Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thinking Back & Forth.

I'm happy for what I have, yet I can't help but be sad for what could have been. But lately I have been thinking back on things I should have stuck through and it hurts.

Unfortunately no matter how much help is out there, if you don't have the will/knowledge to use it it doesn't do you a lick of good. There is no simple answer to anything. Nor is the need to accomplish things easily obtained.

This is also known as 'procrastination' and I am very good at this.

I have an e-mail that i sent my self chock full of links to jobs that I may or may not qualify for. I do this so I won't have to go back and search job sites with the hope of finding it again. I do this all the time. But mostly i do it so I can avoid writing cover letters right on the spot.

Because cover letters are the bane of my existence.

The secondary problem I have is most of the job postings I am looking at right now are out of state. Unfortunately most do not say if they are or are not accepting non-local applicants.

I have been spending a lot of time reading Ask a Manager because there is boat loads of information and advice.

Sometimes she links on her blog to articles she wrote that were posted on other sites. This one she wrote in USNews Money titled What to Do When You're Frustrated at Work because I am totally there right now.

Right now I am perusing her blog looking for cover letter advice. So far I have found these:
marital status in cover letter Which is not strictly what I was looking for, but I love the woman's wording about why she is looking for a job in another state.
How a Cover Letter Can Make the Difference
What does a good cover letter look like?
Objectives: Leave Them Off Your Resume It's over a year old but I think I'm going to try it unless the company states that they want an objective.
the point of a cover letter

I also need to try the advice in her article the #1 question your resume should answer. Because right now I should go over that to try to find what I have done wrong.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time management or lack there of.

Yeah... Time management is a very important life lesson that I seem to have missed. Oh my god did I miss it because there is only so much I can claim is ADD. I mean, I know the little bit of glitter in the carpet is sparkly & all and that patterns can be twitched out of it but it can not possibly be so enthralling to take up 2hrs of my life when I was younger.

While I am no longer that bad I'm still worried that it might effect my work.

This past weekend I could have written over a dozen cover letters. Did I? No. Instead I made zucchini bread and ran around doing returns for my mom at the mall.

The only productive thing I did was apply for a part time job at Barnes and Noble. Even then I think I screwed myself. When I turned it in the guy I handed it to took it and wandered away. I didn't know if I should have followed him or what. So I booked it.

I probably should have asked him if I was set.

I think later today, essentially after work, I am going to make a to do list to post here and to my g-mail account. Because something has to be done.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Trials of a Hiring Agency.

And they can certainly be a trial to work with if you find the wrong one.

I have worked through two in the past. The second one was a delight that landed me a full time job. The first was something else.

The closest office had bitter women working there. I had not known this when I started, people that I met on jobs even told me their own stories of that office. They had even gone so far as to flat out lied to me twice about a job.

A friend at a potential job told me that there were openings and that they only hired through this one company. This is how I originally started there. I signed up and then they told me after that the position had been filled. I was ok with that and they set me up with something else.

They would call me with little 2-3 day jobs or once a job that I didn't feel safe accepting. But they had something almost every time I spoke with them.

Skip to almost two years later and my friend again says that they are looking for people. At the time a temp job had just finished so I stopped by the office and asked. They said no flat out. I left but it felt fishy so I went back in. This time my mom followed me in (big no no!) and she insisted they call and check. this time I also said that my friend that works for the company just told me about it.

Their story? It's being filled from a different office. I asked which one and finally got them to call the office and it was set up. This royally pissed off the two women at my local office.

So, one year of bliss later that contract was up and I let my local office know. I call in every few days and they say they have nothing for me. Eventually they tell me that they will call me if something is available. A big change from what I was used to.

Almost eight months later I get a call from the local office. It was a new woman introducing herself. She helped me get a new position right away. Later that day I was telling a friend about it and asking him if he thought they had black listed me and his eyes lit up.

He had a story for me.

It seems that a week before as he was delivering the mail to their office, he came in to find all new people there. He schmoozed a little and found out that the main woman there had been upsetting everyone and had gotten fired. Apparently she made some kind of small scene as she left. Then he was told that the other woman that she worked with just got up and walked out on her job either that day or the following day.


I honestly feel bad for the two women. Now that is, back then I was thrilled that they got what they had coming to them. I was very bitter about my treatment then. Now I realize that there is potential for that to happen no matter were I go or who I talk to.

