Image

I’ve been looking for a full time job for nearly 2 years now. I’ve been working as a transcription contractor most recently to get a few dollars in the door, but then there are weeks like this current one when I’m told there’s little work, and that they’ll get to me next week perhaps. It’s just as well—tendinitis from production typing has been keeping me up nights lately. (Please don’t practice medicine without a license and tell me it’s probably carpal tunnel. It’s not.)

It’s no fun looking for work in a depressed (okay, recessed) economy. The Frederick NewsPost—never one with copious employment ads is down to a couple of pages and only one on a really bad day. Thankfully, it’s not the only source I check.

I suck at job hunting. I don’t “do” employment at all well, either. Because for a lot of my life I’ve been self-employed in some form or fashion, I’m just backward enough to consider it a business transaction. I have something you need; you have something I want. But that’s not the correct picture of it today. I know that. And I don’t care. That’s another post.

I’ve read almost the most current What Color is Your Parachute? I’ve been Myers-Briggs-ed (INFJ—not extremely helpful). In spite of much tweaking close to, though not actually  including outright lies, my resume is appalling. Because so often I “created” my own work that would fit in with my higher-priority home responsiblities, my “employment history” is ragged. I’m a Jill-of-all-trades.  

Mostly, though, I don’t have a college degree. I was in the “college prep track” at my high school, which was the top rung of a very weird caste system that kept me, by all accounts, segregated away from my female classmates with the trendy hot pink stripes in their hair and neon eye color who took cosmetology, for example (and I won’t mention how THEY all got jobs right out of high school). I was 6th in my class. But only 20% of those 1,100 students in my 1976 Baby Boomer graduating class were statistically expected to go on to college. And that’s all students—I don’t even know what it was for women but I know it was a much lower figure. Girls in classes above mine literally went to school to get a high-earning husband and a sorority pin, not an education.

In fact, I can remember news stories about colleges and universities going “co-ed.” They had to. In the new modern era of The Pill (dear merciful heaven), all girls’ or all boys’ schools (which were most of them either formally or informally) just couldn’t attract enough students to keep the lights on. Anti-female policies in your prestigious halls of learning bowed to their finance departments and let more women in because they could pay tuition. Some took good advantage of that.

My parents’ career advice could be summed up in two words: “take typing”–which has turned out to be more useful than I first thought. I have two very less-than-useful certificates in medical secretarial practice (it’s now too hopelessly out-dated) and massage therapy (they neglected to tell how fast I would blow out my hands). After my first semester at a two-year “junior” college (as they were still called in many places) I couldn’t take the extended high school mentality and left to…yes, class, get married. I was going to be a homemaker.

So here I am—married, though not to the same person. I have numerous skills, many of them terrifyingly antiquated domestically-oriented ones like handsewing a fine seam, boxing the bedsheets properly, and serving an effortless dinner for 12. I’m an anachronism in my own time.