Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not Being a Chicken

The Statistics Canada people called back to follow up on my employment status. Did I work in the last 30 days? Well, yes and no. I got a job offer. I went somewhere on my employer's dime and I worked hard at learning things, but I didn't get paid and I didn't get a job out of it, so no. I just tell them the story and let the interviewer encode it the way they want. He probably had a training course on it, and everything. I was looking forward to being a positive datum in the survey. I redouble my efforts to make that happen next month.

I hate online application forms that require me to enter "expected salary" and won't let you go to the next page without it. At least with a paper one you can enter a range or write something vague. Some of the ones I've hit lately ones verify that I enter one proper number. I apply to a couple of jobs at my current level, jobs I should be able to get, but not jobs that advance my career.

The phone rings, I answer with my name. The person actually listens to what I said, then uses my name as he asks to speak to someone else, a male name. There's no one by that name who lives here. I tell him that and he thanks me and hangs up. I psych myself into believing that he bailed because he didn't like the way I sound. I try to knock myself out of that headspace to in order to write sincere, enthusiastic cover letters.

When I run spellcheck on what I've got and it complains about my e-mail address, the non-blog e-mail on my resume, not the cockpitconversation one. It suggests I replace it with one of:


If you can reverse engineer that, send me an e-mail!

I make a note of that for the blog, then read some e-mail and write an unrelated blog entry. Now what was I doing? Oh yeah, I was revising my resume.

I didn't apply for a job in Yorkton. Nor to another one in the north, posted by an employer who doesn't know the difference between the shift and the caps lock key, for a company that ten years ago had a 'don't bother applying' reputation where women were concerned. The guy probably thinks ovaries interfere with the operation of the rudder pedals. You can picture him, in a tractor hat, typing with two fingers and a pained expression on his face. He can skin a moose, load it into a plane, fly bush IFR and finish off a mickey of rye on the way home. Be assured I'm not implying anything about the particular operator. I don't know him, and for all I know the shift-key-challenged person is a twenty-five year old female. It just amuses me to construct a picture of the boss I'm not applying to serve. The job is in a town where I really don't want to live, and I don't have the particular time they favour, anyway.

Actually, I always summon up a picture of the person I'm writing to. Sometimes I know what they look like, and I usually know what their airport and hangar look like. I imagine them reading my e-mail and looking at my resume and being pleased with what they see. I also picture myself there. I'm not doing it as some kind of New Age visualization process, it's just what I happen to do. I commit to things.

It's irritating the number of little changes I made in my life because I thought I had a new job, and now I have to undo them, or just feel their reminder all the time. They were tiny things like changing the default airports and towns I see the weather for when I check my iPod touch, and rearranging my sock drawer to make it easier to grab the black ones when I get dressed in the morning. The black ones used to be at the bottom, or permanently in my suitcase. I did a bunch of menu planning and associated grocery shopping to make flight bag lunches, so I have to use that up, and kick myself every time. It's also harder to settle down and apply to okay jobs when I can still taste the fine one that got away.


Arf said...

You're in a tough situation, no doubt about it, and I'm sorry to read about it as I catch up on your blog.I certainly don't have any good career advice, but I can report my own experience. I work in a profession that takes forever to complete one's training in and then very very few qualified people ever get the holy grail job. The rest end up being way overqualified for the work they end up with, alas (seems a little like the aviation world, eh?). I am one of the lucky ones, though after too many close calls in landing the dream job I decided to give up, sat at home trying to reinvent myself and lo and behold an opprtunity presented itself to me about 8 months later. I went from having given up to being where I wanted to be, just like that. Very unexpected!

I'm sure you've heard stories like that more than once, and they don't change a thing for you tangibly, but I do hope that patience will pay off for you big time. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

FWIW - I've taken jobs "below my experience level" etc. just because I'd rather be employed... and, ironically, it's often easier to find work when you're already working (with some exceptions perhaps). Just being out circulating, and inter-acting with folks in the job mileu is healthy and often rewarding, in my experience.

Anyways - all the best in the hunt!