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knight4ever11's Blog


Discharge Calls

Every Friday morning, I sit in a small office, in what I think is the loudest part of the hospital, making patient satisfaction calls to discharged patients.  Since starting this duty in July, I have learned some things that could be applied to the job search and job interviews.
 
1.      Be courteous to the person you’re speaking to.  You never know what type of person you will get on the other end and what kind of day they have had so far.
2.      Be an active listener.  On the phone, you have to give vocal hints that you are still listening.  What do I mean by vocal hints?  For instance, saying things like “I’m still listening,” especially if they ask if you’re still there.  However, you have to give not just vocal hints (such as asking questions) but also body language cues (best example is maintaining eye contact) when meeting face-to-face.
3.      Make yourself clear.  There are questions or answers that you’ll give that may not be so clear to the other person.  So, there will be times where you have to elaborate what you mean.
4.      Be understanding and compassionate.  This ties into lesson two.  When on the phone, I know that not everyone is going to feel exactly 100% when they are discharged from the hospital or had a great experience.  When the latter is indicated, I first apologize and then ask what went wrong.  At the end, I will ask (if they don’t tell me) if they brought up to a supervisor or manager before leaving.  If they didn’t (or even if they did), I will let them know that I will speak to the nurse manager about what happened.
Haven’t run into on interviews yet, so not quite sure how I will apply it to interviews.
5.      Have a thick skin, and do not get discouraged.  Obvious enough, right?  I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate on this one.  I probably should, at least when it comes to the hospital end of things.  When on the phone, not everyone is going to be so pleasant or feeling 100%.  So, I have to be prepared for any negativity that comes from the other end.

My First Offer

I got my first job offer about 2 weeks ago.  You heard me right.  My first job offer.  I would have thought that by the time I came to writing this update, I would be working.  Wrong.  I had to reject it.  There are many reasons why.  Before I explain, let me paint the picture of the interview.
 
I get a call the Friday before the beginning of October.  The caller told me his name and about his financial management company that he founded and still runs.  He goes on to tell me that he found my resume on Employ FL Marketplace, a job search website run by Workforce Central Florida.  He (along with one of his co-workers) thought that I would be perfect for a position he is looking to fill.  A front desk/administrative assistant position.  While I had him on the phone, I was able to look up where his office was—relative to where I live—and his company’s website.  It wasn’t too far of a drive, about 20 minutes away.  I asked for the first time he had available, which was the following Monday morning, and then took it.  After finishing my conversation with him, I read up on the company and took a dry run to the office—as I have always done on previous interviews.  When Monday morning rolled around, I got ready as always: breakfast, teeth brushed, minimal but professional makeup, and suit (my first one) & pumps picked out.  After double-checking that I had my resumé and references, I left for my interview.  Once I got to the building, I walked right into a small office, almost two-thirds the size of my house.  I was greeted by a man sitting at the front desk, writing what looked like notes.  I then figured out he was the man I spoke to on the phone, the founder and owner of the company.  We shook hands, and he offered me a seat in the conference room, a little smaller than my bedroom.  I took my seat, along with a bottled water and cup he offered me before we started, next to him to start the interview.  For about 2 hours (my longest interview to date), we went over my resume, the job duties, the schedule & pay, examples of what I would be working on with him, and what services the company provides.  He also gave a tour of the office (excluding the conference room): his office, his co-workers’ offices, and the front desk.  During those two hours, we discussed my volunteering, which he wanted me to keep so that my degree would be “fresh”.  At the end, he offered me the job and gave me until Wednesday night to think about it.  Didn’t wait that long; in fact, I took it once I got home and was able to make a phone call.
 
