jesshartley: (Default)
[personal profile] jesshartley
Dear friends, fans and family,

I've been feeling a bit ineffective of late. As many of you may know, we decided a few months ago that our local school district was inadequate for our desires and needs for our daughter. Since we're partially tied to the Bisbee area, but there aren't any A+ high schools within a commutable distance from here, we made the difficult decision to bi-locate our household. The Valkyrie and I would move to another area, specifically to place her in a premiere high school, while the Viking would hold down the fort here with the house and his (very good) job.

Since this will require she and I to set up household in a new location, however, we realize that this will require my returning to full-time work. I've been searching for about two months now, and have only had a single callback or interview (for a position that the company now says may not be filled in the foreseeable future.) I'm sure that my job history (featuring predominantly freelance writing work over the last 5 years) is unconventional enough to be negative for some employers, and it's just a general hard-market out there for anyone, especially in fields like customer service, office work or writing/editing. Still, after applying to hundreds of locations around the country, it's getting a bit disheartening.

But, I've always said that my greatest strength is the people that surround me, so I've decided to call upon that strength now. If you know of (or hear about) a position opening that you think I'd be well suited for, please let me know. Along with 5+ years of game writing and development, I type 75 words per minute with 100% accuracy, have expert level experience with Microsoft Word, am a charming and professional receptionist/administrative assistant, and have experience in office support/management in the fields of real estate, higher education, and patient accounts. I would love a position that involved writing or editing, but I'll answer phones, file, make copies - I'm very flexible.

My needs are fairly simple - full time work, predominantly weekday/daytime (although I can swing occasional weekend/evening work, I can't take those schedules on full-time.) Pay rates of 12.00 an hour or more (depending on distance from Arizona and/or cost of living in that area), benefits negotiable depending on situation. It has to be in an area I can afford to live in (which probably leaves NYC and LA out of the question) and which has great schools for the Valkyrie (but I can research that on a location by location basis.)

I know it's a horrible time for job-searching, but I figured if I didn't let the universe know, I wasn't taking full advantage of my resources. Thanks for listening!

Date: 2009-06-02 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Do you have any experience editing audio files?

Date: 2009-06-02 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't, unfortunately. And I really need to find full time, ongoing work, not just freelance/project work. That I've got, but I can't really afford to sign a lease somewhere and move out of the area based on piecemeal jobs.

Thank you, though!

Date: 2009-06-02 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2009-06-02 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I will keep looking.

Date: 2009-06-11 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you, dear. I've applied for everything you've thrown my way (unless there was a blatant "don't qualify for this" situation). I really appreciate the help.

Date: 2009-06-03 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
UB's hiring an Executive Assistant to the Law School Dean for $45,000 to $55,000. There's also many other places looking for Admin Assistants (I'm looking for a job in that area myself, part time)... Not sure if Buffalo is too far away or within your affordable range though...

Date: 2009-06-09 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is worth noting that 45,000-55,000 goes a longer way in Buffalo, than it does elsewhere.

Date: 2009-06-03 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll let you know if anything comes up, but I'm not really in a good position to know about these things.

Looking for work is frustrating in a good economy, in a bad one it can drive you mad. I know the kind of frustration I endured looking for work, so I wish you the best of luck.

Date: 2009-06-03 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One thing I can suggest is finding someone in a place you want to be who doesn't mind you using their address temporarily for job applications in that area. In this market, no one pays for relocation no how if they can avoid it (or if you're a rock star).

Also, this:

If you're not already on Linked In, start getting on it. I know you've got connections to Flying Labs if you are, and that can be a good way to research the company.

Date: 2009-06-03 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

If you are interested in the Buffalo area, the cost of living is generally low, especially compared to the rest of the state. The suburban schools are very good (I can at least attest to Ken-Ton and Amherst, where the music programs are huge.)

The unemployment rate is high here- I have been off of work myself for about 7 months, but that is mainly because the line of work I was in had become too specialized. I will forewarn you off of the call center/collections belt who would probably kill for your skills- decent pay, but easy burnout.

Date: 2009-06-03 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll second that. Cost of living here is pretty low (well below the U.S. average) and I can attest to the Williamsville school district as being excellent. The main issue with Buffalo is that job growth is negative and unemployment is higher than the national average.

If you ended up in the area, though, I could hook you up with a good gaming group. My wife speaks highly of your mad RPG skillz. ;)

Date: 2009-06-03 02:11 am (UTC)
eseme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eseme

Having just experienced a job search, I know what you are going through. My field is very different, however.

