June 16, 2010

Pursuit of a Job

Well, it has been almost six full months since I decided to seek full-time work. I have worked full-time from home for the past ten years, but have not worked outside the home regularly since then. I did do a couple short stints at my church, but these were 20 hour per week jobs, and the hours were very flexible (with most on Sunday).

My son is almost 17, and entering 12th grade. He will be enrolled at the Junior College come fall, and will not need me to home school him. He is ready for college courses, and I am in need of income to support myself and him. The process of finding a job, especially in a rough job market has been daunting. I have applied numerous times, and have not heard word-one -- nada -- on any of the positions. I have checked the web boards, the online jobs sites, and done just about everything advised online as far as surviving the job search in 2010.

I know that the Lord has good plans for me. I know that His Will is Perfect. I know that He knows what is best for me. The problem has been the length of time it has taken to get a job, any job, and also knowing for certain that I am doing the "right thing."

If my marriage were intact and safe, then finding a job would not be such a high pressure task. Instead, I am desparate for work, seeking anything that will provide a livable wage. There simply are not many of these types of jobs available for someone with my qualifications. I am highly qualified, and have a lot of practical experience. I have good educational credentials too -- I just don't have the requirements that employers are seeking TODAY (now in 2010).

In the olden days, I would sign up with a temporary agency or a placement firm. This was how you got a job back then. I would interview with the agency and then wait for them to place me somewhere. I got all my work this way, and for the most part, it was easy to do. I took a test, filled out the application, and then waited for a hiring/recruiter to call and tell me he/she had such and such a job open.

Over the past twenty years or so, things have changed. Now with the internet being the only acceptable method for submitting applications and resumes, it is nearly impossible to meet with a real live person. You submit your application and receive an auto-reply telling you "Thanks - we will call you if we like you." That is it -- no name, no person, no phone number. Do not call, the website says. No one will take your call, no one will answer your email. It is all very impersonal and if your resume doesn't match the posting EXACTLY as stated, well good luck! No one will even give you a second look.

You can really get depressed over this type of job seeking. You can become totally convinced you are a failure and unable to secure any type of work. You can find yourself sinking lower and lower and lower -- hoping for any morsel to fall from the master's table (thinking of Jesus' parable). When nothing comes, you become so desparate, you practically will say and do anything JUST to get your resume looked at a little more closely.

I know this is true because I have been there. I have written my resume over a dozen times -- changing this word or that, this focus or that, highlighting this experience over that experience. I shape it to suit the post, I change the cover letter and write glowing words saying "Hey, I am the person you want for this job." But, it does little to make a difference -- except give me fifteen versions of a resume on my computer.

I don't have the money to hire a professional resume maker, and I don't have the money to pay for any kind of service. I am on my own, and I am stuck trying to navigate these companies who seem to hold the power of life and death in their hands.

The good news is that I have a great ALLY on my side. I have the Lord God Himself who is Sovereign over everything. He knows what is best for me, and I know He has a good job ready for me. I am waiting patiently on Him to show me, to guide me, and to point me to where I need to go. I need a door opened for me right now. I thought I had one, I thought I had several -- but those doors, while they may be opened have not provided any recompense. I walked through them, I tested them, and in the end they didn't deliver. I am still standing here waiting for a job, and while I am game to give anything a go, I simply don't know what to do anymore.

I have prayed and prayed and prayed and right now I am prayed out. What more can I say and do? I mean, I am trusting the Lord for His Provision and that means that I believe He will provide for me. I simply cannot do anymore than that -- for there is nothing more to do but to trust Him and believe that only He is able to rectify this situation and bring to pass His Will in my life.

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