After I took the offer, everything about him and his company came under a telescopic microscope: background checks, court records, the whole nine yards.  I mean, my family dug so much deeper after the interview than I did before the interview.  I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but what they found did not spell good news for me.  The court records came up as one red flag.  Another red flag?  The low number of employees for business that had up to one-third of its clients with it for 30 years.  Only three permanent employees, a fourth new one added to the front desk.  A third red flag?  Ties into the previous one.  Since his company has less than 15 permanent employees, he doesn’t have to cover me for workers’ comp if I were to get injured on the job.  A fourth?  The mixture of low pay with no health benefits package.  In my case, I need health benefits; I am sure you can figure out why.  A fifth?  The mixture of the neighborhood the business was located in and lack of security in the building.  A sixth?  The mere fact that I was alone in that office for two hours with a complete stranger.  For me, I did not have any red flags going off whatsoever.  None of the flags that went off for my family, to be sure.  The only two curiosities I had were that he had such a small number of employees for the number of clients he said he had and that he kept getting up for phone calls (three times, might explain the length of the interview).
 
Ultimately, I had to call his office early the next morning and leave a voicemail telling him that I was turning down the position (thankfully, he wrote me back in an e-mail, understanding why I took back my decision).  This decision, mind you, came after his office was closed and after I had told him that I would take the job and be in the next morning at 10 am.  I felt so horrible because I was taking back my word, mix in with the fact that I am becoming so jaded by this whole job hunting process.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I am under the ideal of “my word is my bond”; I say it, and it’s a promise.  You’d think that I would feel great with getting my first job offer.  I do, but it is tinged with feeling so unnecessarily drained.
 
This first job offer sent me into a whirlwind that spun me unnecessarily faster than Cobb spinning his top in Inception.  Just like that little silver toy in a dream, I didn’t feel like my world would stop spinning.  Thankfully, it wasn’t a dream, and it eventually stopped.  I don’t regret making my decision, but I can’t help when I look back and still feel dizzy.

New Notes in an Old Tune

I’m not sure what to write for this blog.  I don’t want to bore you with the same old bit.  This song and dance—with notes of lessons learned, first job fair, interviews, and rejections—has now been stuck in a feedback loop for about 1 year, 3 months, and 9 days with no end seemingly in sight.  The one new note added?  The certificate course, which started last month.
 
Oh, wait a minute.  There is another new note to include in this song: the meeting with the career counselor at UCF.  I went in, thinking that I would learn exactly what I was doing wrong.  I introduced myself, shook her hand, and sat myself down in her office.  She calmly asked what I wanted help with, which I then told her was interviewing.  From how to dress to how to speak, she went over interviewing etiquette I already knew, like how to answer questions and what types of questions to ask.  She also went topics like how to dress (ie: wearing a suit) and how to speak.  The final verdict on my interviewing skills?  There wasn’t anything she would change, except to invest in at least one suit, with no opinion on a skirt versus slacks.  The level I was speaking was perfect: not too loud, not too soft.  The way I presented myself, with the eye contact and the beginning & ending handshakes were all very good.  Everything else associated with interviewing was also fine.  Her ultimate answer?  What about 8% of the working population in the US already knows: it is a tough market we have right now, with not a lot of hiring occurring for the majority of us.  When I came back home and told my family what had happened, there was one quote universally said: “That should make you feel better, shouldn’t it?”  I would be lying to you to say that it did.
 
Hold on.  There is yet another new note added: a new way to write journal entries.  Have I told you that I have been keeping a journal?  Something I have been doing for the past few months to help me vent about the job hunt.  I decided a few days ago to start writing my entries in a whole new way.  My inspiration?  Bridget Jones’ Diary.  Just like her, I am keeping track of my weight.  I don’t remember if she set a weight loss goal at the beginning of the first movie or not, but I know I set one for myself: 20 lbs lost by New Year’s Eve.  She didn’t keep track of her waist size, but I am going to.  I wasn’t sure of what type of goal I should set for myself here by New Year’s Eve, but inches lost?  That’s a good thing, right?  Anyway…instead of keeping track of how many cigarettes I smoke (I don’t smoke), I am keeping track of how many coffee drinks I drink each time I make an entry.  Why?  Just like Bridgette with her cigs, I happily admit that I am addicted to my coffee and coffee-related drinks, like the new refreshers at Starbucks.  I am also keeping track of two other important things in my life right now: how many hours I spend a day (the day of the entry) and a week on my Medical Billing & Coding course and how many jobs I applied to a day (again, the day of the entry).  My aim is to keep at least one entry every other week, maybe even one a week.  Bridget Jones inspired, but me totally written all over it.
 
