Seeking Out Me

Day #63

Posted in Uncategorized by Tracy on January 25, 2010

Lucky me! Today I had the privilege of a mandatory meeting down at the EDD (Employment Development Department).

I got a letter about 10 days ago that said that it was mandatory that I attend the Career Link Service Workshop or my benefits would be halted.

I was prepared to stand in a long line of degenerates who make a living being unemployed and being herded like cattle into a small room and wait for my name to be called for one on one counseling.  Rather, I was  pleasantly surprised. The line was not only short, there were only 12 in the group that was herded and they weren’t degenerates, but rather hardworking professionals like myself who were just unlucky. Among us were UI Designer, an attorney, a consultant for retail financing (hmmm), a sales operations engineer and a few others.

The attorney said that over 57,000 attorneys in the Bay Area have lost their jobs because of companies going belly up.

The representative leading the workshop was very informative, but she loved to talk. Let me say that again, she LOVED to talk. She stated that the workshop lasted about one hour and fifteen minutes. Let me just tell you, she lied.

And that wasn’t the only lie she told. She said that there were many jobs available at PG&E and no sooner did she say it the girl across from me leaned over and said that she had just gotten laid off from there. Hmmmm…

After you sorted through all of her stories there were a few important and fascinating things to know:

  1. Read everything that the EDD sends you.
  2. Don’t try the dial-in #, it will be nearly impossible to get through the line.  Make an appointment and come into one of the offices.
  3. She lamented about the phone and computer systems archaic technology. She referenced an article in the SF Chronicle where it talks about the antiquated phone and computer system that the EDD runs off of (COBALT!!!). The state has had the money to upgrade the systems ($66M since 2003, but nothing has been done). Hmmmm….
  4. If you insist on using the phone line call on Thursdays.
  5. Definitely upload your resume and work experience in caljobs.gov by this Friday, 12 noon or your checks will stop coming.
  6. Caljobs.gov has a clock on it like the one in LOST. You have to reset it every 60 days (as compared to every 108 minutes). You can do this by updating your resume or performing a job search. If you don’t, an apocalypse won’t happen or anything, but you’ll be deemed inactive by the system and your checks will stop coming.
  7. Network, network, network and grease the wheels of social intercourse
  8. Your best bet for green jobs – Alameda County
  9. Your best bet at getting a job – contract work.
  10. For every job you apply for there are 6 applicants you are competing with. But in the Silicon Valley, that # drops to 2.3.

She said not to waste time with Career Builder, HotJobs or Monster. I told her that HotJobs is how I landed out here 10 years ago. She retorted that is when the market was better. (Another lie. The unemployment rate in SF county is 10.3%, compared to 2000 it was at 5%).

And perhaps the most time saving important thing she told me was that you DO NOT have to list all of the jobs you’ve applied for on the back of your unemployment survey every two weeks unless that box is already checked when you receive it. I was checking it and then filling out the back because it clearly states that if you don’t fill it out correctly in its entirety it will affect your benefits. But as it turns out, those little forms are read with a scanner. No one checks it unless your form gets flagged because it had an unidentifiable mark on it.

Yay! I just got back 30 minutes of my week not having to do that anymore.

At the end she offered up her Job Workshop and that it was only an hour long but as much as it sounded interesting, there was no way it was only going to be an hour with her leading it. I think I’ll stick to LinkedIn and the online job sites.

After that ordeal I came home, applied for 3 more jobs, followed up on an opportunity with a recruiter and tried to take advantage of a “Career Transition Benefit” offered to me by my former company. However, when I called they said that they had no record of me. They were going to have to file a request to get my file. That shouldn’t take longer than a few days or so. Groovy.

I’m up to 55 resumes submitted.

In a blog post by Sue Ludwig on Christine Kane’s blog this hit the nail on the head in terms of all of that “find your passion stuff”

There’s a lot of talk about ‘finding your passion.’  As if it is out there somewhere at the summit of our existence. As if only those with an excess of time and money have the resources to discover their passion while the rest of us live in reality and go to our ‘real jobs’ everyday.

Instead, what if it’s inside of each of us, relatively dormant until we decide to let it rise to the surface, boil, and let off steam? What if it’s really about choosing to live from a place of passion rather than assuming we are stuck with the circumstances we’ve always had?

Read the whole post here.

Until tomorrow…

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One Response

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  1. Day 84 « Seeking Out Me said, on February 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    […] me as part of my severance package. I am hoping that it will be a way better experience than my EDD visit a couple of weeks […]


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