2 3 live&learn&rejoice: unemployment

January 5, 2011


Unemployment teaches that having days to yourself is a great way to live. The luxury of time is delicious -- exercise, cook, clean, read, play with dogs, hang out with friends, work on personal projects, hell, even raking the leaves is all for fun when time is not short.

Unfortunately, unemployment does not pay all that well and the mortgage hasn't changed so some job hunting is in order.

Much to my surprise, I learn that there are a wide variety of temp agencies, and apparently many specialize. For graphic designers and people with marketing experience, there are tempting jobs with "creative" type temp agencies. For serious techies, there are infinite jobs posted with recruiters who specialize in engineering/programming. But even for non-designers and non-techies like me  a plethora of temp agencies exist, and I'm discovering each has its own personality and style.

The exciting temp agencies seem to be recruiting for top-notch companies. They talk about nail-bitingly cool career possibilities. If one of these thrilling job interviews turns into an actual job for me, then I've learned not to be cynical about temp agencies. In the meantime, their interviews and their enticing job descriptions let me sleep better at night so they have a place in the universe.

Other temp agencies seem to be staffed by robot clones and I suspect my left toe has more personality than anyone in their crew. Really when I score a 93 on a typing test, you're not going to note that is rather exceptional? Come on, break a smile. Oh, that's right, you can't, you weren't programmed that way. Whatever, if you can give me a temp job that helps pays the bills, that'll work too. I can always rely on my left toe if I want personality.

Overall, I'm thinking the temp agencies/recruiters are a powerful force for good in the job hunt (though I am still desperately unemployed so take that endorsement with a grain of salt.)

I've also learned through lots of time at the computer that not all jobs are posted everywhere. You might get one interesting job listed amongst the 30+ dreary job descriptions at Monster.com or the like but you won't find it anywhere else. Weird, but true. Do people deliberately opt not to post jobs on their company website or is just an oversight? This means that it is not a waste of time to troll through the endless junk mail these mega-job search engines generate. Despite the fact that I've never stepped foot in a hospital and barely know what "MD" stands for, I keep getting dramatic notices telling me that I'd be perfect for an RN or PT position. Lots of junk emails to wade through, but I have found some interesting possibilities admist all the irrelevant junk so not a (complete) waste of time.

Most of all, I've learned in the last month or so that there are interesting jobs available out there so there is value in doing due diligence. I have an interview for one next week, in fact. The guy told me they received 250 applicants for the position so competition is ridiculously tough but for the unemployed, hope is critical, and the fact that I have an interview next week means there is hope.

Resistance, you see, is not always futile.

Unless it is.

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