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desperate times...well, you know.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Remember last month when I told you something was stealing my joy? That I was having a hard time dealing with it...but I wasn't ready to talk?
Well, I'm ready now.
I am sick and tired of not being able to find a job.

I know I've complained of this before, but this time I'm serious.
I'm not just sick and tired.
I am REALLY sick and tired.
I am sick of tweaking my resume to each job I'm applying for.

I'm tired of spending hours filling out those online job apps only to wonder if it will only get snarfed up by cyberspace before it reaches someone's inbox.
And everytime I look up the 'help wanteds' on the web I literally get nauseous.
Will there be something in there today that I'm qualified for?
If I apply will they even call me?
What if there's nothing?

There aren't very many jobs available here in Grab-your-lasso-town, Wyoming.
Last Sunday there were exactly 40 jobs in the Help Wanteds.
A few weeks ago there were 18.
I've actually seen it empty a few times. Empty as is nada...
I'm not kidding.
And when there are ads most of them are...

- Employment opportunity for Certified Massage Therapist in established chiropractic clinic. Must be energetic & motivated. Call XXX.XXXX.
- Fulltime Auto Dismantler with automotive experience & driver's license. Rinkers, 203 Baker.
and of course...
- CNA- Are you a CNA interested in working in an energetic fun atmosphere? We have a full or part time day shift position open. Check out out new wages! Excellent pay time off package. xxxxxxx Care Center 503 S. 18th. EOE Drug Free Work Place. $1000 Sign On Bonus.

Since my massages definitely can't be described as therapeutic...the only thing I know about dismantling autos is running them into fence posts...and I couldn't be a CNA to save my life...or anyone else's...you can see my conundrum.
I have applied to every job known to man.

I have applied for jobs I'm qualified for...
ones I'm overqualified for...
ones I'm not even remotely qualified for.
I've applied to be a radio reporter for NPR, an editor for an Alumni magazine, a secretary at a grant center for women's issues, an editor for the University's Foundation magazines, a marketing specialist at the University, a 'Stop Smoking' coordinator at the hospital, a receptionist for an insurance agency, a promotions editor for a local television station, a downtown association CEO...and many, many more.
Now before you tell me to stop complaining - that I'll find something soon, let me ask you this...
Do you know how many interviews I've had in the last five months?
A bit deflating to the ego, don't ya think?
I am a highly qualified, hard-working, quick-thinking, loyal, flexible employee - at least that's what I've been told.
I have no idea. I've thought about calling some of these places to ask, but really...what's that going to do for me? I doubt its my resume, or my qualifications. I think its more a matter of 'who you know.' You know?
So...I'm trying to take a more proactive approach.

Taking matters into my own hands.
Grabbing the bull by the horns.
(appropriate since I'm living in the cowboy state)
At first I thought about monetizing this blog. I mean I love to write, so why not turn it into a money-making enterprise.
I redid the header, made a little button, joined
Entrecard in hopes of generating more traffic...and started looking at those companies who rate your blog and then pay you to place an ad on it. But the journalist in me got REAL squeamish, real quick.
The reason I write is for me. I don't want a bunch of ads cluttering up my sidebars...plus I feel like I would be taking advantage of my readers.

