Written by a guest author that has chosen to remain anonymous. Their wish… “My hope is that they look at the person, treat them as they would want to be treated if they were on the other side and go with their gut, an old expression that should be introduced in the business world today where we rely so much on numbers.”
I was laid off on November 21, 2008. Just before Thanksgiving and the Holiday season. I read every day that the economy was bad and it was spiraling downward but I am 51 years old with years of experience, a college degree and certification from the Institute for Supply Management, an organization that is being recognized even by Wall Street for their real time data.
Why am I writing about this, because this is what’s going through my head as I drive home to tell my wife and kids that there is going to be some real changes. The first feeling that comes over you is the sense that you are a failure and at the same time shame, fear and panic all circle around in your mind each day as you get up at the same time, shower and instead of firing up the car to go to work you fire up the computer to start sharpening up your resume and cover letter and load it up on all the familiar job boards. Then the kids wake up and start getting ready for school.
I am blessed with three beautiful girls and one at a time they come into my office and give me a kiss good bye and tell me good luck and that they hope today will be a good day. The day comes and goes without a single email or phone call. The kids come home from school and I am still sitting where I was when they left for school. They can see by the look on my face that today wasn’t a good day but they still come in quiet as a church mouse and give me a kiss and go out to do their homework.
Your biggest enemy becomes your mind, topics that you thought of look like they actually may come true for example losing your house. What will you do if you lose your house, and the kids know that this is an option that could occur? In my case, my wife can’t work due to her disability, she gets depressed because she sees the worry on my face and she can’t contribute to the family.
Then out of the blue the phone rings, it’s a job placement service that has seen my resume and says that I sound like a perfect fit for the position. It will be a contract to hire which I think will be good, I can prove myself and my spirits for the first time are renewed and I actually get an interview. The interview goes better than I could ever ask, it’s like I have done this job before and I have my questions already to ask so I can prove to them that I want the job because I have done my homework and thoroughly researched this company. So at the end the gentleman says that he thinks that I would fit it nicely, but he wonders if I am over qualified for the position. I right away try and ease his mind and say, “No sir, you have to start somewhere and this would be a great place to prove myself.” Our meeting comes to a close and I thank him again and I get back into my car and call the agency that I was representing so they could follow up.
So I have a renewed feeling as I search for jobs again and wait for the phone to ring telling me I have the job. But the phone doesn’t ring after 1 week, then a week and a half, I can’t take it so I call. Of course you can’t get a hold of anyone and you leave messages until you finally get a live person. The news isn’t good; they decided to go in a different direction. But everything felt so good. Good company, I was dressed with my best suit, I asked my brother for a power tie, shined my shoes and even got a haircut, but employers can now be more selective with stacks of resumes that represent a person and another story. So once I find out that there is no way that it’s going to happen, I decide to get a resume writing book and rewrite my resume and post it on all the job boards but this time I learn of a technique that I never knew about before and that’s networking. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Visual/CV. You can post your profile and people can read your bio. So far I have changed my resume and cover letter about nine times now and you might ask, why not go and get it done professionally? I have no savings, no 401K, I keep staring at the mortgage payment wondering how it is going to get paid and resume writers charge a lot of money, money that I don’t have. Unemployment is bad enough but it’s even harder to make ends meet and I find myself in the line to sign up for food stamps. I never in my life ever thought I would be here, After all, I went to college, have a lot of experience and have certifications. Just paper! And all I can say is I don’t understand why won’t they call!
An interesting fact that a psychologist stated that for men, we have this innate trait that is like a gene in men that unless we are working and providing for our family we view ourselves as worthless.