Seeking Out Me

Day 94

Posted in Damages, Examiner, FarmVille, life, Lost, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 25, 2010

Interview in person next week and a phone interview, making progress. Got a rejection yesterday but it was really a stretch for me anyway.

Just posted to my FarmVille blog that the rumors about Zynga charging subscription fees is false.

I’ve also been writing a lot for Divine Caroline, here’s my page. Yesterday I posted about my experience with speed dating.

Today I posted a new article at the Examiner.com and just finished baking my friend’s tasty kona banana bread. Now I am going to hunker down to finish the layout of my memoir before shipping it off to the editor. I hope I can finish it before my leadership council meeting tonight.

Oh, and although DAMAGES is the best TV show on television right now, I am also hooked on an old HBO series called The Wire. Just finished season 1 last night. And if I don’t start actually getting answers on LOST, I am going to be pissed! That’s all I will say on that in case you haven’t caught up to real time yet with your DVR.

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Day 93

Posted in Certifications, Examiner, FarmVille, life, Project Management, recruiter, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 24, 2010

I am starting to really enjoy my time off. Yesterday I had lunch with a friend and former co-worker at one of my favorite dive sushi places in San Carlos. And next week I am going to lunch with another former co-worker and my former mentor.

I have 3 irons in the fire right now with possible job prospects. Two are in the city and one is just outside the city. So let’s keep our fingers crossed. I have finally broken through the “in person” interview barrier and gotten past the phone interview with one company so far.

But one thing came up during my phone interviews that I’d like to touch on. Certifications. I’ve been asked a few times if I have a certification in project management because it doesn’t seem to be listed on my resume. Well, I don’t have one. I have 15 years of project management, product management and partner program management experience. I told one recruiter that I believe that certifications are for people who have no experience in something. I’m not sure how well that went over, but it’s true when you think about it.

At this rate in my career, I would never go back for a certification in anything. If I was going to invest time and energy in education of any kind it would be to get my Masters degree in something, but definitely not an MBA either. I don’t want an MBA because I don’t want a job in finance or business development. I know how a business runs and I’ve even created my own nonprofit which is why I definitely know I don’t want to go back for an MBA.

But as I mentioned before, I am now competing with many people who went back to school or who are going back to school. I’ve been wanting to get my Masters in something for 10 years now. I often think I should have just gone and done it after college. But I didn’t know what I wanted a degree in at that time and I certainly didn’t want to go back to school because I couldn’t wait to get out.

Only recently, right before my lay off,  have I decided that I might want to go and get my M.F.A to help further pursue my writing career. If I ever get published, that will look good on my book jacket cover. But I can’t go back to school while collecting unemployment because that will cut of my benefits, plus I can’t really afford to do that right now. However, taking night classes once I get a job is looking like a possibility in my near future.

Two articles I recently published on Divine Caroline about Social networking 101 and the SF Examiner on emailing in the work place.

And don’t forget to check out my blog with my experiment on FarmVille.

Day 91

Posted in Examiner, life, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 22, 2010

Wow! It’s hard to believe that I once wanted a 6 week sabbatical and was going to wait until a manager came back from maternity leave, only to now have 12 weeks off in a row. Who woulda thunk? Not me, but certainly happy about the time off that I’ve had, especially recently.

I have discovered my passion for writing, yet I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a starving journalist. Still contributing articles to Divine Caroline and the SF Examiner. I’ve also decided that I do not want to pursue the nonprofit angle as a permanent career. I enjoy writing freelance and volunteering, but more so as hobbies. I love technology, am a social network glutton and enjoy project and program management. There are definitely opportunities out there for me to put my plethora of experience to good use.

Now, due to my recent bouts with being accident prone, I haven’t been able to work out as much as I’d like, but I am hoping that will change by the end of this week if not sooner.

The job search is continuing to provide fruitful leads. Here are my stats:

Jobs Applied: 77
Phone interviews: 11
Face to face interviews: 0
Rejections: Countless

Today it is sunny out. A day for getting out of one’s pj’s. Until tomorrow…

Day 89

Posted in Uncategorized by Tracy on February 20, 2010

Today was super productive. First off, I actually got out of my pajamas and got a shower. I also had an article published on Divine Caroline which made me happy.

As far as the job hunt, I had a phone interview with one company early this morning. Have a follow up call with them on Monday, another phone interview with a hiring manager for another company and on Tuesday another phone interview. Three shots to get in the front door. We’ll see how it goes. By Tuesday, I will have had my 10th phone interview.

Today in my phone interview she mentioned that she was concerned that I might get bored. Bored? I can’t imagine being any more bored than I am right now. The writing and the blogging keeps me busy, but I want some interaction other than with fake farm animals on FarmVille.

This weekend’s agenda: Relaxation

Day 87

Posted in FarmVille, life, unemployed by Tracy on February 18, 2010

If someone was to ask me what I do all day with my time and if I am making a good use of it, well, I think that would be up for interpretation.

I get up every day between 8:30-9:00am. I stay in my pajamas until at least noon, sometimes until 3pm.  I try to shower every day, but some days, what’s the point? I mean if no one is going to see me and I haven’t left the house then there really is no point. My stomach clock is way off. I eat lunch around 2pm or 3pm simply because you can’t burn a lot of calories sitting your ass all day in front of a computer.(By the way, I did find another loophole in FarmVille today).

