Of course I want you to work for free

In the course of my business life, I often reply to job postings on the Internet. I don’t know why I continue doing that since 9 times out of 10, it’s spam. But, if I have a few minutes to send information or get information from an advertisement that looks promising, I go ahead and take the chance.

First, I’ll explain what I do. I write custom content for websites, and on occasion for a really good client, I will be a virtual administrative assistant and do other tasks such as upload content to their website, edit content, write and send correspondence, and pretty much anything a secretary can do. I will, even answer calls forwarded to me at specified times. And yes, I charge for every hour I am to be on call, not just phone time.

For all of these services I charge money. I mean, imagine that. I need money to live and pay my bills. Yes, I also need money to go on vacations and buy shoes and purses. My fees can range between 65 an hour, and 30 an hour depending on how many hours the client buys, or whether they pay per service via package rates, or whether I’m managing others or not. There are many factors that go into the fee, but again, I charge for my time — a fair rate for the type of service I offer.

The other day, I sent my resume to an advertisement I found on WAHM.com. The advertisement claimed I could make up to 20 an hour, and even though this is below my rate, I responded.  I’m posting portions of our email conversation below.

From me, 1st inquiry.

From him, is first answer

From me, 2nd response — feeling miffed. Answering from my phone, even though I don’t normally do that.

His answer, trying to dodge the idea he wants someone to work for free.

Me saying — no thanks!

Note: I regret this was by my phone’s voice to text, lol since it has errors. But hey, I knew I wasn’t getting the job anyway, since no job existed. But still, I won’t do that again! lol

His response

My final response

Was I harsh? Did I just have PMS? Did I just throw away a good client? I don’t know. I do know that I deal with a lot of crap like this. I get at least one email a day suggesting I write for free to get experience. Once I got a request to write an ebook for a client, do all the work, including research, etc… upload it to Kindle Direct and get only a percentage of sales. LOL, NO Thank you!

I am going to be paid for my time, all of it. Period. Of course I will edit work to a point… even editing has a point of end. I will also give a refund if the client is not happy. I won’t however, let them keep the work if they don’t pay for it!

If I hire a contractor to design my house, I still pay for his time, even if I ultimately choose someone else’s design. That’s why you research people you hire.

Do you like their example work?

Do you like the terms of their contract?

Pay people for their work!

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Women probably can have it all, we just don’t want it

After having a day or so to think about it, and then reading the article that the discussion was about (you can read it here: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All), I’ve received a bit of feedback.

I want to say that I think the writer makes a lot of good points. Especially to women like me who thought she could do things in a certain order and that it would be fine. I figured I could have it all, just one thing at a time. Children, then education, then career. I just didn’t realize that people in positions to hire me would see me as a lazy slob who has done nothing with her life.

Never mind that I successfully raised girls without dropping out of school who are productive members of society.

Never mind that I went back to college and graduated while I had children at home as a single mom. I even have a Masters degree.

Never mind that I am a hard worker who never gives up. I always find a way to earn the money I need, even when I can’t find a traditional job I have started my own business and pay my bills via that business. Each year my work at home income goes up by 12 to 15 percent.

Never mind that I would be a great asset to anyone who hired me, respected me, and let me use my skills.

Never mind….

Parenthood is not a job skill-set

I really did believe I could take jobs on to earn extra money, whenever I wanted to, then quit whenever I wanted to, since my main priority in life was raising my daughters. I was completely oblivious to the idea that my resume would forever be a record of my working life. I bought the idea that you can re-frame your resume based on each job. I didn’t realize that we’d someday have these crazy online applications that make you put in every single last job you’ve ever had, even if its not relevant. Electronic systems that throw out your application if it’s not perfect.

I just did not even think about how my resume looks to others. I believed mothering was more important. I still do. Honestly, at this point  sometimes I think that I would have been better off never having gone to school, never having had a business, and perhaps then I could get one of those fast-food jobs.

The truth will set you free

It’s good for younger women to hear the truth. And the writer says the truth, which isn’t exactly what the headline says.

Women can’t have it all, not because they really can’t, but because they don’t want to.

In general, women don’t want to give up time with their kids. In general, women are the ones who deal with sick children, car pool, and a myriad of other child issues, more than men. Why? Because many women are single parents. And, because it’s what our current society expects.

Yes, I too hear the stories of great fathers who are equal. But, I’ve never actually met one in person. I hear about them. I even hear friends of mine praise their husbands for being that way, when they’re not really. We do that to avoid fights with our spouses, honestly. In our society the fact is that most women are expected to be the nurturers and men are expected to be the bread winners. We praise men who take on parenting rolls even 30 percent of the time, where as women we penalize harshly for not wanting to, or even for wanting to and thus blaming them for ruining their careers. I have to wonder how many women would still be married if we stopped letting men get away with this.

