Tuesday, April 24, 2012

16 Months of Unemployment

*disclosure...WHOOPS guess I forgot to finish up this blog post...so here it is 1 1/2 years late ;) *sigh*

Just typing out the title depresses me. Now that I actually have a job I feel like I can type this out without hating myself.

I started looking for a job in May 2009...two months before we were scheduled to move from Hampton Roads, VA to Jacksonville, FL. It seemed as though the world was out to get me from the get go. It seemed to me that any of the jobs that were even remotely related to my field had one nasty requirement - "local applications only." Yeah, no one wanted to hire a person who couldn't start for two months. So I stopped looking. We moved to Jacksonville in July 2009 as planned and I started looking for a job. I got notifications from Careerbuilder.com...however they were scheduled to come every Sunday, due to the job market I was lucky if I got one once a month. The Florida Times-Union had squat...and I mean squat. That may be a little exaggerated, but not by much. The most I ever found under Accounting/Finance were TWO positions...yes TWO. Most times there were one and other times there were none. It was bleak.

My sister-in-law helped me out, she periodically sent me jobs that came to her attention. Funny thing about that? She sent me jobs I was better qualified for than their automated system. Way to go State of Florida!! I did google searches, swagbucks searches...at one point my mom pointed out that craigslist had job postings. I signed up for Monster. At one point my mom told me I wasn't trying hard enough...what a blow! I wasn't sure what else I should be doing. I laid in bed, with my stomach in knots because I didn't know how I was going to pay the next bill coming up, or the one after that. So I got up and searched for more jobs. I applied to every.single.job that I was remotely qualified. I had contacts with several staffing agencies. One staffing agency was great and sent me on several interviews...all of which seem to go to "an internal candidate" which I started to think was code for "no you sucked so they went with someone else." Up until June of 2010 it seemed as though every job posting NOW had another little nasty requirement - "Bachelor's Degree required." So I'm feeling very optimistic once June 2010 rolls around and I finally have that Bachelor's degree they were talking about...guess what? Now every job posting has "Master's Degree required." Seriously?? WTF?

Things were starting to get scary, I made an appointment with the local WIC office, and started receiving WIC checks - something I never imagined myself doing. It did help us out a little though. I finally started applying for part time jobs at Walgreens, Target, and Panera. Well Panera was opening a new store by my house...which is why I even thought to apply there "applications are being accepted now log on to"...blah blah blah...you get the point. I started the application process and got to this extensive questionnaire, I got through the whole thing exhausted and then lo and behold there is ANOTHER set of extensive questions. So I said to myself "eff it" (really I said the 'naughty' word) and saved my application and decided to do it later. Hmm, well the next morning I get a call and hey it's the manager from the new Panera and he wants me to come in for an interview. I get completely dressed up go down to another Panera and meet with him for all of about 5 minutes and he offers me the job YAY. But let me tell you...this job SUCKED, I may as well not have worked at all, after the store opened I was working 10 hours a week at minimum wage, not really worth it in the end.

I can't remember exactly when this took place but I think it may have been the end of October 2010. I got a call from someone who received my resume I submitted through Monster. I set up an interview and then proceeded to research the company. Just logging on to their front page I started crying. This was the job I was meant for. They were a non-profit and what they did was amazing. I was so excited for this interview. The interview went great, I was feeling very confident and manager of the accounting department seemed to really like me.

I called back a week later and the manager confirmed that she really like me and that I was her top pick but we had to get through the background/reference check, the drug test and the CEO's approval. I knew the CEO approval was out of my control, but of course I was confident in the background/reference check. Even with the problems I had providing them with appropriate references (my previous job does not give references period) I was still feeling confident. Then a week went by, I called and left a message. Another week went by, I called and left a message. Finally a week and a half later I call again, finally reach the accounting manager and she says "Oh, they were supposed to send out letters. The CEO decided to go with an internal candidate. I am really disappointed."

I burst into tears. I wanted this job so much and it just seemed perfect for me! At this point I decided I may need to look into doing some daycare in my home to cover the expenses we couldn't *quite* make. But even then, after placing ads on sittercity.com and care.com I got no responses, I applied to several positions through those websites and only one person even responded...and that was just to say the position had been filled. A short while later I finally interviewed for and was accepted for a job AT a staffing agency. In late November 2010 I started my position as a Commissions Accountant for this large staffing agency. Thus ending an extremely long and tiring unemployment streak!

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