5-months of being unemployed

Edward D. Dodge's picture

So today marks 5-months of being unemployed, due to a company-wide layoff, where I was merely and abruptly shown the door; no severance, no obligatory “thanks for the great work”.
Within just a day or two, I looked at this as an opportunity to accomplish a goal I had set a couple of years prior, but demands from work kept putting this on the back burner. My goal was to pass my PMP exam, so I promptly put in the efforts to study. Based on my past employment history, including previous bouts of unemployment in the 90s and early about 2002, obtaining a job was not an issue, thus the situation of “open position – interview-offer” was pretty straight forward for me. So as I read, studied, and practiced the PMBOK inside and out, forwards and backwards, in nervous anticipation of taking the “test”. All the while, I maintained minimal job search effort, with some networking and an interview or two.
With the accomplishment of meeting my goal, my transition from “PMP student” to “Unemployed PMP” had occurred. There was strong anticipation that this proclamation of commitment towards the management of projects would ignite my phone and emails with requests for interviews. So to fuel the fire, I updated the typical job boards with this added credential to the suffix of my name “PMP”, and again made some networking efforts to people I had passed over the years.
What was happening? Nothing was happening; there was no inrush of calls or emails, just those “static” calls for opportunities in IT, where it is inferred from my Mechanical & Industrial background, where I would be an excellent candidate. Being trapped behind a computer with my mouse in hand, I was left in a depressed stated to modify and tweak my resume, on all those portals daily in the aims that someone, somewhere would find the ultimate candidate for an open positon. My wife, being my biggest fan and who is just an wonderful person( I could go on and on about her ), was able to talk-me-up and received some suggestions; Lehigh Valley Professionals and Lehigh Valley Career Link, which was, and remains a daily resource I cannot do without.
So now, I am out networking with people, volunteering, listening to the people at my Career Link office, made solid improvements to my resume, LinkedIn profile, and countless other job search activities. But what remains the same is that I am applying to many jobs that I can do, I have the qualifications to do, and have the tenacity to be successful-at, yet the calls are few and far between. Although I have been on more phone and face to face interviews, what remains a consistent theme is that employers are looking for the perfect candidate, where my hit-rate is pretty low. So where I have one short-coming, my resume is discarded without further regard. My effort, investigation, and interest in the company with my application goes unnoticed, so much no one has the time for a “thanks for applying”, we’ll review your credentials and let you know in just a couple of weeks. To the contrary, people won’t return phone calls or emails, as the act of answering the phone or blind email has gone by the way side. There is no interest in the human being behind the writing and resume, only what skills can I exploit for the benefit of the company, and what is the ROI we can extract from that person for the time until the next corporate restricting or downsizing.
So as not to sound cynical in my current state of unemployment, which I am only blaming myself, really, and with the sky high hopes of a few opportunities that are floating around out there is space, I close with a “lesson learned”. Your career or job is one to one on all levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, as I see it, so whether or not you are still reading, or intrigued by my profound conclusion. Never not have an updated resume, never burn your bridges, always make friends and business colleagues, make connections, seek-out opportunities, remained organized in your life, continue to learn and engage the groups of people in your same situation, whatever it may be. And of course remain positive, as all your friends say “oh you’ll find something soon”, and you should believe it.