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61 posts from May 2009


Do Not Pass GO: Nancy Wood

Nancywood I am not the person playing Monopoly that obtains the card “Pass GO.  Collect $200” that brings a smile to the face of holder of that card.  Just 35 minutes into the telephone interview for the “dream level job position” I hear the words, “you don’t have enough management and marketing experience for this position.”  Disappointed but not totally surprised.  I had convinced myself I had enough work experiences, education and drive to do that job.   I was prepared to provide more examples of my experiences during that interview. The next morning, as previously arranged, I went to their Arlington office to interview for the original position with that company I applied for.  Needless to say, this two-hour interview went extremely well.  It was like meeting an old friend though I was mindful that I was being interviewed.  The interviewer was so relaxed with me she sat on her haunches.  I am sharing this new term to me, “haunches”, I learned at the interview.  It simply means one who sits with their heels tucked under their hip and thigh.  After the interviewing, I was shown around the small office, completed an application form, and signed a job description form.  I was introduced to the lone employee there manning the telephone who is an outstanding baker.  (By the way, I heard her tell someone on the phone she was hired two months ago.)  While I was completing my application, I was treated to her scrumptious chocolate bars and lemon bars (I had one of each).  Apparently she brings in her baked goods on Friday to share with the nursing staff picking up their paychecks.  Anyway, the interview process was left as they will get back to me soon.  They have to complete a background check as I signed those release forms.   I anticipate hearing from them by Wednesday.  In the meantime, I haven’t passed GO, so I must remain diligent, strong and continue to focus on my job search everyday --- starting right now. - Nancy L. Wood


How "convenient" is the web, anyway?: Callie M. Vivion-Matthews

Calliematthews Happy Saturday everyone!

This week has been difficult for various reasons- all of which fall under the category of "TMI" for the readers of this blog. Needless to say, I am glad it is the weekend.

As for all things job related, I'm sorry to report that not much is happening on that front. I have spoken to a couple of colleagues of mine who got laid off the same day I did in December, and they each have had one interview during this five-month period and that's about it. My friends relate that they are, like most of us, frustrated by the fact that submission of a resume and cover letter via the web seems useless, since there is no way to confirm whether the information gets to where it needs to go, despite the confirmation email. The "convenience" of the web has its down side, doesn't it? It seemed a little more comforting to know that when you responded to an ad posted in the newspaper (WAY back when) at least you were sending it to an actual physical address!

I find myself constantly battling my "positive reality" with my "negative reality." Of course, the positive reality is that I do have a temporary job, without which, I would be sunk. My family is healthy. I have food in the pantry, etc. The negative reality is again - TMI - but it is very real and sometimes it can be frightening.

Let me end the blog, as I try to every time, with something from the kiddos:

Last summer I was fortunate enough to be working in the oil and gas industry, and my husband and I were able to take our family on a trip to Disney in Florida. Our first real summer vacation. The boys loved it, and my husband and I got back needing a vacation from our vacation, which means it was a good trip. As this school year ends, my youngest son, (always optimistic) asks me where we are going on our summer road trip. My oldest tells his brother, in a very solemn voice: "There is no summer road trip this year." (As if he was delivering the news of someone's death). Harris exclaims "Oh, man! This economy stinks!"

Indeed it does.

But for my children, what a boring life I would lead. :-)

Until next time, I remain,

The traveling lawyer-

Callie M. Vivion-Matthews

Another See Saw: Nancy Wood

Nancywood I received two job inquiries yesterday! One was a preliminary telephone interview.  She was clarifying some items on my resume and telling me about the company.   I treated this communication as I should - as an interview.  I tried to hide, as the expression goes, “I was a deer caught in the headlights”.  As I was told at my Jobs Now program, I should have not answered the phone and allowed the company to leave a message to avoid that situation.  Frankly, I didn’t recall the company’s name, where they are located or the position I applied for.  I discovered after we talked that I applied for that position online on Thursday the 21st.  The day I applied for my record 13 positions in one day.   I am impressed that they responded so quickly to my resume/application. I clarified that while I do not live in the vicinity of their company, near I-75 and I-35, I planned to relocate near my employment.  This is true.   Apparently, they have lost employees due to the commute to that area.  Secondly, I was told there is another position opening up that I would be equally suited for.  It is actually a preferred position and I will look for it and apply for it.  It was left that they may get back to me to schedule an interview. Two, the other company inquiry was to schedule a telephone interview.  It is for a different position than I applied for.  The position is at the “dream job” level.  The phone interview is tomorrow with the VP of Operations!   My interviewing skills are mediocre at best.  Too many strong answers and examples go right out of my head in an interview.  You may have seen me before.  I am the one driving home from the interview muttering to myself that I should have say this and that.  So for the rest of the day, I will be talking out loud to myself preparing and practicing my answers to possible interview questions to reflect that I am not only the right person but the best person for this position. Today I am adding pumping of my confidence to staying strong and focused. - Nancy L. Wood


Still Plugging Away: Emily Allen

EmilyGAllen It looks like I dropped off the face of the earth.

Wrong. I'm still here in San Antonio, plugging away at landing a job of any sort.

