“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.” Pema Chödrön
Remember when I said I didn’t have to send my resume through the black hole of the Internet anymore? Well, I’m back at it. The year’s gift for my Sabbatical has passed. It was, and continues to be, amazing. Truth be told, I would Sabbatical for the rest of my life if I could. But, that is not smart or feasible on so many levels. It was asked of me last year if I would outlive my savings. Since I cannot predict how long I’ll be on this fine earth of ours, I must be prudent. ?!
Thankfully I did actually do some work with pay (not “just” volunteer work) during my Sabbatical year. Teaching CPR/First Aid for Initiate Care is, and has been, quite an adventure. That continues. My Food Film Festivals during the fall actually had me on the Production Team! (God, I love saying things like that.) That will continue per event, I believe and hope. If I am to stay in this great Gotham, I must be a bit more financially sustainable.
I have realized something very interesting about myself in this healing process: I am now truly afraid of any type of commitment. Personal or professional. I feel like a 20 year old guy. (Yes, I have always admitted I’m a bit sexist.) Right now, I would love a series of part-time gigs to dabble a bit.
|From CareertThinker's website|
So, back to the drawing boards of the job search. If anyone has done this as a “Person of a Certain Age”, it is an adventure to say the least. Continuing to take advantage of the wonderful classes, lectures and programs of the NYPL system I have learned much at Tom Powner’s talks. Tom was a successful businessman who wanted more; and after some personal sadness; decided to go for a dream he had. (Sound familiar?). Having been the person in charge of hiring in his last company, he wanted to help people with their resumes, etc. So, CareerThinker.com was born. Another desire he always had, but no time for, was “giving back”. Now he teaches these great courses for free. The classes are usually full. (I met a lovely Lady who actually came and volunteered for me at VDay’s OBR event a couple of weeks ago..more on that later.)
Having re-worked my resume, yet again, using some tidbits I’ve picked up: each job should have a resume written just for it, not to mention a wonderful cover letter. Tom says each job requires about two hours of work on these. Much of the time now, before a human even sees any of the information, there are computer software programs (ATS: applicant tracking software) that “read” resumes first and target them. It wasn’t already inhumane enough.
Recently I spent a Sunday afternoon perusing Craigslist, and found a few jobs that looked interesting. OMG, I got a response almost immediately from one! (Have I mentioned the “black hole’?) This is true and too good not to share:
“Special Events/Personal Assistant Part time to.start (Union Square)
Events and Entertainment services CEO seeks part time Personal Assistant. Organize and maintain home office studio. Email.marketing, event venue showings, SEO,assist with Web development, organize galas and dating events. Open minded and flexible for early morning and late night.meetings as needed.PR, Marketing, Fashion.interest or experience a must. Domestic duties as needed., celebrity contact.”
- I won’t bother you with my cover letter, etc. But this is the response that made me giddy, before I opened it: “Read ad carefully thanks.”
- Wanting, needing, having to respond back, I wanted to say back F…you. Instead I sent: “? I thought I did? Thanks for even responding.”
- Now I was literally laughing out loud. So, I replied: “Oh! Never mind! Didn't understand what the hours meant! (Or how to read between the lines?) No matter how much I grow up, guess I'll always be naive! Again, I really appreciate a response. Good luck finding your very personal assistant! Be well.”
- From the person I realized would never be my employer, for so many reasons: “Are you here in NYC?”
- Now it’s simply crazy: “I am.”
- Again from employer: “Your resume is great we should.meet Cary. CEO” (The name of his/her?! company was also on that email. I checked it out. It looks great. I would have loved to get a job in a company like that to continue my education in the event world I have fallen in love with..)
- My response: “Cary, Thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me. Trying to change careers, especially in NYC, is daunting at best. But, in full disclosure, I’m not looking to be anyone’s very personal assistant?! If you’d really like to meet to discuss any tips you can give me professionally, I’m game. Especially as I really would love to continue working events.”
- Cary’s response: “Understood.”
- My final response: “Got to admit, you have given me some smiles this afternoon. Thank you. I’m curious.. Anyway, your website is lovely.”
- Cary’s final response: “Thank yiu.”
(My Girls exclaimed when I told them this story..”Stay off Craigslist! It’s nothing but gross perverts and porn.” I explained that I must disagree, and that Tom confirmed that he loves Craigslist, as many small companies use it exclusively due to the economic realities. It’s much cheaper than Monster.com, etc.)
The search, the adventure, continues.