The goal in America is not to have a dream but to live the dream. The dream surrounds us and envelops us every day. When I look around I see many people with a nibble of their dream and a taste for more. An eternal optimism hides within them even while the times are less than sunny. Often it is hard to see it as they put forward a mask of pessimism with their “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” attitude. Often it is hard to see the optimism in myself.
I was ill prepared to start on my trek through one of the worst job markets of recent years. It was almost 10 years ago that I last embarked on a similar search. At the time the unemployment rate was 1.7%. Finding a job back then was no more of an adventure than the kiddie rides at your local theme park. While walking to your car you could be hit in the face with more than one opportunity. Back then I felt invincible. This was in part because we all feel that way at 20 but also because I could play to my strength. I am a people person. I enjoyed the interview process because it gave me a chance to shine.
Today I am met with the great resume black hole. Without a way to break down the door I have almost no chance to be employed. My guess is that 50% of the applicants have a more attractive resume while mine has the all the panache of a wall flower. Why don’t I fix my resume? Believe me when I say I work on it daily. The most common method of searching for a job is looking for listings posted either on-line or in the newspaper and sending in your resume. I could not tell you how many how many jobs I have applied for with almost no call backs. I have received the occasional automated message with a “Dear John letter,” but not much in the way of a real response. You are wondering about how bad my resume really is or if am I applying for jobs well above my skill level. In response I would tell you that the unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 11.7% while boasting one of the highest percentages of College Graduates per capita in the nation. I will share with you all of my resume’s many messes at some point but not right now.
The status quo is unacceptable to me. The thought of stay unemployed for much longer is a painful one on both a financial and intellectual level. To try and change the status quo I have come up with a plan for a practical and intellectual exercise. The plan will serve two function. First and most importantly it will hopefully lead to gainful employment. Secondly it will serve as a learning tool for others that are faced with the same uphill battle. My hope is that in analysing my process and results the next person to embark on the great hunt will have a smoother ride. Be warned that I plan to try any and all conventional and unconventional methods to acquire a job.
Still not sure you want to read more? Here are the best reasons I can think of right now.
Reason 1: Why do people rubberneck? You want to read because you want to see the carnage. This is a real process with real consequences. I am not a paid author and I am not living vicariously through a friend. You can want me to succeed or fail but know that I am a real person with a real family to support.
Reason #2: You could learn something. Even if you are not currently looking to a job there is a good chance that you will need/want to look for a new job at some point and maybe one of my crazy stunts will help you in your endeavor.
Reason #3: You could teach me something. Maybe you have gone through the same trials and tribulations that I am currently facing. Do you have a trick or strategy that could help? Let me know and be a mentor.
Reason #4: You have a crazy idea that you think could work or fail. If you have an idea that you think could work but just don’t have the guts/resources to try please feel free to suggest anything. Even if you have an idea that you think is disastrous and are just curious to know if I am dumb enough to try i want to hear the idea. Maybe I am that stupid.
Reason #5: You are filthy rich and don’t have much to do other than read random blogs on your laptop as you sit by your pool drinking a cocktail.
Most importantly keep in mind that this should be an interactive experience. Comment and let me know what you think. If your only reason to comment is to plug you blog then please at least make the comment something useful. You can also follow my odyssey on Twitter via http://www.twitter.com/jobless_in_sj