Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Travails of a Two-Armed Part-Time Job Applicant

This week's blog is only peripherally about running. To write about running this week would in some ways be a repeat of last week. Wayne Kevin did a Kids Triathlon without me present (again). I did a running event Saturday morning (again). There were no bananas at my event (the annual Breakfast on the Track Mile); however there was watermelon and there were pancakes. The only last banana-ish moment was when I (as one of the last runners to finish) had to eke out some syrup from the nearly empty syrup bottles. Aunt Jemima was pretty depleted by then.

Running has been a key resource in coping with the challenge of finding additional part-time work to perform in our family effort to slay the debt monster. We have read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and I have decided to muster up the energy and willingness to do without some mom/kid time (at least short term) to earn extra income to take baby step #1 (building a modest emergency fund). Sounds easy, right?

I have learned that one of the main things you do when searching for things you can do from home is to download odd little pieces of software. I now have an "ExpressScribe" icon on one computer and Skype on another. The ExpressScribe was for home transcription of focus group sessions; Skype was to talk with people learning to speak English (imagine the potential for fun conversations there!). It was enough of a blow to my self-esteem for the transcription people to decline my application (saying it wasn't "verbatim enough"); but when my application to be an online phone generic phone rep was declined, I wondered just how much more they needed than someone certified by the Call Center Industry Accreditation Council as a Call Center Strategic Leader. (The people who required me to have a Skype id in order to apply replied with a cryptic, "We will get back to you if we see a fit for your background.")

My favorite telecommuting job ad of the week stated that applicants must be able to:
· Demonstrate an aptitude for interpersonal communication
· Possess a basic knowledge of operating a personal computer
· Speak and think clearly, normal hearing is required
· Be self-motivated
· Have the use of at least one arm and hand
· Read at sixth grade comprehension level or higher
· Have a professional, pleasant phone presence
· Maintain a calm, courteous demeanor
· Have a high school diploma or GED

If these folks turn me down it may take a very long, relaxing run to shake off the rejection blues.

What are the takeaways of the week of rejections? It is possible that all applicants are getting turned down because the organizations no longer need candidates. It is possible that I am perceived as overqualified. It is possible that the organizations are testing applicants to see who wants the position enough to respond back with why they deserve a second look. It is possible that I need to do something local at a brick and mortar place. (It's disconcerting working for (or applying to) people who you wouldn't know if they were standing a foot away. It's a part of our new world, but it's still foreign to be unable to look your supervisor (or potential supervisor) in the eye and have their nonverbals to go by in figuring out where you stand with them.)

I read something recently that said your running will speed up if you "increase the number of steps you take." It suggested that within a ten second period you count how many times your right foot hits the ground -- that if your foot hits more frequently in that period of time you'll increase your speed. I tried that on the track and it did seem to prove true.

With the hunt for sources of additional income, maybe it's not about how many times your feet hit the ground, or how many correct keystrokes per minute your (two) arms can achieve. I get the feeling this particular finish line isn't about speed but technique.

I left this week feeling like this picture of Wayne after his kids tri:

In the coming week, it's time to regroup, lace up, make sure both arms are still with me, and forge ahead!

So, readers, if you know of anyone who needs a dependable two-armed part-timer with good hearing and a high school diploma, let me know!!

Otherwise I'll "run" into you soon!

1 comment:

Velva said...

Don't get discouraged. Keep your shoes laced up and your feet to the ground. You will be coming around the corner here shortly.