Interviews! New Strategy is Working or?

Well, well, well, guess what I have interviews this coming week. I also have Jury Duty the week after. Of course.

One of the interviews is in an area I desperately want to be in, you know what it is, Education. It’s an admissions associate for a private college. The pay is fine, the benefits are great, and it’s the foot in the door I need. I actually applied for this job several times over the past two years so this is not an interview obtained by my new strategy of downplaying my education.

The other interview I got is also from an old application, but I am not qualified. It was to teach MS Office at a local college as an adjunct. However, she did kindly tell me how to become qualified. I remember in the past asking about the MS Office certification courses and most people told me I did not need them since I have a Bachelors and a Masters but, well, that isn’t true. So, now I will be studying, regardless of what happens with my interview on Tuesday so that I can get certified in MS Office as an expert. This shouldn’t be difficult, only expensive. But, I do think it’s worth it.

It kind of goes back to what I said the other day about being specific and targeted in your degree. If you really want to do something, you need to have the right degree and the right certifications. So, I’m going to follow that advice I gave myself. I’m going to get specific. I’m still going to apply for administrative positions in the meantime without talking about my degree or my business much in order to see if that works. But, my ultimate goal is still to work in academia.

I know that I will be awesome working at a college or university and that this is where my passion lies. I know that deep down that’s where I’ll be most happy and most productive. I love talking to people about their education plans, and I love school myself. I can’t wait to further my own education earning that Doctorate that I so desperately want. But, I am putting all further education that doesn’t offer immediate gratification in terms of certs on hold until I’ve been working in the right position for a few years.

I’m also going to stop apologizing for being middle age. I’ve been practicing my interviewing technique and lately I admit I’ve been doing a bad job. I have been so bogged down and disappointed about not getting certain jobs that I have let it really get to me in a personal way. To the point I say asinine things during an interview and practically talk the person out of hiring me. That’s not the image I want to portray and honestly it’s not who I am.

 

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The benefit of a Masters

I’m glad that I have my Masters degree. It gave me a lot of confidence, and the experience earning it is something I would not want to have missed. But, does it really help one find a job? I think the answer is: It depends.

Is the Masters specific enough? 

Choosing a Masters that is very specific that people understand is an important aspect. Masters in Accounting. Masters in Financial Planning. Masters in Cyber Security. Masters in Math. Etc… Mine is Masters in Human Environmental Science with a concentration in Interactive Technology.

You don’t know what this is do you? No one else does either. Time and again I have to explain what this degree is. Human Environmental Science is the study of how humans act /react in their environment. Since mine is a a specialization in Interactive Technology then that means I’m an expert on how humans interact in the environment of technology or using technology such as text messaging, emailing, social media, Skype, etc…

Yea, no one still understands what this is or what good it is. I do know that it was interesting and is still interesting to me and I also have many skills that would be super useful to an employer. But, it’s difficult in the 20 seconds they look at your resume, or cover letter to explain.  And, in spite of what some believe, it’s even harder explaining it during an interview.

Do you have substantial experience in the field?

That’s right, you really need to have substantial experience in the area that you plan to earn your Masters in. Otherwise, it can be difficult to get job interviews as a career changer. This can be especially true if you’re really just starting your career, as a former stay at home mom. Granted, the education you receive can be used to help you run your own business instead of working for someone else, that’s what I do now. But, what if you want a job? Well, get a Masters in something only after you have experience doing the entry level variety of what you want to do after your Masters degree.

Getting a Masters is a wonderful thing to do for yourself. If it’s something you really want to do, do it. But, unless you know for certain that it will help you advance in your current career, give it a lot of thought considering the substantial debt you will likely have to take on.

Here is another article I read recently about a person with a Masters who is applying for administrative assistant positions, like me, who also can’t seem to find a job. He is still of the thought that more education is better. But, when it comes to entry level, or lower paying jobs this just isn’t the case, IMO.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/get-a-job-the-craigslist-experiment/

I am going to do my own experiment. I’m going to apply for positions and leave off my Masters degree. I want to see if that gets me ore interviews. I am also going to leave off one of my jobs which I quit suddenly due to the behavior of my employers. I was justified, morally, but in the world of career this doesn’t work out. I shouldn’t have done it. But, I do believe this one job is probably affecting me in a bad way. Let’s see if this helps at all.

In the meantime, I continue with my business. I got a new client, plus I am almost done with my second book I will publish on Kindle. So, life goes on.

 

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Definition of a career

I looked up “midlife careers” to see what I’d find. I usually find some stupid advice that doesn’t help anyone that someone obviously pulled out of their ass. Today I found this gem:

10 New Careers After Age 50

When I read these I had hoped to see some real career ideas but all I saw was Jobs. Jobs that people will do because they have no choice and need the cash. The only one that might have promise is the one I do: Ghostwriting. But, not everyone can do that. I was just really surprised about some of these.

Let’s go through them.

Career Coach — Hmmm I don’t know if this is a good idea. If you weren’t happy with your own career how in the hell are you going to help others find a good career. And, does this actually pay?