I started this blog to write about our family...about Maddie...about our life experiences. The people who read it come here to follow our journey or to learn more about how to take the steps to start their own. I can't take advantage of that trust.
Besides, I don't want to make money off my crew - unless it involves sending in a video to Funniest Home Videos.
I thought about starting another blog complete with ads, so people knew what they were getting into when they started reading.
It would be a mommy blog...or an adoption help blog...or something else I know about. Something where my Sunflower Seeds bloggy friends don't feel like they're being assaulted with ads every time they come over to 'visit.'
I actually went so far as to come up with a header, a button and a design for the new blog...and the registered AdoptionDIY.
But I don't know. I mean, I know that I know how to adopt internationally, but do I have enough of an experience to help anyone else?!
I haven't adopted from China...or Guatemala...or Vietnam. I don't know how their system works. I've thought about recruiting some other adoptive parents to help...but something is holding me back. Something undefined.
So for now, it sits empty.
I've thought about starting my own P.R. firm. My cousin, Lisa, did it. I know I could do it. But that same something keeps holding me back.
I think its fear.
So I've been wracking my brain trying to find some alternatives...which brings me back to the title.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Yesterday's hair-brained idea was doing one of those direct sale/party thingees. I have a friend who sold with this particular company and she says she loved it. The only reason she isn't doing it anymore is because she lives in a tiny, little town and ran out of victims hostesses.
I, on the other hand, live in a decent sized small city, my friend says I'd be great at it and yesterday, in my fog induced, job desperate mind, it didn't sound like a half-bad idea.
I even called my friend's supervisor last night and asked her to send me the start-up packet so I could take a look at it.
But again...I'm getting squeamish. I don't think its 'me'. Ya know?
So here's where you come in.
I need your help.

Help me figure out what to do.
I could do some freelance writing. I keep saying I'm going to do it...but it takes time to find the jobs, do the interviews and write the articles. And I have to admit...I'm not a speedy writer. Hey! You can't rush brilliance! Remember the whole Christmas Card fiasco?
Yea. It takes me awhile to get a pithy post put together.
The new monetized blog sounds good...but by this time tomorrow I may be chickening out again. And how long does it take to get a good blog going that REALLY brings in money? I mean, after all, these are desperate times. Finances around here are incredibly tight. So tight my budget screams.
I don't have time to sit around waiting for a blog to build momentum.
I had a friend suggest teaching online courses...which sounds good. I liked teaching...but again, I don't know where to begin...and the spring semester is already up and running.
Hmmm....any other ideas?

24 salty messages:

themommie January 13, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

Have you thought about doing daycare in your home? Good luck I hope you find something soon........themommie

Tami January 13, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

I've thought about it...but honestly, I have absolutely NO patience for anyone else's kids. I love my own...others drive me nuts.
Sad, huh?! :)

MamaPoRuski January 13, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

Did you check out the "Adoption Writers" group? Perhaps there are leads there for freelancing and maybe you should just publish and market your own book! I'd buy it-at retail even!
I also think we should start a company for adoption mentoring. We could call people from home and check in on them and then charge to be "on call"! An actual house visit would be an episode like "Super Nanny"! Hey, maybe you could pitch to the creators of "Super Nanny" that you would like to be the one going into dysruptive adoptive homes and helping them out....
NOW you got me started, and I'm supposed to be cleaning the house!

Jill January 13, 2009 at 4:54 PM  

I'm so sorry! That must be quite frustrating. (((HUGS)))

Amy January 13, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

Hi Tami!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have been to yours before - somehow - I just tend to run out of t-i-m-e.. you know, time, that thing that you USED to have before kids! :)

Take care! I'm enjoying catching up on your blog!!

Bethany January 13, 2009 at 5:47 PM  

I know exactly how desperate and depressed job hunting can be. My dad has been underemployed for almost 20 years now, with two master's degree. I know personally how debilitating fear is. I wrote a post on it on my "journal" blog a couple of months ago. Check it out if you want. bethanydiaries.blogspot.com

I will pray for you to be blessed with patience, persistence, and your resume readers to have an open mind. Good luck!

Tina in CT January 13, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

I still think you should explore the writing field as you have experience and lots of talent. Articles for magazine, professional journals, online, etc. I also agree that you could write a book about adoption.

Any contacts that you can get to get your foot in the door to work at the university?

Drew, Michelle, Luke and Tetyana January 13, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

I haven't worked outside the home in 9 years and before that I helped run our own business. I haven't worked on anyone else's schedule in 15 years...but I really could use the extra income right now. I never dreamed I would get my dream of a daughter then have to go to work!! The worst part is everyone needs a job right now! Who is going to hire a woman with children who hasn't worked in years??? Then I will just be working for after school care. So we keep trying to scale back and will most likely loose our house...totally sucks!

