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 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.


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.


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.


August 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Daily Life, Positive | 1 Comment
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When things aren’t going as well as I had hoped daydreaming helps a little.  I don’t think I’m in denial, it just keeps me from getting too down. Psychology Today says that a lot of people won’t even talk about daydreaming because of shame and guilt based on others believing it’s a bad thing. It has actually been shown that daydreaming is an extremely creative process.  It can be helpful because active visualization can help you problem solve. I guess I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind sharing their daydreams.  This is my most recent:

I bought a lottery ticket the other day and I’ve noticed that I’ve been doing it more and more any time I have an extra buck or two.

What if I really won?  What would I do?

These are the top things that came to mind. These are after my knees buckle and I cry.

Sure money doesn’t buy you happiness, but without it, there sure is a lot of misery.


  • Scream, yell, and hug my husband assuring him that everything will be all right
  • Call our daughter, scream, yell, and tell her everything will be all right.
  • Take a deep breath (and tell myself everything will be all right.)
  • Call my two best friends, scream yell, and make plans to see each other.
  • Call my attorney.
  • Call my broker and financial advisor.
  • Call my bank.
  • Call the lottery agency.
  • Take another deep breath.
  • Go to any of my favorite expensive restaurants.
  • Get all bills and loans together and plan the payoff.
  • Pay off the rest of the lease and buy/or build the dream house we’ve planned.
  • Set up a fund for homeless housing in the county I used to work in.
  • Get everything to really trick out my 2010 Mustang.
  • Take the Caribbean cruise we had to cancel two years ago.
  • Buy some health insurance.
  • Start planning my set up to become self-employed as a (part-time?) Professional Organizer.
  • Change the name of my blog to ‘Debbie’s Reprieve’.

Finally, fall asleep with a smile on my face, in my husband’s arms, without one thought to keep me up all night.

What would you do if you won the lottery?  Take that extra dollar and good luck!


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The Top 10 (Good) Things About Unemployment

July 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Daily Life, Positive, Top 10 | 3 Comments
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  1. I can stay up and watch those awful “baby-sitter” movies that I love.
  2. I’m in my lounge-wear a lot, so I don’t have to iron very often.
  3. I can make recipes that are more complex and eat fresher foods because I have the time.
  4. I do any errands or chores at any time and not just between 12:00 and 1:00pm.
  5. I can explore all my hobbies and interests for more than 36 hours (a weekend) at a time.
  6. I can speak to my husband for more than one hour at a time (I don’t how much he likes this…lol)
  7. I only have one phone to answer at any given time.
  8. I really enjoy writing this blog and I have plenty of time to do it.
  9. Finding out that generic products are just as good, and sometimes better, than the more expensive brands
  10. I have time for the online courses to increase my worth as an Admin.

OK gentle readers, as is often case, I’m asking you what you see as good things about your unemployment situation.  Do think I should have a list like this at all?  Take some time to think about it, you may be surprised.

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