That’s probably my biggest disappointment in myself. At least I could use this time to lose a few pounds and get healthy. I want to work out but between puncturing my foot last Thursday on a plug and my back still healing from the minor lipoma surgery, and getting the food poisoning, I’m just not feeling that up to par. Maybe I can squeeze in a little Wii Fit today.

The sky is gray today so it’s looking like a pajama day. I do have a phone interview tomorrow so looks like I need to do a bit of research on them today. Who knows, my pajama days could be coming to an end soon.

Oh and I sold the remainder of my stock today so I now have $ to get my memoir professionally edited. Woohoo!

Later gator.

Day 86

Posted in Examiner, life, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 18, 2010

I woke up this morning rather earlier than usual. Yesterday at my career center thingy, it was insightful and gave me a lot of ideas for my SF Examiner Career Coach articles.

I also connected with a bunch of folks who have lost their jobs after 20-30 years. Wow, and I thought 10 was a long time. Can you imagine getting laid off after being at a company for 29 years? Talk about having an identity crisis. I cannot even imagine what that must feel like.

I had a phone interview today and I am setting up another one with another company for tomorrow or Friday. My calendar is filling up! Well, my social calendar anyway. Next week I have a fundraiser meeting, a writing critique group meeting, an American Cancer Society leadership council meeting and dinner with my mother-in-law for her birthday.Busy, busy, busy. Imagine if I had a job!

I started a Bay Area Writers Group on Linkedin yesterday if you are interested and a writer, editor or publisher, you should join.

I have decided to get a professional editor for my memoir. Hope to send it out next week. Woohoo! Things are moving a long.

Until tomorrow…

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Day 85 – are you kidding me?

Posted in Examiner, life, recruiter, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 16, 2010

Last night going out with old co-workers was a blast. I definitely miss them. Such a good group of talented girls.

This morning I checked my inbox to see if anyone was interested in my skills. There was a rejection letter in there from Twitter which I was a bit baffled by. Clearly it was a template rejection which I love getting, but this one said that I was under-qualified which prompted me to send a response. The position was for a Project Manager of Operations. An individual contributor. I don’t think I would have had a problem with the template rejection email if it had said that I was over-qualified . But instead, it said the opposite, which given that I have over 10 years operations project management experience, not to mention that I was the Director of Operations and a PMO at my former company, well, just having a hard time swallowing that rejection. So I wrote them back, and I’ll probably hear from them, but I couldn’t just let the email sit there when it was such a blatant bullshit lie. Under qualified? C’mon. The only way you would think that I was under qualified for a job like that is if you are a twenty-something recruiter who hasn’t a clue what experience looks like.

That being said, this afternoon is my big orientation at Lee Hecht Harrison.  I wonder what their answer will be when I tell them that I can’t even get a job as an individual contributor, even though I have been managing and directing people for almost 10 years.

Jobs applied for to date: 70
Phone interviews: 7 (counting the one I have tomorrow)
Conferences attended: 2

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Day 84

Posted in Examiner, life, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 15, 2010

Well, in trying to follow the sage advice in one of my previous posts from another  blogger to follow my passion, I attended the San Francisco Writer’s Conference this past weekend. It was fantastic and such a more friendly bunch than the nonprofit world that I dabble in.

Chock full of valuable seminars, friendly people and good food, I definitely got my monies worth; plus I could walk to it. I pitched my memoir and got a few nibbles but I won’t get excited until it’s actually published.But at least I fed my inner spirit.

I have continued to look for a job and tomorrow I will blog about my career placement service orientation that my former company gave 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 ago.

Today I stayed busy and off the heals of the Writer’s conference, inspired to write a couple of columns for my SF Examiner gig.

Here they are in case you missed them.

Tonight, I’m having dinner with some of my former co-workers.

Day 79

Posted in Uncategorized by Tracy on February 10, 2010

Just got back from a cancer conference. It was incredibly successful from what I hear but I only participated for an hour on the first day and an hour on the second day. Why? Because I was recovering from food poisoning. It was awful. To tell the truth, I’m still not 100% but nursing myself back to life slowly.

This weekend I have the SF Writer’s Conference that I am very much looking forward to going to. I will steer clear of any seafood for sure! I might get lucky and some agent might like my pitch and want to publish my book. Or it just might be a learning experience. In whichever case, I am planning on learning a lot and enjoying myself.

Just applied for a job at a banking company through a friend. I believe I am more than qualified to do the job, but we’ll see how it goes. So far, I have yet to get in for a face to face interview anywhere because I am overqualified or I am missing a niche skill. But I am confident and hopeful that the right position will come along at the right time. Keeping it positive.

Looking forward to next Monday night where I get to go to dinner with some people from my last company. That should be a lot of fun!

Day #75

Posted in life, unemployed by Tracy on February 5, 2010

Wow, I can’t believe it, a whole 75 days off in a row. I never dreamed I’d get this opportunity until I was officially retired. Which, a while back my brother and I were having a conversation and reminiscing about how we had our first jobs when he was eleven and mine when I was thirteen. We felt so proud at the time, but now that we’re older and have been at this “work” thing for quite a while now he wished it would have occurred to him when he was eleven that he would have to work another 55 years straight before getting to retirement.

But I don’t want to be retired. I am bored to death. I don’t know how people do it. Most, if not all of my friends who have kids also work. Very few stay-at-home mom’s in the Bay Area. Maybe I should work on my inner Julia Child like in the movie Julie and Julia and try making a souffle.