With these new notes added, there is a new tune being played in my mind as 2012 comes to a close.

Milestones, Rejection, and Another New Chapter

I recently celebrated two milestones, one of them not so joyously.  Three weeks and four days ago, I blew out 25 candles for 25 years of life.  Last week, I reached the first anniversary of me graduating from UCF with a Bachelor’s in Health Services Administration.  I am sure that you’ll figure out which one.  25 years old, just as many interviews, and zero job offers.
 
Before I continue, I received a comment from a reader from my last posting that I wish to address.  Let me say to this reader that this is not meant to be personal.  I am just expressing my opinion about your opinion.
1.      Firstly, maybe I have been fortunate enough where I have worked (or volunteered or interned) in places where professional courtesy is at a high.  Maybe I am old-fashioned in that parts of my definition of professional courtesy are that every job seeker & candidate should be answered—especially if one contacts you a second time via e-mail or phone—and every applicant should not be ignored.
2.      Second, I have gone done different routes—from insurance to legal, from custodial to home health care, and everything in-between—with nothing to show for my travels.  Just recently, I had an interview for an account manager at a marketing firm (didn’t receive a call for a secondary interview).  When I first started securing interviews, I sat in a group interview with about 20 other men and women for an insurance company for an insurance salesperson position.  I sat through the whole presentation given by one of the senior salesmen at that branch of the company.  As powerful & organized the presentation was and well spoken the presenters were, it still didn’t persuade me (or many others, in truth) to seek a one-on-one interview with the hiring managers.  Why?  Mainly, I know myself well enough that I could never become a salesperson or ever be involved in sales..at least in the short-term and a little bit into the long-term.  I understand that in every field and in every position, there’s competition amongst co-workers.  I am not naïve to that fact; however, I have come to understand that sales is where the competition is more cutthroat than in any other arena, and your salary is basically based on how much and how well you sell.  I understand that while in a position, you will have to sell your idea—through means such as a proposal or a presentation—to a co-worker, a subordinate, or your boss(es).  I also am aware that you may have to sell your idea to an outside company.
3.      Thirdly, I will be trying something different: going back to school.  I will be starting a certification course, offered through UCF, for Medical Billing and Coding.  The university, partnered with Gaitlin, is giving me six months to complete the course; plus, they are providing the required textbooks.  Not bad for $1,600 (thank you, Grandma).  Come sometime this week, I will begin yet another chapter: Road to Certification.
4.      Fourthly, I am no longer “spinning [my] wheels” as much as I was when I first started this blog.  Since February, I have been volunteering at a local hospital, working on documents, spreadsheets, graphs, presentations, etc. on the computer and conducting patient satisfaction surveys over the phone (which started at the beginning of July).
Back to my current post.  As much as I have told all of you what I have learned, I obviously do not practice what I preach.  The one lesson that is becoming increasingly hard to learn and to apply (referring back to my second post): be patient, keep your head up, and don’t become jaded.  It has been trying not to do the opposite, especially since the interview I informed you of in the previous blog did not turn into my first job.  I was highly confident that this one, for an administrative assistant position with a medical management company in the Home Health Care department, was going to be the last interview.  I went in, shook the interviewer’s (a woman from HR) hand, sat down, and answered her questions about my work stated on my resumé.  She stated during the interview, a pool of 300+ applicants was shrunk down to a kiddy pool of six.  She then said that since there were pluses about all six, it would be a very hard choice between all of us.  I waited for a little over one week for word.  While patiently waiting for word from that company, another company, for workers’ compensation, called to set up an interview, which happened three weeks ago (only to find out just last week that the position was already filled).  Only a few days after that, I found a message in my inbox that I was not expecting to see: the medical management company chose someone else.  Out of all the rejections I have received after an interview, this one hit me the hardest.  I was über-confident after that interview, thinking I had it in the bag.  To be very honest, I was on Cloud Nine.  I thought that my 25th birthday would yield the best present: my first full-time job.  I would have to wait three more days to come crashing back to Earth.
 
