My Jobs Report Month 20

Believe it or not, I lost count. Month 20? Really? Yep. The only way I could tell was by checking for the most recent report. This job search certainly hasn’t gone the way I expected. At the start, I expected it to take a few months, and I planned to report on the job after I found it. A few months in, as friends worried that I wasn’t looking, I decided to pass along these reports. Surely, there’d be one month that brought the reports to a close because of singularly good news. Not yet. Reality is messier, but progress is being made. The race isn’t over.

There is good news. My role as Project Director of the Virtual Museum of HCLE (History of Computing in Learning and Education) has gained traction with HCLE’s attendance at the Museums and the Web conference (#MW2013). Networking, finding solutions, connecting with potential funders and collaborators added to the momentum of the museum and the job. More funding means eventually more paid hours per week too.

There is more good news. I haven’t seen or signed the paperwork yet, but I’ve at least received an email with the subject line “You’re Hired!” How much more encouragement would anyone ask for? After I receive the signed paperwork and first check I’ll add the title Information Manager to my resume and LinkedIn profile. Another part-time job.

And yet, the job search continues because both of those jobs don’t add up to one full-time job, and both of those incomes don’t add up to enough to pay my frugal bills, unless I continue to not pay the mortgage. That’s where the real race is being run, between foreclosure (the paperwork for which is in the house, I think) and recovered finances.

I continue to apply for full time jobs, but few have responded. Entry level jobs turn me down for being over-qualified. Professional level jobs turn me down without saying why. One of the most encouraging full-time positions responded early in April. That job had the great title of COO, Chief Operating Officer. That would’ve been that singular job. On the up side, they provided the nicest rejection letter so far. “You have a fascinating and exciting life/background. I think we are looking for a different skill set but you are someone I would like to meet when we get through this process!” Now, to find someone who wants to hire someone with a fascinating and exciting life, and add their episode to it.

Of course, such a singular job would be welcome, but I am committed to my part-time jobs and my consulting clients. Saying yes would unleash a string of negotiations, most of which are with understanding people. It might happen. I didn’t guess that this job search would go on for twenty months. I’m sure any guess about what comes next could be equally inaccurate.

The most likely scenario is typical of many people recovering from financial upset: replace one full-time job with many part-time jobs. Fortunately, my potential part-time jobs are on flexible schedules. I feel sorry for people funding a lifestyle through three retail jobs, each with fixed and irregular schedules. Every week’s schedule is probably a negotiation. The ones I talk to feel stressed and relieved. How does one person working multiple jobs show up in the unemployment reports? None of the jobs are W-2 jobs. They are all 1099s. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the unemployment percentages are based on W-2s. 1099s exist for contractors and employees that companies don’t want to directly count on their books. The number of jobs being filled may increase but the number of employed people is a different number.

These are the details I am relieved to address. They are complications in my life, and they aren’t enough to pay the mortgage too; but, the jobs before me alleviate worries about being homeless and hungry. That’s a great improvement over the last few months. I’m not going to worry about whether part-time gigs confuse the economists. I’ll consider those implications as I try to better understand the news, but I won’t worry about it.

Twenty months. That’s a sizable slice out of a 360 month mortgage. Recovering from this financial upset may take just as long, especially at this rate. Fortunately, I have other resources that may speed things up. MicroVision (MVIS) had some good news for my portfolio. My self-publishing, social media, and planning clients are calling back for more. Classes (mine, Madrona‘s, WICEC‘s) are filling my schedule. Book sales are up, and that’s without much more of a marketing effort other than some blogging and tweeting. Today, my voice mail was busy with potential buyers looking at my house (where I think I left the foreclosure paperwork on top, and now that I’m back home I’m embarrassed because something in the sink should’ve been washed down and wasn’t.) The kindling of my various efforts seems to be catching, and if my efforts roar the recovery may be short and sweet and worth celebrating soon.

And here I sit past 9pm on a Saturday night, not finished with my work day, while writing about job searches. Through the course of the day I talked with people who have found part-time jobs, but who haven’t been paid; who are volunteering, but don’t know if the position will lead to a paycheck; and who left behind jobs because they weren’t given a day off in weeks or months, which raised health issues that could only be solved by self-imposed unemployment.

These are strange and fractured times. I feel that a race is on, not just between my finances and my mortgage company, but on a grander scale. There is a race between our financial system, the need for reform, and our ability to adapt. As all politics is local, for people below a financial comfort level, all finance is personal. Sequesters aren’t as important as the voice mail I received because of an application for another part-time job. They’re impressed with my physical accomplishments and want to meet and talk. I hope that’s an interview too. If so, they’re wanting to talk because of my bicycling, mountain climbing, running, hiking, traveling, karate experience, and dancing; not because of my business or technical background. It sounds like they want me for my body, not my brain. Well, if that’s what it takes to win this race, let’s see if I have what it takes.
Surprise Pavement
In any case, it looks like there will be yet another installment in my jobs report. Thanks for tuning in.

About Tom Trimbath

consultant / entrepreneur / writer / photographer / speaker / aerospace engineer / semi-semi-retired More info at: https://trimbathcreative.wordpress.com/about/ and at my amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0035XVXAA
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One Response to My Jobs Report Month 20

  1. Susan Averett says:

    !!! So many good things coming your way – yay! Nice seeing you at WICEC tonight. Your art looks gorgeous adorning the walls there. Good things happening all the way around….

    Sue Averett The Enchanted Studio photographic and healing arts http://www.the-enchanted-studio.com

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