Tips for the Job Hunting Woman

Being a small town girl interviewing in the big city is intimidating, no if ands or buts, it sucks. Every job I’ve ever gotten has been a result of word of mouth. In a small town your family, friends and mechanic are your resume. Even my last job of sixteen years in Toronto was the result of my reputation from that same town.

**Cue John Cougar Melloncamp**

Over the past several months while looking for work my eyes have been opened to the stress of doing just that. It can get old real quick and before you know it you’re knee deep in a vat of self pity inhaling chocolate chip cookie dough.

Rejection is hard; actually getting an interview is harder. My search is finally over. Proof it does happen. It takes time, don’t let it get to you and remember:

  1. Don’t get discouraged –So much easier said than done, but take my word for it, buy some chocolate and relax. Try not to anticipate a timeline because as soon as you pass the magic date your self confidence takes a hit and you risk losing focus. Avoid compromising on positions of lesser quality. Don’t lose sight of your goals. Unless, you’re desperate then I’m afraid you’re going to have to buck up and take what’s available keeping in mind it’s only a stepping stone to what you really want.
  2. You will learn humility – When I left my last job I wasn’t thinking further ahead than a year. I wanted a break. I had the money for a break. I took a break and I don’t regret it. Besides I had a plan. I was going to be a blogger and earn just enough money to keep me in my PJ’s. Needless to say, it’s been a long road of self discovery with a side of humble pie. Sometimes we have to step back, refocus and live in the real world.
  3. You will have to send out A LOT of resumes. You will hear from almost none of them.
  4. Get help with your resume, even if you don’t think you need to. Don’t be so stubborn, you don’t know everything. There are tricks of the trade I never knew existed.  I have four resumes and up to ten different cover letters.
  5. Tweak your resume and cover letter with every application. It’s a pain in the ass, but necessary. Pick words out of the job description, pull out your thesaurus and switch some words around or Google similar job descriptions and find something that matches your talents. Use it. No one is going to enforce copyright laws over a resume.
  6. For God sake make sure you know what you put in your resume. If you look like a deer in headlights in an interview when they ask you about something you wrote, you might as well walk out.
  7. Practice your interview techniques with someone. I know it sounds cheesy and it is…but do it anyway. Look up typical interview questions on the internet and practice them until they are comfortable.
  8. If you’re a woman looking for work in a business dominated by men, consider getting a penis. Trust me. With my resume and a penis, the sky’s the limit in the world of industrial products. Of course I’m kidding; you obviously can’t afford the operation if you’re out of work, so you’re going to have to go in full vagina. Full badass vagina. My point is self confidence, even if it’s not real. There is a lot to be said for, “fake it until you make it.” If you’re feeling down about the process it’ll show in your body language. Give yourself a pep talk, throw your shoulders back and be proud. If they don’t want to hire your vagina then they’re the ones missing out.
  9. Personality goes a long way. So does honesty. Be yourself, if you don’t get the job there’s a reason, believe it. They did you a favour. You don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t get you. Remember you need to be comfortable there to…which leads me too…
  10.  Don’t discredit the importance of interviewing your potential employer as well. Have questions for them, they like that. Look interested in your future and they will be to.

It’s sometimes a long, frustrating process. There is truth to the saying, “Looking for work is a full time job.” I look at it the same as finding a husband; put yourself out there, try some on for size and in the end pick the one that feels right and appears to have some sustainability.

In the words of Jon Bon Jovi circa 1992, “Keep the Faith.”

Snow Pants Showdown

I had an absolute adolescent fit last night. I’m going skiing tomorrow for the first time in two years, so it’s been that long since I’ve had my snow pants on. As I remember, they felt a little snug, but then I always think things feel snug, even yoga pants. It’s all in my head people, and my stomach…

Anyway, I was dreading trying them on because I’ve felt all hefty lately. I had put it off long enough and had to take the plunge because if they didn’t fit I was going to have to buy another pair…another awesome pair I saw on sale. The only reason I didn’t already buy them is I’m not exactly rolling in dough right now and the responsible thing to do would be to go home and try on my old ones. Boo.

Frankly, I was torn. I wanted the new pair because of the style, but I didn’t want to not fit into my old ones because that would mean I’ve gained weight. This all could’ve been solved if I hadn’t stopped weighing myself. I used to weigh myself every day but that doesn’t work when you hit your 40’s, things happen in our bodies on a daily basis whether you’ve been eating healthy or not. A spat with the spouse could gain me two pounds of stress overnight. It was unreliable, plus it made me cranky for the rest of the day so I stopped doing it.

So I took my bloated self down to the basement and hauled out the bright white monstrosity that is my snow pants. They’re big, puffy and not slink and sexy (as sexy as snow pants get) like the ones in the store. I slipped them on with mixed emotions. Did I want them to be too small, giving me the excuse to run out and embrace the new pair or did I want them to fit, confirming I’m still the same size?

It became crystal clear what I wanted when I could barely get them over my hips. Panicked, I grabbed at the waistband and tugged. It reminded me of Friends when Ross put on those leather pants and hit himself in the head because he was all slippery, remember? I miss Friends.

I finally got them up and took a breath before trying to snap the waistband in place. Now, logically I know if I had trouble getting them over my hips there would be trouble at the waist. I don’t know what I was thinking, like I’m suddenly turning into Beyonce and my hips have just popped out but my waist hasn’t taken the hit?

The snaps wouldn’t snap…but I did. I lost it like a teenage girl who had her iPhone taken away. I had a complete girly, immature melt down right there in the basement. I cursed those pants, I cursed Christmas, I cursed every last potato chip on this earth. Then I cursed myself for being weak and undisciplined. I must not be working hard enough. I’m just going to have to work out harder, like 7 days a week, 3 hours at a time!  Right there I pledged to work out so hard that I will look like Jillian freakin’ Michaels by spring.

I ripped the pants off. No longer did I want the sleek new pants. I didn’t want any pants. I didn’t deserve any pants. I didn’t even deserve to go skiing. I should make myself stay home and eat lettuce as punishment.

I grabbed the pants like I was going to set fire to them. Then I had a rational thought, I should maybe keep the pants, after all it wasn’t their fault and maybe they would fit my daughter soon…

Then it hit me. She wore my pants last year. SHE WORE MY PANTS LAST YEAR! She had forgotten her snow pants at school one weekend and had borrowed mine..I looked at them and saw they were not only adjusted but looped around and cinched at the waist.

Quickly I undid the knots and slipped the pants back on.

They fit.

Not only did they fit, they were no longer as snug as they were two years ago.


Lesson learned.

**Hangs head in embarrassment.**