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Hope

I was sitting at a Starbucks today, waiting for my first interview of Monday. I had just gotten back from a weekend in SF where my Fiance and I had meetings with caterers and the band. I was utterly tired and although I am an organic vegan, I needed coffee. I was not planning on having coffee during my interview there, but I got that cup of Joe and had no problem sipping it down. The man never showed for the first interview, so I sat there with my coffee and had no problem searching for stats for my next interview.

An elderly woman sat next to me with her coffee and oatmeal. She looked over at me and I smiled, wondering how it must be to be that age, your career over, living nicely in Orange County and being able to get up, walk to the coffee shop and eat. I wondered if I would be able to do that someday. She broke into my thoughts with a wide grin and told me about what she loved about being there at Starbucks. She loved that she saw so many different people and was able to talk to them. I responded that most people come here alone and it is nice to have someone to talk to. Her smile widened and she said she was glad I was talking to her, that most people ignored her. I was appalled that people would ignore such a colorful woman as this. She told me she was so colorful she could write many books about her life. Her husband had a stroke at an early age but just in time for her son to take over his firm and she had six houses but now only has four because she could not tend to them all. The thing that struck me the most was how she had all of these material things but was so down to earth. She said her “treasures” were her two smart children, who were my age now. I found her absolutely fascinating, wondering if I would be this nice when I was older. I wondered if I would have amazing unique stories about my children, houses, life and husband.

My lasting impression of her came at the end of the converstaion. I had to get going to my next interview and I gave her my number  since I lived in the area and if she needed anything I could help her since her children were not so close. She thanked me and told me she hoped she remembered my name. “More importantly,” she crossed her elderly elegant fingers and said, “I hope you get the job. You are a lovely woman and don’t let anyone ever tell you your not smart because you are a woman. Don’t take that crap, if anything, show them how much smarter you can be than them.” I said “Thank you,” sincerely and walked away thinking about what she told me.

She was absolutely right, in this world I have been treated as stupid, even in my past jobs I have had because I am a woman. I have actually acted on this assumption that men thought I was stupid to sometimes get what I wanted, or I just gave up trying to prove myself constantly. I am used to working with men (they tend to be less drama), however, they think they can pull one over you. I have been debating in my head whether to say when they ask for salary the true amount I should be paid versus “will get paid anything to get a secure job.” I stuck to my guns today and again I was told I was a great interview. I did not talk about salary, but I did act secure about everything I said and if we have another talk I am sure I will not back down on my salary. Acting as if I was worth the job I think helped the interviewers to see I was seriously an expert in my field. Hopefully, the interviewers who say I was a good interview will change their words into actions and I will have a job this next week.

So, here is to hoping! I love how one word can give you strength and influence you to be the best person you can, by hoping you get the job or doing well on that exam or hoping for a better relationship. By hoping we can get the inspiration we need to do better or to be better people. As the elderly woman has spread her hope to me today, I hope to spread hope to you, for whatever you may need it for!

Best,

Anon.

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Waiting

I am done with interviews for Friday and here comes the part that is the most tedious: the wait. I have gotten an offer already, however, I interviewed at a great company today that I would love to be a part of. He said I was a very good interviewee and he would be calling everyone next week with his decision.

I have to wait a whole week before I find out. This is so hard because I have other interviews scheduled and I am not sure what other offers I might get. Luckily, the one I got this morning was very flexible for working hours, so I can take it and keep looking.

However, I don’t know if the job that was offered this morning, which is my “back up” job, is legitimate. According to the woman who interviewed me, I could work at home, manage accounts and make a lot of money per month by managing accounts and creating great customer service. Basically, it sounded too good to be true, which made me skeptical so I am just “trying it out” now. I did a background check of the company and the company is real, so I guess the job is real, but still, how can you tell these days what is real and what isn’t?

I really hope that the interviewer for the job I want calls me back sooner rather than later. Anxiety and me don’t get along very well and with this waiting period it grows. However, I am breathing and trying to relax and think about the other interviews I have next week.

