Sunday, April 15, 2012


Friday was a stellar day. I have not been expecting anything magical to happen in the job hunt. My assumption is that the process is going to be long and require many, many things to be done. I don’t know what the result of my efforts will be and am not in charge of that part. I’m in charge of taking what I believe to be appropriate, constructive action, and so far there has not been a single day where the path at least for the hours immediately ahead wasn’t crystal clear. (Thank goodness for being able to work with the career consultants! This has generated lists and lists of things to do.)

I was about to step out the door for a walk when the phone rang. It was a dear friend who some time ago had mentioned she thought I would be good at what she does and had even told this to the person in her group who is in charge of finding new hires, but he had said that he really needs people who already have these skills, not just apt-seeming trainees.

I thought no more of it and was astounded to learn, on Friday, that my friend had continued to hammer away at this poor fellow and that he had agreed to spend an hour with her and me doing a tutorial! This is not a job interview by any means, but more of an informational meeting. How tremendous that was! There’s a little bit of magic to it, after all.

But that wasn’t all. The last time I did laundry, I ran into my neighbor in the building next door who was so marvelous about never, ever again smoking in the shared trash area between our buildings after being asked not to do so only once. I think he’s a splendid person based on that alone. I often catch sight of him at his kitchen window as he stands at his sink and I at mine, but had studiously tried to appear not to see him to protect mutual privacy, but at the laundromat that day, I asked if he would mind if I gave him a little wave on such occasions, and he said in a most friendly manner that it would be fine, that he likes saying hello.

So we have waved at each other several times in past weeks, and when I went to do laundry Friday afternoon—which basically took from 3:30 until 10 p.m., one reason it’s better to do it a little more often—there he was again, and another pleasant chat ensued. (He should really also do laundry more often unless he's been sneaking over there behind my back.) It turns out he is an IT professional and said it would be OK if I looked him up on the major professional networking website; he told me his last name so I could find him there, and I told him mine.

So there you go: networking. It is doable.

Friday morning, before my friend called, I heard Anne Lamott on Forum. It was a good day to hear Anne Lamott. She said, maybe even in these words, “You don’t need to know more than you do.” Whew. She equated “helping” others to attempting to control them, which I agree with, and she shared a handy acronym for the control freak, oversharer and/or narcissist to employ now and then: WAIT—Why Am I Talking?

I decided, and my career benefactor concurred, that it would be prudent to have a resume ready to go on tutorial day just in case. My friend C. had been invited to go to radio station KPFA in Berkeley yesterday to record some poems in his beautiful resonant voice, and he had invited me to tag along, which no doubt would have been interesting, but time was of the essence, so I stayed home and, even though it was Saturday and, along with Sunday, a universal day of rest, worked on putting together a first resume a la the career consultants, which is an involved process.

Their key point regarding resumes is that every last thing on them should be targeted to the desired position, so you start by studying eight to 10 job postings to see what qualifications employers want. This involved going to the professional networking site for research, and at that point there was a significant digression as I started sending invitations to “connect” to various and sundry of those known to me, including my kitchen sink neighbor.

When I finally got into looking at the job postings, I was delighted to see that the major skills required for this job—business analyst—are ones I happen to be excellent at and also happen to really enjoy using.

For instance, verbatim from one posting: “Responsible for ensuring that all documentation accruately reflects the current status of changes and outstanding issues … .” I think I can do that! Especially the accruately part. (And note the correctly used ellipsis.) So, as I wrote my dear friend, whatever happens when we meet with her colleague, this could be a turning point in this whole process.
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