That's how an over-60 unemployed professional in Connecticut quipped about her misery. She perceives herself in transition. Like so many Baby Boomers, she lost her big job.
What is she on the way to? She wishes she knew.
So do more and more professionals of all generations. In that uncertain journey we still need income and, hopefully, benefits. Also, if we take a time out from being in the workforce, the way we have been socialized to succeed on--the-job atrophies.
"Junk job" is the cool way of referring to what used to be called the "survival job," "grabbing anything to get the benefits," and "s__t job." The term "junk" gives us the status of being above it all.
Of course, all work is noble. Therefore, this phrase shouldn't be used.
But when you go from making triple-digits per hour to considering pulling in minimum wage, you gotta throw around the phrase that allows you to maintain a sense of perspective. That framing is: This won't be forever.
But, displaced professionals are discovering they aren't even getting a response on their applications for junk jobs. I smirk: You are doing it all wrong.
How to do it effectively, that is, be hired and access the employer-funded medical insurance coverage?
Here are the 4 must-dos:
The latter is a no-no. When I applied for a loss prevention opportunity in 2003 (after West Hartford, CT cognitive therapist, Amy Karnilowicz, told me I had to get a job, any job) I stripped the resume of all academic degrees beyond the BA. I also dumbed down the work history.
The message the resume sent was: not so successful writer.
Cover letter. The tone should be enthusiastic, obey-the-rules working class. Use words like "eager." The sentence structure and word choice should be simple. This is fine: "I had worked in fast food in the past. The manager said I was a "good worker." The length should be short. Hiring is a big burden on the team assigned to do that.
Interview. The hard reality to absorb is that the powers that be need a warm body to do A, B and C tasks. They aren't in the market for the professional who will bring the business to the next level. Therefore, present the persona of the hungry but not desperate worker bee who will respect the rules. Don't offer suggestions. Err on the side of being too deferential.
As for the presentation of self, as every lawyer knows in managing a jury, don't dress better than those hiring. No expensive jewelry. Leave the attache case in the car.
Shut off cell phone. No, don't put it on vibrate. Sit patiently in the waiting room. No, don't use cell phone there. Reading material: Only dig into what relates to the company such as its employee newsletter or annual report. Jump up when invited into the office.
Post-interview. When exiting the interview, shake the hiring team's hands and maintain a friendly level of eye contact. That should not be an aggressive locking of eyeballs.
Follow up with a brief note about how useful it was to learn more about the job. Thank them for their time.
On the job? That's for another post.
Why should you rate these recommendations as credible? Since 2003, in this perfect-storm economy, in addition to loss prevention, I have received income and benefits:
At the front desk of a hotel chain
In customer service at call centers
Grader of standardized tests
In-store product consultant
Because my mindset and behavior were a fit, I had always been classified as an employee "to watch" for greater responsibility.
Here in eastern Ohio, my communications boutique is thriving. But, I maintain a close watch on part-time opportunities for income and benefits. They range from weekend leasing specialist at an apartment complex to, yes, evening security guard in retail.
The world has changed. Contact Jane Genova for complimentary consultation to get the competitive edge in your marketing communications (email@example.com).