Monday, August 12, 2013

An Update

My job search continues.  I've applied for another 7 jobs and have identified more that I can or will apply for in the next few days.  A real stumbling block for me has been working on my accomplishment stories -- for whatever reason, I dread working on them and have been procrastinating on them badly.  But I sort of broke the ice with that today, and I hope to keep working on them this week as well as continuing to apply for open positions.

The only thing I've heard back so far is one swift rejection for a job that I was genuinely overqualified for, so that's no heartbreak.  A couple of the jobs I have the highest hopes for have not closed yet, so there's still a chance with them.  Of course, there's a chance with any of the ones I haven't heard back from, but in general, I view the probability of hearing back with a phone interview for any given job at very close to zero.  Despite this assessment, and the fact that I am not in any dire need of a job immediately (and in some ways I'm in no big hurry to start working again), I still feel a bit of anxiety around the whole thing.  In part, this is because I recognize that I'm not quite the completely stellar applicant I've been in the past -- I have a lot of professional experience, but it could be viewed as out-of-date because I've been in school so long.  I feel this puts in me in a kind of weird position where I could be viewed as a weak or average candidate for jobs that are at the level my years of experience would suggest but overqualified for jobs at a somewhat lower level.

One thing I did this weekend was read up a bit online on what to do when you think you are being dinged as overqualified for jobs you're applying for, and I'm now trying to tailor my resume a bit better for these positions.  I can't really do anything about my education experience, though -- even if one doesn't feel it's somewhat dishonest to not include it on the resume, in my case, I look really strange on paper if I don't include it.  I mean, if I were looking at my resume, knowing that I am a woman, I would assume from the gap between my last professional job and now that I had a baby and am now going back to work again because my kid's old enough to be entering kindergarten.  I can't see how exchanging "This woman looks a bit intimidatingly over-educated for this position" for "This woman has a young child at home and is re-entering the workforce after a few years of changing diapers" is an improvement.

In any event, it's fortunate that I am not desperate for a job.  This gives me some time to try different approaches with my resume and if applying cold to open positions doesn't seem to be working out for me (it always has in the past, but I was a stronger, more straightforward applicant on paper back then), I'll try something else...even the dreaded "networking" approach that is apparently how about 70% of jobs are filled.

One positive note -- I found out that my last employer is going to have a job opening this fall again and I've been asked if I'm interested in moving back to Texas for it.  Though that's not going to happen, it was nice to know that at least somebody thinks I'm worth employing.  Now if I can get someone who hasn't already worked with me before to think so.

Also:  I had the very strange experience of seeing on one of my job alert lists a job at Robert's employer that sounded like something people in his group do.  I asked him about it tonight and he was like, Oh yeah, I'm going to be hiring a new person to report to me -- I put the listing up on Friday.  I was genuinely surprised that with all the job search talk going on in our house, he never mentioned this to me, and I teased him about how awkward it would have been if I'd applied for that job.  He says that the divide for him between his work and home life is so stark that these things just don't ever occur to him to mention when he's at home.  But that's cool -- at least he tells me about the really important things, like that a co-worker had some baseball tickets for Thursday's game that he's not using and that he gave to Robert.  Excellent!


mom said...

Does baseball come pretty close to making all things better?

Sally said...

It'll be esp. great if the home team wins. We're up 9-3 on them so far this season, so I hope to see another victory. But even if they lose...yeah, watching a live baseball game is pretty sweet living.