I’m to the point in the job application process where I’m not actually getting interviews anymore.
Look, I do realize I have issues with my resume. And NO, sorry Interns over 40, you can’t rewrite your resume to look better today because all good jobs require you to fill out an online application. So, no you can’t just write a functional resume that highlights your skills and hides the holes. Well, some local jobs will take only resumes, but, trust me, this are crappy jobs.
Apparently the job market doesn’t want people who ever changed jobs, got laid off, or who simply didn’t have a career plan until their mid 40’s due to raising children.
If I watch one more filler story on the news about how to make your resume look better, I’m going to scream.
Come into the 21st century people! You fill out an application online, or you’ll print out their application which requires you to list ALL jobs you’ve EVER had, in reverse chronological order. If you don’t do it, lie, or you stick in stupid shit like “stay at home mom” they won’t call you. Ever! (yea, I’ve tried it)
Believe me, since 2005 I’ve sent out more resumes than I care to admit, and I haven’t got a good job yet. That’s right, I’ve never actually had a good job. EVER.
YES, I’ve taken bad jobs out of sheer desperation and been in bad jobs that were lousy, abusive, and just plan awful which yes, since I care about whether people treat me well or not, I quit. Sure, I tried to find a job first, but if you’re working 70 hours a week at a job (salary) it’s kind of hard to find a new job.
If you are having to put up with a boss who throws things and yells all the time, and you live in a right to work state, like I do… your only choice is to give notice.
Now look, I have run my own part time business from home since the mid 1990’s so while it wasn’t a lot of money, each time I quit a job I had saved enough money first, or got a new account, or was receiving child support and alimony — so I could afford to quit those lousy jobs, so it’s not like I was living on welfare or anything. I never did that.
I don’t think just because I quit jobs where people treated me like shit, or that I don’t have 5000 people who want to write me special letters of reference each time I apply for a new job, means I am worthless. Honestly, those jobs have nothing to do with me today. I don’t want a job like those jobs, at all. I want a completely different line of work due to my education.
If people only knew what they were missing out on by not hiring me into a good position with benefits where they treat people like humans, they’d hire me without ever meeting me.
Even jobs I’ve quit can’t say I didn’t do a good job and go above and beyond in the job. I always treat every place I work as if it’s my business that I want to succeed. I do everything I can to make it successful. I will stay late, I will go in early. I’ll think of new ways to make money. I am nice to everyone regardless of my PMS status, and I am rarely sick. I DO want to take my vacation days each year, and I DO want a balanced life, and I DO want a living wage with benefits. I don’t think that’s too much to ask!
I’ve worked super hard on my education. I graduated from college in 2005 against all odds with a business degree. I again graduated with a Masters in Human Environmental Science in 2011.
I have a boat load of student loan debt that I need to pay off. I need health insurance. I need a responsible job that I feel good about. But for all my needs, I can deliver something to my employer too.
I have an extraordinary work ethic.
I don’t surf the net while I’m working.
I don’t screw around at work.
I do my job, and if I finish, I’ll do someone else’s job if they need me. You won’t hear the words, “that’s not in my job description” out of me.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I like cleaning bathrooms or anything, but once I worked in a very small office, and it was stupid to hire a cleaning team — so yes, I cleaned the bathroom. No big deal.
The only time I took issue with that was when I had a debate about how to book an expense with one of the owners, and she got angry and told me to go clean the bathroom that I took offense.
I’m not stupid, I knew this was her way of putting me in my place. Plus, the bathroom was NOT dirty, I had just cleaned it that morning. It was not a public bathroom so being that I was the only one there all day, it had no opportunity to become dirty.
I knew I was right about the accounting process, what did she want me to do, let her get audited and fined? I mean, really. What’s wrong with people.
Up until that day, at that particular job, even with the lousy pay, no benefits, and lack of them contributing the promised amount to my 401K, even with double the profits of the previous year, I stuck with the job.
Add that to her anger and disappointment that I didn’t want to volunteer to work that weekend with out pay. (I was hourly, and I’d happily work the weekend, but with pay!)
In another job I had, I was supposed to become the director of a preschool.
I had no experience and probably shouldn’t have had the job, but I learn fast, care about people, and rules, and threw myself in and learned everything I could without anyone teaching me one thing.
I implemented a Saturday training program to get the classroom teachers trained before putting them on the floor, per Alabama laws, and I regularly worked 70 hour weeks since they never hired enough qualified people to be in the classrooms — therefore,I often had to be in the classroom instead of getting my real job done.
The owners of this place actively sabotaged any improvements, then were angry when things didn’t go right. Also, while I’m a hard worker, I am not a YES girl. If I think something is wrong, I say so. Like when asked to hire more “blonds” yea, that’s code for hiring less black people. AND to offer them more money… After that, I sought to get out of there as soon as possible.
Of course, I was in the same situation I am now, couldn’t get offered a decent job to save my life.
I have learned that the jobs I am offered by smaller employers who take only resumes through the mail, are apparently more often than not the jobs that no one else wanted. This is true no matter where I’ve lived. I’ve had a succession of jobs like this.
1) I got through Manpower at an unnamed Art Center in an unnamed town. I got a lot of things organized as a Manpower employee, then they offered me full time work through them instead of Manpower. I took it, even though I saw a lot of issues and problems.
