Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Friday, October 14, 2011

The job search continues…slowly. I’m taking it slow on purpose, because my tendency is to go 24/7 on a project till I collapse, and after that collapse it takes a lot of time to get back into it. I saw the pattern emerging with the job search, too, working in spurts and ignoring between. I’m also trying to mix it up a little bit, spending a day on one or two tasks, like resume writing, and the next something else, like searching the Internet job boards and narrowing down the field, then the next day maybe following up on those. As a result, this week was more productive. I didn’t get burned out on any one thing.

Yesterday was feet-on-pavement day. I had leads on two jobs I thought worth pursuing. My expectations were low already, looking at the jobs available for someone of my education and needs. Most positions have seemed like settling; these seemed like a good fit. Since air freshener is a concern, I want to check out the workplaces before I apply, if possible.

The first job was doing land and title research for the Seminole Nation. The place I applied is 23 minutes from my house (I timed it). Just on the edge of my ideal commute and pay, but an interesting job worth checking out.

I think it was doomed from the start. They made me fill out an application, and some of the information they wanted I didn’t have with me. I kept making mistakes on the app, so it looked sloppy by the time I was finished. Then after I finally handed it back, the lady said I’d be doing most of my work in another town a full 15 minutes further down the road. The commute would eat up too much of the already-low wage. Also, they don’t withhold taxes, so that’s a hassle. My first visit to a potential workplace turned out to be a bust.

The second place was on the way back from the first place. It was sort of a whim to stop there, because I figured it would be too smelly, but I also thought, it’s right there, so why not? Seminole State College is 13 minutes from my house, so that’s a plus. It’s a college office, a pleasant, clean workplace—plus. It’s a college, so smelly, Axe-wearing young adults—minus. Pay is good enough, but the benefits are like a dream. I’d overlooked the fact that it’s a state agency with state benefits. PLUS.

The lady in charge was so nice. She took ten minutes out of her day just to tell me all about the benefits of working in her office, and I hadn’t even applied yet. She seemed very open to me as a person. I’m really glad I needed college transcripts and a cover letter to apply, otherwise I’d have given her this resume that isn’t tailored to the job. Just thinking about working there gives me shivers, makes me want to cry, and sends me into spontaneous prayer. Please let the smells be okay, please don’t let me sound stupid in my resume, please don’t let those couple of failing semesters put her off, please oh please oh please.

One note about the fragrance issue: I didn’t feel bothered while in the office, even though I could smell something, the source wasn’t clear. I think it might have been the people, and not air freshener, which, while still not ideal, gives me great hope I can tolerate it. One test of whether or not I’ve been exposed to copious amounts of fragrance is to smell the clothes I wore the next day. Your nose shuts down after a while, so it’s hard to assess it that way. So I smelled my clothes this morning, and … nothing. No smell, except for my own nervous sweat.

I’m afraid to hope, but I’m moving forward on this today. I have until October 24 to assemble all the documents, improve my resume, and write my cover letter—and of course I don’t want to cut it too close.

Getting a job is a lot of work.

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