Friday, August 31, 2012

Job Hunt Log the Sixth: Previous Job Hunts

My first job hunt occurred shortly after I graduated from high school in 1993. I did not get many interviews, but I was eventually able to get a job as a “courtesy clerk” at a grocery store. I do not really remember what I wore or what I said to the manager who eventually hired me. I do remember that I had many disappointing encounters prior to getting the courtesy clerk job, and I did not have good references. (Not having good references is a continuing theme.)

The second job hunt occurred in 1996. I decided to look for a better paying job, one which would not require pushing shopping carts across the parking lot. (I was not able to advance to one of the unionized positions because the store manager did not think I was competent. The assistant managers did not seem to think this for the most part, and I seemed to get relatively okay assessments.) The search for the next job took a lot longer than the first. Despite having the worst interview outfit in the history of interview outfits, I was able to get a job stocking shoes in the shoe section of an outlet department store. From there I ended up working on the dock, moving merchandise to the floor, marking down clearance items and assisting sales associates during sales.

Due to increasingly unpleasant working conditions, I decided to look for work elsewhere. (The specific problem with the working conditions was that the building should have been condemned. The entire ceiling leaked when it rained, the top floor was uninhabitable and closed off to the customers, and the outlet lost thousands of dollars because the inventory would get soaked. Cleaning up the mess after rainstorms was a full time job for the dock and housekeeping crew.)

In 2004, someone who worked at a marketing research call center told me that they were going to be hiring soon. I had been looking for work again and having a difficult time of finding the time to look for a new job elsewhere. I attended the first meetings, which was a group affair where everyone had the job explained to them and we filled out the application. There was also a voice test where we had to use a script and talk to someone on the phone. I almost failed the initial training period because I had a moment where I panicked and screwed up the script. This greatly concerned the supervisor, but I was able to convince her to give me a second chance. I had this job until 2008, when everyone at the call center was laid off because the company was pulling out of Arizona. We heard about the layoff sometime in February or March, and the final closing did not occur until August.

I was very lucky in finding a job quickly. The position was quality control at a shop that created custom electronic parts. This was a fast paced job I was not very good at, I could not find a middle ground between “careful and thorough” and “fast and unobservant.” I was also having increased eye problems and a lot of trouble with my learning curve for this position. (It can take me a while to learn how to do something. I have a slight learning disability and I become anxious if I don’t pick something up immediately.) I was shifted from quality control to a more administrative role that involved adding up routing sheets and checking for time errors. In addition, I was also looking for lost orders and completing other organizational tasks. This job only lasted a year, and I was laid off  on the anniversary of my hire date. Despite the difficulties, I really enjoyed working there.

The current job hunt has been going on intermittently since 2009. In 2009, I decided that my priority would be to finally get a college degree.

My previous college experiences did not end very well, and I was extremely determined not to bug out this time, so I tended to concentrate on my college classes over my job hunting or other money making endeavors. At the same time, I decided to try writing online. In between taking classes and attempting various forms of Affiliate marketing and writing for web content providers, I was also filling out lots of applications, but not getting any call backs. This was extremely stressful, and a lot of this was mostly busy work to keep me from having a meltdown.

I am now successfully graduated, but regretting some of my previous decisions as I attempt to catch up.