Wednesday, February 2, 2011

things are crazy

This job hunt feels like a death march.  It's hard to keep the anxiety and panic at bay.  I went to an orientation yesterday at a non-profit agency that Barry's been using.  I had a different orientation leader than he did, and she was awful.  She was doing a lot of "career counseling."  I don't have a career, never did, never will -- I want a job.  There's something of a difference.  The other four people there had real skills:  a CPA, someone with deep computer knowledge (I wouldn't know what to call it), someone with many years in finance.  Then there was a guy who had skills in about three different areas:  photography, marketing, and one or two other that I can't remember.  He also mentioned being four months behind on his rent.  (He seemed to be the only other person who needed to work fairly immediately.)  The leader actually said to him, "Pick one!", meaning to look for a job in only one of his skills areas.  Really?  I'd say make up three different resumes, and send them out for all three kinds of work. 

The leader was also talking about a lot about networking, but in a very different way than I can use.  She actually said she used to walk around Manhattan in a business suit, in case she ran into someone, blah blah blah.  She was also talking about going to seminars and professional meeting, and giving out your business card.  I asked if there was something I could use, since they don't have seminars and professional meetings for administrative assistants. She said, "Yes, they do!"  I'm wondering how I never heard of such a thing in 30 years, but never mind.  Business cards?  Talking to your doctor or manicurist or hairdresser?  I guess it's nice if you can afford any of these things.

The only thing she mentioned that could possibly be useful to me is LinkedIn.  Honestly, the whole thing made me miserable.  Made me feel fairly useless and left-behind.  I'm not sure why I never did have a career.  I guess the few areas where I worked and could have built a career didn't work out in some way (in recent years, that would have been both Penguin and Dweck).

I've actually had a couple of interviews and seen one agency; I'm seeing another agency tomorrow and I have another interview on Friday.  At this point, I will basically take anything where I can earn money.  I haven't applied to any corporate/conservative places because I'm not a good fit and would never be hired.  I'm also looking for temp positions -- if I can earn about $2000 between now and the end of March, I'll be eligible for unemployment, which would be a nice safety net.

I guess I'm feeling a little sad about who and where I am.  I often feel like a failure, but now I pretty much feel like an absolute zero, like I'm very close to evaporating and no longer existing.  Maybe it's partly because of that orientation yesterday.  I'm out of people to network with.  I have only a handful of friends, and as much as I appreciate them, none of them can help me as far as work.  Facebook yielded one friend whose aunt's friend makes beaded jewelry in New York and sometimes hires someone to help her assemble.  We were introduced by e-mail but nothing has come of it.  (Assembling jewelry is kind of scut work anyway.)

On top of it all, Barry is feeling terrible because I'm getting some nibbles and interviews and he hasn't.  Then again, I don't think he's filing a tenth as many resumes as I am.  He seems to kind of wait around for these seminars and workshops.  I don't think he knows how to respond to this situation, although he's been pretty good about staying within rigid budgeting.  This week is his last unemployment check, and I withdrew the first chunk from my 401(k).  That has to last all this month, and then there's one more equal chunk for March, and after I pay April's rent, we have no more money.  Barry's working on medicaid and public assistance and we're waiting to hear about food stamps, but I just can't count on any of these until we have them in hand.

I'm going to Jannah's the weekend of the 18-20th, partly to visit but also so I can try to sell some jewelry to her posse.  I'll sell it cheap -- I just want to turn it into cash.  I've started making some things with silver-plate and even base metal, because silver is insanely expensive of late and I can't really afford to buy anything.  I did blow $4.50 on an ounce of bracelet-sized memory wire the other day, which will make over 25 one-wrap bracelets.  I can sell those for $5 each, assuming someone wants to buy them.

 I signed up for something called Resume Rabbit, which for $29, sends your resume to 87 job search sites.  The orientation lady said it was a bad idea, "because who knows who's seeing your resume," but I've already gotten 5 or 6 e-mails with job postings.  The orientation lady can go fuck herself.

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