The rejection and resulting low-hanging cloud took its toll.  The interview with the workers’ compensation company, I went in as normal: introduced myself, shook the interviewer’s hand, and sat down with her to answer her questions.  I took a skills test, consisting of an Excel spreadsheet (had to total up some numbers) and a Word document (had to compose a letter requesting medical records).  I then met one of the owners who asked me about how I would handle a certain scenario and how assertive I saw myself to be (on a scale from 1 to 10).  Before asking those questions, he asked me one question: are you nervous?  I have to admit (and had to honestly answer him) that I was a little bit; in fact, I could feel my heart beating hard.  When I left and before I entered the elevator, I could see why he had asked: the majority of my neck and some of my chest was bright, blotchy red.  I shouldn’t have gotten nervous, right?  I answered their questions honestly and felt I did very well on the skills test.  Maybe something else happened during the interview that lent to me being perceived as nervous.  I have looked back on the interview a few times, and (beyond the blotchiness) I cannot think of anything I did or said to make that type of impression.  After the interview, I wasn’t sure how to think.  Even though I thought the interview went well, every interview I’ve had has gone well with no callbacks for a second interview or for the job itself.  I know I can only do my best, but it seems that my best isn’t enough.  Maybe the career counselor at UCF, that I see at the end of this month, will be able to help me figure it out.
 
The one lesson that has been too easy to learn but still the hardest and slowest pill to swallow?  Not everything will go your way, despite putting in so much hard work up until this point.  Over 300 volunteer hours put in (and growing), just as many put in looking for work & securing interviews, starting a course for Medical Billing and Coding certification, and not as much as a word from anyone.  All of it...seemingly for naught?  At least for one part of the work, it won’t be.  But for the rest?  Time will surely tell.

Professional Courtesy: Where Is It?

Here I am with my secondly monthly job search update.  Up until three days ago, it was same song and dance: searching, applying, calling, e-mailing, and waiting with no response.  Notice I said “up until three weeks ago.”  I have finally received another call for an interview for this coming Monday with a medical management company.  If this interview falls through, the vicious cycle will start up again with the well of jobs slowly drying up, everything from part-time jobs to temporary jobs.
 
I have learned yet another lesson in the past month: professional courtesy seems to be lacking out here for people who are looking for work.  For the most part, I get a straight answer when I call and ask companies about my application to a position: my resume/application is still under review or the position has already been filled.  There are those few that I have to leave a voicemail message for, which is not a problem because many times I have called during people’s lunch breaks.  When I do not receive a call back, it bothers me a bit.  It becomes a huge thorn in my side when I re-call these places, and it either turns into a second (or a third) voicemail message or someone telling me the position was filled.  Here is where I see a lack of professional courtesy.  You can throw any explanations that you want at me, and I’ll just call them excuses.  In my opinion, it is just as easy to call or e-mail an individual saying they have an interview or have the position as calling (or mass e-mailing, if there are over 100 applicants) to say that they aren’t a candidate or that the position has already been filled.
 
Same goes for the time after an interview.  The candidates that aren’t picked as top seed are left out in the cold and have to sit in limbo, wondering if they got the job or not.  It’s just as easy to call or e-mail the other candidates to say “You don’t have the job.” as it is to call or e-mail the individual who got the job to say “You’ve got the job.  You start on such-and-such.”  I have run into more than my fair share of this.  After an interview, I said a thank you e-mail and wait for a response.  Most of the time, I have been given the cold shoulder, not knowing whether the interviewers were still interviewing people or the position had been filled.  After a certain point in time, I just assume that the position is filled by someone else.  After my last interview (back at the end of May), I sent my usual thank you e-mail and waited about a week and a half.  So, I attended my first job during the waiting period.  After that time had lapsed, I decided to call and ask if I had secured the position or not.  I talked to the woman who I was supposed to interview with (she was on a conference call when I came in for my interview), thanked her for considering me a candidate for the position, and asked her if she was still interviewing people or if the position had been filled.  Guess what she told me?
 