Medical Assistant — Really? I don’t know. I’m old. I don’t want to stand on my feet all day, in an uncomfortable bend over position. Do people KNOW what a medical assistant does. It’s more like urine cleaner or diaper changer. No thanks. I do admire people who do that, but I did that enough as a mother.

Custom Garment Maker — OK, that sounds kind of interesting. If someone can sew, and is creative, that’s perfectly good. It’s very hard for someone to break in at any age, so you better be able to live off your savings if you’re going this route.

Assisted-living Facility Professional  — Yea, these jobs pay about 8 bucks an hour in my town. No thanks. I also hope like hell my kids keep me out of one of these places when I need assistance.

Financial Adviser — Well, you do have to go to school for this.  A degree and license is required. I don’t see many jobs for this right now. Most average people don’t have money to invest.

Tour Guide — Really? This could be fun, if you live in a tour-able place and you have the start up funds.

Private Investigator — Yea. Sure. Someone watches too much crime TV.

Sustainability Coordinator — I think someone made this up.

Ghostwriter — This can be lucrative, I won’t lie. But it can also be brutal. I get offered wonderful pay from some, to the tune of 1 dollar a page. No kidding. It can also be brutal on the wrists.

Home Care Assistant — Yea, 8 dollars an hour.

While the article seems well researched with quotes from actual people, I just wonder about the feasibility of most of these careers for the over 50 set. They just seem to “job like” to me and not “career like”.

So, what is the definition of a career as opposed to a job?

To me a career is something that:

  • Pays enough to live and plan for the future
  • Is intellectually stimulating
  • Makes me excited to get up in the morning
  • Requires some planning and moving up to obtain
  • Something that gets better with hard work

I’m not sure how many of those careers for the over 50 set fit in with that.

Wikipedia says: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

I still don’t think most of these choices qualify for the word “career” to be in the title of this article.

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The silence is deafening

I don’t know what’s worse. Going to interviews that are a waste of my time, or not even getting one call. I’m starting to think getting a Masters degree has ruined any chance I have of ever getting a good job. Seriously, I am no longer getting calls for even the most basic of jobs.

I was getting calls for academic jobs, but no longer. I guess they interviewed me, hated me, and that’s that. Maybe I’m stuck up, but I just don’t think I’m that bad. I am dedicated, educated, and determined. I am a great employee. All I ask for is to be treated with some humanity and be paid a fair wage. I guess in today’s world this makes me some sort of freak of nature.

I graduated with my Masters in August of 2011. It’s now 2013. I am probably going to start leaving it off my applications and resume for certain jobs in the future. It’s depressing. I am proud of my accomplishments, but apparently none of them mater in the world of work.

My business doesn’t matter. The fact that I work from home online making money is something to be proud of. I have managed to put myself through school, and take care of my kids when I was a single woman. I’ve never had to use public assistance because of my ability to figure out how to make money. This job hunting isn’t just about money though, it’s about starting a career that I have always wanted.

We are so lied to. Women, I mean. The entirety of society believes that women can just start over. Divorce courts demand women get jobs that haven’t had jobs for 20 years. Alimony is a thing of the past, except in Hollywood. I got child support and a small alimony check for five years while I went back to school. It was fully expected that when I received my business degree I would make more than I was getting from child support, alimony, and my work from home career. I believed that, my ex believed that, and obviously the judge believed that.

I also had to live with condescension and bad treatment the entire time I collected that money. I had to do whatever I was told by my ex and his lovely wife. If I questioned one thing, or gave any sort of critique it was the end of the world. Nothing was better than the end of all that. Trust me. So no, I didn’t want it, but I had to have it. I had the kids and there was no other choice about who would have the kids. It had to be me. Believe me, I earned every last penny of that money.

Anyway, I did believe I could finish school as an “older student” and find a good career rather than a job. But, apparently it’s not realistic. I’m not the ONLY one who has this problem either. Many women all across the USA have issues with getting jobs due to family responsibility, or due to having put family first for many years.  One day, they wake up divorced, or their husband is dead, and what happens? If they can’t make enough money they’re told they are lazy, and they are definitely not regarded well if they get alimony or want alimony.

Don’t yell at me, I do understand the problem when the husband, ex or not, is also laid off and having serious financial issues too. Because, I do realize that we have a serious problem with men also in their 40′s and 50′s who’ve been laid off and not cannot find jobs and those that they do find pay a fraction of what they made prior to being laid off. I am married today to such a man. He’s in his 50′s and he is earning what he did in the 1980′s. It’s sad, he deserves so much more. It makes me crazy that some people want to end social security, knowing how it is for the boomers out there. It’s not good, that’s for sure. Without social security, many people in our age group will be completely ruined.

I really did believe I could get married, have kids, raise them, and then start my career. I am still pretty young for midlife. I know that I can and should be able to have a career if I want to. I think employers are stupid who don’t hire me. Well, not the ones who want to yell at me, and throw their arms around, and act like jerks… no, they are smart not to hire me, I won’t lie… but the honest ones who need someone to do their job and more. The good employers who need someone who will go above and beyond and be happy each and every day to walk into the door… those people should be begging me to work for them.

