-term plan. I am passionate about teaching and I am very, very good at it. Trouble is, the economy that is depressing the job market is strangling teaching hiring, and while I am very good and highly experienced, I also cost substantially more than a second- or third-year teacher. But I would be happy to go to a Catholic or other private school. I can show certifications for Massachusetts and Connecticut, and Vermont would only require paying the fee. I am three test scores away from full New York certification, and I should have that by summer. I could likely get hired here anyway. But I teach Social Studies, and there are a lot of applicants.
D. Work for myself: This just might be The Grail, and if I could do it, I would look back at the day I got laid off as the day I was set free. I’ve got all the skills to run my own freelance writing and editing business, and honestly that’s the only way I am bringing money in right now. I am expanding my contacts and looking in other directions, such as writing resumes, doing social-networking campaigns and pre-writing obituaries. I won’t be filing for full unemployment this week, because I will be spending all day Friday and Saturday (plus Sunday, which is a new week,) covering the state public school boys’ basketball tournament, which is in town. Next weekend is the state Federation tournament for boys and girls. I have been covering hockey, and I know I can keep doing similar work. This is a long-term goal and, frankly, I know it’s a long shot, but it is a possibility, and it’s something I never would have done if I had not gotten laid off.
E. Go back to school: This would actually be a corollary to “Working For Myself,” and really represent working two jobs. I have been back to school once, to get my Master of Arts in Teaching, and I was a far better student than I was as an undergraduate. Part of the problem here is figuring out what to pursue. Do I add an English or Special Education certification to make myself more marketable as a teacher? Do I get an administrative certification? There is serious money down that road, but I really like working with kids, and you get less of that. Do I go after a marketing or human resources degree or pursue more computer education. I figure I have at least 15 years of work, maybe more, ahead of me, and that would be plenty of time for a new career. Do I go in another direction, say adding massage certification to the writing and being able to work at both those things? Is there something else out there?
Thank you for letting me share. The blog is a major positive part of the experience I am going through right now. It’s good to have you with me.