We can fix this for future generations.

For starters, if you’re lucky enough to have a spouse, and that spouse isn’t helping out equally, well, it’s time you demand that they do if you want to succeed in a high powered career. Hell, if you want to keep a crappy job because you need it to pay your bills, then you need your spouse to help with that too. We have to place a high importance on child care and home care. We have to make men see its importance, as well as other women see the importance of making men stand up. We have to stop giving them an out.

Subjective experience

I used to be a director for a preschool, just for a year. It was amazing to me to watch the working women who picked up their kids. Yes, 99 percent of the time it was women dropping off and picking up kids. Most of these women happened to be married. It was an expensive private preschool.

On rare occasions when the wives went on a trip and the man had to pick up the kids, that’s when they were often late there and late picking them up too! I was shocked to see infants as young as six weeks in childcare from open to close so that women could work who had husbands making six figures. I tried not to be judgmental, but I admit I couldn’t understand it.

I even witnessed a case where the woman worked, but the man was unemployed but the children still went to childcare….. but if the woman lost her job, she quit the child care. Of course, I did meet my share of single dads, dads who were doing it all. But, it was interesting watching how the teachers treated the single dad compared to the single moms or the married moms. Everyone bent over backwards to help the single dads. No one helps single moms or moms.

My experience

As a mostly single mom ( I say mostly because even when I was married to the father he was gone due to being military), I was used to doing it all myself.  After I started that job, which was the first time in my life where I HAD to work to make ends meet, I realized how hard it would be to keep doing it. I had children who needed rides to school, our town had a terrible school bus system that did not pick up at our apartments.I had zero help as the father was in another country.

The job was overwhelming because I could not ever just leave. Even if my child hurt herself, I could not leave. I realized pretty fast that I needed a different job as a single mom.  I tried really hard to keep it. I actually liked that job a lot. I loved the work, the kids, the staff. Everything about it, although it’s a low paying career choice. I paid someone to drive my daughter to and from school, and to deal with emergencies, but it cost a lot on my salary. I made $910 dollars twice a month. Yea, for about 70 hours a week of work. Yay me!

Plus the toll on my emotions or my child’s emotions was not worth it either. I finally quit. I went back to working from home like I have done for ever, because even though I put my kids first, I’m still career minded. I still love to earn money, and I will find a way to do that, even from home.

Societal problems

Yes, our society sucks. They don’t pay women the same as men for the same job.  Jobs that are traditionally filled by women women pay lousy  too. (Like childcare) They don’t value our contribution to child rearing, and it’s really hard, if not impossible to start over at midlife after the kids leave the nest, no matter how much education you have. Did I mention that I have a Masters degree?

But, if you have a husband, who also has a great career, and you have a great job that pays you well, you’re a lucky minority. You have actual choices. Don’t mess it up. But if you do choose to “mess it up” by putting your family first, accept the fact that you’re ruining your career. That you probably won’t make it through that glass ceiling. But, like most women, especially women of means who have high powered high earning husbands too, you have that choice. Personally, I’ll be honest, and maybe sound judgmental, I don’t get it when a parent chooses career over children if it’s not a monetary imperative.

We can fix this problem

I have a little theory that if we women made men live up to their 50 percent responsibility on child care, things would change real quick. We’d see more family leave laws, more flexible work schedules, more understanding of managers when interviewing former stay at home moms for good jobs. So for me, the key is not really in telling women why they can’t have it all, we already know — but telling women to stop letting men have it all without consequences. Once we put men where we are, things will change drastically and it will change fast.

The question though is can we as women do that? I’m not sure I can. I like taking care of my kids. If I had more kids today, I’d want to do it the same way. I would still want to be a stay at home mom with the lions share of the responsibility. I just would.

It may not really be too late for me

My children are grown and out on their own, and I am remarried to an awesome husband who I do believe would help me out equally in child rearing. The only reason I’m not in a box is because of him. Well, okay also because I make a living working from home too. I should be satisfied with that, but I’m having a real hard time getting out of my head my dream before I went back to college in 1999.

My dream was to get my degree and work at a community college or university in an administrative capacity. To continue my education and possibly teach part time. Hardly the stuff of glass ceilings. Because of that, it may not be too late for me. I might yet find one of those jobs. I will keep applying and see what happens. I’m not asking to break the glass ceiling, I’m simply asking for a decent job in a place that I like where I can shine for the next 20 or so years of working life.

