Hello world!

1 Jul

Like many people out there, I am unemployed.  Like far too many, I hold both a Bachelors and a Masters degree and I’m unemployed.  I went through school certain that any bad economic times wouldn’t affect me since I had more education than the average person.  I could not have been more wrong.  I have learned quite a few things while searching for a job for the last 18 months, and I will be more than happy to share them here.

I’ve been working since I was 14.  My first job was as a stock clerk for a local convenience store.  By my senior year of high school I was working 40 hours a week as gas station attendant.  I joined the Air Force a month after I graduated and was only 17.  After the military I went to college (B.A. in Accounting) then grad school (Masters in Finance).  I played it safe and went into Accounting, figuring there will ALWAYS be work for an Accountant.  20 years later, I find myself highly qualified and very unemployed.

So what have I been doing to find a job?  Anything and everything I can think of.  When I was first laid off (corporate restructuring), I was being rather picky about the jobs I applied for.  That lasted about a month.  Times were bad in the beginning of 2010, but I had pulled a rabbit out of the employment hat the year before, after a company I worked for closed its doors.  Whenever I hear about a job opening now, I’m applying as soon as I can.  I search the job boards, such as Monster, Career Builder, and Indeed.com.  About once a month I hit the job boards at the largest companies in my area (Los Angeles) as well as the temp agencies.  Whenever I hear about Company X is hiring, I’m on it.  So far it has all resulted in one big fat goose egg!  But I still have to try.

The hardest thing about a prolonged job search is keeping a positive attitude.  With all the negative news and bad talk about the economy, it’s easy to curl up into a ball and quit.  I have friends who have done just that.  Since the beginning of 2010, I lost my house, my car was repossessed, my marriage ended, and my father died.  But I carry on, even those days I have to force myself.  That means doing things outside of the job search.  Finding those networking events that are free and close by.  Volunteering for a fun or worthy cause.  Getting out of the house with the kids.  Anything to break up the monotony of the job search.  I have volunteered for more charities and events in the last year than I did in the previous decade.  I know some of my friends are amazed at my perseverance, because they tell me so.  There are days that I don’t get to do anything outside of the house, but I try to fill those with trips to the local library.  Books and videos are free to borrow!

So in the coming weeks and months I will talk about different strategies I’ve used, various experiences I’ve had and heard about, all in the effort to land the next job.  Hopefully I will learn something on this journey, or as my late godfather would call it, “The Next Adventure”.

Happy hunting!