After eight months of applying for jobs and virtually no responses, four organizations contacted about interviewing within a 10-day period. I have no interviewed with all four and wanted to post an update on what I am finding in the Brave New World of job seeking.
Job #1: A position similar to what I do now with a similar firm, except that they consult with nonprofit organizations. Before she even scheduled the interview, she asked if I could live with about a 20% cut in pay (and 20% more hours, since I currently work 4 days a week). I said I would consider that “in the context of the full compensation package.” The (phone) interview was so loaded with corporate speak that I had no idea what the job really entailed, and then she said, “We work hard here. I put in about 60 hours a week. They expect us to respond to emails on weekends and evenings. I haven’t used a vacation day in 8 years—using vacation is frowned upon….” I don’t know how I came off in the interview but the next day I wrote here a nice “Thank you so much for your time and no thanks, I’d be crazy to give up my golden handcuffs for less money and more work” note.
Job #2: A job I’m perfectly capable of and would enjoy, with an organization I admire. This is the one that, if someone had asked, “What is your ideal job?” would be an 8 out of 10. One small detail: it would require moving across the country to a place where I know absolutely no one. However, I’m willing if that’s what it takes. I had a 20-minute phone interview and a second phone interview schedule for 4:00 today. I was kind of crabby about the fact that they had taken nine weeks to contact me, but it turned out that they had needed to hire the guy who would be my boss, first. It was a reasonable explanation. An affirmation that you never know what’s going on behind the curtain.
Job #3: A job that would be a stretch with an organization that does good work but on a very small scale. This one was in person and everything was going great until they said, “We only have 6 months of funding for this position. Is that a problem at all?” Say WHAT? Uh, yeah, that would be a problem if I spent 8 months searching for a new job then took one which would land me on unemployment after just 6 months. They talked about how their plan would be for me to raise my own salary so as to keep the job going. I’m confident in my abilities and I’m a risk taker, but there’s a limit. And spending all my effort raising money for myself would sort of defeat the purpose of moving into meaningful work. It seems to me that they should have disclosed the funding situation in the ad. I wrote them a nice thank you letter also, wishing them luck.
Job #4: An exciting, challenging job with an organization I like. The interview went great and I have a second interview in a few days. The catch: It’s only 20 hours per week and has no health insurance. If I took it, I would have to approach my current boss about dropping from 4 to 2.5 days a week in order to juggle 2 part-time jobs and still have health insurance. Sigh. The aim would be to make it a full-time job in a year. I was really, really relishing the thought of making a clean break from my current job. On the other hand, it wouldn’t involve a 1,500-mile move.
So it’s true, what you hear about jobs and job seeking in America. More part-time jobs, expectations of working more hours, people having to pull up stakes and move for work. But after all, this blog is called Wrestling with Restless, and a cross-country move would fit that bill.