In the meantime I’ll keep running my business.

Barry Publishing

I Write Custom Content

Posted in Being a woman | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hard to fill jobs, tips to employers

I just finished reading an article about hard to fill jobs on Monster.

One of the hard to fill jobs is Administrative Assistants.

Well, as someone who has applied for numerous administrative assistant positions since oh, forever, both before and after finishing college I have some idea of why these jobs are hard to fill.

Here are 11 tips to future employers:

1) If the pay is lousy the employee won’t care — Most of the time the employer requires a tremendous amount of skill, yet wants to pay fast-food wages. Personally, if I am going to use my brain, (and believe me, I want to) I would like to be paid a living wage, thank you very much. Honestly, I got paid more in the 1980’s and early 1990’s for administrative assistant work via Manpower, than is often offered to me today. (I do live in Alabama, but it seems to be par for the course elsewhere too)

2) Hire older people — From my experience, most employers want to hire young people, which is fine, except — there are plenty of older people like myself who are more qualified, and more dependable than a younger person. Employers should not overlook people in midlife for these positions. We are really organized, and will do wonders for your office. Even a Mom who has all the right skills, who has mostly been a stay at home mom, is a good choice. Look harder at her.

3) It’s the economy stupid — Don’t penalize people if they seem to have job hopped or have a break in career due to child rearing or because they took bad jobs.  Consider skills over longevity in any one job. Remember, the economy has been in turmoil the last few years. It’s not the person’s fault. Offer them a stable position, with a living wage, and fair treatment, and you’ll be shocked at how loyal your Administrative Assistant will be.

4) Consider giving tests — If you’re not sure of a candidate’s experience why not give them a test? There are plenty of tests you can purchase that test a candidate on their knowledge about office equipment, standard office procedures, and more. I’d be happy to take a test to show you that I can do what I say I can do. I realize my job history is sketchy due to being a stay at home mom and a business owner.

5) References are questionable — Some women who have taken a break in their careers might not have as many references as you’d like. But consider this, who is going to put down a reference that would give them a bad review anyway? Can you really trust anyone’s references? Try going outside the box and talking honestly to the candidate about their experience and why you question it. You might be surprised at the answers you get.

6) Don’t interview everyone — If you’re interviewing a college graduate for a position, and then decide not to hire them because they are a college graduate and because you think they’d be bored, um — why the hell did you waste their time in an interview anyway? Seriously, don’t waste my time. If you don’t like my resume, please, don’t call me. If you do call me based on my resume, or cover letter, now it’s time to hire me based off my interview, not off my resume or cover letter any longer.

7) Be honest — If you interview someone and you have a real reason that is not illegal, not to hire them — please tell them. It helps them if you tell the truth about why you don’t want to hire them.  I don’t care what the reason is. You don’t believe them about their skill level, you didn’t click with them, they dressed poorly, whatever… Maybe you have a wrong impression, and maybe the candidate can get better at future interviews if given the honest, hard truth.

8) Don’t ask for the stars and the moon — If you’re hiring an administrative assistant for 10 dollars an hour, is it really fair to ask them to do everything under the sun including graphic design, letter writing, accounting, bookkeeping, receptionist duties, cooking, cleaning, etc…? No, it’s not! Create a fair job description of the primary responsibilities of the Administrative Assistant, and then if you need more than that, hire someone with those skills. Alternatively, and I say this again to make a point, consider actually paying someone for all the learned skills that you desire.

9) Teach me — You know, I have a masters degree, I am teachable. As long as it’s not brain surgery, I can learn.  Plus, learning new skills on the job makes the job that much more exciting. As long as an employee feels useful and keeps learning you’re going to keep them longer.

10) Keep me — Finally, if you hire me, treat me well. I expect to work hard, and impress you. I expect to be trained in the expectations of my position. Throwing someone in a position with no training, no discussion of expectations, with work that changes on a daily basis with too many bosses, and no standard operating procedures, is asking for a lot of job turn over.

11) Don’t micromanage — Finally, once you’ve trained me, trust me to do my job. I have skills, I have education, and I might know a better way than you do to do my own job. Even if you don’t like my way, at least consider it. People like to feel valuable to their employers and listening to us helps a lot. Oh yea, don’t yell and throw your arms around, it’s abusive. I’m not your wife. I’m your employee.

And while this isn’t exactly a tip, if you can afford it, please pay people a living wage based on your location. Also, give them the benefits you’d want to have too. A yearly vacation, a few holidays off, yearly bonuses, retirement plan and some flexibility if possible. There is nothing better than having a long-term employee who loves their job.

