Monday, November 17, 2008

I don't know how to find a job.

Times are hard. Thank God I have enough work coming in, but I have several close friends and relations right now who are looking for employment.

I wish I could help, but I realized as I was offering some feeble advice the other day that I've never found a job the old-fashioned way. I've always gotten jobs through people I knew, or by the random chance of being in the right place at the right time.

My first real job out of school was with the University itself, in the dean's office of the School of Nursing. I learned office skills there, and then signed up to be a temp, just to get an idea of the kind of jobs I might be qualified to do. As luck would have it, a position came open at an office where I was working as a long-term temp, and I left that organization 13 years later.

Before I left Washington, I applied for a series of jobs I didn't get -- good jobs, jobs I wanted or thought I should want. I'd go for second interviews, sometimes even for thirds; I never got an offer. In fact, it got to the point at which one of my colleagues, knowing I'd been passed over again, asked, "What is wrong with you?" Something else I don't know...

But I left DC without a job, and since then, my working life has been full, shaped by the things people have asked me to do. I follow my skills and my interests, without having had much of a plan or even many tangible goals. So far, it's been both educational and entertaining.

I have a birthday coming up; it's the time of year when I start to fret about these things. It might be time to get a plan. I hope it's not time to find a job, because I don't know how. I don't even have an up-to-date resume.

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