I also got my paperwork for unemployment from the EDD today. I am filing it just in case this other job does not hold through since I have signed no paperwork yet and have no grantee whatsoever.  If the job works out, then I will cancel the unemployment ASAP since that is the last place I want to get money from.

I don’t get how people can live off unemployment because I basically have to support two people and it’s not enough for even food each week. I hope I find a job soon and I don’t have to worry about what to eat next and how to fill my car with gas. Sure, I have a little money saved, but it can only last me about three weeks and next week will mark the two-week period in which I have been jobless. When people are surprised about how many job applications I have filled out and how many interviews I have gotten, I reply with I don’t really have a choice.

I need a job and I hope I will find one soon. I also hope, all of you out there who are looking too, can find one as well. Keep positive and determined!

Best,

Anon.

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Now on with the Show!- the Interviews

I find that no matter male or female the big question is always the same: What do I wear? You can’t just wear your everyday clothes, but at the same time what is business casual and what is professional? It is different for each company and since we are judged first on our looks, the employer will be looking at us first to see if our style “fits in.” We want to look like “part of the group” but at the same time stand out from other interviewees.

So what did I decide to do? Well I took 15 pictures of 15 different styles I could wear to my interviews tomorrow. I am applying for a job that is highly into health, but I let my weight get away with me since I am getting married now and was working 24/7. So my big question, when I sent out those pictures to my friends, was what the heck do I wear so I look fit? I mean, sure I would not care if I was a stick figure, but I have an hourglass. It is probably the worst figure to have for business because some suits make you look hoochie and other ones that are too big make you look sloppy.

Here is where my major in Drama comes in handy: I know what colors stick out and what don’t. We always talked about, for auditions, what colors were best to get you the part, so I see a lot of similarities between auditions and interviews. For example, red makes a person look healthy and beautiful. It brings out the flush in our cheeks and contrasts nicely against the skin. So I picked a red color and worked that into my suit. I picked a semi causal white t-shirt- that is where my “business-casual” part of my outfit is. I have black pants and closed toed shoes.

The second way to get ready is to research everything on Google. I find their social media channels, their stats and old promotions so I can see what worked and what didn’t. I hope to create a summary of services I can offer by being a part of their company to positively impact their marketing.

Next it is onto the show! We all put on our happy faces like we didn’t get laid off, we are already happily self employed and we march into those interviews. I pretend in an interview like I am selling my talents to a potential client so that I have the backbone to mention my “out of the box” ideas. I agree with most of what they are saying and I figure out a way to see the company in their eyes.

Hopefully all of these tactics will get me a job tomorrow, wish me luck! Also, good luck to all others who are having a hard time. I just had another friend request me to recommend them for Linkedin because they got laid off too.

Wish me luck!

Best,

Anon.

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Pretending to be Employed

Ever since I have been laid off, my Fiance and I have been pretending that I am “employed.” I still use my cc for the food, gas and other payments as well as shop for clothes for interviews. I see the money going down in my account and I can’t help but notice secretly, none is coming in.

I have now three interviews this Friday and two on Monday of next week. I know those are a lot of interviews but it is still hard not knowing what will happen. In order not to shake my confidence of getting another job, my Fiance has taken to saying nothing about being laid off, but instead saying, “You will get one, soon. I am sure of it.” I hate the word “soon” it is such an indefinite word. When is soon? Maybe I am impatient but idea of living homeless is something that gives a person no patience. I am thinking of even going back to square one sales positions or to being a secretary- maybe I will apply to those tomorrow.

Either way, I know that actually pretending I am employed does help a little. It boosts my confidence that I will get one- well, most of the time. I am sure without acting like this I would be on a first name bases with the bartender at Los Cabos Cantina right now. I know I need to keep my spirits up and I try to every day. However, every day I don’t have a job, it weighs on me. I don’t know how people deal with the stress of being unemployed. For me it has been 4 business days and I am a wreck. My neck is stiff, I can’t sleep- this is why the U.S. should give away free chiropractic care and therapy/ life coaches. We all probably would be motivated ten times more that we won’t fail when trying to find a job.

