One might ask: How did I embark on becoming a freelance writer? As someone who has been unemployed several times, it is easy to delve into the past and regret being an art major in college. But that is neither the cause or the answer of my past chronic unemployment. I even tried substitute teaching for high need schools in an effort to change my career to teaching - and found that it was not what I was looking for. The hours may have been great, but being chronically unprepared for each class took its toll on my competence and confidence. I was a substitute teacher then an instructional assistant for approximately six months, a healthy interval to see if a prospective field is suitable in my opinion. I lost the teaching job in 2009 after being laid off by the temporary agency that placed me at my last assignment. SInce then I have tried to hold down odd jobs but that is when I had my daughter, so with the help of my family and unemployment benefits I was able to sustain myself until my daughter was born in May of 2010. After the birth of my daughter it redoubled my ambition to find a new career and ultimately a path in life.
What would a typical job search entail, one might ask? Well, I only have my own experience to draw from in that regard! In addition to Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) and Indeed.com I also take on a multi-layered approach to the search. Facebook and LinkedIn are also great resources for insider jobs, no matter what your field is. Monster and Careerbuilder have great job alert tools based on keywords of your choice, which can also automatically be sent to your email address. Google makes it easy to find out whether or not your profession may have a club or organization that may be of assistance to you in your search. So, on to the next question: what is it like out there?
On a recent interview I was flabbergasted by the fact that I was kept waiting for 45 minutes only to have the owner of the print shop interview me for 5 minutes. Talk about dodging a bullet! A message to all of those employers out there....it could just as easily be YOU on the interviewee end of the table. Good manners speak volumes about a company and how they do business. Most of the time I do not get a response and if there is one usually they are impressed with my resume and work but they wind of choosing someone else.This is after sending countless resumes to different companies over the past year and a half. Employment bias has not been a picnic either: I was actually asked if I had a family and if I was ready to come back to work--10 months after I had my daughter! Hmph. One doesn't have a choice but to laugh it off and think of the bad job interviews as bad blind dates- the only thing missing is the flowers and candy.
In addition to the constant job search, I have also decided to retrain and go back to graduate school at my local university. I chose a major that is close to what I studied for in undergrad and think that it will really augment my skills. One must be not only positive but proactive when changing their strategy in finding their career niche. I take a combination of online and traditional classes and have found that my university is a wealth of career information.
How am I doing now? That is a question that my friends and loved ones ask since this has been such a tumultuous time of change for me. As a graduate student, I have student loans that have helped with funding my education. Thankfully, my daughter and I live with my parents who have been a tremendous help. I try to take it all day by day. This too shall pass! I have rediscovered my love of writing and am in the process of writing as a local insider in my area about finding WIFI spots- a must for anyone on the go! This is but an example of the power of positive thinking: one has to transcend from the gravity of any given negative situation. By no means is this the end of the story- it is just the beginning, and a happier one at that. Becoming a freelance writer has opened new doors and has truly been a blessing.