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The Employment Index

Just for fun, I’m going to track how many positions I have applied to since I tweaked my resume and how long it has taken since I have gotten ANY responses at all.

For the record, I’m not looking for a job in research anymore. The industry has contracted too sharply and has relocated to much more expensive areas of the country than I am willing to tolerate. It’s one thing to pursue the job of your dreams, it’s quite another to lose your house, savings, etc, because of a constant, rolling wave of layoffs and employment instability.

Besides, I have an LLC for free lance work. If someone has some cheminformatics, HTS screening, modeling, docking or structure work, they can contract with me. I live in PA now and I can do all of this work remotely in the evening. It may take the industry awhile to figure out that this is a viable alternative so, in the meantime, I am looking for a full time job outside of research.

What I’m currently looking for is a position as an administrative assistant or research assistant. I have the experience and the qualifications to do this sort of work. I’m very good with Microsoft Office products. I can make PowerPoint presentations with all the bells and whistles. I’ve scheduled meetings, written minutes, action items and reports, prepared budgets, serviced workstations, updated software, written and maintained websites, purchased items through purchasing database applications, analyzed data using Excel, arranged training sessions with outside vendors, etc.

There are quite a few positions posted in Pittsburgh with exactly these specifications. I apply to about five a day. Each application takes time to format, upload the resume, rewrite a cover letter and answer all of the questions related to equal opportunity and immigration status. I spend roughly half of a working day doing this. I could spend more time applying but I do have a part time job now and plenty of things to fix in my older house.  And, quite frankly, I’m not entirely sure this is the best use of my time.  From what I have heard and read, you’re more likely to get a job through networking.  Yes, I am trying to do this too.  

I can’t help it if I’m overqualified or not 25 anymore.  YOU try to stop getting older.  I’m as healthy as I was in my 30s. I am not overqualified to eat or pay taxes or purchase expensive health insurance, or so I’ve been told.  And it’s not like I haven’t spent my entire working life using computers and technology that would scare most sane people.  

So, today, I have applied to three posted positions. I am also going to apply directly to two positions at a company that appears to be expanding.

Total applications this week (end 08/30/2014): 25 (including one for the US Army Corps of Engineers)
Total number of calls for interviews: 1 (temporary placement agency)

18 Responses

  1. I’m rooting for you and am so sorry that you’re going through all this.
    If you can’t find a job with your qualifications and at your age, my husband doesn’t stand a Sno Cone’s chance in Dick Cheney’s future abode.
    Silly us, we’d like an income stream, just like we’re real people.

    • Here’s the message we’re getting: GET A JOB! GET A JOB NOW!!!!
      Then there’s: BUY INSURANCE! PAY YOUR TAXES! PAY YOUR BILLS!
      Followed by: DON’T TOUCH YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS ACCOUNT TO LIVE!!!
      And: WHY CAN’T YOU FIND A JOB??? YOU’RE OVERQUALIFIED. THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU!! WHY ARE YOU SO OLD?? (What? I’m not even close to retirement age.)
      And in the future: WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE FOR YOUR RETIREMENT??

      Living in America these days is like getting into a taxi in NYC with no destination in mind and the meter continuously running. You can’t get out of the cab, the fare is going to be more than you can afford and there’s no THERE there.

  2. The two other positions were surprisingly easy to apply to. In fact, I’m not actually sure I did them correctly. Oh, wait, here come the confirmatory emails.
    So, in followup to the last two postings at the same company, I am going to drop by the place in person on Tuesday and hand over the perfectly formatted resume so they can see I am not an ancient old doddering senile codger. I can dress nicely and I’m clean and well groomed. Thank God for good genes. I still look younger than I am.
    {{sigh}}

  3. Make that six applications today! I found another position on a non-profit site.
    Ok, time for lunch.

  4. I just finished my 7th application. Shoot. Me. Now.

    • f
      Have you considered working on qualifications to teach science? You certainly have the knowledge. It probably would require some education classes and tests, but you have been working very hard for years. You may be able to find a related job in the school system and take classes during the Summer and at night. They woud be lucky to have you. Good luck.

  5. Riverdaughter

    Get a literary agent immediately!!! You are wicked smart, ironic, often snarkily funny and you actually have worthy things to say. I would recommend you to mine except the last I heard (some while ago) she has either died or been committed to an insane asylum. Life is a carnival but the Wheel of Fortune is rigged…

  6. I agree with bernard. Look at writing and editing positions. You and about 10 zillion other people are dumbing down their resumes to admin positions. I know. I was one of them.

  7. I started a six month assignment Nov 2006 and not wanting to wait till five minutes to high noon to find something else, I began actively looking for another job Feb 2007. By Aug 2010, I had seen seven, maybe eight, suitable jobs. Two and a half yrs, by my count, and didn’t hear from any of my applications.

    Good luck, but look in whatever cracks and crevasses of the job market you can bc you may be locked out of your own and ancillary fields. If you’ve adjusted to your income level, a few lowly bucks in a second job, at least temporarily, will stretch the budget dollars.

  8. One of the sites I post replies at is infested with O-bots scolding the realists on our skepticism about unemployment numbers going back to 2008 levels. Your post puts the lie to them.

    Yesterday Democrats went around speechifying about the contributions Labor has made to America’s success. Later this month they’ll be back in Washington stabbing us in the back for Wall Street silver.

    • Later this month they’ll be back in Washington stabbing us in the back for Wall Street silver.

      Indeed that’s their actual job and they want to keep it

  9. Applications cannot be the only route to a job as there are so many times more applications sent in for every job and blah blah blah…often its posted only because it has to be , but the person who is getting it , gets it anyway or is even already working at it .

    And as you know, they don’t even bother with a form email answer anymore. It’s likely they aren’t even read . No one has that job.

    It has to be via the who one knows route too …but even that can’t help if there are no jobs .

    Jobs are being constantly being axed , by out right whole sale lot , but also by drips and drabs, by people not being replaced as they retire .

    My husband is now doing the work of 3 people without more pay. Those two other jobs will never be filled by other people …yet they could be , because he’s sees how the younger employees are strung along with endless part time oppositions , 10 months here, 8 months there and not offered a for real jobs .

    One of his part time staff has to walk dogs after work to make ends meet. She’s 30 , not some kid and she’s at what should be her most productive working years. They mean to break us.

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