Professional Limbo

A few weeks ago, I was offered a contract job that I was told would last 4 weeks. It was originally supposed to start last Wednesday. Then it got pushed to today, and now they’re telling me it should be Monday. Maybe. I was told that they definitely still want me, but it’s taking longer to process the paperwork.

I’ve also interviewed at several other places: one I bowed out of halfway through the interview process (it involved group interviews and inexperienced interviewers, and was ridiculous), two I was a finalist but did not get the job, and one more that I’ve had two rounds of interviews at last week, and I’m waiting to hear if I’ll get an offer.

I feel like I’m in limbo here. When (if?) my contract job starts, I won’t really be available for interviews anywhere else for a few weeks. So I’m hesitant to start another round of applications, even though it would obviously be in my best interest. If I get an offer from the company I interviewed at last week, I don’t really know when I would be able to start.  I definitely want to do the contract job- it pays really well, and would give me deeper experience in the niche I’m trying to get other full-time jobs in. It would help me take my skills in that area to a much higher level.

But I don’t want to just stop applying for jobs, because it’s still possible that any of these options could fall through. It’s also been a bit frustrating even finding jobs I want to apply for. Since I had a positive experience finding a job using Careerbuilder a while ago, I thought I’d give that another shot. But it seems to have gone back to what most people expect out of it: mostly scams, or “offers” for jobs that have nothing to do with what I want to do. (I actually got a phone call from someone who thought I’d be qualified to manage a small sales team. I told her I don’t have any sales experience, and she said that it was okay because the job would be more about managing other employees. I told her I have experience managing projects, but not employees, and that I wouldn’t know how to help a team succeed in sales, and she said, “Oh, that’s okay. We have a two week training program.” Seriously?)

And don’t even get me started about the job postings on Craigslist. I’m astonished at how many companies think they can get people to write for them for free, just by calling the job an “internship” (but still requiring the applicant to have 3-5 years of experience, and a lot of other qualifications that very few -if any- college students would have.)

LinkedIN and a few other sites have been a little bit better, and I have a few resources through the NY Dept. of Labor (one of the many perks of getting unemployment.). It’s just that when I spend most of my day searching these sites, it feels like they all have the same job postings, and I’ve already either applied or ruled them out.

I guess it wouldn’t hurt to go back to my plan of job searching in the morning and list item accomplishing in the afternoon. And I have been doing that, to an extent. I’ve been slowly working on a book I’ve been writing for a while, but I feel like I don’t have enough material for it yet (and of course, to get there, I need to have -and leave- more jobs.). And I don’t really feel like I can go out and explore the city, because that costs money, and I’m sharing an unlimited metrocard with Andy. And it’s been rainy and gross all week, so even the park is out.

On the plus side- my mom (whose birthday is today- Happy Birthday Mom!) sent me some money for Tinker to get his summer haircut, which has already provided endless smiles in this household:

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9 Responses to Professional Limbo

  1. Steph Auteri says:

    It’s my opinion — and the opinion of many recruiters and career coaches I know — that job ads are the worst way to find a job. I wrote about why in this post:

    http://www.freelancedom.com/2009/06/17/passiveaggressive-finding-work-as-a-freelancer/

    It’s written for freelancers, but the same applies for those seeking out full-time work.

    If I were you, I’d start looking for companies… not job ads… and work at pitching yourself to them, whether or not they appear to have job openings.

    p.s. I’m always available for book collaboration! 😉 I’ve left MANY jobs.

  2. Kristin says:

    I’m starting to agree with you. Your blog post was great- I think those ways all make total sense for freelancers. But since I’m not really looking to freelance right now, I’m not really sure how to apply them to a search for a corporate job.

    I do think that we should definitely talk about book collaboration. 🙂

  3. Steph Auteri says:

    What you need to do it design your perfect job position… and pitch it to your dream company! I’m a fan of this tactic because it involves a lot of daydreaming and playing to one’s strengths.

    And definitely email me if you’d ever like to talk about your book! I thought your idea was super fantastic.

    • Kristin says:

      Yeah, that’s the part I don’t want to do. I majored in PR in college, and decided not to pursue that career field specifically because I didn’t want to have to pitch things. 🙂

      I do want to talk with you about the book, but I’d like to get a little further along with it first.

  4. Seashell says:

    I can so sympathise with you Kristin. Is this the new way of employment? Being left in limbo waiting for “paperwork” to come through? I FINALLY got a start date for my new job of May 23, almost 3 weeks after I was originally told I would start. Now, I have to get through the next 2 days hoping I don’t get a phone call saying it’s been pushed back. Hope all goes well and you start on Monday also!

    • Kristin says:

      I sincerely hope this is not as common as it appears. I have gotten other jobs through normal, reasonable means in the past few years.

      Congrats on finally getting a start date on your job! 🙂

  5. Kristin,

    We are always looking at ways to improve your job hunting experience. If you see something on our site that doesn’t look right, feel free to report it to TSST@CareerBuilder.com and we will be happy to investigate. Good luck in your job search!

    ~Melissa L
    Fraud and Abuse Specialist
    CareerBuilder | Start Building
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/cbsitesecurity
    http://www.onguardonline.gov | FTC Federal Trade Commission

    • Kristin says:

      Thanks! The spammy responses I’m getting usually go straight to my spam folder, but it’s just frustrating. I’ve gotten a lot of “job offers” for “funds transfer associate” positions.

      Those don’t bother me so much, but the ones where someone calls me about a job that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my experience or anything that I would ever consider doing bother me.

  6. Pingback: Either dodging a bullet or burning a bridge. | The Settlers Give it Passion

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