As part of the AEP/PATH program, I am required to job hunt 40 hours a week, minimum. Some of this can be done online, but much of it is done on foot. After a period of time, there are other activities that you can participate in to be in compliance, but my case manager and I won’t be discussing those options for…five more hours?
Yes, it’s 4 a.m., and I am having another one of those ‘hoping for eight hours of sleep, but the kids forgot to let the dogs out before they went to bed’ types of nights. I figure if I go back to sleep now, I won’t be waking up to my alarms in the morning (yes, I have to use more than one).
Back to job hunting…if you are available and desiring a full-time job, only looking for work a couple hours a week is not going to provide you with many options to choose from. If you are able to work full-time, you should be job searching at least 30 hours a week for employment.
I know, I know, that’s a lot of job hunting. But, if you want to be successful and find a job worth searching for, you have to do the footwork.
Obviously, 30-plus hours is a lot of job applications to fill out, whether it be in person or online. That’s an overwhelming concept all by itself, especially if you’ve been unemployed for awhile and money is lacking.
Also, be prepared for anything. I recently applied for a job that my case manager told me about. She said they were desperate for workers, so I e-mailed them my resume on a Friday. I will only say that the last name of the business was Detox.
Needless to say, I get a call on Saturday for an interview. Before they would schedule a time for me to come in, they had one question for me,
How do you feel about being around people who are naked???
HUH? It’s a good thing I used to work as a HHA and a CNA, and I also had delivered pizzas for three years (you’re probably wondering about this last one, keep reading to find out why I also saw naked people when delivering pizzas), so I was already desensitized to human nudity. What a weird question to be asked on a Saturday morning. Apparently, the business was a detox facility, and they needed security guards to perform strip searches and property searches on the residents. They then asked if I could be in for an interview within an hour, which I couldn’t meet with them until the following Monday. I was not showered, dressed, and prepared to meet for an interview within an hour. With that experience, I learned I needed to be up on Saturdays and ready to go, just in case someone DID want to meet with me (which did happen the following Saturday again).
There are some important concepts to consider when looking for a job (and when you get to the end of this post, I will tell you some of the crazy experiences I’ve had while job hunting):
- First impressions are everything - whether you are applying for a job or attending an interview, be sure to dress the part. Don’t show up in ‘Holy jeans’ and a Hooters t-shirt when applying or interviewing. At the minimum, dress in business casual attire. If you’re going after a more professional job, it wouldn’t hurt to wear either a suit and tie or a skirt, blouse, and heels.
- A resume is a necessity - always have a hard copy of your resume on your person while job hunting. Some companies will ask for one on the spot. If your English grammar and typing skills are lacking, ask a friend to type it for you. Sometimes, your resume IS the first impression an employer will have of you, so make sure it’s perfect.
- Use a notebook for tracking - keeping track of all the places you have applied is impossible if you’re not writing it down. Leave several spaces between the businesses you write down so you can jot down notes later on. You will want to write down the date you applied, and go back and use this list as a reference sheet when you are ready to follow up on your applications.
- Give yourself extra time – do NOT be late for your job interview. Do NOT come walking through the door one minute before the interview is scheduled. Plan to be 10 or 15 minutes early. Sometimes, you may have difficulty finding the business because it could be tucked way in the back of some office complex, or there might not be an obvious address on the building. That extra time you gave yourself could be the difference to being on time or late when you can’t find where you’re supposed to be.
- Don’t take no for an answer - on this tip, you will have to use your better judgment. There are some business that rarely hire, so if you didn’t get the position at that type of business, continuing to call back is futile. However, if you’re trying to get a general job (McDonald’s, a grocery store, or your favorite retail outlet for clothes), don’t be afraid to randomly call back and check on your application. If thy employer says, “Sorry, we already filled that position,” that doesn’t mean the new person will necessarily work out. Don’t harass these business with constant call backs, but calling once a week or every other week will help that employer to remember you, and maybe, the next time they have a position open, you could be the first person they call in.
- Don’t forget to SMILE!
I’ve worked in a variety of employment fields, because I am a single mother. I have to take what I can get, which has thrown me into some weird situations, especially when I was delivering pizzas for Papa John’s. Be ready for anything. Even on a Saturday. As I mentioned previously, I received a call from the detox facility on a Saturday. The following Saturday (few days ago), I received another call for an interview, and thank goodness, I was dressed and ready to go.