As I write this, I am fast approaching 29 months without full-time employment. While I am appreciative of the 30 hour a week job as City Clerk of a small bedroom community in the Twin Cities area, it IS PT and the pay is way below what I earned in my FT positions.
I do consider myself a failure at age 56 (on April 4) simply because I have not been hired for a FT position in planning, community development, or local government administration. I have secured less than 10 interviews in that time, and I believe that the reason I was interviewed on those occasions was not because the hiring authority was genuinely interested in what I could bring to their organizations. I was interviewed merely for EEO reasons. Trust me, I can tell when an interview panel is sincere and when they are faking it.
Why am I posting this on here? Two reasons. The first is catharsis. The second is to that for many of you who have escaped the wrath of this recession, your first responses almost always are throw away lines such as “we’re praying for you” or “I’m sorry to hear that” or “I’m kinda shocked that someone with your experience can’t find FT work.” Please refrain from no-cost platitudes. It may make you feel better, but it does nothing for me.
If compliments came with a price tag, how many would you give out. My guess is close to none. Instead of throwing away a meaningless statement, why not see whether people like me can genuinely help your organization. Also, if you know who you are going to hire before placing a “Help Wanted” ad, save yourself $$$ and skip the ad. Just hire the person. I will not apply for any jobs where the interim is a candidate. Why bother? I also will not apply for any jobs where there is an internal candidate. Again, why bother?
This 29 month interlude has convinced me that public sector employers are engaged in a race to the bottom, and prefer to hire those with as little (or no) experience as possible. And we wonder why our local governments are going to hell in a handbasket.