Graduated to what?

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Wallowing about just days after completing yet another degree program I find myself in a stagnant void of “NOT HAVING ANYTHING TO DO”.  With the realization that the “job” that I toiled about on recently ended, just as my final grades were pouring in, alas I am within a vacuum of idleness.  Chuck full of glimpses and blurbs from recent reading assignments and the many xeroxed copies “job aids” hanging like placards around my cubical walls, today I have no use for all this information I am preserving as my mind constantly races with detail after detail.

In the past a thorough job search consisted of picking up the Sunday New York Times and spreading the bed sheet sized leafs across a table. Contending with the small print and identifying interesting posts with a circle, an x, or some other earmark to remind yourself to call the number, or mail your cover letter and resume to it.

Today, however I spend countless hours applying to positions during my sleepless nights.  Laptop resting on abdomen (that is curiously becoming more flab, and less ab these days) as I apply for job after job utilizing the many job search sites we all are familiar with if you’ve sought a job change within the last decade.

I likened the search to fishing.  Or even attracting a mate.  However both the lures for these task are physical.  How do wave your peacock feathers virtually to attract suitors??  I’m told “you can get rid of all this white space”, by a Department of Labor rep assigned to “monitor” my job search progress.  However, how accurate was this conjecture, if it were said directly after “your resume looks great?”.  Needless to say, I did send a respectful email to the Rep asking that my case be assigned to one of her counterparts.  One with “more of an understanding that not every client requires the incessant prodding to seek viable work, and each case should be approached on the merits of the job seeker, not simply approached as a person unemployed.”  Not harsh or disrespectful at all, my conscience is clear.

Another point of contention for me in this interaction with the Rep from the Department of Labor was her inability to embrace change.  Her stance seemed to be along the lines of “since you know how to mop a floor, you should look for job mopping floors.”  Now this is a dramatic paraphrase, however it is a poignant illustration of the ESTABLISHMENT not recognizing talent.  Nor acknowledging the progression one may aspire to during their professional lives.  Yes I have experience dealing with customers.  Yes I have Office Administration experience.  Does this experience amount to the sum of my parts?  I adamantly reject the notion that while seeking work, I should only apply to jobs that I’ve already mastered.  Their goal is to get me “back to work”, mine is the same.  However earning educational credentials I believed afforded me the right to pursue career level positions, not just jobs.