NPR is doing a year-long following of six St. Louisians. Both my new husband Brian and I were chosen to be followed, since we are both struggling with finding jobs. I have been unemployed almost two years now and thought my job search would take maybe three months, six at most.
It is quite a different world that it was in 1998, the last time I was looking for work. Almost all applying must be done on a company’s website and not only can it take an hour or more to do just one, there are so many filters that it seems impossible to have your identity acknowledged.
Then there is the emotional battle. No one is above it, no matter what they say. It is hard to find a job in normal times. It is a job in itself. You have so many i’s to dot and t’s to cross, and new ones seem to come up all the time. But in this economy, it is a whole new world. You are told that you will most likely get a job through your networking efforts (a 75% chance!). That is not good news for those of us who are shy, or introverted. I am a friendly fun-loving person but not one who can easily (well, comfortably) work a room. I have my moments, but when you are already in a down state due to your situation, then add-on the extra spark you need to make you stick out … well, there are just good days and bad days and lots of mediocre ones.
If you are new to being unemployed, and are looking for a career then I suggest getting business cards printed up right away to market yourself – if you have not already done so. It is a very important investment.
Vistaprint offers free ones fairly often, but you will pay for shipping and probably want some upgrades, so you’ll end up spending $20 on them for 250. Not bad, they have a great variety to choose from, and I do have some from there (with a paper upgrade).
But I found a great place to get 100 business cards that are very nice quality (heavy paper, slightly glossy, raised print), which is OfficeDepot.com, and they are only $10 with free shipping. This particular offer is only available on-line; it is their “value” cards, a 2-color option, but they do look very nice and ship quickly. I am on my third order of them.
I’ll be posting more tips for the unemployed’s in the future. If you want to read the article on NPR where I am highlighted, the link is below.
(NRP) The Road Back To Work – Jennifer Barfield