Permanent Hire

March 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Positive, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Yes, it finally happened after 13 months of unemployment, I was hired yesterday as an Operations Assistant for a market research company.

I can’t describe the excitement I felt when I was told.  I was taken a bit by surprise because I was told my appointment was for a second interview with the President of the company.  It was actually just to hear the offer and sign papers and tax forms.  My position is a permanent part-time to full-time with plenty of benefits and a very competitive starting salary.

It is a small business run by someone who values the employee.  That was reassuring to me.  The philosophy of taking care of the employee so they work harder for you is something that seems to be a rare commodity in the days of a bad economy.  In spite of that it seems to be the mantra of this company to be a second family for everyone that works there.  I need that comfort level now, because of being out of the business world for a while.

Now, for the strange part.  I have never been hired by having the President of the company playing a clip from Seinfeld, until now.

When it was over I was told that I was seeing how they aren’t going to hire me, but rather I was told they would like to have me join the company.

Now for the fate of this blog:

I plan to continue, just as I plan to keep  learning to be an excellent assistant.  I am planning another section of the site called Debbie’s Couch.  This will address the emotional price paid by those who are unemployed.  This should be starting up soon, so stop back and see what you think of it.

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HIRED

November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Positive, unemployed | 2 Comments
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I had an interview this morning with my state’s highway administration at 11:00 am.  Around 3:00 pm I got the word that they wanted me to start tomorrow.  So starting at 8:00 tomorrow morning I will again be a member of the workforce.  One thing to understand here is that I have moved from being unemployed to underemployed.  I got this job through the Jones Network staffing agency.  It’s considered an indefinite temp job.  I work a 40 hour week.  I’ll eventually get benefits through the staffing agency.  I’m hoping that they like me well enough that they will hire me full-time.

This will put a temporary stop to my search for a full-time job, but that’s fine with me so far.  Getting this job is good on many levels.  It’s getting me working and making money for myself.  That makes me feel better about myself.  It will look better on my resume, I get off the government pay check, and I feel better about myself.

I sent out 234 resumes since I became unemployed in March. I had about a twenty phone and face to face interviews.  Six of these interviews were with Johns Hopkins alone. Although it would have been great to work with them, I didn’t have the luxury of waiting.  Not in this economy and out of work for as long as I’ve been.  I took about a half-dozen of tests from Word to applied mathematics. I had about 25 rejections before an interview, just looking at my resume.  The rest of the employers did not get in touch one way or another.  I signed up with 5 temp and staffing agencies. Jones Networking was the only one that came through for me.  They are a professional, well-known agency and I recommend them highly.

Finally, the status of Debbie’s Desk:  I am going to keep writing on the blog.  I’ll be presenting my skills as an admin just as before.  I’ll be looking for ideas and feedback from my readers, just as before.

 

A Busy Week and Another Update

November 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search | Leave a comment
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I was busy throughout the first part of the week, involved in interviews and assessments again.  I like the feeling of having to get up by a certain time, get dressed in business clothing and get into a business mindset.  Sometimes when I have so much to do, it makes me miss employment even more.

One assessment, for a local university, took me a bit by surprise, something I try to avoid as a job seeker.  I was tested on Word, filing, proofing, editing, and typing.  I thought that would be it, I’d go home and wait hopefully by the phone.  This wasn’t the case at all.  I was told to wait as they checked my tests.  Then a woman from HR came out of her office and cheerfully asked me to come and speak with her.  It was then that I realized I was only dressed in business casual and had no copies of my resume, letters of recommendation, or references with me.  This made me more self-conscious.  I was told, “Congratulations you passed the tests”.  A mini interviewed followed with many of the same old questions.  I was thanked and told all information would be passed on to the appropriate department and I would be contacted.

Another part of my week consisted of the epic of applying to a large hospital in my area.  I started writing about this process in my October 11 post.  It is still in process.  This week was with another unit and even included me shadowing one of my bosses on the floor of the unit as the second part of the interview.  This would be my dream job.  I don’t mind jumping through hoops for it, but I’d like to stop the constant meetings and just be hired there!
Now, I’ve saved the best and most interesting part of the week to last.  I was interviewed over the phone by a reporter for MacLean’s Magazine in Canada.  The reporter I spoke with found my blog via Google and was doing an article about unemployment in America.  Admittedly, I was wary at first, but I researched him at the site and on Linked In and everything checked out.  It was great having a chance to voice my opinion and let others know what it’s like to be unemployed for 8 months.  Many aspects of being out of work were discussed from how I’m saving money and my job seeking process to my faith in Washington and support of OWS.  It lasted about 30 minutes and I had a feeling of satisfaction after I hung up for two reasons, the first I already mentioned, getting a chance to get my circumstances out there and the idea that my blog can be found and used productively.

