Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Explain Your Frequent Job Changes"

When people review my resume and see my employment history the past five to ten years, they often inquire about my last jobs, where I stayed only one to two years. They seem concerned about me job hopping and frequent lay offs. *LE SIGH*

Personally, I myself, am concerned about my job hopping and frequent lay offs! I would love to be able to have some security and peace of mind that come along with a long term, stable position with an altruistic organization.

While individual employment positions haven't always panned out for me, I've been in my industry consistently for almost 20 years - even with all the fucked up, tumultous, ever-changing bullshit. Marketing is in its very nature unreliable, with people in continuous motion, moving to the the next ripe opportunity.

What is grand about California is that it's a 'Right to Work State', so employers can layoff people to their hearts content. And employees should be able to use their own discretion to protect themselves, their career and livelihoods as well. Not to mention protecting their personal mental and emotional well-being. Going to work can sometimes be extremely stressful and toxic, with a lot of wasted time and energy.

If you are a working mom, you know all too well how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy balance between work life and family life. The constant juggle is often overwhelming and stressful and it takes its toll. Do you think you can have PTSD from a traumatic season of working while child-rearing? I have become very twitchy about trying to do it all and I might need a support animal and a doctor's prescription because of it. Okay, I'm exaggerating slightly.

But seriously, how do some professionals (especially working moms) manage to stay at a single company for over ten years? It's admirable to a certain extent, but in other ways, don't they get bored and disgruntled? Comfortably numb in their golden handcuffs waiting for promtions and eventual retirement. Okay, I'm being a little negative and dour.

Here are some possible explanations for my employment layoffs or gaps between jobs. Feel free to come to your own conclusions of why I'm seemingly unemployable and/or use one or more of them in your future job interviews.
  • I didn't want to work there anymore
  • Bad leadership 
  • Budget cuts
  • Change of company direction
  • Low pay
  • Too heavy workload
  • Pursued a better opportunity
  • Too difficult of a commute
  • Sociopath/psychopath boss(es)
  • Too many meetings
  • Low threshhold for bullshit
  • Too busy raising kids 
  • Feel guilty leaving my kids in daycare
  • Don't make enough money to afford childcare
  • Want to be a stay-at-home, trophy wife/mom
  • I'm too old
  • I'm over-educated
  • Not pretty enough
  • Too pretty
  • I'm a woman/mom
  • I'm not good at the corporate game
  • Poorly organized organization
  • Get bored easily
  • Work takes up too much of the day
  • My house is a total mess and I need to try to clean it
  • I need a mental break from this incessant nonsense
  • Management doesn't care about their people
Regarding my last employer specifically, I'm no longer employed with them, despite my hurculean efforts to stay for a myriad of reasons. Among them include: my company stole my retirement fund contributions and didn't concern themselves with paying it back right away (they still owe me money), they wouldn't set up direct deposit to make life easier for people, they couldn't keep good record of PTO accrual and usage, they were cheap, my boss was lazy, unorganized and incompetent and didn't advocate for me. He should have been 'made redundant' - not me. GRRR I'm getting furious all over again.

Shame on me though. I should be more selective when interviewing with small, private, shady businesses. I should advocate for myself. I shouldn't play the victim role - work is work; it's not play. I don't have a trust fund or a sugar daddy, so therefore, work continues to be my perpetual reality. Negativity is unappreciated in the workplace, especially in Southern California. Best to be falsely and unrelentingly positive and enthusiastic - even in the face of bullshit.

Maybe I should reassess my career path and consider other options. If I'm going to be the captain of my ship, I need to spend my working days in relative contentment, not contemptment. I remember taking the high school career aptitude test, and I think I'm most suited for farming. Unfortunately, my attempts at cultivating a container garden and even having a compost spinner, failed miserably. So, I missed my farming opportunity.

In other lamentations, I really wish that Daddy-O, my 'was-band', had talked to me more about my emotional distress about trying to juggle it all when the kids were younger and I was floundering. Instead of being my supportive rock, he just continued to immerse himself in his work and his recreational pursuits, leaving me to try to figure it out and struggle through it. Although I'm relatively strong, I'm not invincible. This season of life has continued to push me to my limits and cause me pain. I wish he'd given me grace, permission to focus soley on child rearing, allowing me some time and space to flourish in that important role. Now, I have to try to navigate it alone and it's even more stressful, because there is absolutely no-one to fall back on.

Now that my disgruntled rant is over, I would like you to know that not all hope is lost. I have had a few good interviews the past few weeks and another two in the works, so I may have a new job soon. I'm crossing my fingers and praying to almighty Odin. If I don't start working again, I might need to be institutionalized for a case of the crazies. My nerves are shot and my temper is short. The holidays are coming and it would be nice to pay the mortgage, put gas in the car and buy presents for my loved ones. You know, so I can live the 'American Dream' and do my duty as a red-blooded consumer.

If you have an interesting employment story, with any justification for layoffs or gaps in your resume, please share them in the comments below. What tips might you have for people who are trying to find a job in this fickle market?

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