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.

Websites For The Week of February 12th

February 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Job Search, Weekly Readings | Leave a comment
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Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

I’ve noticed recently that I’m having more and more problems with job scams as I continue my search.  I don’t like the idea that people take advantage of others that are getting desperate to find income. So this week’s theme is about avoiding those scams and recognizing fraud.

  • Career Builder as a great page about job scams along with the reminder: “If it seems to good to be true,then it probably is”
  • Check out your privacy rights and how to avoid having them infringed upon by job scammers.
  • There’s nothing like examples to help you recognize the scams, see them here.
  • Many of the scams involve work at home schemes, recognize them here
  • And finally, the Federal Trade Commission has many resources about job and job hunting scams.

This week’s meditation

That’s it for this week. See what you like here. I’d love to hear from you about it. This week’s list is on a subject that I really think people can contribute to. Remember you can submit a website for the Sunday Readings on my How-To/Forum page.

 

 

Websites For The Week of January 29th

January 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Job Search, Mental Health, Positive, Weekly Readings | Leave a comment
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Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

This week’s theme focuses on the job search and the winter blues. I know it’s been unseasonably warm here in Maryland, but even so we still all get those Winter blues.  Those of us job searching it can feel worse.

  • For just plain old resources for beating the winter blues check out this article.
  • There’s a step by step guide on Forbes magazine’s site.
  • More tips in a shorter form are here.
  • How to bust those blues in general in between filling out those applications.
  • Get some general tips for taking care of yourself if you have the job search blues, no matter the season are here
  • Since you’re more than a person looking for a job, if you have the winter blues or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) there’s lots of info on WebMD

 

Finally, here’s a picture to meditate on to remind you that winter isn’t forever.

That’s it for this week. See what you like here. I’d love to hear from you about it. This week’s list is on a subject that I really think people can contribute to. Remember you can submit a website for the Sunday Readings on my How-To/Forum page.

From Unemployed To Underemployed

December 8, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Business Ops, Job Search, Temping, Work Scenerios | Leave a comment
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I’ve now been at my temp job for a month.

I’ve realized what a different kind of experience this is for me.  If you’re an Admin. that’s chosen temping until something more permanent comes along, these points may end up being helpful or, at the very least, something to meditate on.

1. Getting to know a new office.  I think Admins are generally friendly people.  They have to be to succeed at work.  When you’re a temp, you’re almost a ghost.  I’ve found it tougher to ‘settle in’ because of this.  There may be an exception here given that I’m working for a state agency.

2.  The realization that you’ve been out of the business culture for a while and what that means.  I quickly got used to waking up earlier, going on a 45 minute commute, and dressing in business casual.  I’m still working at understanding certain business protocols and rules, dealing with upper management, and learning who takes care of what.

3. Understanding that you’re still a good worker, even though you haven’t been working.  This is something that I struggled with.  After about nine days I was wondering if this job was right for me.  I was feeling inadequate.  I took a night to think it over and reminded myself of my value as an Admin, the kudos I received at my old job, and that I am an intelligent woman.

4. The frustration of being in a ‘lower’ position or in one without as much responsibility.  This is one I only recently became aware of.  For six years I was under little supervision and had both Administrative Assistant and Office Manager tasks and obligations.  I was part of the office ramp-up, so I not only greased the wheels in that office, but I created the gears!  I don’t run the show anymore and I have to be careful not to step on anyone’s toes.

5. Making your resume look better.  Since I started my job search I’ve read hundreds of articles about resumes, interviews, dressing for success, just to name a few subjects.  One constant was to either temp or volunteer so potential employers see you’re staying on top of skills.  It’s one reason I agreed to take my current position even though it’s less money than I’m getting on unemployment.  So far I’ve been disappointed.  I’m working in an HR department.  I’ve had only a small amount of previous experience in this kind of work.  I thought it would be a great skill set to develop.  Right now is a slow time for state agencies.  I really don’t know why they rushed to hire me.  Most of what I do is filing and answering the phone.  I’m hoping for more training when the new year starts.  So is a potential employer impressed if you’re working at a level below the one of your most previous position?  I won’t know that until I interview again.

One thing for sure, I keep learning more and more about being unemployed.

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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