Over the past month, the well of jobs is little by little running bone dry, along with my patience.  Every rejection is breaking me down harder than the last, and I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
 
You know, this coming Friday, I will turn 25.  My only wish?  To get my first job.

A New Chapter Added

Here I am with my first official monthly update of my job search.  Up until now, I have sent out applications, resumes, and cover letters to over 400 companies.  I have called many places back to ask about my application to a job position.  Same results: no answers, not a candidate, or position already filled.  From my perspective, it seems like this The Job Hunt chapter keeps adding unnecessary pages of searching, applying, calling, and waiting.
 
While this chapter continues, I am not sitting around, twiddling my thumbs.  I am volunteering at a hospital (part of Orlando Health) that I—literally—live right behind and a doctor’s office affiliated with that hospital.  Mostly, I am doing computer work, putting together documents like spreadsheets, graphs, and flyers.  I have to say that this has helped me, networking wise.  I recently worked on a set of posters with goal and actual numbers of falls and infections, both hospital-wide and for each department.  For me to do this project, I would need the data for it, right?  In order to obtain it, I had to contact other individuals who weren’t at this hospital but were on other hospital campuses.  All of the conversations were done via e-mail; there was some struggle to get the changes exactly as they wanted.  But in the end, everyone got everything they wanted.  In fact, one of the individuals, who is both the Chief Quality Officer at the hospital and one of the doctors in the office I volunteer in, took the time out of his schedule to thank me for all my hard work.  It was nice little pat on the back for me.  An executive officer thanking me, a volunteer, for taking the time to understand what everybody wanted and to create what they needed.  That said a lot to me; in fact, it still does.
 
As this chapter continues to add pages, lessons are learned and humility increases with every cold shoulder and rejection.
1.      Not everything will go your way, despite putting in so much hard work up until this point.  High school, college, first jobs, and—for some out there—graduate school…those were just tests to:
a.      find out who you really are;
b.      help you discover how tough you really are; and
c.       show your true colors while as a employee and a team player.
2.      Network, network, network.  The people you meet during your life—friends, teachers, professors, interviewers, bosses, and co-workers—could help you down the road.  I know that was certainly the case with me.  One in particular, Dr. Sumner.  She helped me get over so many speed bumps, from my resume to my interviewing skills.  When I was having trouble finding a job, I immediately thought of going to her for help.  She helped me re-vamp my resume, gave me great advice, and praised me for my improvements.  She saw that I had grown leaps & bounds, from making strong eye contact to my handshake, and told me so.  She also gave me great advice, one of which I applied to my job search this week.
3.      Be patient, keep your head up, and don’t become jaded.  I know this one was the hardest for me to learn.  It has been near ten months since I graduated from UCF, and my patience has become incredibly ice-thin.  I have to be honest, rejection has knocked me down off my high horse, and every one does it just a little bit harder than the last.
4.      Know that you are not alone.  One thing that I have started doing is reading articles about professionalism, interviewing, resume, cover letter, and other job-related topics.  After reading the articles, I have read the comments others leave behind.  It has been a bit of encouragement to me, knowing that people—even ones who have many years of experience and higher degrees—are continuing to struggle to find employment in this economy.  Also, check out the blogs on sites like The Experience Project, Blogger, and Hear.Think.See.Write and see what others are writing about.  Who knows?  Their lessons learned and advice could be something you don’t know about.
 
Yesterday, I added a chapter I never expected to: My First Job Fair.  The one memory I have of a job fair is back when I was an intern at Kids Beating Cancer; it was at the new Amway Center.  I look back on that memory, and still one word comes to mind: whoa.  Hundreds of people searching for a chance for work, dozens of companies with booths looking for employees.  Seemed to me like chaos.  Talk about needing to stand out from a crowd!  At that point, I thought I would never see myself doing that.  That is, until recently.  When I found out about this job fair (a health care job fair, might I add), I thought back to a meeting I had with a professor—who helped me put together my resume and with my interviewing techniques—to ask her for some job hunting, resume, and interviewing advice.  One of the things she suggested I do to one, help me find more opportunities and two, help me break out of my shy shell was to attend job fairs.
 
