Friday, October 12, 2007

The Career Hunt

I despise career hunting. I call it that because I’m not looking for just a job right now, I’m looking for a career path. A career to me, means utilizing my education and training in a long-term way to make money to live, while at the same time enjoying my 9-5 responsibilities. To find my career is much more difficult here than I ever imagined.

I came from a community in Florida where I knew lots of people and had made fairly good networking connections. I feel that I could have found a job there fairly quickly. However, in Seattle I am just starting to meet people that can help me in my job search. So much of job hunting comes from who you know, and I don’t know very many people yet. Another problem here is the job market. While there are lots of nonprofit organizations in this region, people interested in nonprofit management know this and flood the market. Seattle is a high cost-of-living area with a good reputation for jobs, so the job market is flooded with recent college and masters grads, just like me. I was talking to someone yesterday and she said that in this area, a bachelor’s degree here is like a high school diploma in other areas and my master’s degree is only equivalent to a bachelor’s.

So the career hunt continues. In the meantime we need to start paying some bills, so I’ve got a couple of temporary jobs. I work 7 days a week right now. Depending on the day I need to get up between 4:00 and 5:30. I’m a little tired and look forward to a break, but I like making money and not sticking around the house. (Just to let you know, Robb’s not hanging out on his laurels. He had a temp job last week sorting ballots for a nonprofit election, and spent this week applying for hourly positions to help pay bills.) I just finished the first week of a three-week temp position at a mental health facility. I basically answer the phones and pass on messages to people in the intake/admissions department. The good thing about this job is that I learned how to take the bus from Federal Way all the way to Seattle . It only costs me $2.00 each way and it actually takes a little less time (about an hour) and is less stressful than driving my car. Plus I save the environment and can sleep or read on the bus.

And on the weekends I am working as an opener for Panera Bread. On Saturday I have to be there at 5:00am, and Sunday at 6:00am. I put out the bread/pastries that have been baking all night and then am a cashier. It’s interesting because Panera’s have just started opening here in the past couple of years, so tons of people come in and have never been there before. I just can’t imagine not knowing what Panera is, or thinking that it’s a cool new local bakery.

Next week I’m going to a nonprofit career fair and at the end of October I’m going to a very large public administration career fair. And I’m starting to get this networking thing down. I started attending King County Young Democrats meetings. I’ve been to two meetings so far, and everyone is very nice and told me about some good websites and sources to look for jobs. And next week I meet with the development director of this mental health facility to talk about the nonprofit realm in Seattle . Please keep your fingers crossed that something works out soon!

1 comment:

Kilroy_60 said...

It would certainly be understandable to latch on when you get a nibble, but you'll be well off in the long run if you wait for the right career position.

On another, related subject...

It will be interesting, I think, to share the adventures in your new home. And I'm pleased to tell you that Beautiful Rainy Days Ahead has been included in the newest {updated} edition of A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Blogosphere.

One last thing, I'm hosting the carnival of cities Monday. You look like you have some posts that will be great!!