|Preface to the 2002 Edition||xi|
|EPILOGUE How To Find Your Mission In Life||307||(21)|
|APPENDIX A The Flower Exercise||328||(43)|
|APPENDIX B Finding Help: A Sampler||371||(22)|
|APPENDIX C How To Choose A Career Coach Or Counselor||393||(12)|
We Will Go
Okay, this is it.
The moment of truth has arrived
For You. It's time
To go out, and look for a job,
Out there in the job-market ,
Which all your friends speak of
In hushed tones, as a battlefield littered with the bodies
Of the unemployed,
Who tried and failed to find a job
It's a very strange market, out there,
One area in sunny prosperity,
Another in deep Depression,
As Asian markets crash and burn.
Five million people unemployed now
In the U.S. alone.
So that even in good times
The battlefield is littered with new bodies.
Those just laid off,
Who had worked at one
Place, for years
And thought their jobs
Would always be secure there,
But then got downsized
Without any warning,
In a merger, takeover, makeover,
Completely beyond their control.
And now You
Laid off, or merely discontent
With your lot in life
Are about to go out there
On that battlefield
And look for work.
You've heard of course
All the horror stories:
Of former college profs with two degrees
Working now at the local deli;
Of union workers who went out on strike
Only to find, this time,
Their jobs were not waiting for them,
For no one told them that if they strike
They might strike out
In this new world .
You've heard the stories
Of people pounding the pavements
For weeks and months,
Even in good times,
Without finding anything.
Of college graduates
With shiny degrees
Who cannot find any work
They're trained in.
Of friends who went back to school
To learn the hot trade of the moment, but
Can find no work in that hot trade,
And now are
Unemployed, angry, and depressed.
There are inevitably some sad stories
That newspapers love
Of people thrown off welfare
Who can't find any job.
Misery always sells papers,
We read them,
And we are depressed.
And for ourselves.
Anyway, now it is our turn
And what is it we do,
When our job-hunting time has come?
That's what we do.
We're busy winding things up , we say.
Or, just waiting until we feel a little less
`Burnt-out,' and more `up' for the task
Ahead, we say; though actually,
If the truth were known,
We're hoping for a miracle ,
You know the one I mean:
A rescuer, suddenly appearing
On a white horse,
Coming, coming to save us.
We don't know
His name: is it
Our former employer,
Or the government,
Our relatives or friends?
We are unclear; we only know
The world owes us
It shouldn't be up to us
To have to go hunting for it
So hard, ourselves,
Although of course we know
It is precisely up to
So, we make up a glorious resume
-- By ourselves or with some help.
How it sparkles, how it shines,
How quickly it will get us
And then we post it
On the Internet
Or mail it out
By the hundreds,
By the bushels,
Waiting for that inevitable
E-mail, or call,
From some bright-eyed employer-type
Who, seeing our glorious history,
Has cried out "This is exactly the person
That we have been looking for!"
But there is one small problem: the e-mail
Or the phone call
And we are left to wait
While the world goes out of its way,
To tell us how little
Whether we find work,
We seek out family and friends' advice,
And the first thing
That they say to us, is,
"Have you gone on the Internet?"
"Have you tried the job-posting sites?"
"Oh, you have? How many hours?"
"Weeks, you say? And ... nothing?"
They search for some of the older ways
"Have you tried employment agencies?"
"Why, no," we say,
So down we go.
Down, down, down
To the ante-room, and all those hopeful
Our first bout, here,
With The Dreaded Application Form .
"Previous jobs held.
List in reverse chronological order."
We answer the questions, then we sit
The interviewer, at last, calls us in;
She (or he) of the over-cheerful countenance,
Who we know will give us good advice.
"Let's see, Mr. or Ms.,
What kind of a job are you looking for?"
"Well," say we,
"You can see, there, what I've done.
What do you think?"
She studies, again, our application form;
"It seems to me," she says, "that with your background
-- It is a bit unusual --
You might do very well in sales."
"Oh sales," say we. "Yes, sales," says she, "in fact
I think I could place you almost immediately.
We'll be in touch. Is this your phone?
I'll call you tomorrow night, at home."
We nod, and shake her hand, and that
Is the last time we ever hear
We're reduced to the want ads,
By our miserable plight,
But we are dumbfounded
Right there, at the sight
Of those little boxes
Describing jobs that are built
As little boxes
For the soul.
We call on the employers,
We tell them, of course, that we're job-hunting now,
"And your ad looked just right for me ..." O wow!
Look at that face change, are we in the soup!
As we wait for the heave-ho, the ol' Alley-oop!
"`Over-qualified'? you say?
Two hundred before me
Have been here already,
And you have only five
Of course I understand."
We pound the pavements,
Knocking on doors,
At place after place,
Day after day,
Getting depressed --
How pathetic, this is,
This Neanderthal thing
So cheerfully named,
The Job Hunt.
Weeks drag by,
Months drag by,
And we are reeling
From rejection shock,
And ever we are thinking:
The job-hunt seems the loneliest task in the world.
Is it this difficult for other job-hunters
Well, friend, the answer is YES.
Are other people this discouraged,
And desperate and depressed,
And frustrated, and so low in self-esteem after
A spell of job-hunting?
The answer, again -- unhappily -- is
Well, yes, you do have
great big teeth; but, never mind
that. You were great to at least
grant me this interview.
Little Red Riding Hood
Copyright © 2000 Richard Nelson Bolles. All rights reserved.