Just another bitch about job hunting

I’m getting close to going all Unibomber when it comes to technology.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m a geek.  I’ve been a tech guy since the days of 300 baud modems, but I’ve about had it with the “labor-saving” ways of online job applications.

One website I use to look for work is  Work in Texas (clever huh?).  It’s the site the state requires  job seekers  to use if they’re collecting unemployment benefits, which I’m now opting to do.   It matches you to various jobs and allows you to search for all sorts of positions including those with state agencies.

I’ve been seriously trying to land a position with the state where I might work with child placement, child support,  foster parents and the like.   After 35+ years reporting on the seedier segments of society I thought I might try to find a job where I could possibly help people.

However, the algorithms that match me to jobs also disqualify me from applying for positions where I don’t have experience…even if no experience is required!    The digital diva decides  I don’t meet the requirements listed in the posting.  The problem is some of those requirements are things like, “at least 3 years of college” or “some high school.”   Well,  I have 5 years of college and a high school diploma, but the algorithms don’t  see an exact match to “3” or “some,” so it says, “You are  not qualified” and the website won’t let me apply.  It also rejects me from applying for jobs below my stated salary preference.   I’ve tried changing preferences, adding in numerous keywords and even falsifying a few skill sets, but so far I’ve yet to bust through the electronic guardian’s defenses.

The result is this artificially intelligent gatekeeping on the website designed to help job seekers is blocking me from seeking jobs.

I feel like I’m screaming at the sky.

screaming beach - michael main

Posted by Michael Main

Oh Deer, Michael’s Job Journey

Getting a deer to pose for a still life portrait is tough.
Deer - Salado Creek

Okay, I’ve been playing around with a photo editor and some recent shots I took while walking along the Salado Creek Greenway.   Abby and I have logged about 40 miles so far this week with a goal of 50.

We  don’t walk alone, we’re accompanied by a lot of deer.

 

 

Deer Greenway
The deer make the morning walks interesting and amusing.   They’re entertaining to observe, but I’ve also had to harness Abby so she stops trying to chase them.

Salado Creek Greenway Deer - Michael Main

My job search seems a bit restrained as well.   I fear as the holidays approach, hiring managers will put off their decisions.

Enhanced Salado Creek Greenway image - Michael Main

I suppose I’ll keep trying to amuse myself during this process, although I wish I had the option of  putting my expectations through a photo editor too.

 

Posted by Michael Main

Jobs. A Foot.

I have a blister on my foot.

I mention that only because I have nothing else to report and I’m hoping to prime the mental pump a bit by simply typing whatever is on my mind.  Right now, that’s the foot blister. Maybe this free-form attempt at writing will trigger a sudden burst of inspiration.

So far it’s not working.

I should probably decide to write stuff before I embark on my daily pilgrimage to job hunting websites looking for opportunities. What, at times, seems like a never-ceasing search can exhaust my day’s supply of optimism.  I’m finding it hard to mentally transition to other topics for writing. The foot blister rambling is the apparent exception…or result.

The blister is due to another daily ritual of mine, walking.   Abby, the faithful hound, and I have been trying to walk 3 to 6 miles a day now that temperatures in San Antonio have fallen below those which could spark complaints in Hell. 

San Antonio Sunrise - Michael Main

San Antonio has some wonderful linear parks which are our usual option for strolling. The greenways are well maintained and in the mornings we normally only have to share the trails with an occasional jogger, bike rider, or deer.

image

 

I find walking to be mentally, physically and spiritually invigorating, although my feet sometimes disagree.

The good thing is this blister will soon turn to callous. I suspect as the job search saga goes on I’ll become a bit more thick-skinned in that area as well.

             Posted by Michael Main

Taking a turn in the job search

I’m taking a new turn in the job hunt.  Instead of applying for jobs where I have experience, I’ve decided to start looking for new opportunities, careers, adventures.

Today I applied for a position evaluating potential parents for adoptive children. It would be a state job.  It seems like it could be rewarding.  I suspect at times it might be heartbreaking as well.

We’ll see. You never know what’s around the bend.

Sunrise - Michael Main

Posted by Michael Main

Digital Stoning

Okay, my vow to avoid writing about my job search is falling by the wayside.   Since evading the cat food eating circuit occupies many of my thoughts and much of my time these days, I suppose writing about it is inevitable.  Besides, if I can’t whine to myself (the only one reading this besides spam bots) who can I grouse to?

I’m finding that things have changed since I last actively looked for work, which, I’ll confess, was in another century.  The other day I spent 40 minutes filling out an exhaustive online job application. More time modifying a resume to highlight certain skills, then crafting a required cover letter and a letter of references. After various trips back through the mechanized maze to deal with demands akin to, “You must enter a response to question 72e – ‘Are you now or have you ever been a fry cook in the Turkish army?”‘ I hit send.  Before I could push away from the computer I received an auto response of, “Sorry, you don’t meet our criteria.”

I’m finding that’s one of the joys of job hunting in the digital age.

I try to apply for at least 5 jobs each week (it’s sort of required when you go on the public dole).  Admittedly, I’m aiming high with a few of those applications, but I believe if given the opportunity to actually speak with someone from the companies involved I would be a good candidate.  There’s the rub.  I’ve learned that’s apparently not done anymore, speaking with job applicants that is.   I have yet to receive a phone call – not one.   I have received multiple email rejections, all of them I suspect are form letters.   At least the bulk of them weren’t sent out within seconds of me applying – I’m always looking for a bright side.

However, I must admit I sometimes feel I’m getting remotely judged and bombarded by a ruthless, emotionless microprocessor and I’m fearful of what type of mark that may leave.

Rock throw - Michael Main

Posted by Michael Main