My kids God father has been looking for a job here for 2 years and has exactly 2 interviews!

I wish I could come up with some great creative career idea for all of us women who need to stay home with our families.

Good luck with your search!

Shelley January 13, 2009 at 8:10 PM  

Since you mentioned that you think you need connections in the community, what about substitute teaching? You could meet a lot of people at different schools and make some contacts, share that you're a writer, that you're job hunting, etc. You might be suprised who knows who in your area. I know that since we've moved here, my boys' therapists have given us so much valuable info on all kinds of stuff in the community....even job openings!

jessy January 13, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

I just left you a really long comment and blogger ate it. UGH! Long story short: Get on the list for postal contracts. By law, the USPS will notify you when contract mail runs come open in your area. You bid the run...if you win the bid, you get the contract. Good money. Easy job. And you usually can stay home with your kids during the better part of the day.

Rachael January 13, 2009 at 9:04 PM  

Wow. That is tough.

How are you sending in resumes? Is dropping them off in person an option? What about calling your old boss and seeing if he can make a phone call or put out feelers or a good word for you in the same field in your area?

Best of luck in your continued search. Hang in there.

Hey, maybe Shad can hook you up with a job. Vet assistant? Receptionist?

Anonymous,  January 13, 2009 at 9:38 PM  

On the "connections" thing, have you joined LinkedIn? My husband does a lot of networking through that. (be aware though, I found I could google his name and his profile photo from LinkedIn popped up) He says be aggressive and put anyone/everyone you ever met in there (doesn't have to be a "friend" like on the other sites)... the more people you have listed the more connections it will provide.

As to the freelance thing or the blogging for money thing, I totally hear you. I can't make myself do something on a schedule most of the time - I need to feel 'inspired' y'know? Plus there's the little matter of 4 kids who keep distracting me every other minute...!!

Praying for you... I know God will lead you to just the right job, I just hope He does it soon!

Elaine January 14, 2009 at 6:47 AM  

I just have to say, I love the Signature Homestyles stuff, but I totally hear you on the not feeling like the sales gig is "you." The substitute teaching idea isn't bad. It doesn't pay tons and tons, but at least you don't have to go to work on days you don't want to, have Dr. appts., whatever, plus you're working pretty much the same hours that your kids are in school. I've done lots of subbing, and as long as you go in there as a teacher and not just a babyistter you'll get called in all the time. Oh, and also? Daycare? While it is a good idea for some? *Shudder* I'm with you. I hope you find something soon!

kate January 14, 2009 at 7:17 AM  

My friend who used to live in your town but doesn't anymore made a tidy sum selling homemade gourmet mixes.

Tina in CT January 14, 2009 at 8:48 AM  

I was a substitue teacher for many years when my daughter was in school. I went in to teach and not babysit. The only drawback is that you come home wiped out and then have your own kids at home. My daughter would often comment that I must have had some challenging classes when I was not in the best mood. The plus side is that you work when you want and have the same schedule as the kids and get snow days. It's worth a try.

Anonymous,  January 14, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

Maybe a paper route? Don't laugh. It's hard work at night but then your home all day and if you just need to supplement temporarily until ou find something else... It pays about $1000 a month here. Just a thought.