I do know that I have screwed up.

  • I quit jobs that sucked.
  • I walked out on people who are jerks.
  • I raised my kids and then went to college and then tried to start a career.
  • I started my own business.
  • I worked from home.

Yes, these are all screw ups in the eyes of the world. Well the world that would employee someone. I guess I should have went straight to college out of high school, worked, had kids while working, put them in child care, and that would be OK in the world of work and career.  Some people make that choice, and I’m happy for them. But it was not possible for me.

My husband was in the military. Do you know how hard it is for a military wife to ever get a decent job? I would try, and it was impossible. So, I resigned myself to being a stay at home mom. Eventually, I was really glad to be one.I loved raising my kids. They are the world to me. But they left me! They are grown. They are on their own now. I am on my own now and I don’t get why people overlook employees like me. But,they do.

I still remember my first day back to college in 2000. I was so excited about all the possibility. I have to say that I would not have gone back to school if I knew what I do now. Honestly, I don’t need the 80K and rising debt. I made MORE at jobs before I went to college. Manpower generally offered me between 10 and 15 an hour in the late 80′s and early to mid 1990′s prior to going back to school. Now, if I work for Manpower, assuming they can get me any type of job at all, it’s 8 to 10 an hour. And, they don’t call me either.

I promise you, I’m not an irresponsible person who doesn’t show up to work. I don’t get on the net during the day at work, and I don’t send text messages or talk on the phone. I work. I am that way. I work my butt off. I take responsibility for whatever job it is, as if it’s all mine and I work every moment I’m being paid to work. It’s just my personal make up. It’s why I do well in a career from home. I am self-motivated. No one has to tell me what to do.

I know others going through what I am, and it makes me really sad. If I ever win the lottery I’m going to create many businesses and hire midlife people at fair wages.

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New Year and New Job Applications

2dRWtoRToday I have applied for 7 jobs.

As the rejections or interview requests come in, I’ll tell you all about them. But, know this: Not one job pays more than 11 dollars an hour. I think I’ve finally accepted the fact that if I want to get a job, I will need to prove myself first. I’ll need to take a low paying job for a couple of years, then apply for the jobs that will make my pursuit of higher education and a Masters of Science degree worth it.

A lot of people ask me why I keep applying for jobs when I have my own business.

I’ll try to explain.

I make enough money from home to support myself. But, I don’t make enough to pay for health insurance, plus to be completely honest, I started my business because I could not find a job that I liked. While I’m good at my job, it’s not really my calling. I’ve been a stay at home mom or wife my entire life. I want to try something else. I will likely always work from home via the Internet as a side venture. I love making money online. But, I want more.

I want a “real job” that I go to each day, get benefits, vacation pay, etc… and I want to do my online business too. And yes, I have time to do both. Plus, if I had a regular job I would have more money to invest in a few online business related things that I really want to do. Currently, my main money making activity is content writing. This takes an enormous amount of time away from my other love, affiliate marketing.

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, essentially it’s recommending products for a percentage of sales.

Many blogs and websites offer products and services and earn money as a way to support their efforts on the website or blog. I do that on some of my other blogs, not this one, so far. Mainly because I don’t actually recommend any of the products I’ve seen that are supposed to help with finding jobs. I find that most resume help is irrelevant due to the fact that you have to post your job history via online forms or online applications rather than simply send a resume.

Also, a few years ago my husband was laid off. He makes about 1/3 of his former salary. I would like to eventually earn enough so that I can let him quit his job. He takes such good care of me, and I would really like him to be the stay at home spouse instead of me. It’s the way I thought it would always work.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great holiday and have a happy new year.

I really do think this is the year I find a job. I mean, I am setting my sites a little lower. I have even put in apps with temp firms. If you’re reading this, do you have experience with being an older mom who left the workforce?

 

 

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Why advertise how rich you are if you’re so cheap?

I’ve noticed a lot of advertisements on the job boards that include how wealthy the company is, such as: …… a 22 billion dollar company, doing this that and the other, is looking for someone to work for barely over minimum wage, long hours are required, standing for 8 to 10 hours a day, and multiple abilities are required, that have nothing to do with the job…… then the job pays squat, often not even 10 dollars an hour.

What’s up with that? Just saying.

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You can be a substitute teacher

A friend of mine told me yesterday that I should apply to be a substitute teacher. I’ve toyed with the idea for over two years now, and done nothing to move forward with it. So, today I moved forward with it. I am collecting the required three recommendations, filling out the applications and then I will get my finger prints, pay for my background check, and send in the application and see what happens.

I think, considering what I’d like to do that it’s a good idea. If I actually get hired I can call this teaching experience. I am not sure how much teaching I’ll get to do considering it’ll probably be more about trying to keep the class from self-destructing, but who knows, it could prove promising. I hope. I just feel like, if I can’t even get hired as a sub, I’m pretty hopeless. The pay is, of course lousy. 60 dollars a day. I don’t have a clue how many days I would get to work, but I suppose that’s something.

Wish me luck.

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