The new batch of resume DVDs are being made, in hopes that I will be able to send out more next week. For those that are wondering exactly what a resume DVD is, it is essentially a reel of my on-camera broadcast work. I usually send a copy to potential employers along with my paper resume, references and cover letter. Unfortunately, I made the fatal error of not paying attention to the dwindling stack and am now down to my last one. This problem should be corrected by this weekend.

Along with various broadcast jobs, I've applied for a few positions that require extensive knowledge in social networking media such as Facebook and Twitter. Seeing as Facebook began as a collegiate website, I consider myself well-versed in its applications and tools as a four-year user from my UTSA days. I always knew that being involved with these sites would pay off in one way or another, so now I'm doing my best to sell my social networking addiction through cover letters. Apparently, knowledge of these sites and other similar sites are now valuable skills for employers seeking to reach a new demographic through 'viral marketing'. I'm practicing the 'viral marketing' technique by doing publicity for a local community theater group's upcoming musical, so there's another line on the resume.

I have also contacted and reactivated myself with a local medical staffing agency, in hopes of finding some temporary work to supplement my dwindling bank account. I worked a few temporary jobs with them last summer and always got good feedback from my employers, so they were more than happy to have me back on their active list. Maybe they'll find me something for next week.

Also checking out and Craigslist for potential jobs - I never expected to find anything on Craigslist, but several jobs that were listed on there have also appeared on some of the professional journalism sites. Perhaps there is some legitimate work to be found there after all. WorkInTexas has links to government job listings, which I consider to be more stable options given the current economy but that's just my opinion.

I've got twelve days to meet my goal of being employed by my birthday. Here's to hoping that everyone else's job searches are fruitful and encouraging!

-Emily Allen


Treasure Hunting: Nancy Wood

Nancywood While I have not been at this job search as long as many of you, I have tired of this process already.  The daily internet search on the job boards is tedious especially when there are so many unrelated jobs using my “key words”.  There are so many previously seen jobs marked as “new” day after day.   And I cannot forget that the same job may be listed on several of the job boards so that I see that same job listing over and over again.  I have to mention too my anxious feelings of missing an opportunity because I am not using the right “key word” or because the employer is being creative with the job title and/or duties. So, I have decided to re-package this process as a treasure hunt.  The first treasure hunt for me was probably the Easter Egg Hunt as a small child.  In elementary school, there was a board game I played whose theme was pirates and finding the treasure chest.    In my late 20s I was introduced to yard sales.  Since it was done for sport and not necessity, it was a treasure hunt.  Again, just for the fun of it, I was finding treasures in the second-hand stores and consignment shops.  These treasure hunts were both exciting and relaxing; and brought great joy when I found a brand new item 75% off its retail value.  Now, transferring my job search into a treasure hunt is finding that career opportunity in a suitable location, using my skill set to the fullest, offering a competitive salary, and attaching a benefits package – the treasure.  Each day it is how many treasures did I find today.  This is different than the number of jobs I applied for but which one(s) of those jobs is a treasure – to be examined closer and followed up on.  Which one of those “treasures” are worthy of being followed up with a phone call, with a networking contact or pursuing that company for similar job opportunities.  The term “treasure” will apply to the job commitment once hired. Right now, I have begun today’s treasure hunt for the prize with my name on it.  This is another way I am trying to stay strong and focused. -Nancy L. Wood


LIFE!: Rickey C. Cooper

Rickeycooper LIFE! As you wake up each Day please reflect how God has Blessed you for another 24 hours.  Yes, as another 24 hours has elapsed in time I still search for opportunities that closely reflect my career goals. Currently, there are still no opportunities within my career goals that has come to my attention. But I am here today to encourage you to stand firm on what you are seeking within your Life-Time. I will continue to seek open opportunities that do exist and inform you upon success.  Regards, Rickey C. Cooper,

Americans looking for a break this summer?

Schlitt Many Americans may kick staycations - those good ole' money-saving vacations close to home, or at home - out to the curb this year, Star-Telegram staff writer Steve Campbell reports in this recent story. - Scott Nishimura, jobs/workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


(Photo: Schlitterbahn)

Businesses find PR in altruism toward unemployed

Soolsong Here's Star-Telegram staff writer Melody McDonald's recent take on local businesses that have gone out of their way to help the jobless. - Scott Nishimura, jobs/workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

(Photo: Keller cleaner Sool Song offers free cleaning to recently unemployed people.)

FW schools annual fair for recent HS grads: June 11

Graduatron Here's a job fair to pay attention to for recent high school graduates: the Fort Worth Independent School District is holding its annual Hiring Fair for recent FWISD graduates, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. June 11 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. They define recent grads as age 17-21. - Scott Nishimura, jobs/workplace reporter, Star-Telegram holding Arlington fair June 4

Military, a privately owned site that links veterans and their spouses Ballpark with jobs, is holding an Arlington job fair, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 4 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. RecruitMilitary says it expects more than 300 veterans to attend the job fair, which is targeted at helping “our recently returning troops and other veterans and service members, and their spouses, find jobs.” - Scott Nishimura, jobs/workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


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