I'm going to say it right now: looking for a job right now is pretty much like going through hell. Interviewers hold so much power and they usually have no problem wielding it like it's the last time they'll be able to treat people badly without being fired.
Behavioral interviews seem like the ultimate example of just how much power they hold. One person yelled at me to see how I would react. That job hasn't been filled for at least a year, I can't imagine why. I did everything I could think of to get a better job. I took online classes through CCAC, applied for jobs in every single way people suggested, beefed up my online resumes, tried to learn as many new skills at work as I could, worked out at the gym, wore lipstick and smiled (one of my managers told me to do that more often) and tried to get some decent references. Slowly I got better contract positions. Finally, I got one offer to be an employee.
You sit in interviews and wonder if they like you or hate you. Maybe they think you're an idiot or maybe they've already chosen someone else internally and this is just a technicality to get around various policies that exist at their company. Maybe you have too much experience, maybe you have too little. You really don't know. At least, I didn't. Sometimes I could tell the interview went badly while others I held out hope for.
One night Obama started talking about what it was like to be unemployed and I burst into tears. My poor boyfriend heard about job hunting for almost a year and a half straight. Every couple of nights I was applying for jobs or studying just in case something gave me an extra edge. The other problem was that I couldn't drive. I'd get calls from agencies about a job that I was qualified for and would enjoy but then it would be out in the suburbs and there was no way I could get there. That feeling of disappointment can be a tough one to stomach, week after week. It's actually a little like feeling your mouth fall into your stomach as you try to be polite and stay upbeat.
The entire time, though, I kept working. I believe in working if you can. Especially now. Plus, some HR databases will kick you out if you've had a big gap in employment. The recruiter won't even see your resume.
Tip: www.dice.com was the most effective job website out there. If you have any technical skills out there, post your resume.
I probably foreclosed on a couple hundred people this past year. Yep, that's what I did. I turned down loan modifications for awhile. Pretty much one of the most depressing and conscience-killing jobs out there right now. The thing is, it's big business but it's kept pretty quiet. Employees sign extensive confidentiality agreements, even talking about your work in the break room isn't allowed. Each company has its own system and they compete for government and private contracts.
Sometimes I watched friends or acquaintances I liked get jobs because they knew someone. They never went through the interview process. I'd try to talk about it and was met with blank stares. Or someone would ask if my boyfriend and I if we wanted to go on vacation with them. Ha. There was no way we could afford more than going out to eat on Saturday night. That's the real truth. No way in hell. I began to really resent the people who seemed so unaware that people were in such bad financial shape. Even putting someone in the position of having to say, "I'm sorry...but I can't afford that." really got to me. It probably always will.
So where will I go from here?
I want to get a masters degree in information science (if I can get in and pass the classes). I never want to be around mortgage loans for the rest of my life. I never want to wonder what kind of pain I just caused someone. I've become a pretty big cynic but I also care. I don't know how many people care versus don't care but I still do care. I can't help it, that voice is always there.
My favorite politician is Elizabeth Warren. She is willing to put herself out there and fight the big banks to the end of the earth. She knows what's going on, she knows how people feel and she's a real fighter. She should be running for president in 2016 and I'll be pretty disappointed and angry if her name isn't at least mentioned as a possible nominee.
I will have health insurance right before I get kicked off of my Dad's insurance. Santa comes in different ways when you're an adult.
If you're trying to get a loan modification and having problems, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd be happy to give you some advice.