And then…..there were two…..

This past week, I had 2 interviews (shocking, huh?)–both for PT HR Assistant positions.
On Tuesday I was contacted by Staffing Company (whom I had spoken w/ back in Sept/Oct).  They had a position in a nearby town. The company is a  family run operation. The company has a Recruiter who handles all the hiring from point A to point Z, and a Payroll Person, but were looking for someone to take care of all the other HR Paperwork.  This would be a temp-to-perm position.   Staffing Company told me that they sent someone w/ 15 yrs of HR Experience, and the Company folk would say “Nope, Too much experience”….and hence, my resume was pulled up (the exact opposite!! HAHA!).  The interview (on Wednesday) went GREAT! I was “ON.” I liked the small office feel, got along great w/ the president and VP whom I interviewed with.  I was told they were looking to make a decision by Friday, so someone could start next week.
Also on Tuesday, I found a posting on Craigslist for a PT HR Assistant position through HR Staffing Company (one that I had been “afraid” to contact due to my bad experience with the snooty HR Staffing Company).  The position is only a 2-3 month contract position, someone to do the paperwork while they find a new HR Manager  (one recently left…”it didn’t work”).  Instead of emailing my resume, I called HR Staffing  directly.  (BTW, I contacted them 10 minutes after the posting was placed on CL!). I was put through to the recruiter’s VM. HR Recruiter called me back w/in 30 minutes. We went over my background, she wanted me to add a couple of things to my resume, and she was excited (!) to pass my resume along to her client, which is a local non-profit agency.  She scheduled an interview for Friday, and she wanted to meet with me in person, at a coffee shop near her client (meet me F2F to make sure I was presentable, I guess!). HR Recruiter and I hit off so well.  She was understanding, supportive, excited for me….my cheerleader.

For a couple days, I was going back and forth with hypotheticals–aka, what if both companies wanted to hire me, which would I choose? They both paid the same, both positions were nearly identical, the commute is nearly identical, I felt comfortable with both sets of people/offices. It came down to:  TEMP  or TEMP-PERM. With the temp job, it would be a good “feeler” for returning to work–for me, the boys, and especially Hubby. And it would provide me with “recent” experience to put on my resume.  But, I would be back in the “job hunt” in a couple of months.

Anyway, the interview on Friday also went well.  I called HR Recruiter after the interview to tell her how it went. She sounded excited, and said she would send an email to her client to get their feedback. Within 10 minutes she called me and said I got the job, if I wanted it!  I said YES–primarily for the reasons stated above, but also because I felt that HR Recruiter and I established a relationship and she went to bat for me, which I very much appreciated.

Starting this week,  I will be a (temp) HR Assistant at a local non-profit!!! The hours are 9am-3pm, so our lives shouldn’t be too much out of balance.   I am super excited.  As are my boys!  Hubby seems supportive too.

I can’t wait….and I will keep you posted on how things go!
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Deer In Headlights

The leaves are falling all around. I have been looking for the deer in our woods. I haven’t seen any yet. However, in our own household there are two deer in headlights.

According to Urbandictionary.com,  “Deer in Headlights” is  mental state of high arousal caused by anxiety, fear, panic, surprise and/or confusion[, or substance abuse].  A person experiencing the “deer in headlights” syndrome often shows behavioral signs reminding those of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights, such as widely opened eyes and a transient lack of motor reactions.

Yup, we got ourselves a couple of those around these parts.

I’ll start with me.

The last 2 months have been pretty rough on my mental and emotional state.

During this time period, I have been looking for a job. Remember my 4-part blog series “Lost and Found Identity” ? Although I sent a few resumes through the year, I decided to start the “real job search” when the boys returned back to school at the end of August.  So, I’m no dummy. I know the economy is in dire straights and that unemployment is at an all-time high.  I know I haven’t had a “real” (i.e. Paid) job for over 10 years. I know there are many qualified people out there, many of them recent college grads, looking for jobs.  I also realize that my job search has many limiting factors—location, hours, and experience level. So, I really *shouldn’t* be surprised with the lack of phone calls or responses. My resume, if not put in the circular file, is definitely at the bottom of any pile.

I read the job descriptions….and I KNOW I CAN DO WHAT IS ASKED. I tweek my resume on a daily basis.  I become transfixed with my lap top….constantly checking monster.com, indeed.com, Craigslist, staffing agency websites, professional group websites for new job postings.  I check my email. My voicemail.  NOTHING.  I can’t tell you how it has affected my self-esteem. Even if I KNOW the factors behind it. I KNOW it’s only been two months—some folks have been looking for  a job for two years!  But, in the past, I never had a problem getting a phone call for an interview……

It has turned me into a Deer In Headlights.  Anxiety. Fear. Panic. Surprise.

