I knew it wasn’t going to be easy looking for a job in this economy. And I am being selective, as I want to work at a place where I am a good fit…and where my new employer feels I am an equally good fit.
I must say that my yard has never looked so good. I completed the paver project on the side of the house, built a retaining wall and leveled out the slope on the other side of the house (using the dirt dug out for the pavers), mowed, edged, fertilized, trimmed, replaced plants, and powerwashed the patio, porch, driveway and sidewalks.
I have even completed a few art projects and painted the family room fireplace/entertainment center area. As you might guess, it is hard for me to sit still. If there is not a project at hand, I am doing laundry, prepping for dinner, grocery shopping, and running all kinds of errands.
Through all of that, I have been job searching. And that in itself is a full-time job. What I have found is that there are lots of businesses that make it their business to find jobs for others, but not all of the services are legit…nor are they very helpful. Yes, there is Craigslist (note that the link goes to the Portland site), which is self help, but tons of so-called businesses take advantage of the service to offer cold-call sales jobs, free (no pay!) blogging opportunities and daily “immediate sales openings for fun, fast-paced modern office” postings. No thanks.
Then there are the scammers (which some of the above could be labeled as). Companies — usually insurance sales, or some kind of “financial services” outfit — find your resume online and, what do you know, they call you as if you applied for a position to alert you that interview time slots are open as early as the next day. Again, no thanks. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…and some of them don’t even sound good.
So my search goes on. I thought I’d share a few of the services/sites that have been helpful in my search for employment. Craigslist is a good option. Just be careful and know that at least 25 percent of postings are bogus and offer get-rich-quick schemes that would likely make Bernie Madoff blush. Indeed.com is a great site, with lots of listings, but it takes a while to weed through them all, and a lot of the jobs under particular categories are duplicated many times over, so sorting them all out takes time. You can post your resume there, too, and be alerted to jobs that match your skills. Mac’s List from Prichard Communications is a great Portland-area service, and most of its postings give prominently placed salary ranges, which is helpful. There is nothing worse than getting sucked into a great-sounding job posting, only to get to the bottom to find it pays $10-$14 an hour. Um, unemployment pays better. Joblab.com is another good site, particularly if you are looking for work in the “creative” field. I will add more helpful links in later posts as I continue on this road of unemployment.
I’ve even tried a few head-hunting companies, but one notable placement agency admitted that for my field, things are tight, and so they were not taking on any more clients. Ugh. But I do have an interview with one such agency next week and look forward to talking with them to see what may come of it. I’ve also been networking through the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter and the Portland Chapter of the University of Oregon Alumni Association. I attended a May alumni lunch and plan to attend the June 11 Duck Biz Lunch at the White Stage Building (where the Portland Duck Store is located) as well. Check it out and sign up to rub elbows with fellow Duck alumni in the Portland area.
I also have gone through the frustration of finding a good build-your-own-online-portfolio site. After a couple of failed attempts with other sites, I settled on Coroflot. It’s an easy, do-it-yourself site, very intuitive, and I had a portfolio up in a couple of hours. And it is easy to add, erase and move items around, add and edit descriptions, and check stats. Here is my online portfolio to view. You can find some of my artwork there as well.
So my search goes on. I am being picky. Finding the right fit is important. And I know that is equally important to the employer, who would rather not have to go through the hiring process within months down the road. If any of you want advice on job hunting, based on my experience the past three months, I’d be happy to help. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And, hey, if you have tips for me — or a job for which you think I might be a good fit — please let me know.
Happy hunting, and good luck to all of us looking.