Diana January 14, 2009 at 2:14 PM  

I haven't monetized my blog for the same reason. Besides, all the ones I've ever followed who do that really end up going downhill rather quickly and ultimately end up being mush LESS helpful and enjoyable to read.

ebay is always an option. It can be a real gamble at times - sometimes you win big and sometimes you end up selling stuff for far less than it's worth. But, it might be worth a shot. Start by selling all the stuff you have laying around but don't really use. If you're the crafty sort, you could also try Etsy.

pam,  January 14, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

the whole substitute teaching thing is a good idea,but what daycare are you going to find that will take maddie at a moments notice and not on some kind of a set schedule. i don't know , i guess as a daycare provider myself i think about these things. and ya'll babysitting is not bad at all, i've been doing it for 11 years now and don't plan on quitting, i was actually shad and tami's daycare provider. i think you can make any job fun if you go into it with a can do state of mind. good luck guys and did you email me my tax amounts yet ,because if you did i don't think i got them. here's hoping you find a job soon!!!!

Kathy and Matt January 14, 2009 at 10:36 PM  

I empathize with your frustration.

I've been working as a marketing consultant for the past 6 years and while it's hard to keep up the networking (business development), especially when you get busy on a project, it's been great due to the flexibility it has offered.

Depending on the type of writing you like to do and have experience with, you could contact local PR firms, ad agencies, etc. to introduce yourself as a freelance resource. Also, if you go this route, join the chamber of commerce and get to know the small business owners in your area. There are bound to be many who could use help with newsletter writing, blogs, brochure copy, etc.

I've been involved with a career ministry at my church for the past 5 years. Attendance at our monthly meetings is at an all time high unfortunately. The consistent message shared by HR and recruiting professionals is to focus on networking,networking, networking when you're looking for a new job. Responding to ads (online or other) is often a black hole. Finding jobs through referral is the best way to get hired.

Someone else mentioned LinkedIn. I don't use it as effectively as others, but it is a good way to connect with people.

Hang in there and keep praying about it. God will guide your path!

Muddy January 15, 2009 at 12:21 AM  

Have you checked into any of the temp agencies? Often they have temporary work you can do that can lead to a permanent job (I got a job that way once upon a time). They also look for jobs for companies who hire them to be their HR department. Worth a try anyway...

In the least you might make some money on the side while you are looking to help ease your situation. Good luck!

Old DAN AND Little ANN January 16, 2009 at 9:21 PM  

It would be sad to see such a gifted writer with so much valuable insight wasted on home party plans! I heard something in my Esther study this week that seems to apply here, "God does not was you to amputate your history from your destiny." Even if you can't speak to every country out there ... you have a lot to offer just from the well of experience you have had!

Nataliya January 16, 2009 at 9:38 PM  

Tami, I know what you are talking about - been there, done that. Both my husband and I were laid off and had hard times finding other jobs. At the time when you can't find anything, it feels like you'll never be able to get a job. Then all of a sudden, there is a job interview, and another one, and another one. And then when you finally get a job, it feels like you've never been without one. It will be better, without doubt! Hang on there, and you'll get your job very soon!

Anonymous,  January 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM  

ok, been reading your blog forever and I just had a crazy idea. If you can paint even a LITTLE, you can get a bunch of craft paint for 59 cents a bottle and brushes for cheap at Wal*art. Paint faces for kids at parties, church gatherings, farmers markets, local fairs and gatherings. Offer to charge very little at first to places that bring lots of diff. people and have a stack of business cards printed from Vista Print.Those guys drive me crazy with free deals. Go thru google images and get a poset board. Put on it all the things you can paint for them, rainbows, pumpkins, holiday themes. I do flowers and vines across girls faces and stuff. Just a thought Love Suzanne from crazytown Tennessee

Wishcrafter January 18, 2009 at 5:35 PM  

I like the blogging idea. I love your blog, and personally, I don't give two hoots whether or not there are ads on it. If you don't want ads on this one, go ahead and do the theme blog. International adoptions? Why not. So what if you don't have first-hand experience with adoptions from Vietnam, China, or somewhere else. I know how good your research and organizational skills are. And I know you could no more publish something that was inaccurate than you could gnaw off your own left arm. What other topics do you like? Activities for kids? Recipes for a busy mom? You could always publish Shad's hash brown casserole...
Thinking of you -

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