It was when I read that I ought to market myself through Twitter that the true weight of how much the world has changed since I last
applied for jobs fell upon me. I thought I modernized my approach enough for our snapshot world by editing my talks-a-lot resume down to one page and applying electronically for positions
below my skill level because we have been told to lower our expectations. Perhaps that is only in reference to pay scales rather than skill level.
There is a job that is a perfect fit for who I am right now. It will be like when you meet one of your husbands for the first time, or when you find a mate to a sock that has
been lingering in the laundry basket for weeks. Everything will fall into place and it will just feel “right”. That is how it has worked up to now, anyway. Jobs that fit me have fallen in my lap with a fair amount of effort on my part, each increasingly challenging
and keeping pace with my professional growth. I interviewed for the job I recently lost at 1:30 p.m. on September 11, 2001. I have always wondered if I got the job because I showed up and was able to focus without crying for an hour. I became a certified expert in my field, but being at the top of your pay scale is a detriment in today’s job market where employers are hiring young people with Master’s degrees for $14 per hour.
Now it is time to do something else, to find another field that fits me. The world has changed a lot during the last ten years and the only thing that has fallen in my lap was
an administrative job for 10 hours per week at $9 per hour. I am not picky and will entertain part-time employment, but I do need to make enough to pay for gas to get there. Since my efforts of the last two months have been unsuccessful, I did some research trying to figure out what I should be doing differently because that is what I do when met with a challenge that seems insurmountable. Not one to give up easily, I thought there must be something more I can do to land another perfect fit job or at least one that somewhat fits and pays a living-wage.
What I found was pure frustration. I cannot create an online persona via Twitter,
Facebook, or a personalized website because it would be dishonest. We used to sell ourselves during an interview and slowly, over time, the employer would find out who we were, like dating. Now I am to invite prospective employers in as voyeurs to judge my interests and pictures of what I look like? It sounds a bit like online dating, creepy
and dangerous. I am not judging anyone who uses those tools for job hunting or dating because I assume that he or she is comfortable with it. I feel that for me those strategies would not be authentic and it is exhausting being someone that I am not.
If I am journeying through unchartered territory I thought why not research new ways of working, such as freelancing, virtual assistance, or the new portfolio career. I have put
off doing the jobs I was most interested in since I was 17 years old for a practical reason that has moved out and become self-supporting. In this unfamiliar work world why not go for it since it seems I will be forced out of my comfort zone anyway? In my 40’s I have been the lucky recipient of advice from folks that are over 70 and have seen a lot of life. Right now I am holding onto, “Do what you want to do before it is too late. Life goes quickly.” I will keep you updated on my job hunt in the 5th dimension and welcome any advice that is not common knowledge.