Since early this year, the Information Technology market has been less than good. At the end of last year I quit a job and within a month picked up an open ended contract, basically stay hired as long as I wanted. After they moved me to third shift, 11pm to 7am, I decided I didn’t want to any more. So on April 30th I turned in my work I.D. and security swipe card, and set off looking for a “better” job.
I had 4 months of bill money saved up in the bank, 5 if I stretched it. I called some headhunters, recruiters and the like, and started sending out resumes.
Its now almost 6 months later, and I’m still unemployed.
I managed to keep my head above water because my fiancee has a job, and she makes just enough to not quite cover the bills. So we are still slowly sinking, but not having to bail water as often.
I’ll be the first to admit, when I started looking, I had a fixed set of rules for where I wanted to work. But that began to fade after the first month. Slowly, week by week, my standards for employment have crumbled to the point where I think the only thing on my “I’m not comfortable doing that job” list is fast food. And its not just personal choice that has whittled away at my resolve. In nearly 6 months, I have had 2 real interviews.
Anyone else who bothered to contact me in response to my resume (and that number is small when compared to how many I have sent out) said the same thing: You’re overqualified, you wouldn’t be happy here, we can’t hire you. Even one grocery store which will remain nameless told me that I was overqualified to work stock, and that they would rather hire some high school kid who’s going to quit the first time his job conflicts with his social life over me, someone who just wants to keep food on his table and a roof over his head.
The job market was getting better. Then some maniacal moron had the idea to slam a couple of planes into the World Trade Center. I had 3 interviews lined up that week. All gone now as each company “rethinks its position in this time of crisis.” I don’t mean to lessen the pain of the terrorist attack. I sat at home, being unemployed, and watched CNN all day from the first crash to the very end. And I cried, all day. But as the President said, we must carry on. Those of us not victims of the attacks, our lives did not end on September 11th. We must continue living, we must show that an attack on our buildings cannot destroy our lives and freedom.
And yet lots of companies stopped interviewing. They still post jobs and collect resumes, but if you call them, they aren’t following through. No interviews are being set up, no hiring being done. The process only pretends to continue, it doesn’t actually carry on.
So what am I to do? I need a job. Lots of people need jobs. I’m no fool. I realize that I’m in a pool of thousands looking for work. But I can’t worry about them, because if I do I’ll care, and I’ll starve. Well, not likely starve, but move back home with my parents for sure, and that’s almost worse.
Luckily for me, the Christmas season is upon us. Its a time of generosity, good cheer, and seasonal help in stores all over this great nation. I’ve got an interview today in fact. And if I’m chosen, I’ll get to survive until next year. And if I’m not… I hear you can make up to $12 an hour begging on the street if you do it right.