Monday, February 18, 2008


The proverbial straw fell about two weeks ago.

It broken the camel’s back concerning the futility of my ongoing employment search.

Like most people in the market today, I thought I’d have a job within a month or so. The reality of the my job search is no where close to my battered expectations.

The job fair was absolutely the worst. A complete waste of time for every person who schlepped to the Holiday Inn Merchandise Mart.

As if job hunting for nearly six months isn’t demoralizing enough, the hundreds if not thousands of other job seeks at the fair truly let me know how rough it is out there.

I’m not bullshitting. The line of job fair attendees wrapped around the entire floor of the hotel.

And that was within the first hour of the doors opening.

When I got to the end of the line, I should of known something was up as it moved fairly quickly. From the time I got to the end of this long line to the time I signed into the door it took about 35-40 minutes.

There had to be at least 600 people ahead of me in line.

That should have been my second clue. Then the Monster representative not having a location map of the employers should have been the dead give away as well.

The third clue should have been the size of the room.

Now if this had of been a legitimate job fair with a variety of potential employers, the space would have been much larger.

The room was the size of my dining room.

And while that’s huge for a dining room, it’s quite small for a job fair.

Once I got through the line, signed in (first name only please), dropped off a copy of my resume and entered the room I quickly assessed that this ridiculous waste of time.

Now I’m not slamming the employers that were there but let’s just say that the fair wasn’t exactly geared toward those of us who didn’t want to work for Crunch Fitness or be a salesperson on commission.

And by the way, with that little dustup in Middle East enlisting in the Army didn’t seem to be the right move either.

I threw on my suit and trotted out my Crest smile for this?

It broke me.

In the last few weeks the only reason I left my condo was to take out the trash with the stinky cat litter and to check the mail.

Being in my robe for a couple of days and watching QVC probably didn’t help matters either.

Since the middle of January, I’ve been fighting the urge to give up.

Getting up everyday, checking my e-mail account for Monster and Careerbuilder e-mails, networking my ass off, keeping up with my career counseling services and attending their various workshops kept me involved in my fate and more importantly it kept me busy.

Grasping at every lead, applying for every relevant job---keeping hope alive as Rev. Jackson would say.

It can be quite exhausting.

Wasting time at a half assed job fair with many other people just did me in.

I wanted to give up.

Luckily reality slapped me in the face. And by reality I mean keeping a roof over my head.


Omo said...

Sorry to hear about; they used to be very good online and have proved half-a$$ed on that too. I’d recommend using linked-in as another alternative – I’ve been contacted by some employers who found my info via the linked-in site. Never hurts to have another option. Happy Hunting !

The North Coast said...

Sorry to hear about this. We could all be in the same place any minute.

I expect massive contraction in my industry so I'm very nervous and on the prowl for something else. A person is afraid to switch jobs even if the one she has is inadequte, because so many companies hire just to lay off in six months, or less. You figure, I could do worse and it beats being unemployed.

I use monster but I'm lookiing at other sites as well, and starting to network.

This is a very spooky time.

Brendan said...

The job search process is so send out resume after resume, write a million cover letters, smile and shake hands and smile and say thank you and smile some more, till your face hurts from the effort. And it only gets harder with each ignored follow-up call, each opportunity that leads nowhere, each "sorry, but we decided to go with another option" letter that comes weeks after you'd forgotten you'd interviewed somewhere. Then, finally, someone makes you an offer that, a few months earlier, you would have scoffed at, but you start to froth at the mouth and reach for a pen to sign the contract like a two-year-old reaching for a popsicle. You're just so happy to have *something.*

It's shit, but it's temporary. Good luck to you. From what I've read here, you seem to be a pretty tough cookie. I second the LinkedIn motion. Try contacting people who've written about your blog to see if anyone is looking for a staff writer or something. Just hang in there. Someone will be lucky to hire you.

Kristin said...

Ditto to your situation; I was at that same crapfest of a job fair too. It was a waste of time but here's how I got through it faster:

-I called the info number on and they gave me the email address of someone who mailed me the list of attending companies. (Of the two employers I thought were worth checking out neither of them showed.)

- Knowing that there wasn't going to be much to see in there, I just hung up my coat and walked straight into the fair. No one stopped me or asked me to sign in first.

-On the way out I checked with the hotel concierge desk and got a better rate than they were offering for the job fair attendees.

All the disappointment in half the time- now if I could only find a job and get paid to use my assessment and strategy skills...

PS- Seeing all of those people looking for work scared the crap out of me too.

JP Paulus said...

i also went to the fair at the Holiday Inn as well and was severely disappointed...CareerBuilder ha a similarly underwhelming one in the southwest suburbs a few months back, and similar experience...MAYBE 1 or 2 people that i was somewhat interested in.

Careerbuilder had a MAJR one at Soldier Field last September...but nothing tha good since.

i wold suggest connecting with Loyola University. They had a FANTASTIC fair a couple of weeks back. They gave out notebooks & name tags, which helped a lot in talking with people, and had about 40 employers, at least, several of whom i was interested in. Now, it was a genre specific fair (i.e. non profits..."Called to Serve" was the theme), so that helped...but if their general one is anything like that one, it'll be a winner.

i really got annoyed by Careerbuilder & Monster because you couldn't follow up with the places you applied too, and the job announcement would disappear by the xpiration date -- so you would have no idea what you applied for or how to contact the people. And the recommended jobs were NOT a great fit (the search didn't help much).

HOTJOBS had a better selection (or at least search engine), and actually found a job through them...though it was an interesting story. They had a two-in-one job description...the first i applied for because i felt fairly qualifed for/vaguely interested in. The second, based on the keywords, had turned me off. But at the interview, that second job was actually PERFECT! God has an interesting way of dealing with me...

One last thought -- have you signed up for temping? i signed up for a couple that previously had been good to me & my wife, but they came up with nothing the past couple of weeks....but note that i didn't aggressively call back, and i was asking for ONLY 1 day - 1 week assignments, not being open to longer term ones.

i wish you the best -- any thoughts on what you're looking for???