Isn’t it funny how you can be in what you think is a secure, high up position and then poof it is gone- back to square one? I worked hard to get there and I did find other jobs when I could not climb anymore in other companies because I was given too much responsibility without the title. This was the first one I accepted to be my next five years. Silly me.

Well, I can’t cry over spilled milk. Got to keep going, pretending I am employed, that I am secure and that I can get a job. Wish me luck! Also, good luck to all of you out there as well.

Best,

Anon.

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Laid Off

It seems like it is the time of year, because I am not the only one I know who was “laid off.” My friend tried to encourage me to say the phrase without the “off” part, because he said it would be a more interesting phrase and though I agree, it does not have much to do with my current situation.

I am a 23 year old female in a big man’s world and I love it. I love surprising people with my talents and how much knowledge I have had over the last several years of being in the marketing field. That’s right, this is what I usually do for a living: I blog, create Social Media Plans, SEO strategies, PPC Campaigns, Website Strategies, Edit and Film YouTube Videos. I do old style marketing too such as guerrilla marketing, B2B offline and B2C sales calls, maintaining client relationships, customer service and event coordination. You would think I was quite a catch for the marketing world, wouldn’t you? Well, I just got laid off.

I have never not had a job before. I have always worked two to three jobs, just in case, but in this case it was the first time I was doing this job 24/7. Promoting around the clock contests and editing videos at home as well as in house. I can’t speak about the terms of why I was laid off, but I can speak about my plan and what I am choosing to do.

I got laid off last week on a nice Wednesday afternoon. I was working very hard and had four montages due in the next two weeks along with promoting contests and overlooking 76 different video and photo channels. I had no idea this would happen and was not ready what so ever. So of course when I got the news, I cried. I cried because I had a plan to have this stable job for the next year while my Fiance and I get married. That is correct, I am getting married regardless (thank g-d for family). Then he is going to get his PHD and I am to be working and that was the plan. Of course I love my job and I love working but more importantly I LOVE plans. So when my plan was ruined, I was upset but then the calm took over and my brain kicked into gear to look directly for another job, another plan. My Fiance could not quit school because this was his last year to getting his pre-reqs before his PHD school. I refuse to make him wait (since he is on a 5 year plan and the 5th year is an internship, oh, and he will be making 3 times more than I would).

So I thought about how to get a job. It was so easy applying for jobs when I had one, having that security of getting your paycheck every week was so comforting. This time it was different and that scared me. The stakes were higher, I had someone who depended on me succeeding. So, since last Thursday, I have been applying to over 200 different jobs and I have had 4 interviews scheduled for this week. My every living breathe the last 5 days has been applying, re-vamping my resume and create numerous amounts of cover letters.

One of my interviewees said that he loved my resume because of the design and because it was a pdf. I was flattered and since I have had two successful interviews already this week, I hope to get a job soon. There is always that underlying fear that I wont get one because no matter how good I look, there are people who are just as talented as me. Fortunately for me, though, they don’t have the drive to fill out all of those applications. That’s right folks, all those annoying different ways to apply other than Linkedin that are on the job seeker’s website and ask you a 1,000 private questions before your interview along with an autobiography, I apply to all of those. It is taxing, but hopefully it will pay off.

I think you cant be certain in this day and age to get a job, no matter how talented you are. That sounds cynical, but it’s not, it is practical and realistic however hoping and being modest about your talents I believe will get you a great job. Being modest shows that you are willing to work with other people and your talents show the experience you have. Therefore, I am hoping to get a job soon and I hope that all of my other friends who were laid off can as well. Also, for those of you who are still looking and have a talent, send it on over- I might know someone who could use you.

Here is to us, the 99%, go get them!

Best,

Anon.