Monica Luchak

work, work, work, work …

Month: August, 2012

The Mystery of Life

How much wood would a woodchuck, chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

What does that little tongue twister have to do with my job search? Well that’s what’s been looping in my head today.  How many jobs can I apply to again, if I have already applied?

I don’t know what the event horizon for these HR departments are but the same jobs keep popping up over and over.  Granted they are on various job websites like, Career Builder, Idealist, Simply Hire, and so on, but what’s odd is one job site won’t have the listing and then a few days later there it is. What gives? I know employers are casting the widest net possible to get the best talent but I would think it would make the resume review process almost impossible.

Not long ago, with my previous employer, I was in the position to hire. After about a week the HR VP broke the news to me that she had over 100 resumes, a hundred for one opening. Holy moley. She told me she would take the first stab at whittling them down. After the whittling process I was left with about 30 or so to review. I read each resume and cover letter so I could get the best 5 or 6 candidates we wanted to interview. I knew exactly what I was looking for in an applicant, but with these job posters it’s hard to tell what they want. When I read the job description I get excited knowing I’ve been doing that for years, but they don’t know that. So, I’ve struggled with how to convey my knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm without tipping my hand that I’m a mature applicant.

Look I’m not deluded enough to think that there isn’t a bit of ageism going on. I know what I’m up against.  Hiring professionals often equate youth with “up to date” on technology. They need to think outside the box a bit. Many mature applicants, like me, have had the good fortune to come up the ranks using technology and discarding the junk that didn’t work well. Who remembers Publisher? I know for myself, I’ve seen where the mistakes were made and how technology either solved it, evolved to solve it or abandoned for other technologies. All I need is a toe in the door to show them the advantages of someone like. Look people don’t make me go into a chorus of the “Music in the Mirror” from yesterdays post. Warning this is an idle musing, I wonder if AARP would rather hire someone younger too?

And… despite all my protestation that I am technologically up to date, and maybe even advanced, it begs to be asked why does a lousy elliptical machine continues to kick my ass? I have to surmise it’s not technology but rather old word mechanics. Better yet, it’s just one of life’s little mysteries. Sort of like baby pigeons. Have you ever seen a baby pigeon?

Work to Live

Another day to do something productive. I think I’ll shake things up a bit today. While and crazy me. I think I’ll get the elliptical out of the way first. Start the day with the worst. That way it can only go up.

A week away from working out makes a huge difference. Ad to the mix a heat headache, and you have a recipe for an elliptical disaster.  Those miserable pedals refused to move smoothly. Let’s face it, I fought the elliptical and I’m not ashamed to admit the elliptical won.

I had always thought how nice it would be to not have to work any more. Now that I’m living the dream as some seem to think, I can say with some authority it’s not as nice as I had envisioned. In fact it’s pretty monotonous. If this is a taste of retirement you can keep it and I’ll work until I drop dead.

I believe the thing I struggle with most, is the sense that I’m not pulling my weight, not contributing, whether here at home, or in the greater community. As I’ve said before, my identity is wrapped up in doing and I don’t see job hunting as really doing/contributing. Today it occurred to me that I might be going about this ass backwards. Maybe I should be looking for freelance work with the same intensity that I’m looking for employment. Maybe if I secure some freelance work, this sense of not contributing might dissipate. For those familiar with the musical a Chorus Line, the sentiments of the song “The Music in the Mirror” describes what I’m feeling with this forced unemployment.

Give me somebody to dance for, give me somebody to show.
Let me wake up in the morning to find I have somewhere exciting to go.
To have something that I can believe in.
To have something to be.
Use me… Choose me
God, I’m a dancer, a dancer dances!
Give me somebody to dance with.
Give me a place to fit in.
Help me return to the world of the living by showing me how to begin.
Play the music.
Give me the chance to come through.
All I ever needed was the music, and the mirror, and the chance to dance for you.
Give me a job and you instantly get me involved.
If you give me a job, then the rest of the crap will get solved.
Put me to work…

World, put me to work.

Off the Grid

When I became unemployed my dear hubby, in order to keep me focused, told me my only job would be to find a new job. So after a grueling 3 weeks of looking for a job he took me on a vacation. With benefits like that why would I want to find another job? If in another 3 weeks he takes me on another vacation, I may never look for another job.

In actuality this vacation was more of a family trip which had been on the drawing board for months. The fact that it turned into a vacation is in no small measure a credit to my brother and sister in law. They know how to make a person/persons feel welcome and recreated.

We went to northern Wisconsin and I was as they say “off the grid” totally off the grid. Had no Internet so I didn’t do any job searching. Didn’t get any rejection emails because there was no Internet.  No networking, just recreating. I never thought I would say these words or write them, but maybe Wisconsin isn’t so bad.  My daughter has been lobbying for years for me to come back. Maybe I should include Wisconsin in my job search parameters. (Pregnant silence) I’m only half kidding.

This morning I hit the ground running and have been a resume sending fool. I need to make up for my sloth. Some really interesting posts have surfaced in my absence. Exciting.

Tomorrow I start my revised schedule in order to have time for other things, besides job search. I don’t want to spend my entire day just trolling the Internet for a job. Balance is the magic word here. I’ve reached out to a friend to see if she would like to get together for a bite or something.  I need to get some time this week to do a couple of sketches. I have a number of images in my head and I need to get down before I loose them.

You may be wondering, what about the elliptical and big red ball. Well, not today. I thought I would extend my vacation one more day from them. I want to enjoy the glow a little while longer before I’m slapped back to reality. (Deeeeeep sigh)

Enough glow, onward and upward.

To Do — To Done

It’s raining, it’s raining. Not a lot but something.  I can almost hear the ground trying to slurp it up. What does a cloud burst have to do with my employment search? I look at this cloud burst as a metaphor for my personal drought. (you know how I love metaphors)

My spirit feels as parched as the earth. I thought I’d been watering but there is nothing like a good old fashion cloud burst to make everything wet. The law of averages say I’ll have my own cloud burst eventually.

When I started this job search, I was fast out of the gatet, but things have started to dry up. I know these are the summer doldrums and things will eventually pick up again, aka rain, but it’s hard to keep focus. I constantly remind myself this is not a sprint, but a marathon. Only problem is the furthest I’ve ever run was a 10 miler. I guess I’ll need to strap those figurative running shoes on and train, train and train some more, want to keep my skills as sharp as a fillet knife.

The real problem with being home during the day is time management. I’m to much time job hunting and not enough doing other things.  I have to introduce balance into my life. Life this balance, balance this is life.

Soooooooo, today August 1st I resolve to write down my schedule for the day. No more sitting in front of my computer screen for hours on end going down one rabbit hole after another.  This will be the framework for my workweek schedule:

  • No more than 3 hours job searching on line.
  • One and a half hours working on graphic projects that will challenge my skills, until I get more freelance work.
  • At least 30 minutes on that stupid elliptical and 15 minutes with the shiny red ball.
  • One project daily around the house. (I.e. weeding the garden, painting the guest room, organizing a closet…)

A To Do List. (light blub over the head) that’s the ticket. I’ll make a To Do List and cross tasks off each time I complete one.  That should help me stay on track. At work I was the queen of lists and organization. I’m going to do that for my personal life now. No more loosey goosey for me.

No time like the present. Time to hit the shiny red ball.

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