This Article is About
impressive resume
gnashing of teeth
confident manner
court appearances
full disclosure
emotional support
closeness
23 years
Unemployed And Unhappy
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Unemployed And Unhappy

I was forced into retirement last year when the bank I worked for sold, and the new bank gave notice to entire departments and countless employees that they would be "displaced" - which in today's world translates back to the old world "you are fired" or "laid off'"! After having worked in the banking industry for over 23 years, I found myself without structure and experiencing vague and seemingly never-ending anxiety - I felt like I was forgetting something, should I be somewhere? Had I forgotten an appointment" Should I be someplace contributing, making calls, making decisions, journal entries, budget updates, court appearances, preparing reports, or other endless tasks I had been responsible for over the years? I felt like I was playing hooky from work, I felt guilty and I was fearful of being caught!

First of all - and you may find this strange, but I did not realize that I had gotten Old! I had never been old. I was youthful, a perpetual 30-something or perhaps 40-something who connected well with all ages, and I especially loved working with young people who sought out my company for lunch, for conversation and good laughs. I worked hard and loved it, loved the holidays, and vacations too, if they were not too long. Even with the vacations, I was missing the structure of work in my life.

Like many others my family has always come first; my children, grandchildren, and very large extended family have always provided tremendous closeness and emotional support. Thankfully I still have that support, but I still miss work!

Not satisfied to accept my circumstances, I organized my employment history to create a powerful resume that would market my skills. After much research and gnashing of teeth, I produced what I considered a good resume listing all my skills and experience - Microsoft Applications, data entry, communications, accomplishments, titles, responsibilities, and an impressive list of community involvements over the years. I regret to say that resume was a disaster, it dated me and immediately identified a person over-qualified for the positions I found that were then available. After the first 10 or 15 attempts with that less than impressive resume of full-disclosure, I began to realize that resume needed drastic editing - it needed toning down a bit.

My customer service and technical skills are transferable to most any office or administrative setting, and I chose to include only those skills shown-as-required for the particular advertised job to which I was applying. I finally began getting interviews and for the most part felt that I was presenting well. But still no offers. Although I knew the revised resumes were decent and the interviews seemed to go well (I spoke well, had good grooming and dressed appropriately, I presented a positive and confident manner) it all failed me in the end. And little did I realize that the applicant pool for jobs was quite large; one interviewer shared with me that he had received 187 applications for the job I was interviewing for that day. He chose 11 applicants he considered most qualified to call in for an interview. So in spite of failing to receive an offer, I managed to feel fortunate to at least making the interview cut from such a large group of applicants.

I then began to sense that I was just too old to compete with the more youthful crop of applicants. The employers were apparently not impressed with all the maturity, self confidence, absence of youthful drama, the experience, skills, and the cross-training that I was so proud of having accumulated over the years. And although the younger applicants may have had less experience, less skills, and less wisdom, they were surely less likely to drop out of the work force before I did.

Although it has been difficult - and humbling - to adjust to feelings of rejection in the work force, I understand that I am just one of many victims of this long-running disastrous economy and of the high unemployment rate that continues to this day. I also understand how an employer would arrive at a decision to choose someone with less experience, and especially one having less previous authority roles. Less payroll for the employer, and perhaps having confidence in my own abilities was misinterpreted as challenging or a bit too over-confident? I make this last statement regarding challenge as I would advise anyone in an interview to remain positive and confident, but be moderate in asserting your confidence. I could be wrong about this, but I have examined each interview, questioned every answer and every statement I made that could have placed me in a negative context. I have been hard on myself in an attempt to learn and benefit from the experience.

And although I still faithfully comb through the help wanted ads and continually submit applications and resumes, I have finally realized that I may not find a job. I continue to feel that there is something out there that I can do to satisfy this need for work, for structure, for accomplishment - this gnawing need that I can't seem to shake.


Street Talk

Chris54  

Hi Vivian, I am sorry to hear how things turned out, but on the positive side, I enjoyed the way that you have translated your feelings into words. You are a good writer/blogger I am not sure what the future holds, but I have to believe that everything happens for a reason and that we will be all the better for it. Stay strong, keep your chin up and most importantly always think and act positively. Take Care, Chris

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you for the kind and positive words Chris! I also believe that things happen for a reason and I am beginning to see that I am much better for it. Best to you.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

It's good that you learned and adjusted your resume as needed. You know, my parents always told me, for every 20 resumes you send out, you might get 1, maybe 2 interviews. And I think that is a pretty good assessment. We are in the information age now. "Old" is 30. Technology changes every 18 months now. You see a new updated version of a computer or phone, 3 more versions have come out before the years end. That is why I am wanting to build a business online. If you go from freedom, you have the security of your job. But if you go for job security, you wont have either.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Yes, THINGS changed while I was busy working all those years! 401K's went up in flames a couple times, the economy tanked and as a consequence, "unemployed" became the norm for way too many people! I continue to seek full time employment out there, and adjust my resume for every new position and potential employer each week. I also continue to work on building my website (not very good at it though!) as affiliate marketing is my ace in the hole - I am counting on it! Thanks for the comment, and keep writing!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

What a bummer. That`s the nature of recessions though. A bunch of higher ups make a lot of money off of "miscalculations" and all us worker bees have to pay the price.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Chip for the comment! Big layoffs are typical with bank buy-outs, although I had already survived one - and had loved the new job. I am resigned to it now, and am looking forward to a better day tomorrow!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

No problem, Vivian. Always work hard and never give up on tomorrow!

  
  about 8 years ago
Golfspice  

An accurate and honest assessment of how you can feel post unemployment, especially after years of hard work, dedication and loyalty. I wish you future success in whatever field.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you for taking the time to validate my feelings Golfspice! Looks like at my age, Internet Marketing in some form will be my new career! I am excited about it, but would really like some income while learning!!! Bless you!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
C. Hughes  

Competing with the new crop of fresh talent that can be had for a fraction of what they feel they need to pay for experienced folks is tough these days. Companies also want to "mold" their recruits into their own mold and not have external views mucking up their workplace. I have become disillusioned to the job search as well. I decided to focus on my own strengths and try to make it on my own. It can be done. It is tough but doable.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you for the comment C Hughes - I just noticed that I had not acknowledged your contribution and I must apologize to you. I agree with all you say, and being disillusioned with the job search also, I am thinking it may work to our advantage! Tough but doable, we can make this work!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Kymee and Kali for your comments and support. I am a bit shocked as it seems the 1st paragraph of my article is missing! I will have to research what happened! If I can reconstruct it I will have to resubmit for approval of the edit - but I have done that before.......... I sure do appreciate your comments!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Article was edited to add back the first paragraph that was missing in the first publication. It has now been re-published. Thanks for your patience!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Kymee  

You are right, I think as a employer you would be the better candidate What is happening? I see this everywhere. Well they are stuck with our presence online right. We will teach them that way, they still get our wisdom that comes from experience and we aren't going anywhere....LOL God bless Kymee ;O)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Kali Webb  

Wow, Vivian. That is my story almost to the letter. Like you, interviews went well - but nothing. I even had an interview among friends and colleagues and they still hired someone else for the job. It was karma to learn that person only lasted a few months on the job then left for some undisclosed reason. However, they still were not interested in me. When did we get old? I am still in my 30's (in my own mind). Kali

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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