Sunday, July 19, 2009

Unemployment at the Job Fair

So here's the deal. I am an entrepreneur now. After leaving a bullishtassed job saying some bigoted stuff and then getting laid off from another job, I said I needed to be my own boss. Never thought the economy would tank and people would hold onto their money, tightly. Moreover, there is a lot of people who want something for nothing and how am I suppose to make a living, just paying simple bills, ie the light bill?

Anyhow, to get my little measly unemployment check that I need to be grateful for, I have to apply for a minimum of 3 positions per week. At anytime the unemployment Mommies can audit my reports and ask for the money back that I get in my check. Well, that would be great if there were plenty of jobs and people would be hiring, but another thing about why I HATE SEATTLE, is there are NOT any jobs and people are ONLY hiring who they know--so you need to NETWORK and NO ONE has an inside track these days. Which is nuts when you don't live on the inside. It's like an "inside joke".

So, I go to the "BioSpace Careers" job fair that is in cahoots--I mean cooperation with the University of Washington and it is downtown Seattle. I live on the Eastside. Everybody from Seattle knows what it is like to get from the Eastside of Seattle to the downtown. It is HAYLE! No wonder people are stressed here! So, I decided to take the bus. Now I do have to admit, that is the ONE thing I enjoy about the Greater Seattle Area--the bus service. Metro and Sound Transit are stellar compared to other cities. Many people take the bus and people are quite joyous in bus taking here. So, I took it to decrease stress while driving--mainly because I am very accident prone--and I did not need to go into the place with an all out attitdude due to poor parking. And I wanted to live my green life! (Another think I enjoy about the Greater Seattle Area--LOL!)

It was on Thursday, July 16, 2009 ~3:30 PM PDT that I arrived. There was a long line outside. Good thing it was a nice day. "No worries". There was a lack of identifying signs or nomeclature for the event, which took place at the Terry St. Naval Building. Then through a prying conversation, there were only 5 recruiting companies! WTH? All this way for only 5 companies? So, I knew to think of this event as a "marketing and advertising" event to discuss my business--It's a business opportunity! YEAH! But what about all the other people who really thought they'd find a job? That's the general sour mentality Seattle has--the "I got mine, you need to get yours". Well, it ain't all that to begin with. Up your game!

I could see if I was a contestant on American Idol about to win a major musical contract, but for less than $40K, really? Is standing in line for 5 recruiters all that? What perks do I get? None--just maybe Sundays off? LOL! If that? WTH? That is NOT what I am in the business for. I could see if I was in the laboratory business, but they need to do more team building exercises so that they don't get as much turnover that hurts the science. Their bottom line is being affected just because they treat workers like slave labor and that is why they outsource these jobs, because the workers don't mind... Now tell me, how is science getting done? When's the last time an illness been cured? And Swine Flu is picking up? Trust no one these days.

Many of the men were wearing professional clothing, like dress shirts, slacks and ties. Whereas, the women were in slacks, like casual Fridays. Very few women were in professional dresses/skirts/suits. I wore a dress.

The obtuse sign said "Biospace Career Fairs: Where Life Meets Science" This is NOT the life. They must be joking, seriously? Then, I saw it, FINALLY some diversity! More than 2 Black women! That is a large number for Seattle!

Back to the recruiters, apparently, there was a social and the description of the social was poor per the arrangement by Washington Biotechnology Business Association (WBBA) The social was to be "Hawaiian Luau" where everyone wears a Hawaiian themed clothing. For the men, Hawaiian T-shirts, for the women, whatever. So the women recruiters wore flip flops. Well, how are you going to have a job fair, where others are dressing professionally thinking they are going to get jobs, in this economy and start partying laisez-faire, lackadasical attitude, in a hothouse of the Naval Center? That is just insult to injury?

Then I recognized 1-2 people searching for jobs. Found out 1 has a job and is getting laid off. Another one, is lost in the rapture and shock that "hmmmm, having a PhD is worthless in Seattle, dayum why didn't I get a clinical degree?" Mind you NO other city in the US except loser cities treats their PhD's this way. We, PhD's decided NOT to be clinicians because we love science so much!

The other thing while standing in line, I asked a young lady about the line and she was unsure what the line was for? Peeking inside, found a lot of lookie-loos. Not a busy space for something well-attended. People really want JOBS!

Little direction as to the next steps. You wait in the long line for 1-2 recruiters without reason why? These are NOT the hiring scientists! These are HR people who know very little about science, and based on the poor perceptions of scientists of people to fill the position, it is just a screen. There was an unknown reason why there were long lines? Maybe because these people thought "D" and "G" had jobs? But they only listed 1-2 positions? 100-200 people for 1-2 positions? That bull! Made me wonder if there were really ANY jobs available?

If you knew anybody, okay. Remember a younger member of my sorority who is in her 3rd year as a graduate student.

So, I decided to stand in the "resume reviewers" line, just to see what it is was like. There were 6 reviewers for 200 people. Now that's interesting... LOL! Stood behind a person who was behind me in the OUTDOOR line and she ventured to ask me a question. I chuckled because this started getting amusing as how people run their businesses.

I could see the downstairs that looked like a basketball court, decorated looking like a senior prom. Juvenile! While I watched nervous twitches before speaking to recuriters, I still smelled the competitve air of superiority of people's one-upmanship over another. Why? No one was getting jobs here? Jobs are made by networking or strong statements... Everyone is in the same boat, a collaboration is the order of business in today's business climate.

I met "Dee" who worked HR and checked people into the resume reviewer clinic. She was very nice, so I respond well to when people are are civil. Then I met the resume reviewer, "Kay"-I presented her 3 forms of my resume. She stated that my resumes' are too academic still. HUH? Interestingly, she said it in a nice way that I listened to her. She said my resume needs to be more about a business marketing proposal. My professional snapshot needs to focus on business, remind acadmic expertise and know what I bring to the table. She said to list the number of years of the various topics of research I studied. How my passion needs to be presented well from the old academic track. Then for the 2008-2009 year I highlight back to how I am doing in my business development. Sell my business idea not my trade (research scientist). Well, afterward, I was very appreciative, but when I got home, I was like WTH? And now as I ponder it, from all my recent trainings I have had, I can give it a try and see how far I get.

Well, I attended the social and started sharing my business concept. I did not speak to any influentual people who can make a difference, but the goal of my networking is to practice, practice, practice! I might attend this function for Executive Non-Profits by JP Morgan Stanley in September. We shall see.

Then, I skipped off home, thinking I accomplished something! Still no job and my unemployment resources dwindling. Either I pray to God something happens or I practice my Buddhism that I can create opportunity or try to do both. Don't know how that works. But, something is going to change--it's either going to get worse or it's going to get better. Let's hope the latter because my mental health cannot take anymore hits.

The Ariafya Universe