Date: 2009-06-03 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tech writing is the way to go.

Steady 9 to 5 work, full time, contract work.

Starting at $20 an hour.

Experienced tech writers can earn $30 to $50 an heart.

Date: 2009-06-03 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Have you given any thought to Starbucks? You get benefits even if you're only part time, and they get tips in addition to regular pay. Sure, it's not glamorous, but it's a gig.

Date: 2009-06-03 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. It sounds like you're in a difficult position. I have an idea. Instead of living in two different households and continuing the search for a full-time job, would you consider homeschooling for high school? It's a whole new ball game and I'm not saying it would be easy, but it sounds a whole lot less complicated and traumatic than what you're proposing. I have faith in you and I think your daughter would make an excellent homeschool student. I say pull her out and de-school for a while. Have a relaxing summer. Explore your options together. I am finding out there are so many different ways to homeschool, tailored to you and your child.

Date: 2009-06-03 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We have considered it, strongly. However, part of the high school experience is the social networking and skill building that one encounters (with all the positives and negatives that entails.) If we lived in a bigger city, with more opportunities for positive teen social networking, it might be more feasible. However, living in a remote area with a very small teen population and a less-than-optimal social strata, it's not a great option for us.

It is, however, our back-up plan to the back-up plan. It's just not one we're falling back on without doing everything in our resources first.

Thanks for the idea, though!

Date: 2009-06-03 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad to hear it! I would be surprised if that option escaped you.

Date: 2009-06-03 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The job search is never easy.

The division of the company I work in appears to have a receptionist and a position that maybe looks tech writerish. We definitely use tech writers so I can enquire further on that if you wish.

Please note that the company is a defense contractor and you'd have be a US citizen and able to apply for a security clearance. I don't have kids, but the school district (Rockwall ISD) on this part of Dallas out here is pretty good I'm told.

For more info send me an e-mail at my LJ name @ gmail.

Date: 2009-06-03 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Someone on my flist posts this weekly:

The jobs are all over the country, so keep scrolling. Consider friending [ profile] chebutykin so you can get this directly instead of waiting for me to do it. On the other hand, if you'd rather, I would be happy to continue sending them to you, and as promptly as possible.

Good luck dear lady/ladies; if you end up in my neck of the woods, give me a shout and I'll do what I can to help make the transition a smooth one.


Date: 2009-06-11 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm in Bill's area and I'm willing to help as well. Best of luck in your search. It's no picnic out there but there are jobs.

Date: 2009-06-11 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you, Jason! I appreciate it!

Date: 2009-06-04 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sigh. Job hunting.

If I hear of anything I will give a holler...

Hang in there...

Date: 2009-06-11 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I'm working very hard to keep forward motion and a positive attitude, but turning in (literally) hundreds of applications which have netted me a total of one interview so far is... frustrating. Especially since I know I could ace any of these positions... Not ego, I've just done the same sorts of duties in other jobs and continually blown away employers with my work.

Well, maybe it's the next batch that will bring the right match!

Date: 2009-06-12 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I remember how it was when Brett was out of work for half a year. That was a damned long half a year. :-/

At least you're not alone...lately it's begun to seem like more people in my geek circles are out of work than's a hard year to be job hunting in. And you're right, it's not at all about ability to do the job, because I'm sure any of the places you're applying at would be lucky to have's just the numbers game.

I guess all you can do is keep kissing those frogs, one of them is bound to transmogrify sooner or later...(and in the meantime, here's some chapstick...)

Forward motion is good. The way I encouraged Brett to think about it was that his 'job', at the moment, was the job long as he put in his requisite job-hunting time each day, he should be able to relax with a clear conscience afterward. The rest is just the work of time and probability...of course it's easier to say that than to live it. Sigh.

But it *won't* be like this forever.


Best of luck

Date: 2009-06-05 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The job market is hard right now, and I laud your efforts to ensure your daugther receives a good education. Best of luck to you.

Date: 2009-06-09 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Real estate, eh? That's good to know. I'll keep an eye out.

Date: 2009-06-11 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I'm not an agent/broker, but I did do all of the support work for a small office, which meant everything from customer contact to entering things in the MLS, writing copy, editing photos, researching zoning, etc.

Date: 2009-06-12 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I work in a related industry, and all other things being equal, having some kind of experience with mortgages and such is considered a bonus.

Date: 2009-06-09 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is the school I went to.

While *I* did not turn out like a shooting star, many of my classmates did. It is excellent.


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