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Potential Employers-Update

October 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Positive | Leave a comment
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  This post updates the one below

I am still being kept busy interviewing and testing.

The job that required one of the tests moved to a phone interview and then a face to face interview for a “behavioral assessment”.  I did that this Monday.  It consisted of only six questions that when I answered full notes were made.  They included, ‘What would your last boss say is your greatest weakness’, ‘Give me an example of how you dealt with a difficult co-worker’, ‘Give me an example of a policy that didn’t agree with and how did you handle it’, ‘Give an example of how you handle frustration at work’.  The last question was a work scenario and I was asked how I’d handle it. It involved being on the phone while a client needed you and at the same time the manager dropping work on my desk and telling me it needs to be done in one hour.  The reason for these questions is pretty obvious and I’m sure common.  I think everyone looking for a job has gotten some version of these questions.  It gives the chance to showcase many of your skills including interpersonal/co-worker relationships, prioritization, personal insight, and problem solving.  I was called the next day and told that I was “successful” and they wanted to do an interview with the director of the department I’d work for on Friday.  This will be my fourth interview/test.

That interview was in the morning, a few hours later I had a second interview about 30 miles away.  I already had a phone interview with this company and I was brought in for a face to face panel interview, and Word and Excel test.  I felt it went well. They wanted to make a decision within about two days because the person being replaced was leaving at the end of the month and they wanted to be able to do some cross-training.

I have another interview tomorrow with a non-profit organization.

Now, for the first time, I’m actually presented with a new situation. What if I get more than one offer?  What if one company makes a decision faster than another?  The company making the choice within the next 48 hours has great benefits, in fact the best I’ve seen, but the commute is long. The place I’m going to for my fourth interview is known for taking their time in the hiring process, but it’s my first choice, it’s where I want to work the most.  The interview I have tomorrow is still a wild card. I’ve been out of work for over seven months now and the bills are getting tougher to keep up with.  I suppose I have to take the first offer.  I’m assuming that I’ll get any offer at all!  That’s what I call remaining confident.

My next update will be next Monday, if not before.

Potential Employers Are Keeping Me Busy

October 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search | Leave a comment
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Keeping busy is helping me keep up my confidence:

I had an assessment test last week that included MS Word proficiency, applied math, general math, reading, and vocabulary.  Today I have a phone interview with them and I think after that I will have a face to face one. They are the largest employer in Baltimore.

I signed up with a staffing agency last week and I took a typing test, vocabulary, and spelling test.  The person I interviewed with told me to call back Wednesday or Thursday. I remain hopeful.

Tomorrow I have several tests, lasting 3 1/2 hours for one position that will include MS Word proficiency, typing, math (I can bring a calculator), multiple choice exam, situational exam, and letter writing.

Thursday I have a phone interview with a large company in my area.

Next week I have a face to face interview with an organization I had a phone interview with last week.

I have been unemployed for just over 7 months now and this is largest number of interviews I’ve ever had.  My guess is the beginning of the new fiscal year is allowing for hiring.  I believe that my experience and education level will be an advantage during these tests and I remain confident about them all.  I like the chance to be in business environments when I can, the ‘dressing for the part’ idea always helps me, not to mention the chance to speak with other business people.  These things make me feel as though I’m remaining in the loop.

Rejected – And Again

September 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search | Leave a comment
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After only one week, I received a rejection notice via e-mail from the prep school I applied to last week.  This was a panel interview where I got three different feelings, one from each interviewer.  The HR person, was the most engaging and friendly, she asked most of the usual, but less intimidating questions.  The Accountant, who would be the second person I would assist didn’t seem very interested at all, she answered my questions clearly enough, but didn’t ask much of me.  The Director of Finance, the person I would report to directly, was very ‘severe’ in her line of questioning, asked the more intimidating questions including, “Why didn’t you move ahead in the field you got your degree in?”  That was a new one for me.  I couldn’t really read how the interview went, obviously it didn’t go well enough for me to get the job. I think that’s one thing I like the least about panel interviews, different personalities to connect with.  The better I read someone, the better I connect, and the more I can tell the best way to sell “me”.  It gives me a head start if I’m hired in my relationship with the person I’m supporting and assisting.

I must say that the letter I received was refreshing, it was personally written to me and I appreciated the feedback.  When I do get a rejection via e-mail I reply with a thank you and a request that they keep my resume and application materials on file. Interesting it’s the two schools that I’ve applied to that have seemed to have the common courtesy of contacting me personally, the first by phone while he was on vacation.

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