What compounds it is that I am SO BORED at home. I don’t have any pressing projects–no more remodeling/redecorating, no upcoming travel plans, no kids at home.  I could probably do my “home chores” in the space of one day. Maybe half a day. But I say “space it out throughout the week.” So I end up sitting and playing Free Cell on the computer.  I don’t want to leave the house. But I need to.  I should.  For my sanity. Each morning, I get anxiety butterflies in my stomach because I DREAD the nothingness that lies in the day ahead.  When I told my Hubby about this anxiety, he suggested I make lists to get through my day (he thought I was anxious because of my workload).  HELLOOOOOOO…..has he not noticed the line of sticky-notes at my table or desk with “Things to Do”? Are the essentials not getting done—laundry, dishes, cooking, bathrooms? Everything is getting done. I am just bored and tired of it all.   I NEED MORE. (I’ve had friends and Hubby suggest volunteering or going back to school….I’ve been volunteering for 10 years now, and I don’t think “additional” education is going to help me at this point. I already have an over-priced brain).

Which leads me to the other Deer in Headlights at our house. My Hubby.  And if you recall, that is exactly how I described his reaction when I asked him 10 months ago if he might possibly have a copy of my resume in his files or computer.  It hasn’t gotten any better. He claims that he has accepted the fact that I want a job and that I am sending out my resume.  However, for a man who used to be so supportive of my goals, he has shown little or no interest in my job search.   He used to send me flowers each time I took the Bar Exam to wish me luck.  Not once has he asked to see my resume. Rarely does he ask how the job search is going.  Actually, I’m not sure he does. But if I say something about a job posting I saw and responded too, he will make the appropriate “Good Luck” comment. And he has made it pretty clear that if I do find a job, everything will still be on me, and I will have to sort out the kids and schedules the house, etc…..especially if he is travelling or working late.

I understand that he is busy. He has a LOT on his plate at work. But with each passing day, I feel that my role in his life as a partner is becoming less significant.

Remember the scene in “Pretty Woman” where Richard Gere’s character says to Julia Roberts, “I’ve never treated you like a prostitute.” She responds “You just did.”

I’m NOT saying that Hubby  treats me like a prostitute.  However, when I argue that he wants me to stay home to continue my “maid-like” responsibilities and take care of his (and the kids) needs–dry cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc—he denies it.  Then, a couple of days later, he makes a statement “My truck needs an oil change.”  Is this a request? A demand? A statement? Or when he doesn’t ask me what I have planned for the day. Or when he doesn’t remember that I have an appointment scheduled for that day. About a month ago, he went FOUR DAYS without asking me anything about my day (either in the morning or after work).  How do you think that makes me feel? Like I’m just here to make sure the kids are fed, dressed, off to school, that his dry cleaning is picked up/dropped off, and the oil is changed in the cars. My life doesn’t count. When I confront him with these feelings, rather than providing positive encouragement to improve my life, he suggests that maybe we move so that “dealing with move would give me TONS to do.” OR…….”Maybe you can join a country club, play tennis, make friends and have lunch with the ladies.”  REALLY?!??  That is the type of woman you married? One who wants to go to a country club? This while I hear at least ONCE A WEEK from him “I got a great compliment today on my presentation from my boss.”  OR  “I am working with a really great, intelligent bunch of people.  When you hang around smart people, it rubs off and motivates you to work hard and do better.”  Really….tell me more….because I really have no idea what you are talking about.

I sit and think about why Hubby isn’t more supportive? Years ago, I know some of the reasons he fell in love with me was because of my independence, my education, my goals, my ambition. Granted, my goals have changed. My outlook has changed. Maybe it’s become more realistic.  Wanting to be a US Senator was a fantasy of a 16 year old girl.  Becoming an attorney was a dream of a college student from 20 years ago.  Maybe it was something  I wanted to do to make my parents proud of me. Maybe I wasn’t ready to find a “real career” so I used eduction as a way to postpone it.  However, I never signed-on to be a full time SAHM for such an extended period of time.  I expected us to be partners. Both of us would be successful working parents. Hubby knows that. But he’s become comfortable with the way things are. I don’t see him changing his habits or thinking–his job will always be more important. He’s the successful one in the relationship, and I have helped and supported him become successful because as VP of Domestic Affairs, I’ve always taken care of the daily mundane stuff. And if I go back to work that will change. He’s become A Deer in Headlights.

