Friday, June 22, 2012

Job Hunting

Part of being unemployed for over a year is applying to everything and anything I'm even slightly qualified for. I apply to positions I might be overqualified for as well. I spent six hours today perusing the local listings on Monster, Careerbuilder, Craigslist, Times Union, and the New York State Job Bank all with the hopes of employment at any capacity--I'd take a position as personal ball-washer at this point, if it paid enough to move out of my parent's house.

Of the twenty-five resumes I sent out today, I'll be lucky to hear back from three of the companies to set up an interview. If Murphy's Law upholds as it has the past year, I probably won't hear back from anyone, but my fingers are crossed to the point of losing circulation when I think about the editor's assistant opening at a national magazine I located about an hour ago. To have a career in publishing on any level would be success in my book; it would mean I'd finally done something with my degree.

However, I can't begin to imagine the stress I'd be under if I had children to support or a mortgage to pay or parents that couldn't put up with my insane behavior. Instead, my measly 401k leftover from my previous job in Denver, now that I've cashed in, should hold me over for months. That's even after I sunk five hundred dollars on a new computer; as my friend said, "A new PC for a gamer is as good as buying a new car," and I have to agree.

Computers these days are vital to job hunting, not solely because of required skills either. Today, I was able to have 10 windows open rather than one. I was able to enhance my resume, copy and paste email addresses, search for positions, and research formats all while listening to music and keeping up-to-date on Facebook. Yesterday with my computer, the hunk of plastic sitting in the corner of my room like an abandoned prom date, I would have had to go window by window (when not frozen or loading) with a tower that sounded like a jet engine. Seriously, the racket from my old PC has haunted my dreams for five years. I'm pretty sure it took a chunk of my hearing too, as I'm now prone to ask, "Huh? What'd you say?" on a regular basis. What took me a week to perform on my old PC I can now do in a handful of hours.

This computer might not be top of the line but it's exceedingly useful in job hunting. When I did my community service for college at the Department of Labor, I spent time assisting people on their computers. I helped them write resumes and cover letters. I helped them find job sites and perform searches. That's, of course, when I wasn't jammed in a dingy room shredding papers for hours on end. If there's one tool that must not be ignored in a job hunt it's a computer. Going store to store is well and good, but having every job opening in a 300 mile radius at the tip of your finger is priceless.

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