The board did not like the fact that I went to all meetings, which were public, and that I questioned their expenditures of the people’s and government’s money on certain things. I was in charge of membership, and I felt responsible that the people’s money was spent appropriately. Eventually, everyone quit that job when a questionable choice was made for a new Executive Director at an exorbitant salary.
2) Speaking of Manpower, I have worked for them a lot rather successfully in the late 80’s and early 90’s. However, they don’t keep track after, I think it’s six months, of you not working for them. So, apparently, it’s an issue that I cannot prove I worked there, even though Manpower tells them why. This has come up in the interview process. Even though, these jobs have little to nothing to do with what I want to do today.
3) Director of Preschool job — This was really and truly a shame. It was by far, when I was actually being the Director, my most favorite job. I am good at hiring people, training people, and managing people. Plus,I like it. I liked the pressure, and I liked the pace of the day.
I could be better at it when the owners aren’t fighting me every step of the way. Some of the people I hired are still there.
I finally had to quit due to some safety issues. Plus, I new they were going to force me to drive the crappy bus due to lose of bus driver. I’m not trained to drive a bus full of children and it scared the youknowwhat out of me each time I did it. Especially that bus, which I tried to get repaired but my hands were tied.
Not to mention the fact that I was not made a Director, but an assistant director (the picked a girl that was truly a backstabbing brown noser who didn’t really do anything all day long — and it actually did not work out well for them) and I was moved between several schools before they stuck me out to some school in Siberia. They think I quit because of personal reasons.
I did give notice, in fact I stayed a few months past my notice. I was paid by salary, but if I got paid hourly I only made 5 dollars an hour. Yet, I really did love it and probably could have stayed there forever if people followed the rules, cared about all the employees and the kids more, and the owners never yelled at me about issues that had nothing to do with me. That job actually had health insurance, so it was a real step up.
4) Office Manager job — That also was a good job in terms of me not minding it, and enjoying what I did. It was the temper fits of the owners that drove me crazy, not to mention the inappropriate political speech that often took place, including racially charged language against our current president that drove me nuts. I did keep my mouth shut about this, though I felt horrible.
Then there was the verbal abuse by a spouse of an owner towards the owner. Then when I found out that spouse was going to be around every single day… I had to leave, and leave fast. I did not give notice.I just up and quit one Friday.
The bathroom BS is what sent me over the edge, but there was a lot more to it, like asking me to postpone a surgery so they could go on vacation, having to lie to the spouse about my doctor’s visits even though I was not using more than my earned time off, and the poor treatment by the main owner.
Me: Running to office. “yes?”
Boss: I SPILLED MY WATER, GET A TOWEL
Me: “Sure” Handing towel to boss.
Boss: Leaves room so I could bend down and clean it up, off the floor. Even though, at the time he knew I was having a problem with a pinched nerve and needed surgery which I had delayed for their vacation.
I had, for at least four months, written a two week notice every single day. That’s how miserable I was.
5) Management trainee job at gas/food place — This is the job I worked at and completed two shifts in a row while my daughter who was four at the time, was in the hospital, then when the 1st shift person didn’t show up, the manager told me if I left I would be fired. I was fired. Yea, I was expected to work 24/7 without a break or sleep. The sad fact is, had my daughter not been in the hospital and being discharged that morning, as a single mom at the time, I would have done it, at least for one 24 hour period.
I mean, these are small examples, among others I could choose… I’m not even going to go into the bar-tending and waitress jobs I’ve had along with the sexual harassment that I was powerless to do anything about, other than quit…no, these are the GOOD JOBS I’m discussing here.
Why should I have had to put up with that type of treatment in a job that didn’t really pay enough, in spite of the high responsibility and skill level required, to cover my bills anyway, to the point I had to keep my side business?
I mean, not saying if they paid me more it would have been OK, but what incentive did I have to stick around?
If truth be known, I never saw myself having a real job. I wasn’t really that concerned if a job didn’t work out because I thought I would be a stay at home mom forever, earning extra money for Christmas, Vacations and Birthdays with my business or a part time job.
But, divorce happened, and once I went to college my mind changed, and I wanted to do something new and self-fulfilling now that I raised my kids. I can’t believe what the job market has turned into, and how awful many employers treat their employees. It’s a crying shame. I actually talk to others about this type of thing and my experiences aren’t extraordinary. They’re all too common.
I’m so thankful that I do have my business.
Some months I make more than I would if I did find a job, other months, not so hot if I am busy with family obligations.
But, that’s okay. I will survive.
But what of the other former stay at home moms who probably have situations much like mine?
But don’t have a small business of their own to fall back on? This is a major reason that health insurance should not be tied to jobs in America. I have priced insurance and it would cost me $1800 a month to cover my family, with crappy insurance that actually will never pay for a thing unless we are tragically ill or injured. That’s too much for a micro business to pay for.
And then, while I’m writing this I keep thinking… sure I like my business.
I did create it.
But, I created it out of thin air based on what I could do without any investment. Writing for the Interment. It’s not my dream job.
With the exception of a couple of contracts, most of what I write is super low paying, and frankly unsatisfying.
Yes, even in writing the pay has gone down over the years. Believe it or not, there are people out there who will, apparently, write 500 words for 1 dollar. Not me, but it has definitely affected what I can charge, if I expect to get the contract.
Our race to the bottom in wages, benefits and general good treatment of people is appalling. We all need to stand up and say no to this type of thing. I’m going to keep applying for jobs, but it’s a lot of work today with these crazy online applications.
At least when I was getting interviews I felt like I was accomplishing something. Now, not so much.