September 2009


I haven’t been on here writing, because life is rather depressing right now. Company B, after over 4 weeks, did manage to interview me on the phone. Unfortunately, the interview was not what I had hoped. Friends had warned me that Company B probably did not have a job, hence the delay in interviewing. However, I chose to be optimistic. Optimism broke my heart. Company B had someone call me quite late, because the interviewer didn’t even realize that I was scheduled to be interviewed. As a result, the interview felt quite rushed and off. I did my best, of course. Other than that, the interviewer outright said that Company B is going through some restructuring where they aren’t sure where people best fit. The interviewer thought that another office may have something for me to telecommute.

After I had hung up the phone, I realized that I didn’t get the email address from the interviewer (I always send a thank you note). I call up the HR rep, who was typically wonderful, only to discover he no longer worked there. Within 24 hours, I discovered a “thanks, no positions but we’ll keep you in mind” email after trying a different HR rep (the secretary sent my call to her, only got voicemail). Not only was this the most ideal position for me, but also I had stupidly hoped that because the HR rep kept me on hold for so long that I would get hired.

I’ve obviously been applying to every job for which I’m qualified. I have about a year’s worth of administrative experience. I did calling for the fundraising at my undergraduate school every year I was there. Unfortunately, at least my experience in 2006-2007, people don’t like hiring physics folk for admin work. I had people outright tell me that I’d bored and I’d quit soon. My snazzy thought in my brain says “I’m bored being unemployed, because I don’t have the money to anything. I wouldn’t quit, because I have nowhere to go.” I haven’t had those experiences yet, but I do wonder if my resume is getting overlooked because of that. Of course, I want a physics job. I went to school for 6 years in it and have done a fair amount of research. However, I’m not stupid enough to hold out for a mythical job. Obama allegedly has given money to science, but I have yet to see an increase of job postings in this sector. Part of me thinks that the jobs will go to PhDs, anyway.

The other hard part about getting an admin job (or any job for that matter) is most hiring folks are looking for specific skills. Very specific skills. I submitted my resume yesterday to a job that I was perfectly qualified for, save for one type of software that I am almost 100% sure I could learn in a few hours (gift processing). I’m great with learning software. Unfortunately, the person is holding out for someone who knows the software from day one, and they don’t want someone who knows many types of software and could definitely learn this software fast. I don’t feel comfortable lying about it, because I think lying could backfire easily.

I’ve been putting my resume out there for temp agencies. Unfortunately, the temp agency I had used originally in 2006-2007 hasn’t been helpful yet. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times or a sign that I haven’t made a connection. I think I benefitted from that temp agency, because the recruiter I used was empathetic towards me and knew I did a good job. I assumed my track record with them would be adequate to prove I’m a good worker.

Today I went to two different temp agencies. I think it went well with both, but the thing with temp agencies is that I can never tell. The workers there, with a few exceptions, are very nice people. They said that I have a great resume, both experience-wise and aesthetically (the aesthetic comment is a new one for me). However, I’ve had people not find work for me who seemed to like me.

I’ve also attempted to network more. I’ve contacted everyone I know, from college friends to old profs to old dance teachers. In general, people genuinely like me and will go to bat for me. However, no one in my network is in a powerful position or knows powerful people. I tried using Twitter today, per the suggestion of a friend, to see if that would work. I only received a spam reply. If you are in the Boston-area and have a legal job for me, contact me please.

So that’s my status in life. This why I haven’t been updating. I am too busy worrying and job applying simultaneously to really dance or participate in my favorite discussions.

I’ve been debating about writing this in my blog, since I try to keep it light and alittle apersonal (perhaps, trying to keep it more professional). However, I am a person at the end of the day. My father died last week, which is why there have been no updates. I simply wasn’t in the mood to write or make progress on my life goals. My father and I didn’t have the best relationship, and the grieving process has been difficult in many respects, much different than when my mother died.

