About 10:30 am on December 31, 2009, I was summoned to the outgoing company president's office. In front of three other members of management staff, he notified me that I had disqualified myself from my position, handed me some paperwork, and told I would be paid through the end of the day. After removing my personal effects and turning in my keys, my 17-1/2 years with that company was over. I took my last 46 mile drive home from work.
Kathy took the news way harder than I did. I assured her that I would be back to work in no time. That evening, I got online and put in a couple of applications. I also started working on my resume. I messed up with my password when I applied for unemployment benefits and had to apply for my first week over the phone. When I finally got through, I was on hold for 55 minutes.
The fact remained that I was now in search for a job and 54 years old. There were times when I was the oldest in the room when applying for a job. I even had one person tell me, not anyone who would be doing any hiring, that the "white stuff on top of my head" may prevent me from getting a job.
The job search itself was different than the last time I had to actively look for employment. Whereas I was going around with my resume in hand, most of the job openings required you apply for online. I did have some job interviews, most were followed up with a letter, card, or email thanking me for my interest, but it was decided another candidate was more qualified for the job.
In the meantime, we had to eat. I got to know where the food pantries were located and who gave out what. I even ate lunch at the Salvation Army one day when I was job hunting. Food wasn't bad.
With the economy the way it was, and still is, there were few programs with any money available for training. One program I qualified for was truck driver school. I would have been on the road in a few weeks, but two reasons kept me from proceeding: no money and a wife with severe and disabling anxiety issues.
I signed up for several online job search services, and always got the same results. Most of the jobs available were either part time or minimum wage. When I applied for them I got the same results, either no response, besides the auto responder, or a notification that I was not qualified.
One somewhat humorous thing about the online application process was how I got the job I currently have. My father in law, who would rather see all computers "thrown in the creek", told me about a website his sister told him about. He told me to go to "jobbuilder.com". My father in law can give me incorrect information and send me in the right direction quite often, and this was no exception. Didn't take me long before I found careerbuilder.com. Like I said, I found my new job, at InfoCision Management through that website.
Cliff Note: If you are in search of a job, or even a career change, and you live in Ohio, western Pennsylvania, or the Huntington, West Virginia area, check out the opportunities at InfoCision. If you get an interview, tell them Cliff Feightner from Akron Commercial Test recommended you.
More about my new job on my next post.