Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things that I have learned from watching Soap Operas

You can fake your own death
I can't tell you how many characters on the ABC Network that have died, only to be resurrected.

You can kidnap babies
This is something that nearly all soaps do. You think it's simple like boy and girl meet, fall in love and then comes baby. However, it's most definitely not that simple. Boy and girl meet, fall in love. Girl and/or boy cheat on one another and then the plot thickens and baby gets kidnapped. Then...

It may be a girl or it may be a boy
Once the baby is kidnapped, they have to hide it in plain sight. As if the mother of a child won't recognize their own kid. I guess it could happen in real life, but it's really hard for me to suspend my disbelief.

You can get married, divorced, remarried, divorced, married to another over and over again
Last week on One Life to Live Vicki and Nora got married again for like the 100th time each, I swear!

Soap operas are very much escapism
In the era of the gloom and doom of the economy, I guess its always nice to watch something that makes you feel as though your life just isn't that bad.

That's it for now. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Job Search Etiquette

Recently, I have had the pleasure of catching up with my friends with the unemployment status. I have a few friends that have been laid off or their positions were eliminated and we were discussing the Job Search Etiquette. As a job searcher, there are a few things that you want to do to maintain your professionalism and ensure that your own personal brand is not damaged. With the job market being what it is the employers are in a position of power. This position is something that they were not accustomed to until the recession hit us all in a major way. That is the one with the upper hand.

As a non-profit professional, I have had many different roles. One of the audiences that I worked with was the Human Resource professionals at an association for electric cooperatives. I would write content for the conferences based on "Succession Management" which is under the premise that there is going to a be a shortage of talent in the workforce. However, right now the opposite is true, especially in the Greater Washington DC Metro Area. The geographic location will determine where you fall in the unemployment rate, and from what I am hearing in the news it is significantly lower than the national average. On top of this, DC is known for it's over-educated professionals. Yes, it's official, we love to learn.

So the employers are in power and as a result, the job searcher is very frustrated. Why? It's hard to get your resume noticed in the pile of 20 - 400 applicants depending on the position. Nonetheless, is this a direct result of job searchers "spraying and praying" their resumes or employers desire to leave the job open and pool as many candidates.

Let's just say that your application does take notice of your resume and asks you for an interview. This is fantastic news, you're on your way to the road of employment again. This interview can last anywhere from 30 minutes up to a full day. That's right and even after you spend all this time with an employer do you know what the kicker is? They may not even contact you to let you know the status of the position. You are then caught in what I like to call "Job Purgatory." This is someplace between interviews and securing your job. You may even be so motivated or inclined to follow up with the employers yourself, but guess what? The majority of the time they won't even bother to respond to your inquiries. Where is the employer job follow up etiquette gone? And why won't these places let me know whether they would like to hire me? And so I will continue to wait... till Job Purgatory ENDS!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hoping for a job miracle...

Officially, I have been on the job hunt since June 2, 2009. However, I saw the writing on the wall and had applied for some positions prior to that. Once I lost my job, I obviously opened up the floodgates to sending out the resume. It's been a frustrating, humbling, long and involved process.

I have been on 4 in person interviews, and have had 4 phone interviews. What do I have to show for this? A shrinking bank account. I am trying to remain positive about one of my 4 in person interviews as I believe it would be a fantastic opportunity and a great career path. I have a friend who works there, which along with my qualifications is how I landed the interview there. She was on vacation when I went for my interview. We caught up yesterday and I told her I thought it went well but that the hiring manager was going through some more interviews.

I think the hardest and most difficult part about job hunting while unemployed is the waiting game. Unfortunately, the employers have the power. They are the ones who can take their sweet time returning your phone calls, your emails and a lot of them don't even follow up. I mean what happened to human decency? I have sent an email and left a voice mail for an organization that I spent 6 hours of my life with. I will never get those 6 hours back, nor will I probably get this job. It's unfortunate because here's the deal: people are not going to go "off" on you if you tell them that you're not wanting to hire them. The job market is tough and it would be nice to know what it is that you're competing against or why you didn't make the cut.