I walked into the Orlando Fashion Square Mall—one 10-month graduate among hundreds of other unemployed people—with an open mind and my head held high, not to mention frayed nerves.  That’s the first page of the chapter; here are more added.
 
I arrived at the National Entrepreneur Center in the Orlando Fashion Square Mall about 15 minutes early, nervous but willing and open-minded.  After filling out some paperwork, I people-watched while waiting in the sitting area.  The majority of people came in dressed very professional, some carrying leather portfolios while only a few came in as if they just came in from a casual walk around the mall, jeans, sneakers, and all.  But that wasn’t my first surprise; in truth, it came in the form of the number of people who showed up early.  One word: low.  I was expecting hundreds to arrive early to the event; in reality, I would say barely 100 showed up.  When I came into the main room, another surprise hit me: the number of employers who came.  I would say about a half of a dozen showed up, the others were either the Army or universities; in all, about a dozen booths were set up.  Another surprise hit me as I walked around the room: the employers who were missing.  There were actually a few empty booths, including one for Orlando Health.  Granted, they might have come later in the job fair (the event went until 4 pm), but that’s beside the point.
 
When I entered the main room, I made sure I would visit every single booth I think could potentially become an employer.  While visiting each booth, I introduced myself, shook everyone’s hand , and asked what services the company provides.  When anyone said that they had administrative or clerical positions open, I handed them a couple of my survey (I brought 30 copies with me; I left with about ½ that amount).  Even if they did not have anything open (and if I thought a position would open up), I handed them my resume anyway—unless they said that they couldn’t take it.  I also handed out as many business cards as I could; here comes another surprise, one I really didn’t want happening.  When I went to hand out my business cards, my hands were shaking so bad that I’m surprised no one said anything.  If they did, they kept it to themselves so as to not make me very conscious about it.  Despite that unwelcome surprise, I was very cordial and professional to each person in each booth, and I was returned the favor—right down to handing me their business cards.
 
Overall, it went very well, and—surprisingly—I can’t wait for the next one to come up.
 
With the My First Job Fair chapter closed, the Job Hunt chapter starts up again.  Along with it starts the vicious job hunt cycle of applying, calling, writing, and waiting.  However, the cycle has a new but familiar aspect to it: confidence.  Ever since this process started, my confidence has been brutally knocked down.  Thanks to the volunteer work, it has been boosted up little by little.  It has boosted up more since yesterday after completing the job fair.  Another new but familiar aspect has also been added to the cycle: hope.  Like my confidence, hope has waned (along with my patience).  But it has since been boosted, and I trust it will continue to grow.

Still Spinning My Wheels: A UCF Grad's Story

I’ll apologize ahead of time if this seems a little disjointed.
 
It’s official.  It has been almost a year since I have graduated from University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Health Services Administration.  This new, wide-eyed grad thought that she could find a job within just a few months, what with the (unconventional) experience she had acquired over the last 9 years and with the degree she had, of graduating.  Since starting my search (which did not start until 2 weeks later),I have applied to near 400 companies, some through recruiters, some through sites like CareerBuilder and Monster, and some through cold calling.  I have had about 20 interviews (including one from the beginning of the month), on which all of them I thought I did well.
 
And…nothing to show for it…yet.  I know, I know.  I already have a really good idea of what you are going to say: Welcome to the Club!
 
I am pretty sure you have another question: why wait to start a search?  Well, you could imagine that after being in school for over a decade straight, one would need a little bit of R&R before starting the next two chapters of one’s life: The Job Hunt and The First Job.  So, I took a little siesta in St. Augustine with my mom before starting a new chapter: The Job Hunt.
 
I really just do not understand what has gone wrong.  I have been professional in every interview: dressed nice; did clean, understated makeup; shook the interviewer’s hand before the interview would start and before I would leave; answered their questions as honestly as I could; made eye contact; and asked questions of my own (of which several interviewers commended).  I have sent thank you notes after every interview.  But…still nothing to show for any of my professionalism or any of my hard work.
 
