Thursday, August 7, 2008

An end and a beginning

The past week has been hectic. After months of a humiliating job search, I am finally employed. Before now, jobs have usually fallen into my lap. It was tough when I moved to Colorado right after Sept. 11, but I found a really fun job at Coors Brewing Company as a tour guide, and that was enough to pay the bills. After that, if I interviewed for a job , I got it. Or with my teaching job, I didn't even really have an interview. My friend referred me to a substitute teaching position, and after working for 2 days, I was hired for the rest of the year with the intention of being hired full-time for the next school year. It's all been easy.

Not so this year. By now, I've been of "working age" for 7 years, since I graduated in 2001 from Johns Hopkins--with the oh-so-useful degree in Philosophy. I have a varied resume with most jobs lasting about a year. All have been teaching/training/educating. But I thought my educational credentials would be a blessing and that my personality would make up for any holes in my resume. Unfortunately, they worked against me. I applied to well over one hundred jobs, got immediate letters of rejection from about a dozen, and interviewed three times unsuccessfully before landing this job. I revised my resume many many times in hopes of downplaying my talents, overplaying them, looking smart, looking practical...It was very difficult to figure out what I needed to be saying. I sent bare bones cover letters for low-end jobs, and thoughtful ones for more advanced positions. Sometimes, I'd be rejected for a job within 20 minutes of applying. Since I often sent in applications (that took at least an hour to fill out) at night, that meant no person ever laid eyes on them. Instead, a computer filtered through looking for keywords. So I tried using invisible fonts to insert keywords I thought might help. That tactic didn't work, but I thought it was clever if I do say so myself.

The job I am starting on Monday is a dream job. I will be training adults who work for large companies as they go through a conversion to my corporation's system. So I get to learn technical stuff and teach it. I went through 2 interviews and this time, I was able to be myself. And it paid off. Katie is starting daycare onsite--it's a fabulous place and I'm excited about being blessed enough to get her a spot. It'll be hard to adjust at first since I've been with Katie for months. However, now I'll be able to start paying down debt and building a future for my daughter while working at a job that I hope is personally fulfilling. That'll be a first for me. It only took 28 years for me to start a career.

No comments: