Monday, December 1, 2008

Job Hunting in Madison (Or Anywhere)

So, my favorite question when I have been looking for a job for one week is, "Did you get a job yet?" I have met people who have been out of work for years. Yes, years. I am talking two, even three years, before they find something. If you want a serious job, you apply, get a call about two weeks later, get scheduled for an interview a week after that call, then maybe get called for a second and even third and fourth interview. Now, it has been a good six weeks since you sent your resume, only to find out that they had an internal candidate they were looking at before you ever dropped your resume through their "in" box.

I worked in Human Resources. I know the rules. We had to put ads all over diverse websites. We had to post jobs we already had filled by people we knew. We even had to do "fake" interviews. These took place when the person showed up, and we knew that they were not a fit, but we had to proceed with the interview anyway. These were quick ones....

So, what's it like being unemployed as a newbie in town? I imagine if I was a nurse, there is a chance I would have a job by now. Or, if I was in IT. Or maybe, if I wanted to be a school bus driver. But here is a typical day for someone with my background, and what I do in Madison, daily as a person "in between opportunities:"

-Set alarm for 6:45 AM, (hit snooze a few times)
-Take dog(s) out - (I was dog sitting)
-8:00 Run and lift weights.
-9:00 - showered and ready to hit the phones, find out the dog I am sitting for can go home. I drop him off.
-10:45 - Go to my "office" overlooking the capital building, and call 5 strangers who are in commercial real estate, whose names have been given to me through various people I have recently met since moving to Madison, asking them if I can send them my resume.
11:30-12:30 - Surf Monster, Careerbuilder, Hotjobs, Simplyhired, and Craigslist for jobs. I start to apply for one. Check e-mail, respond to people who have requested my resume.
12:30-1:15 - Have a networking meeting with a female "mover and shaker" who started a well known publication in town.
1:30 - Stop at home to change into a suit, and look at the local paper's jobs section.
2:00- Leave for a meeting with a recruiter.
2:30-3:30- Have my meeting with the recruiter.
3:45-4:10 Continue applying for the job, make two networking appointments for tomorrow and Wednesday - both with people I would love to work with/for (one who reads my blog....)
4:15 - Take my dog to the park and call it a day.

So - for those of you who think that finding a job in a week is doable, please tell me what the job is, and I will take it. Again, the average time in Dane County is three-eight months. Also, for those of you who think that all we unemployed people do is sleep and watch soaps, think again. I work harder looking for a job than when I have one......

If you follow these steps, and call and meet with people, you should be ok.

So, tomorrow, I go back to that sad support group again from 10-12.... Last time I went, it made me feel good about myself.


  1. Glad you had a chance to talk to me during that proactive day. Good luck.

  2. Sounds exhausting! Keep up the good work. We are pulling for you.