Archives for category: Experiences

I have returned from my epic road trip to the Ohio Valley. I would’ve updated last night, but I was exhausted when I got home and there was a marathon of Ghost Hunters on SciFi–something I simply couldn’t miss. So here I am, in my pajamas, regaling you, the reader, with this tale.

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I am very excited to say that I will be out of town the next two days for interviews. I’ll be traveling north to the wonderful city of Indianapolis first, then making my way over to Cincinnati on Wednesday. The southern Ohio opportunity sprung up early this evening. I was asked if I was going to be in the area any time soon and, well, I will be. So instead of making Tuesday a very long day, I’ve booked a hotel room and am ready for a road trip.

I’m excited for the chance to see where I could potentially be working. It is always a struggle when you are applying for out-of-town jobs. I’ve had two phone interviews and only one has invited me to come see their office. The other I haven’t heard anything from. I talked about this with a former co-worker of mine over half-priced appetizers tonight. ($4.92 for a chicken finger basket.  That’s right. Be jealous.) 

We discussed our frustrations with employers not following up with potential employees. Of course it is understandable if you never get a call or an email about a job in the first place, but it is discouraging when you have a phone or live interview–and even follow up with a thank you–and never hear back. I understand that employers are busy, but it just seems professional to at least let someone know that you’ve gone in a different direction. It is part of human nature to hope and wish and want. But it takes effort to purposely ignore and forget someone.

Don’t get me wrong. This little itty bitty tirade has nothing to do with any of my experiences so far. But it is something that I think should be addressed. I would love some feedback on this topic from interviewers and interviewees. If you have an opinion or you can explain why this happens, please share.

But tomorrow. Tomorrow I will put on my shoes and get in my car (ship) and contemplate sealing wax as I head toward a new beginning.

Day 5. For not having a job, this week has sure been busy. I’ve been glued to my gmail account all week and it’s become an obsession that I’m okay with. But on to updates:

That Tire/Battery Installer job: Turns out it was an awesome experience. I arrived early, entered the shop, and the guy at the counter asked “How can I help you, ma’am?” I told him I was there for an interview, and the man literally laughed in my face. But did I get discouraged? No sir. He said he would go back and tell the boss his 11 o’clock was here. So I wandered around the store, looking at batteries, wipers, fluids…all manner of thing of which I had no clue about.

As I’m walking around, I hear a group of men laughing in a back corner. A few of them say “Are you kidding me?” like they are really upset. I turn and they are all staring at me. I smile and ignore the laughs and snide remarks. I’m thinking, “say and think whatever you want, boys, but I am awesome.” Kind of a sticks-and-stones thing.

So finally, after 20 or so minutes, Gary calls me into his office. He shakes my hand like a girl. Or he was afraid to shake my hand because I’m a girl–I can’t tell which. Either way it’s a little creepy. But as it turns out, Gary is one of the most fun people I’ve ever met. He asked me a few questions and told me a little about the job, but this is the coolest part: When he saw I was a graphic designer, he asked me if I’ve heard of SCAD. (Really, who in my field hasn’t?) When I said yes, he told me his daughter graduated from there with a BFA in graphic design.

…FOR SERIAL!? What are the odds? It was absolutely insane. So I’m thinking, “Okay God, very funny. Where is this leading?” Gary tells me he is the Sauce King of Savannah and gives me his web address and his daughters’ company’s web address. I come out of this meeting completely charged up. I go home and two things happen:

01] I write an email to Gary’s daughter telling her this amazing story and letting her know that if she needs any help to give me a call. Then she writes back saying she always needs help and is extremely nice and will let me know when something comes up. Sweet, new contact. 

02] I get another email from a company in Arkansas that would like me to participate in a phone interview.

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Especially after learning my husband and I are going to get money back from our taxes later that evening. 

So Wednesday I call the wonderful people in Omaha that I had a phone interview with last week and they said they will let me know by today (Friday). I’m speaking with the Arkansas people today in about two hours and then I am driving to Indianapolis on Tuesday for a live interview with a great company up there.

Experiencing all of this I’ve decided that Craigslist is not the best resource for finding a design job. I’ve been applying to jobs listed on this site for months and have gotten just one email back so far. The others have come from creativehotlist. This site (as I think I’ve mentioned before) has amazing opportunities listed on it and the employers who post there are quick to respond (if they like you, of course). I feel amazingly lucky/blessed/whatever to have these opportunities ahead of me. We’ll see how things go in the next week.

NOTE: One day I will learn to either write in just past or just present tense. My apologies.

Well, the economy has finally caught up with me. As of yesterday, I have been laid off from my favorite job as a designer. I knew it was coming but it was still a bit of a shock. However, I left on very good terms, receiving hugs and apologies from two special people I will never forget.

So it’s odd. I’ve had plenty of jobs in the past, but this is the first one where I left involuntarily. I cried when I found out. I cried when I packed my things and took them down to my car. I cried when I hugged my boss. I cried myself to sleep when I got home. And I cried when I had to tell the whole story to both my mom and my husband. Needless to say, all that crying helped me sleep well last night.

But instead of letting this all get me down, I’ve decided to blog about it. I will blog every day now until I find another job.  I figure it’s an interesting way to occupy my time and examine the process of getting a job. I’ll start with yesterday:

Between bouts of tears, I applied for any and everything in the Knoxville area, including: cashier at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Best Buy; bank teller at two separate banks; and, the most surprising…tire/battery installer at Sears. I filled out this last application figuring it would never go anywhere, but lo and behold, the last section on the application required me to choose a time for an interview.

So I signed up for 11AM tomorrow. I figure that sure, I can do this. I know absolutely nothing about cars but that is not in the qualifications:

  •  Must be able to adapt to weather – originally from Michigan, now live in Tennessee (check)
  •  Valid drivers license – just changed my license due to marriage (check)
  •  Ability to lift equipment and tires weighing in excess of 50 lbs. – sure…(half a check)
  •  Must be able to stand and walk for long periods of time – I’m running a mile everyday (check)
  •  Must be able to bend, stoop and kneel frequently – no need for knee replacements here (check)
  •  Must pass drug screen – willing and able (check)
  •  Must be at least 18 years of age – just had a birthday, making me SIX years older than 18 (check)
  • I’m excited for this. It’ll be a great experiment. I have no idea how it will go but for once I’m not nervous. I consider it a great opportunity to do hard labor and not stare in front of a computer all day. The only problem I’m having is deciding what to wear for an interview at an auto care center.

    Today I decided I still needed to apply for jobs that fall under my specialties and career path. If you have come across this entry because I sent you an email requesting you take a look at me and my work, welcome! 

    Moving on: I find it difficult to find jobs for print designers. I’m constantly disappointed every time I click a “Graphic Designer” job to find that what they really should have put is “Web Designer.” It’s hard enough that I only have a working knowledge of Dreamweaver. However, my good friend Allie has offered to send me copies of her boyfriend’s future best-seller, Head First into Web Design. Hopefully I’ll be able to expand upon my already awesome skills.

    I also broke down and filed for unemployment today. I have no idea if I did it right so we’ll just have to see. I am looking forward to not having this as soon as possible. Thank God you can complete the process online, because I wouldn’t want another fiasco like the “Great Name Change of 08.”