Today is the first time in a month that I felt like crying.  My BF remembered I have an interview today and she sent me a Good Luck text message.

Job Search Update

Well, friends, we are approaching the end of August. Or, more specifically, we have just passed mid-August.  This is the time of year I declared that I would start my job search in earnest. And I have. In fact,  I have set a goal for myself.  Send out at least 3 resumes per week. And network.

How goes it? you ask.

Well…..

I have sent out my resume a record FOUR times this week.   I’m being slightly picky–I’ve decided to narrow my search to Human Resource positions, and within a 15 min drive from home. Which is such a shame because there are so many intersting positions just a bit too far out of my “scope.”  I have, however,  expanded my search to full-time positions–if it sounds intersting enough, and/or is close enough to home.  In fact, I have sent in my resume for 2 full-time positions. They just sounded SO RIGHT and SO INTERESTING, that I figured if I DID get an interview, then I could ask/request/plead to make it 30 hours rather than 40 hrs per week.

I am still occasionally looking at administrative assistant positions–but when I read the job descriptions, I’m not that excited.  Answering phones, photocopying. Been there, done that. More than once.  I’m looking for something slightly juicier.

For the most part, I’ve ruled out paralegal/legal asst positions. I have looked, and the jobs available are in areas of law I have NO INTEREST IN.  Truthfully, I had THE BEST paralegal job before I moved to California–and that is the standard I will compare all law-related jobs to.

I decided to expand my search to Office Manager jobs. Why? It’s very similar to an Admin Asst position, but with a little more responsibility. Usually in a smaller office, so they lay the workload on.  I found one in a nearby town, but I couldn’t seem to send the resume.  I’ve had TWO FRIENDS tell me this week that it’s OK to be choosy/picky, because “I deserve it.”  Not sure what that means, but I figured that since Human Resources really interests me, I rather pursue any and all avenues in that field before I decide to “settle.”

AND…..I’ve networked this week. I’m not a big fan of networking. It’s a necessary evil.  I reached out to two former co-workers and a former associate of Hubby’s in order to “put myself out there.”  As I told my BFF, if nothing comes out of it, I’m OK–at least I get to meet up with a couple of old friends. On the other hand, both of the former co-workers I have contacted are pretty well connected. And they both wrote back to me with an interest to meet. Fingers crossed, please!

The biggest issue I am facing in my job hunt is….what to do with my law degree?? Despite all the “advice” from professionals to keep it in my resume as a way to distinguish myself from other candidates, and to show that I have brains and a willingness to work hard towards a (challenging) goal………….I feel like it hurts my chances to get a job. The jobs I am applying for, do not necessarily need or require a law degree.  A Master’s degree might be too much. I’m afraid that hiring managers see the “JD” and say “WTF?” and discard my resume.  I’m nearing the point where I think I may omit it from my resume.  Your thoughts?

Well…I’ll keep you posted on how things go the next few weeks…..

In Transition

I feel like I’m in a transition period, and it’s somewhat unsettling and making me anxious. I’m neither here or there….and I don’t know where I am going.

I am determined to make changes to my  life in 2011…

However, the infamous “job search” that I talked about in January/February is on hold until the end of the summer.  I did send out about 5 resumes this Spring.   I was probably unrealistically optimistic that I would get an interview call.  But as Spring rolled on, I stopped searching for jobs, partially because I was being extremely picky and choosy–the job had to be part-time, with hours close to that of my sons’ school hours (which isn’t many), nearby, and it had to fit my skill-set and seem interesting. Demanding, aren’t I?  Needless to say, there weren’t THAT MANY OPTIONS. The other reason why I stopped looking is that with school summer vacation approaching, and my kids enrolled in a different camp situation each week, it would be HELLLLLLLL  to juggle a new job and taxi service.

Towards the end of July/beg of August, I will begin in earnest again. My search will be broader as I will have more flexibility for hours, and would even consider a job in Boston. 

