I haven’t posted to the site for a while. Not because nothing has struck my interest, but because I’ve been searching for a job. That’s a full-time job in itself, you know. It occurred to me this morning – it’s also worthy of a series of blog posts, because as much as I see from recruiters, I don’t see much out there from job seekers. None of us want to “poison the pool” so to speak … perhaps say the wrong thing in such a public forum as a blog. But I think we should.
I started looking for a job in June, thinking I wanted to transplant from Cincinnati, OH to San Francisco. It’s a big jump. It was really difficult and I wasn’t able to give anyone a definite date for my move. After all, I didn’t want to move unless I had a job. Unfortunately, no one wanted to pay to relocate me. I did have an interview in July, when I was in the Bay Area for something else. That’s a red flag right there — they didn’t even want to pay to fly me out for an interview.
At some point I realized I needed to commit to moving out here and I did it. I set the date. Then in September, I loaded up a new BMW and drove it 3,000 miles across the country. But I still didn’t have a job. I crashed with a girlfriend for a month and was still living off a minuscule retainer I had coming from my consulting business.
I’m an instructional designer, social marketer, and above all, a kick-ass trainer. I’ve gotten to know myself and my strengths pretty well over the last 6 mos of job shopping. So I’ve learned what I want in a job – what my top desires are, and I’m learning that I don’t like to “settle.”
I can’t even tell you how many recruiters I’ve talked to and interviews I’ve had. The hope and heartbreak involved in all of this has been nothing less than the world’s tallest emotional roller coaster. Companies may or may not mean to, but they truly play with your emotions. It’s hard. It’s a time full of rejection and loss of confidence. Why does your best friend get called for the same job for which you were overlooked? What isn’t popping on your resume? Yet, you can’t afford resume writing services (especially when paying exorbitant San Francisco rent) and trying to make car payments and just … survive.
I’ve gotten to the point where I really feel that a lot of companies have very little respect for the job seeker and what they go through on a daily basis. The obsessive checking of email, the lying to current jobs in order to commit to an inconvenient all-day interview (you can only do that so many times), obsessive checking of LinkedIn, the lack of response after interviews … even the amazingly slow process involved in getting hired. I had one job want to “rapidly” hire me and it still took seven interviews over two months. Then there is the “cancelling” the current position after interviewing someone multiple times. As the job seeker, you start to lose trust in a lot of companies. You start to see, if you dig deep enough, where they have ethics problems, just in how they treat their potential employees. I had one position send me an email telling me the job was cancelled and then offer me a position the next day. “Oops,” they said, “we meant to send that to the other applicants.”
I’ll spend the next few days or weeks relaying some of my overall experiences as I continue through this job search. Only recently, my heart was broken by a “sorta rejection” from what I saw as my dream job. I just want other people out there to know they aren’t alone. We all go through this, and it’s never easy.
Michelle is a recent, wide-eyed transplant to the San Francisco Bay area. She still runs Write Technology, where she specializes in training, social learning strategy, and social marketing. Michelle is the executive editor of My Wine Education and recently started steps towards becoming a sommelier just for the hell of it. Michelle also blogs at Total Learner, where she intends to wax poetic on what should be and what isn’t within the field of learning. Oh, and she’s looking for a “real” job so feel free to reach out.
Note: Technology press releases should be sent to michelle[at]writetech[dot]net.