Friday, November 21, 2008

Tis the Season

Today I made a vow to take all of next week off. No gym. No job applications. No maniacal watching of the stock market. After all, it is Thanksgiving week and besides the week between Christmas and New Years, you can’t find a deader week in the US right?

Today, I was finishing up my job applications for the week, eleven so far, when my phone rang. OMG don’t you know it was the hiring manager for a job I applied for this morning!! Part of me was incredibly excited. After all it is a job really well suited to me. However, my other reaction was sfd!!! Just, when I’d managed to get myself into a place where I was OK with spending the rest of the year not expecting anything, they come along and get me all excited with hopes up again. The moral of this is, this job hunting business is not for the faint hearted. Oh boy isn’t that ever a true statement. Chins up everyone. I know I’ve said this before, but it only takes one yes. You just never know when it will come and you can’t win if you don’t play.

This year is so bleak that it’s almost funny in a kind of macabre way. If one tends toward dark humor, boy is this the year for it. Monday, I was sitting on my couch reading the paper (I know, I’m totally addicted), listening to the “Today Show”, when I realize that NBC is doing a piece on how the environment is being destroyed; drought in Australia, destruction of the barrier reef in some islands and melting of glaciers and resulting lack of water. All of a sudden, I was furious with NBC. I’m sure they’ve had this scheduled for a while and I did calm down before I placed any harassing phone calls. All I could think of was how about they give us a little light at the end of the tunnel? With everything else going on, they run this piece now? They did seem to cut it short over the week, so maybe some other poor souls did make the calls. After this I went to a networking session where we were given the advice to just network and not worry about applying for jobs. I came home and poured myself a glass of scotch that night. Then, the market dropped 900 points. Companies were announcing layoffs right and left. Holy Moly, even a Pollyanna like me has a really hard time keeping my spirits up. That’s when I came to the conclusion that it’s time for a holiday. It’s time for a holiday from everything. So what if you gain a few pounds. Those job opportunities will be there when you get back, believe me.

It is Thanksgiving next week, my favorite holiday of the whole year. Get together with friends and family, and eat all you want of favorite foods. Be there for them and let them be there for you. How can it get better than that?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh!

That’s what I said the other day when I saw that Morgan Stanley is laying off bunches of people. Please bear with me. I’m not trying to be insensitive to other people facing layoffs. Really. What you have to realize is that I interviewed with them in April and they blew me off after eight interviews for some lame reason. Then, two days later it came out in news that there were layoffs. Now, last week a recruiter called me about another job at MS. What am I going to do but say sure, submit my resume? Hadn’t heard anything from them and then I opened article on Yahoo news. Sure enough, there are more layoffs. That’s when I just started to laugh. What else can one do? It does seem to be my luck lately, that what ever company it is that approaches me, seems to be the kiss of death for them. Hmm, maybe I should analyze this a little more. Not!

I don’t know if anyone else is seeing this, but it seems to me lately that the people who are working are much more unhappy then those of us who aren’t. Maybe it’s just me. I do seem to have a hard time regretting the fact that I don’t have to set my alarm or that I’m not surrounded by stressed out people. I do think it is all in the mindset. It has always been my contention that I control how I view things and that things don’t happen to me, but that they are a result of some decision I’ve made in the past. I guess I just don’t like to feel helpless. I am mind you, the person who quit smoking because no inanimate object was going to make me go out in the middle of the night, putting my life at risk (this was after all NY in the 80’s). Oh no, not me!

Something happened the other day that made me realize that it’s not about me. I had stopped going to this nail salon because the owner always asked me in a hushed voice, “Have you found a job yet?” This is on top of all the old ladies in my building who are praying for me. Anyway, I went to the nail salon last Monday. (I was getting to look a bit wooly if you know what I mean) I was the only customer the whole two hours I was there! She did ask me the question, but with a quite different tone. I asked her if business was bad and she just nodded her head. That’s when it dawned on me. It’s not all about me or about us unemployed. Everyone’s getting hit in one way or another. I do kind of feel that it is our responsibly, as humans, to keep putting good energy out in the universe and to try to support others. It does make you feel good you know. By the way, I also feed the birds.

Speaking of those of us who happen to remember life in the 80’s, I found a couple of web sites in the local paper the other day. These websites are targeted at people over 50. That being said, just because these companies are 50 friendly, doesn’t mean that others can’t use them. Here they are: and I found jobs to apply for in both of them. Good jobs mind you.

As I was googling this blog, just to see how hard it was to find, I came across this other website. It appears to be a little of what I’m trying to do on my blog. I’m including it because I think the more advice the better. Anyway, feed the birds or feed the positive wolf, but do try to have a good weekend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thank Heaven the Election is Finally Here

Don’t know about the rest of you, but I have had the hardest time focusing on anything else, but the election, the last week or so. Between checking on the market every 15 minutes and toggling to to check the polls, it’s amazing I’ve applied for any jobs at all. Here’s the good news, in the last week I’ve noticed a real up-tick in the amount of new jobs posted.

Here’s the bad news, if some people used to be mean and nasty before, guess what? They’re really letting their inner b#@ch flow now. I heard from two friends today about being given gratuitous, mean feedback. I’ve had my fair share of it as well. I remember at an interview in June where the interviewer yelled at me across the desk because he didn’t agree with my expert opinion on a part of the business. People asked me why I didn’t just get up and leave. It’s like you really relate to that deer in the headlights. Part of you just can’t believe the other person is acting that way. How does one react in situations like this? It depends. Me, I laughed and said thank God I found out then what a jerk he was rather than going to work there and then filed it away for when I finally write that book. I do firmly believe that we, ourselves, govern how we feel and how we internalize this feedback. Maybe it’s my inner b#@ch, but I’ll be darned if I’ll let this other person govern how I feel about myself. It is hard when you’re daily trying to keep up your confidence level, but don’t let the idiot buggers win! That’s what I believe!

OK, got that off my chest. Now, how about some suggestions for things one can do to further the search.

1. Apply for jobs: Here are some good websites to visit that I’ve found rather good at getting interviews:,, Please remember to be careful about personal details in resume when you post and it’s always a good idea to update your resume monthly. That way it pushes your resume to the top of the list for searching companies. I try my hardest to apply for at least ten jobs a week. I also print a copy of the job description, date it, and file it. I then put in on a spread sheet. This way when they call to set up an interview, you can remember what job was all about and what the requirments were. The spreadsheet helps you remember where you filled the job description and keeps you on track in your job search.

2. Network, network, network: The thing is, it may be embarrassing to tell people you’re out of work, but they can’t help you if they don’t know you need help. Plus there are so many people out there now, that it's almost like you're joining a club. The website is great for tracking down old friends and colleagues and asking for information on that company you’re interested in, for recommendations, or for just keeping your industry knowledge up to date. Other things that you can do are: toastmasters, your alumni association meetings, join clubs etc.

3. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to have a fall back. Things are kind of dicey right now and so maybe you will have to do something that you’re not thrilled about. It’s not going to be for life, believe me.

If while reading this you come up with other ideas, please send them to me and I’ll post them. I really do believe things will get better and that we are living in interesting times. I know, I know there’s a curse like that; “May you live in interesting times.” Me, I love interesting times. Looking back you usually find that, that’s when you were really conscious of living.