I am also thinking about the “What else can I do?” scenario.  I have always been a volunteer for something.  Over the last 10 years, I have been very active in my local Mothers of Twins chapter. I started out as newsletter editor, then membership secretary, national representative, president, and this past year, I was treasurer.  Many moms start dropping out of the club when their twins reach school age.  Since leaving “the presidency” I decided it was probably time for me to move on as well, since sports and school and other activities were taking up more and more of my time and energy.  I told the current president that the year I hold the treasurer position would be my last (on the board? in the club? I never made that clear).  When she sent out the email for volunteers for the next year’s board, I hesitated writing back. I said nothing. I just didn’t know.  I wanted to stand firm in my decision to say “good-bye” to the club, but on the other hand, it has become part of me.  In the last minute (literally) I volunteered to hold a “co” position with an elder member who could use some assistance.  There is also the option of getting more involved in the state or national levels.

Another option is to join a very vibrant woman’s volunteer organization in my town. Some of the things they have accomplished are amazing.  What’s stopping me? Granted, I don’t know many moms / people in this town (if you don’t know my kid, chances are I don’t know you), and from what I’ve seen the majority of the volunteers I’ve met/spoken with, live on the other side of town.  Ok, Ok…. you’re saying “why does that matter?” I know it doesn’t really, but that shy part of me who didn’t like the “clique” groups of HS is preventing me from joining.  Sad thing is, those women that I do know that belong this club, I do like. I know. I’m strange and full of insecurities.

Volunteering more at our church is another option. The assistant pastor asked me to consider helping out in Sunday School. I’ve also thought my energy might be used well with the Outreach Committee.

Or maybe something else will come along……

I JUST DON’T KNOW!!!! (can you say “mid-life crisis”?)

Lost and Found Identity

Shortly after Christmas–when the relatives left and the decorations were put away–I became a little frustrated with the length of my “To Do List” and the fact that the other members of Thomas Inc decided, that instead of helping, they would just add to that long friggin’ list.

I was exhausted. I was beginning to feel that my efforts were being wasted on a bunch of uncaring and unappreciative men. I’d been catering to them for far too long.

During one of my “10 minute breaks” I decided—for shits and giggles–to look at the job market on Monster.com.  I found a Part-time administrative assistant position available in a nearby town.    

Hmmmmm………..what IF (for shits and giggles, of course) I applied for said-position? Without telling anyone? Wouldn’t it be SWEET if I got an interview and….God help me….a job offer?? What would they all think then? 

I went to the office to look for my resume. I know I had updated it….back in 2005. 

Ummmmm……………resume missing.  Checked the file drawer. My padfolio. My “human resource” folders. The resume writing books. My momento box. My new laptop. My old laptop.  NOTHING.( I had this very sneaking suspicion a copy might be on the computer hard-drive that we recently destroyed….the computer hadn’t worked in 2 years…..)

I became FRANTIC!!!! 

I found some packages of “resume paper.” Nope, not in there either. Searched through Hubby’s file drawer. I had a vague recollection that he and I might have made a “resume folder” together and, MAYBE he had it.

Up to the frigid 10 degree attic. Searched through boxes. My boxes. His boxes. Joint boxes. NOTHING TURNED UP…..except hubby’s resumes from college! Lot of good that would do me.

The last time I held a (paying) job was December 2000—I quit right after I found out I was preggo w/ twins and moving back to Boston. I had a pretty sweet resume.  I had even kept it “up to date” with my “work” with the Mother of Twins club stuff I had done. And now it was gone.

I know this may sound completely looney, but I honestly felt that a piece of me was missing. I was a great employee–my employers always took a chance on hiring me, and I never let them down–always went above-and-beyond. I had amassed such great experience in the legal/HR world. And that resume did a FANTASTIC JOB of conveying that. I don’t think I could recreate (on paper) my working career from 1993-2000.

When Hubby came home, I had to fess up. I asked if he had a copy of my resume anywhere. Talk about a deer in headlights. “WHY do you need a copy of your resume?”  At this point it was no longer about looking for a job…..I just needed to have a copy of my resume.  Maybe as a reminder that once upon a time I was important…..felt appreciated by my co-workers and bosses.

Hubby took a look around, and came up empty handed. Not good enough. THERE HAD TO BE A COPY SOMEWHERE.

The following week, during a brief “thaw”, I ventured back into the attic. There were 3 boxes I hadn’t opened, because I knew they contained Bar Exam review books and some Law texts (a part of my past that I don’t quite know how to deal with or face). It was time to open them. Deep into box #2, I found a file folder that lo-and-behold held 3 copies of a resume dating from 1997-1998. 

Something I could work with. It contained everything up until my last job in California. I could come up with something for that job. And then all my volunteer work over the past 9 years would have to be added.

BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. 

A part of me was found.