I know that recommendations are now one of the better ways to go when dealing with a temp or hiring agency. My dad recommended a woman to me a few months ago. I need to sit down and call her to see if she can help me. Hopefully it's not too late.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eagerness Vs Desperation

Eagerness Vs Desperation in the search for a new job can be a little hard to tell apart. I find that while I sound desperate, I am really just eager. I have found that his can be a very tricky thing to explain to anyone.

At one point, just prior to the economy taking a dive) I had been desperate to find a new job while I had been working at an old one. I had been put in a very bad situation that ended with people burning bridges that I had hoped to keep intact after i turned in my two week notice. I had known that a particular person was doing everything they could to passively get me fired. while he did a very good job of it, one person did see this and support me. Their confirmation that 'this was actually happening' made me feel much better and she encouraged me to start looking.

I am positive that had I not gotten a new job that they would have fired me. From here-say and Linkedin I have found that two people involved are no linger at that company. Knowing that did and does not make me feel good. I have a sinking suspicion that the main manager did not get my letter talking about my two week notice. Even worse, he was a gentlemen that I loved working with. Now he has doughts about me and will never let me be hired back.

The job that I switched to? I took a pay cut, travel farther and they have stated that they think they are paying too much for my position. which is almost saying that I will never get a raise. Which I haven't.

But... It's stable.

It's very slow, and has been getting slower, for the business right now. which leaves me with far too much time to think on 'what if's' and other less happy things. There has even been talk of closing an office.

I know from listening that they go through people in my position like water through a siv. One fellow employee has actually asked me on more then one occasion why I was still here. I will admit, this is not the type of setup that I want to spend my life in.

I think that I will have to try a recruiting agency. I have worked with two employment agencies before. I am leery but I will try. With luck I will be able to meet with them after my shift is over.

So, while there is a darkness looming in the distance, I do have some hope.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Game that wasn't.

Jonathan Miles Fingerjig Typing Game is the best thing in the world if you are looking to improve not only your typing, but also you vocabulary. It is also the signal most evil thing in the world. Because if you are confidant about your typing you will be crushed by this game.

Basically it pulls words out from it's massive library and has you type them. they start out short like mot and ennobling. then they test you on one side of the keyboard then the other. But then they whip out words like Prenominations, overdecorates, and epigrammatizers. And when your racing the timer, it's just not very nice.

Fortunately at the end of every section they show you what words you typed and if you click on a word it will send you to it's definition. Very handy.

I introduced this to my mom one day while practicing my typing. She got upset because I kept shushing her and told me it couldn't be that hard. My evil smile at the time should have tipped her off that she was in for a world of hurt. :3 I got such an evil glare from her when I pointed out that she was shushing me while she typed. :3

Since I started playing this game, barley once a week, I have noticed an improvement in my typing and it's speed. Seeing as how every job I look at says the want a minimum typing speed of 40-60wpm and mine is a lowly 28wpm.(up from 24) I have some hope.

First Post can be the Worst Post?

So, I have been working through out most of my 28th year alive doing the same thing every day. Every day I thought that that was what I wanted.

It's not.

Yet the feeling that 'something wasn't right' with how I was feeling didn't really strike until a few weeks ago. And by 'strike' I mean 'freaking the hell out to my parents & sister'. My sister was helpfull enugh to point out that on my last trip to visit her i had done something similar yet more calm.

So, what dragged this to the surface? School.

As in; I am still attending college part time. The math says that even if I could handle 2 night classes a week every semester, while also taking an extra class during the summer, I will not get my Associates Degree for another 6 years. That's right, it would take me 6 years to get a 2 year degree. To give this a little more weight I started college back in 2000.

I do know the biggest mistake i ever made was not activly looking for a job when I tried to move back to California. I had never gotten a job, didn't know how to go about it and worst of all I didn't have a license at the time. Two weeks into living out there I realized I was in over my head. It took me another two weeks to get on a plane home. (Don't fly stand-by.) I was very, very lucky to have such a great friend. not only put up with this frustrating situation but is still friends with me today.

The second biggest mistake I ever made was not getting a student loan. At the time my mom had total control over my finances so I trusted her. she said I would be in debt forever and that was that. (She claims none of this happened.) Thus why I have been working full time to pay as I go with school.

So, right now I am working in a job that might dissipate due to the economy and no one seems to want to hire a person with out a bachelors in my current field. My mom is working two jobs and my dad could retire in another 4 years. My sister is in NYC with her own predicament. This all leaves me on my own for the first time ever.

I am 28 and I am totally screwed.