Friday, March 27, 2015

[The Situation]

On Facebook, I'm posting the short version, so here's the long version for those who want to know the situation. So, for those who fall into said group, here's the low-down:

The job hunt, for me, is becoming quite urgent. I have one freelance project that I hope to finish by end of next week, and I'm teaching one class online until May. After that, I have nothing. I may get more work from the education publishing company I contract with (hence the current freelance project), but it's not a steady job, as it varies by season. I'm not on the list to teach any other classes for the rest of the year, and I doubt I'll be getting added on at the last minute unless someone quits and no one else is available (not likely). I do want to get out of teaching, because it's not steady enough, and I do not have a teaching certificate (nor can I afford to go to school to get one, and I would prefer not to teach K-12, really).

I've sent out dozens (hundreds if you include the entire past year and a half) of résumés and applications, and the responses have all fallen under the same categories:

  • I have a strong résumé, but I lack business experience. 
  • I'm a good candidate, but they have applicants with more experience.
  • I'm a good artist, but I didn't finish my graphic design degree (nor could I, since I was paying for it out of pocket). 
  • I have the wrong type of writing and/or editing experience (they want business or tech writing/editing experience, or an established journalism audience (if I want to work for a newspaper--they want me to already have a tangible following)). 
  • They have an applicant who already knows someone in the company or already works in the company, so it's "who you know" striking again. 
  • I don't have reception experience, or advising experience, etc., even though I'd be able to learn the job quickly and do it well, since I'm quite comfortable with computers.
  • They found someone that fit the bill a little better than I did. 
To be clear, I haven't limited myself all that much. I've applied to work retail (clothing, several businesses downtown), do data entry, work as a copy editor, work as a tutor, work as an administrative assistant, and so many more. I've looked into (and have been turned down for jobs due to their having plenty of applicants that already have experience in that field with) Mercy and Cox Hospitals, state government, city government, federal government, the Greene County library system, MSU, Hallmark, the News-Leader, etc. I'm waiting to hear back from Bass Pro, but I couldn't gauge anything from the phone interview (which was mostly just a résumé clarification session) as to whether or not they're considering something for me right now or just keeping me in mind down the line. 

I have some limitations. I can't easily do a job where I'm on my feet all day because it's torment for my back due to scoliosis and my migraines. I can answer a phone and make some phone calls, but with a hearing impairment, I cannot do a job where it's 50% or more time spent on the phone, so that rules out a lot of the big hiring companies in Springfield, like Chase, most of which hire everyone initially as customer service reps on the phone before moving them on to jobs that I probably could do. 

My fallback plan was to sell the house and move back into my parents' house. They offered to pay for me to go back to get an AAS in computers, but having looked at which classes are offered at the Table Rock campus, it's not financially doable, as all of the classes except for about four are only offered at the Springfield campus, and we can't afford to pay for classes and an hour's commute every day with only Dad's retirement/social security income and my spotty freelance work to pay for gas and tuition. Taking out a loan isn't an option. So the pressure's back on that I have to find a job, and nothing's really panning out. 

It's all even more stressful because, as many of you know, my dad has pulmonary fibrosis. It's been really progressing this past year, and things don't look promising for the next year or two. I feel horribly guilty because I know he's worrying (a lot, believe me, because it seems half our conversations end up being about how I need to be doing "more" to find a job and me in tears) about me finding a job before, well... I feel like my situation is making him sicker and more quickly so, and it kills me to see this happening, as there's plenty of evidence that this is the case. Plus, my own stress and worry is making it so that I literally get no relief from my headaches. 

I hate having to do this. I'm a fiercely independent person who values her ability to be self-sufficient. Heck, just five minutes before I left to have a conference with a student on campus, I was on a ladder with a screwdriver fixing my back screen door, as an example, and I want to be able to handle this, too, myself, but I can't do this on my own, it seems. I feel like I'm begging and complaining, and I don't want to be that person. I'm out of ideas, though, and I don't know what else to do. 

So please, if you are or if you know for sure of anyone who is hiring for full-time work beginning in mid-April (or at the latest, mid-May) and you know I would be a strong candidate for that position (as in, a specific position), please let me know. If I can use you as a reference, please let me know. And, because I know that too many jobs out there really do hinge upon who you know, if you have any pull anywhere, I'd be grateful for any help. If you know of a position where the company might be willing to do some training, let me know, I know I can learn it quickly, if someone gives me the chance. I'll be happy to send you my résumé if you need a better idea of my background, experience, and skills.

I just need it to be full-time, not constantly on my feet, not completely phone-oriented, and legitimate. If it's out of the area, I need to have enough income to possibly be paying two house payments for a few months until I'm able to sell my house here (the market in my neighborhood is not great--houses do not sell very quickly on my street). I've got to finish my project over the next week, so I'll be devoting all of my time to that for the next seven days, but after that, I have to find something, and fast.

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