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It's work getting a job

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March 18, 2010

In today’s economic situation an unemployed person must wear many chapeaus in order to obtain a career. These various skills and talents are necessary because of the significant unemployment rate, a competitive job market and the reduction of companies hiring employees - thus, making it more difficult for job seekers.

When searching for a job, the person must be a private investigator, sales professional, researcher, receptionist, customer service representative, telemarketer, information technology specialist, mail room clerk, data entry clerk, public relations liaison, and personal assistant. These are all skills and procedures necessary to achieve an appropriate position in the global economy.  

However, these essentials are necessary before getting the interview. These positions are not part of the job description. Each job brings a certain trait that is necessary to get a particular position. For example, a sales professional or sales person makes cold calls to possible clients to gather information. For the job seeker, the cold call is to verify if the company is looking for employees, taking resumes, and conducting interviews. Or a cold call can find out if the company is cutting back or laying off workers.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in Feb. 2010, there are 14.9 million unemployed individuals and the unemployment rate has remained at 9.7 percent. Ironically, the accounting profession is still in demand for workers and this trend will continue. The employment of bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks is projected to grow by 10 percent during the 2008-18 decade, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This occupation is one of the largest growth occupations in the economy with about 212,400 new jobs expected over the next 10 years. This is all positive news for prospective accounting professionals for the present and future years. This trend is opposite to the construction industry and U.S. Postal Service industry. In the next decade, these industries will see a decrease in hiring employees.

I am one of the 14.9 million individuals searching for a position. Currently, I am searching for a job in the accounting profession for several reasons - Firstly, in May 2009, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in accounting earning magna cum laude honors.  This is one the best accomplishments of my life.  I did this while working full time during the day and a full time schedule during the evening and weekends.

As I was juggling work, school, social situations, studying and family functions, the plot thickened for me, as in Oct. 2009, my boss informed me I must take a one-third pay cut to keep my job. The pay cut made me intensely angry and bitter toward him and his place of business. During this time, I searched for a part time job but, the jobs did not fit in to my schedule. In Jan. 2010, I was laid off.  Once again, I was bitter from fifteen years of hard work and dedication.  

Today, I am collecting unemployment, quickly going through my rainy day savings and accepting any donations. Also, I have stopped working but, the bills have not stopped coming in. Now, I have added new expenses.I am visiting Staples once a week. I buy envelopes, printer paper and ink cartridges for my printer. Also, I know some of the names of the local post office workers. I am there three to four times a week buying stamps and sending out resumes. Everyday, I religiously buy Newsday for the want ads. I am constantly searching for an accounting career.  

I am not your traditional 20- something college graduate. I am in my late 30s and just starting out in my professional career. This is a major deterrent to some human resource representatives. In my opinion, it is a plus. I have worked consecutively as clerical support for approximately the past two decades. I bring a sense of maturity, stability, diligence, familiarity and loyalty to the corporate environment. These are attributes a 20 something job seekers must learn.  I think have a lot to offer.  

Searching for a career is a job itself.  Everyday, my daily routine for the job starts early.  My day always starts at approximately 7:15 a.m. My alarm clock goes off daily at 7:15 a.m. For fear of laziness, I do not want to get into the habit of sleeping late.I turn on my computer, use the facilities, get some tap water and position my computer appropriately. 

First, I check all my e-mail accounts for notifications of new job postings from the career focus Web sites. Next, I check Craigslist.com, Careerbuilders.com, Monster.com, Hot Jobs.com, Accountemps.com, LinkedIn.com and Bigapplehelpwanted.com. On each Web site, I check for the newest accounting positions.

I investigate for entry level accounting positions.  Those careers include staff accountants, junior accountants, bookkeeper, accounts payable clerk, accounts receivable clerk, or administrative assistant to an officer of a prominent CPA firm or Fortune 500 company.  Then, I check all my social networking accounts for friends, family and former co-workers that may have given me job ideas and leads. Lastly, I check the State of New York Department of Labor’s Web site for new posting of jobs.  I apply to positions I feel qualified to perform. All this checking is done before 8:45 a.m. in the morning.

Then, between, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., I take a shower, get dressed and have breakfast. About 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., I take a walk to the store for the  newspaper, stop by the post office and the grocery store, if needed. Everyday, I try to get out of the house, weather permitting. If I do not have any interviews, I spend the rest of my day preparing cover letters and resumes to send to various CPA firms and Fortune 500 companies in the New York City area. While preparing these forms, I am still checking various Web sites for positions. Finally, my day ends  around 5:30 p.m.

But, like any job you have to do overtime – because the job search never ends.

Timothy L. Compton has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the City University of New York-York College. He is currently unemployed and looking for work.  He can be contacted at TimothyC413@aol.com.


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