Tag Archives: Paulo Coelho

“Stuck in the Middle With You (My fellow ‘experientially-balanced’ unemployed)”

(Whatever, it’s that kind of day already…)

I received a call this morning. Normally, I don’t pick up the phone unless the caller ID displays a name in my phone book, and even then I give it a 50/50 chance I’ll ACTUALLY pick up the phone (this is how depressing not having a paying job is – I won’t pick up the phone unless it says “(xxx) xxx-xxxx, recruiter offering you A job. Answer now!” Unfortunately, I haven’t learned how to program THAT into my phone yet…).

But, the call this morning came from a 323 area code, meaning that it was from 1. a job that I had applied to, or B. a recruiter, even C. a temp agency.

If you picked “C,” then you know where a man with my experience is going to take you in this particular post today.

(What you need to know about me and my resume, is that although I display a certain high degree of creativity with possibly a lower degree of drive is that my career path has taken me on an adventure of Paulo Coelho-ian proportions. If you have read “The Alchemist,” then picture my career jumping out of the gate as quickly as Santiago’s pursuit of his dream with a great opportunity and experience at Paramount Studios as a studio page, PA, writers’ and show runner’s assistant, then bogged down in my own little “crystal shop” for seven years as a supervisor for an electronics reseller. My dream deferred for some time, I was lucky enough to continue my career in entertainment, working in the field of product placement and brand integrations, which I thoroughly enjoyed and was, by all accounts, pretty goddamned good at it. Now, it appears that I have to “learn how to make the wind blow in the desert.” But, I digress…)

I answered the phone. It was “Jane,”* the woman from “Acme Temp Agency”* calling to ask me more information on my resume. I have had this call before and knew that she was going to tell me that they didn’t place people like me who have “so much experience.” I told her that I am looking for ways to get back into positions that I have held in the past and was not opposed to performing “admin” work. Yes, this is how bad it’s gotten out there, why do you think I write this blog everyday – I have nowhere else to vent my frustrations with society!

After throwing myself at the mercy of Jane, she agreed to let me come in and talk about what I really will accept as work with her tomorrow. She suggested that I bring in a hard copy of my resume so that we can “dumb it down.”

I have a feeling that this is where a lot of candidates out there are finding themselves. We are NOT “not looking.” We are NOT opposed to taking job “below us.” We are NOT afraid of doing “something different.” We are perfect candidates who are perfectly unemployable. Age non-withstanding, as I am neither a recent grad nor a “seasoned vet” with VP, or EVP experience, I find myself equally “too experienced” and equally “inexperienced.”¬†Yet, I have skills that are broad and easily adaptable. But, with so many others out there seeking the same positions, their keywords are probably better than mine.

And that’s why I am stuck in the middle with many millions of others. It’s not a matter of having the experience, it’s just not being picked up by Mr. Algorithm in H.R.

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