I guess I needed to start this blog just to get my story out and share it with others.  I know I have already shared a little bit of my frustrations on this site (in three groups having to do with the job market), but I feel that more needs to come out.  I really just need to know that I am not alone, and maybe sharing my story will help other new graduates realize that they are not alone either.  I think I need to start at the beginning: on graduation day.
 
On a very hot, humid day in Florida 9 months, 9 days ago, I became—one of many—the Class of 2011.  Despite what I had heard about the job market (an unemployment rate near 10%, with graduates making up almost half of that number), I thought that after only a few months, I would have a full-time job in health care.  Only two weeks after my graduation did I start my search and landed my first interview with a durable medical equipment company.  I was optimistic (maybe too much, now looking back on it), thinking I could land this job in the field I studied three years for.  A week later, I receive an e-mail stating that—in a nutshell—I was not the best fit and they went with someone else.  I rolled it off my back and moved on to the next interview, which was almost a week later with a company that deals with equipment that helps with cancer treatments.  Did everything I was supposed to and waited for the call/e-mail.  Again, was optimistic.  Received an e-mail about a week later, stating that they decided to hire an internal candidate for the position.  It bugged me a bit, but I had to roll it off my back and move on to the next.  Over the following 2 months (late September to late November), I was able to secure six more interviews (plus one test session), most of them in the medical field in some shape or form.  None of them panned out, despite feeling confident after every one that I would get the position.
 
Let me interrupt my story to let you know that for the majority of the after-interview periods, I basically became a pest, in calling and e-mailing places back repeatedly; all of this was because I didn’t want to be ignored and given the cold shoulder, being left in unemployment limbo.
 
Now, let us continue.  At this point, still in that first chapter, I started to become frustrated and saddened that nothing I was doing seemed to be enough.  It would be safe to say that I became a bit depressed, thinking, “What am I doing wrong?  Why isn’t this working?”  My family, who I live with, saw my frustration and thought it would be best for me to take a break because it was so close to the holidays.  Also, I received advice from my aunt that the worst times to look for a job was around the major holidays, particular Christmas.  So, I decided to take off a month to give myself a mental break from the relentless, vicious cycle of daily searching and applying.  I thought it would help; it seemed to.
 
After the month off, I went back to the search.  At that point, I had applied to over 250 companies with not much luck, only securing two interviews during the month of January.  Again, no callbacks on either.  And here again came feelings of frustration, anger, and depression.  What am I doing wrong?  Why am I not getting job offers after these interviews?  Why am I not getting a callback for even a second interview?  Why am I getting the cold shoulder?
 
Five months later, I am still stuck in that chapter, still applying and hardly receiving a word, except for more interviews (10 of them plus one pre-screening interview with a recruiter, as of today), which many were outside of the health care field.  I re-vamped my resumes and cover letters that I send out, thinking that might be the problem.  But no, still nothing.  I have become a pest again, calling these places back and asking if my resume and application are still under review.  The majority of them have informed me that someone else was hired or that I was no longer considered a candidate.  I have had to leave phone messages for several of them. Yet again, being given the cold shoulder.
 
It feels like this chapter is never ending.  It has basically become a job to find a job; it is very much a vicious, cruel cycle that is seemingly infinite and unbreakable.  I want to find a way to break it so badly because I am sick of feeling depressed & stressed out and sick of being stuck in such a routine.  Someone please hire me soon…

1-7 of 7 Blogs   

Previous Posts
Discharge Calls, posted November 15th, 2012
My First Offer, posted October 16th, 2012
New Notes in an Old Tune, posted September 15th, 2012
Milestones, Rejection, and Another New Chapter, posted August 15th, 2012
Professional Courtesy: Where Is It?, posted July 15th, 2012
A New Chapter Added, posted June 15th, 2012
Still Spinning My Wheels: A UCF Grad's Story, posted May 15th, 2012, 1 comment

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