For obvious reasons, my father’s death put my life on hold for last week. This week, I finally contacted the temp agency I had used the last time I had lived in Boston. Although the contact I had originally used is no longer there, I have a very good record there. If you’ve never used a temp agency, the way the company and individual workers make money is if you make money. Evidently, some folks are unreliable and won’t show up to work or do their jobs, so having a good record is important. The temp agency is sending me on an interview tomorrow with a company I had originally worked at in 2006-2007, before grad school. Company B is thisclose to scheduling round II interview with me. There will most likely be a round III interview, if I do well with round II, but the HR person said that those interviews are usually scheduled within days of round II and decisions are made quickly.

With that, I’m in principle looking to move out of Providence soon, like Oct 1 soon. This weekend I’m heading to my hometown to see my brother and settle some matters, but I’m lucky enough to have a friend who’ll start the hunt for me.

During my time of unemployment, I’ve been simultaneously working on my thesis, getting a job, and trying to get back into dance. I’ve been moderately successful on the thesis, questionably successful on the job stuff (I made my goal to apply to at least 2 jobs per day, unless there is a holiday) since that’s really up to others, and I’ve been failing miserably on the dance stuff.

The latter is a bit frustrating. I know some people who have been unemployed for misc. reasons (laid off, mostly) and have flourished in the unemployment life for a bit. They dance and seem to to make the best of a bad situation. That’s not me, unfortunately. I’ve tried working on some combos (making my own), and I’ve been okay with it. Not great but not terrible. However, I don’t feel like dancing. I am a big believer in giving oneself a break when needed; however, I feel like I’ve been on a hiatus from dance for a while. I don’t think I’ve practiced much since the end of July, writing my thesis got in the way of attending classes, and I haven’t had time for any other fun dance stuff.

I don’t feel inspired to dance. I think I’m depressed about the uncertainty of getting a job. I hear horror stories left and right about people who have been unemployed for massive amounts of time. I know people who have been unemployed for at least a year. While I don’t know how hard they’ve job searched or how expansive they’ve made their searching grounds, I assume that these people did a fair job and still, aren’t getting hired. I worry about money; I am so lucky to have friends willing to help me through this, but I still have bills to pay and need to be on my own.

How do you find inspiration in a bad situation? How do you manage to let creativity in, instead of all the worries from life?

I’ve been working steadily on my thesis, since I haven’t been able to schedule an interview with company B. Perhaps it’s some kind of karmic revenge; I had announced that company B was interested in a second interview with me and now I can’t schedule it. The HR person has been good, but the person with whom the interview is quite busy and hasn’t gotten back to him. I imagine the holiday weekend hasn’t helped.

I haven’t found too much in the job search lately, but again, I suspect that it may have something to do with the holiday. I’m more optimistic about the job search here; at least things are appearing in the Boston-area whereas nothing showed up in Chicago.

The other way I’ve been keeping busy is acquainting myself with Providence. Since I don’t drive, I walk everywhere. Providence is quite charming. I miss Chicago a lot (I have a dream/nightmare about leaving Chicago), but Providence isn’t too shabby. Not home but nice.

On Saturday, I arrived in Providence, RI. My move was epic fail. On Friday, I spent most of the day trying to talk to my movers. On Saturday, they didn’t show and worse, sent a cancellation at 12 noon. I told them that I was leaving at 12 noon to catch my flight. Luckily, my SO’s parents are awesome and repacking and sending my stuff. I did a decent job packing for moving which is different from packing for shipping. I feel like a jerk leaving my stuff, but- I didn’t have a lot of choices. I’m still upset about my movers. I find it truly unprofessional to cancel so last minute (allegedly, a truck was broken) and then to not even call to apologize or inform me of the situation.

As I said that day, some day I will laugh about it. Today is unfortunately not that day. I slept for about 12 hours once I moved to Providence (I am staying with friends), and I spent Sunday preparing for my cats. Monday I went into Boston to interview and see my SO. The interview was relatively short (35 min; I am accustomed to at least an hour long interview). I think it went okay. Right now, I’m trying to organize another interview, as well as work on my thesis. Jobs being posted have ceased a little, which is a little distressing, but I hope that they’ll pick up as the month continues.

I miss Chicago. I feel sureal being back; I can’t really describe it, but I haven’t mentally clicked that the New England area is my home again. I guess I may be in denial, since I had visited at least once a year during my stint in Chicago. Oh well. I think it’ll be an adventure. I just need a job to fund it!