by Christina Michael
I have a new job title: Working Mom Wannabe. It has been a strange, bumpy on-ramp for me. Six years of not working (other than raising two crazy, energetic, sometimes too aggressive, and sometimes even sweet boys). And here I sit at my computer, day after day, night after night, trying to find a job, some for which I am far too over-qualified, some far too under-qualified, and most of which are very, very full time.
Meanwhile, my kids sit in the other room watching yet another TV show (even I have succumbed to Cartoon Network) eating their fifth “healthy” snack of the afternoon (Goldfish are now “whole grain,” aren’t they?).
Though I am a lawyer by training, I have applied to a vast array of jobs: Real Estate Broker’s Assistant (yes, I took the California Real Estate Broker’s Exam and passed – now I have another California professional license I am not using), Director of Government Affairs, Legal Recruiter, Training Coordinator, Paralegal, Intern, Staff Editor, Judge’s Clerk -- the list goes on and on and on. What is so discouraging, so disheartening, and takes the wind out of my sails is that no one calls, writes, or expresses any interest in me whatsoever. I thought I was accomplished and had a good enough resume and job experience to find a job, ANY job. I am flexible, and have even been open to taking a job paying HALF the amount of my last job and at a level of someone who would have reported to me in the past. Wasn’t slaving away to gain an education and working 24/7 as a lawyer for nine years worth something? Maybe even just one measly interview? It appears that it is not.
What has become clear to me is that the six-year gap in my resume (gosh, when I off-ramped, “Blackberry” wasn’t even invented except as a fruit out of which someone could bake a pie) is a big problem. In fact, one of the very few responses I have gotten to my countless applications was a question about the infamous six-year gap. When I explained to the HR person that I have been caring for my two young kids, she said, “I assumed it was something like that.” That’s the last I heard from her (or anyone, for that matter) until I got that rejection in the mail.
What’s next? What I do know that I am stubborn, persistent, and know that I will not quit (I am my mother’s daughter, that’s for sure). I am continuing my search, religiously checking the job boards and my in-box at all hours of the day and night. I am talking to any contact I ever made, and even have shamelessly approached my old boss (remember, the one I cried to when I resigned?) begging for work. Like the movie we all love with Jack Nicholson, “Something’s Gotta Give”. You will soon see the trailer to my new movie called “Something Will Give.” I must end here to check my in-box, check HotJobs, and change the channel for the kids (at least I’ll put on PBS this time, I promise).