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I guess it’s true that I won’t get a good job at this age

I caught this program and discussion on C-Span.org called Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. I’ll link to the program but it’s an interview with Former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter regarding her cover story in The Atlantic by the same name. I don’t think she meant to have the effect on me she has, but it is what it is.

Since I didn’t start at a young age, it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever be hired by an academic institution in any level that matters. Plus, I’ll certainly never be a CEO. Since I made the choices to stay at home with my kids, even though I ran a small business out of my home pretty much the entire time, and obtained a high level of education, it’s just not going to happen to me. Not because of me, but because of society.

If you’re wealthy you’re going to have more opportunities to be a stay at home mom and then still obtain a high level career. But, for most women it’s going to be a lot harder than that due to the fact that we don’t have equal pay for equal work, or the same type of respect for women who make choices for the kids. Even though we’ve made huge strides, we still have a long way to go. Since I’m already 46 years old, it’s not likely it’ll happen in my lifetime in a way that will affect my personal life.

But, I sincerely hope it does happen for my girls. I’m afraid I have raised them to value time at home with their young children to a point that they’ll probably make the same “sacrifices” as I made without even knowing I am making a trade off. I really didn’t know I was. I really did believe that I could stay home, be a young mom, and start my career at midlife. I thought I could. I believed it completely. But, it’s just not based on facts. Facts are, women who make my choice, in my financial level of life (lower middle class) will probably never rise above their station in life without starting my own business and essentially buying a position. That’s hard to do when you’re lower middle class so it is also unlikely.

Here’s the link: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/WhyWo

I’d love it if you’d watch it, and give me some feedback about what you think? I’ll write more tomorrow about what this revelation means to me.

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Just PMSing

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.

Example:

Boss: STEPHANIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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.

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Time flies

Well, I am still regularly applying for jobs. Probably 50 a week. I’m not even getting interviews at this point. Well, I did get an interview at a furniture store, but I decided I didn’t want the job since it was far away, not in academia and one of those desperate late night applications that have nothing to do with what I want to do.

My oldest daughter is getting married the week before thanksgiving, and we’ve been busy moving to a new apartment. Plus I still have my business. So things are good, but I still want a job in academia. So now I’m struggling with what direction to take in continuing my education.

I am considering getting another Masters degree, this time in academic advising. A really good point about this degree is it’s at Kansas State University, which is essentially home to me as much as Alabama is. Plus, it’s online. To get to graduate from both my favorite schools in both my favorite places would be a huge rush… but, is it worth it? I don’t know.

My other choice is to get a Masters in Accounting. But I am not sure how that will further my chances of getting a job in a college or university. So, I have a while to worry about it and plan to make my choice in December and apply to whichever program I really want to do. I just don’t want to waste more money on more education that doesn’t do anything for my goals.

On a happy note, I have lost about 40 lbs. My husband and I are on a entirely plant based diet, and we are feeling really awesome. He’s lost 25 lbs and I’ve lost 40! He doesn’t need to lose more but I do. Maybe that will help me get a job? We’ll find out. I just feel like employers are truly missing out on someone who is very dedicated and loves education and young adults. I know I would be a great value to any organization. It’s not fair to be penalized for being a stay at home mom all these years, or for having a business to help me continue being a stay at home mom.

 

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No job yet but an update

A lot has happened. We lost a brother due to cancer, a child we took to college in August,  and with all those things happening,  I kind of just gave up on the job search. I acquired a really good client, though like all contracts, it’s not permanent, but at any rate I had to give them my all and that didn’t leave much time for job hunting. We all know, with all the online forms you have to fill out, is a full time job! I know it’s bad to give up, but when you apply to hundreds of jobs and get barely nibbles, and the nibbles you get either decide not to hire right now, or turn into dead ends, it’s depressing.

We are supposed to go on vacation in October. It’s an inherited time share and we go every October. I have a daughter getting married the following month. So, my plan is starting Dec 1st to focus in again on applying for jobs. In the meantime I keep writing for clients, and that’s fine. I like it. But, I really want to work at a college. I know I have a lot to offer in many different areas and I am not going to give up until I am hired.

I am going to limit my search areas this time though. I really want to move near Cary, NC where my oldest daughter lives. The other kids have talked about moving to that area as well, eventually. I dream of living near all my girls when they start having babies. I don’t know if I can handle being too far from them once babies are involved! So, now I have more focus: Job in a college and near Cary, NC. Incidentally, I was born in NC, so that area is HOME for me even though my father’s military career took me away from it.

Anyway, so expect more posts from me in the future, just not for the next couple of months.

 

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