Sunday, November 13, 2011

The story so far . . .

Hi Everyone.

Here's an update, so you know what's going on.

1. Feeling I was out of material and repeating myself, I deleted observationmode, then some weird men's clothing/fashion blog popped up using the name. A few people alerted me to this fact, and I thought it was really strange.

2. I've been facing financial challenges (which I choose to blame on "this Economy"), so in June, I started a search for a full-time job (Search #1). As some of you know, while I was writing observationmode, I was working part-time as a group exercise instructor. I kept teaching my cycle classes while I searched. (For anyone who is wondering, I worked in print production management and graphic design before I veered off into group exercise.)

3. I landed a job in mid-July, after applying for about 80 positions. I considered myself extremely fortunate to get work so fast.

4. But the times of the cycle classes I was teaching conflicted with my new job, so I gave up the classes, and ultimately resigned from the group X jobs. Before I resigned, I requested classes during different hours that didn't interfere with my full-time job, but the bosses didn't respond, so that was that. I poured myself into my new full-time job.

4a. During my tenure at my new job, some wacky stuff happened at work, and I realized I'd better have a backup plan. Search #2 began. "Ugh" doesn't even begin to describe the sinking feeling I had when I realized I had to go back out there.

5. I was laid off from my full-time job after 88 days. I didn't even make it past my probationary period, though I can proudly say I did make it farther than Kim. However, I didn't get a giant diamond ring, like she did. I got rooked. FYI: My layoff wasn't due to inferior work on my part. My bosses were happy with my work. But the fact remained, I had no job(s).

6. Search #2 took on a new urgency. And surprise, there are jobs open in my (old) career, despite the digital takeover. By my count, I've applied for more than 50 jobs in this second search. I've interviewed 8 times. That is a great average.

7. I've had no job offers in my field, despite the above statistic.

8. The closest I've gotten to a bona fide offer was on Friday, and it consisted of a nebulous request that I commit to a career in insurance sales, "offer" contingent on management's approval. The guy interviewing me didn't have full authority to offer me any position; he had to get his bosses to agree. All I could think of while he tried to sell me on the job was that he was an insurance salesman asking me to be an insurance salesman (even though I'm female, I love the irony, so I continue to say "salesMAN"). In the most respectful and professional fashion I could muster, I told the guy I couldn't take that not-offer. I knew that if I took that job, I'd be rotten at it, and probably be fired, so what would be the point? I'd be out here again looking for a job, so it seemed unwise to agree to his not-offer. I left the meeting thinking I'd dodged a bullet, but later, I second-guessed myself, thinking, "I'm out of work. Should I have agreed to that not-offer?" I'm still a bit conflicted, but I'll deal with that. I really think it would have been a mistake to become an insurance salesman.

9. I applied for an internship at a small local record label, and on Friday, at 6pm, they called and asked me to interview. I remember the email I wrote them . . . it said "It might seem ridiculous for someone like me to apply for this internship . . . . " because I know I'm decades older than their target internshipee, but what do I have to lose? I'm not doing anything else with my time.

10. I interviewed for a good job on Wednesday. I had a good rapport with the interviewer, but I can't tell how I did. If I haven't heard anything by Monday, I'll scratch that one off the list of possibilities and move on to the next thing.

11. The rejection—outright or implied—is killing me. I'm really working hard not to take all this personally.

12. I'm back on Twitter @elizabethncoyne, and on LinkedIn (though I have no idea what that is doing for me), and I'm scouring the 'nets for jobs. I'm finding my old blogging friends and am trying to connect with whoever is still out there.

So that's what's going on with me. I don't think I've left anything out, but if this progression is leaving anyone scratching his/her head, let me know. I'll fill in the blanks.

I'm not sure where this blog will go, what it will contain, or what the direction is. For now, I'm observing myself as a total square, so the name is "observationsquare."

I invite comments.



  1. Let me welcome you back - on behalf of everyone!! :-) You've been alarmingly productive - I only wish the result was a happy, finance-enlivening job. I don't think you can feel that the Wed. meeting has resulted in a rejection - not by any stretch. Admittedly, I'm not in your line of work, but these days offers can take weeks to come through. I think you should focus on the positive elements: you got an interview!, that interview went well, and you haven't got a formal response. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    Also, you are so smart to have rejected the non-offer. Don't feel conflicted. You made the right choice. xo

  2. Oh lady. Land sakes you've been through a lot. There's nothing quite like being a talented, competent worker who is unable to find work. So demeaning. I wish I could help. I have faith, though, that good things will come your way. Cold comfort though that may be.

  3. I'm glad to see you back, even if your time away has been less than ideal. I unfortunately know more than one person in your position and it looks daunting from the outside--so I can't imagine how hard it must be from the inside. Keep your chin up.

  4. Welcome back... I knew you wouldn't leave us for too long :-) Things seem to have gotten a bit crazy for a lot of us, but you will definitely come up on top. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for the record label!!

    Thank you for all the support you have given me... I only hope I can return the favor in some small way :-)

  5. Hi Elizabeth,
    I've never read your blog before, but happened across it today via a comment you made in Already Pretty. I was really moved by your story, and wanted to tell you how much I hope for you that you find a good job, soon. I have been in a similar situation and know what that implied rejection feels like. But, your perseverance will pay off, I know it!
    Best wishes...

  6. Liz, thank you for the kind words. I appreciate your encouragement. I also appreciate you taking the time to come over here to comment.

  7. I'm sorry it's taken me this long to drag myself to your new blog. I have long missed Observation Mode. Now I have to catch up and truly wish you well.