Monday, June 11, 2007

The search continues...

I've been out of seminary for a little over 3 weeks and the job search continues... I don't know if it's the non-profit world, just the job market in Kansas City or if my resume is just that bad but I have gotten virtually nothing in response to the 10 or so resumes that I've put out around the area. I don't even get a "thank you for applying, we'll get back to you" or basic acknowledgment that my application was received. Am I doing something wrong??

This whole process has been interesting for a couple of reasons. (1) This is the first time I've ever actually done it - all of my previous jobs have simply required filling out an application (I never made up a resume until this year) and then either taking some kind of test (typing, data entry, etc.) and talking with the manager/supervisor. I'm a good test taker and do fairly well with people, so I've always gotten the jobs I was interested in before. (2) This is the first time I've been without a job when I really wanted to have one. It's really making me look at myself and my life in new ways, some of them not so good. I remember times when my parents were looking for jobs and how hard it was on them personally (hello, self esteem, where are you?!?) as well as financially for the whole family. I'm lucky that right now I'm still getting to work some hours in the seminary library while the new students get trained, but that comes to an end Jun 29th. I have a sugar mamma (love ya, babe!) but we're already starting to dip into our savings and the money I just got for graduation to pay our regular bills and I don't deal well with "not contributing to the benefit of the household." I know, keeping house is work and someone needs to do it but let's be real. I'm not raising any children and even if I were, "housewife" isn't a valued job position you can put on your resume.

The exciting this is that I do have a couple of appointments to talk with people this week - including KC Habitat for Humanity, which would be a phenomenal group to work for. The downside is that all of these positions for which I'm know interviewing are actually volunteer jobs through AmeriCorps. They pay a living stipend (which is more than I've been making working part time in the seminary library), most offer some type of health insurance, and my student loans will go into forbearance so that I won't have to worry about tacking on another monthly payment for a little while. The positions I'm looking at are all right here in the KC area and seem to be year long positions so that when I get done, I'll have a year of real experience and connections to people in the KC non-profit world that will hopefully both help me to get "a real job" afterwards.

It's not that I don't think these AmeriCorps jobs are "real" but the program was put together to encourage people to serve their communities and make it financially possible for them to do so. I was talking with a woman earlier today who recently retired and thought it was something she'd enjoy doing herself. But part of me feels like I'm just buying time, delaying the inevitable, using my fall back plan when I haven't really tried as hard as I could elsewhere. Is this just a cop out? An easy option? I'll have to see how the interviews go later this week and do some more soul searching about what all of this means....

6 comments:

hipchickmamma said...

i think you're being a little harsh on yourself. americorp would not be an easy out. perhaps you need to check your expectations and evaluate if they are yours or society's that you are trying to meet.

just a thought! good luck!

Kim in KCK said...

I think the americorp gig would be wonderful! That's a place where you can do real ministry.

I also agree with hipchick...you're never gonna make the big bucks working for non-profits, and that seems to be where your interests lie. Get over it.

In the meantime, I would be more than happy to take a look at your resume. I'll be on campus every morning starting next week. It may also be helpful for you to know that all the jobs I ever got came from networking...the resume had very little to do with anything. Look through those business cards and brochures you picked up at annual conference, make some phone calls, create your own job. If americorp is a fallback, it may also be a great opportunity to get to know people that can help you end up where you want to be.

Kim

Big Unit said...

Also note that this seems to be an especially tough time for non-profits right now. Steph & I both work for non-profits and have close ties to several others; this seems to be an especially busy time and a tough financial time for all that we know of right now.

Kim is right, work those contacts; I am sure you are.

Tina said...

Americorps is definitely not a bad place to start. And contacts are your best bet with any line of work. It's all about who you know. That and tenacity. (Which I know you have plenty of.)

A foot in the door is not a cop out. You can and will find your path, Mandy. :)

politicalrachel said...

I need a yard girl and house keeper. Free room and board. Must love the cat.
Hang in there...

hipchickmamma said...

tag! you're it! i hope you'll play "8 random things". here are the "rules"