myartobiography
A BLOG ABOUT LIFE, LIVES, & LIVING
Good Will, Job Hunting
Categories: living

By Michelina Docimo

When December rolls around, we begin to feel – well, feel.  It can be nostalgic, cheerful, blue, anxious, or merry and bright.  Something happens during the rush of the season, an unconscious slow-down, a separation of material and spiritual needs, the unfolding of a story.  Peace on earth and good will to men begins ringing, sometimes in the form of familiar sounds like the Salvation Army in front of supermarket doors collecting coins for the poor in their red pots, or the opening bell of the stock market promising retail sales, or a long distance telephone call keeping the lonely company.  This December though, many Americans are not feeling the cheer and good will or peace on earth.  They are consumed with worry as unemployment benefits cease, job security fades, and mounting work loads persist.  I have conversations with friends, many of whom are also unemployed, and we try to support each other with comforting words.  But yesterday, the words seemed empty.  I was at a loss for words, what else can be said, shocked that our government would hold its citizens’ hostage because no satisfactory compromise could be made on tax cuts for its wealthier citizens.  This blog entry is not about the rich and poor, democrats and republicans, just some hope to put meaning back into good will, especially for those that are job hunting.

1.  Never give up.  Never.

The number of job opportunities compared to the number of unemployed is disproportionate, but that doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance.  Increase your odds by sending out more resumes to companies that resonate with your career goals, following up, networking (even at non-networking events), trying new industries to put a different spin on your skills, signing up with temp agencies (they can offer valuable advice on how to improve your resume and cover letter).  I hear many people say that they are grasping for any job.  Unfortunately, these are desperate times, especially when you have the responsibility of family and daily living expenses and we may feel inclined to throw as many resumes out into the cyber hole as possible.  But I would think that most human resource departments are looking for the resume that stands out from the rest and that was delivered with thought.  Companies are making investments in their employees and you have to prove that you will contribute to their profitability in some capacity.

Realize that even when your skills are top-notch, your resume and cover letter are impressive, and you have everything in order – you may still not get the job.  I recently had applied for a position that I thought for sure I would at least get an interview – for sure.  I was perfect for the position and the position was perfect for me.  Nope.  Don’t dwell – there are millions of other people who would have been perfect for the position.

Also, if you are switching industries after years of experience in a particular field – explain why and how your skills will contribute to the new position.  This past summer I had applied for a position that needed a writer specifically for architects and interior designers.  I thought I had enough experience.  I received an email back within a half hour, saying “You don’t have any skills.”  That’s it – just that one sentence.  Either the person who replied was disgruntled by the massive number of replies or he really meant to say – “You have tremendous skills but I’m looking for …” but lacked experience in communicating this thought professionally.  If you happen to receive a response back like this – be thankful that it lasted just a second and you’ll never have to look at this person’s face every morning.

2.  Cold times require a thick skin.

You will hear many comments that will chip at your spirit.  Some people believe that those who are unemployed are lazy, or not trying hard enough, or simply do not have the drive to work.  People may pass judgement on the decisions you make or how you modify your life.  These people have always existed and find pleasure in exercising a power of ignorance.  Limit your contact with negativity, always remain respectful, and end the conversation immediately.

3.  Construction vs. Obstruction

A few weeks ago, I was in a grocery store in a small town out of state and overheard one woman’s comment that I can’t seem to forget.  Actually, I didn’t overhear it, she was um vociferous.  I was embarrassed for her.  But the comment was, “I’m going to make her life a living hell so that she quits!”  I was amazed that she would actually reveal this sentiment to two other people in such a public spot in a very vocal voice.  I don’t know who this other person was that she wished to make her life a living hell – but I started thinking about all these recent episodes of children bullying each other and here is this middle-aged woman openly admitting to bullying a co-worker.  Maybe this co-worker is perpetually late, or under-performs, or takes too many coffee breaks.  Or maybe it’s something serious that compromises the company’s business ethics or reputation.  The fact that someone was intentionally trying to force someone to quit her job left a very bad taste in my mouth.  Obstructionist behavior exists on the playground, in the workplace, and in politics.  No doubt, those who are left in the workforce are stressed too.  But rather than choosing to participate in intimidation tactics, opt for creative and constructive communication that provides solutions.

4.  Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you don’t have rights.

Many federal and state agencies and charitable organizations exist to help find jobs, housing, food, and support.  For example, The National Council on Aging (NCOA – www.ncoa.org) assist the elderly in finding jobs, providing work force training, navigating medicare, and promoting healthcare education.  There are state programs that also assist in paying energy bills.  Check out your state government websites for additional information.  Here are two sites for CT residents:

http://www.ct.gov/dss/cwp/view.asp?a=2353&Q=305194

http://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/connecticut_assistance_program.html

5.  Give & Live.

John D. Rockefeller was not born a billionaire, but even with his first job earning fifty cents a day, he gave a percentage back to charity and he was also passionate in wanting others to succeed.  He wrote a five line poem to sum up his life that I hope converts worry into optimism:

I was early taught to work as well as play;
My life has been one long, happy holiday–
Full of work, and full of play–
I dropped the worry on the way–
And God was good to me every day.

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/05/17/specials/rockefeller-poem.html)

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11 Comments to “Good Will, Job Hunting”

  1. [...] link: Good Will, Job Hunting | myartobiography Share and [...]

  2. Seriously! This is a really excellent post! Keep up the decent work!

  3. Majorshadow says:

    Song “Stand” a song about facing adversity.
    Hear it @ URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3MxZcls24o

  4. You made lots of good points. Keep up the great work. Thank you very much.

  5. Domenick says:

    Very inspirational and you helped put things into perspective as we start yet another year of difficult times.

  6. mdocimo says:

    Thanks for sharing Domenick. I hope 2011 is better for all of us!

  7. Pamela says:

    Excellent thoughts. I am one of the many unemployed. I believe that some type of employment is in my future. It may not be the 40 hr. jobs of my past. It could be several p/t jobs instead. That’s ok. It could also prove more interesting that way. If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, either way you’re right. I no longer use the word “difficult”. “Challenge” offers more hope.

  8. mdocimo says:

    Hi Pamela,
    Keeping optimistic is a challenge but I’m so glad that you have the right mindset! So many people are thinking outside the box to create their own opportunities and I applaud your efforts… Best of luck to you!

  9. Gloria Neiswender says:

    Dear Michelina Docimo:

    Thank you for sharing this articles, they are very interesting, and in this case, it does happen to find people like this woman.

    I like also the movie. very touching.

    I wil continue withing your the best today and ever.

    Please give my hellos to your sister, and parents

    Sincerely,

    Gloria Neiswender

  10. A great blog post makes you think and you’ve certainly given me a few tid bits to consider.

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