Woman, 62, Finds Her Dream Job after 18 Months!

13 12 2010

Sandie has been a Project Manager/Coordinator for many years with her previous 13 years in the publishing business.  In December 2008, she was laid off at the company where she had worked for 13 years.

Like most job searchers, Sandie focused her job searching efforts using the online job sites such as Monster and Career Builder, where she ultimately submitted hundreds and hundreds of resumes over an 18 month period of unemployment.  At one point, Sandie was sending out at least 10 or more resumes per day – given that her experience and skills were broad-based, she was able to identify many different types of roles for which she felt qualified.

Over time, like most, Sandie began to feel more and more frustrated, the boredom was setting in, and she felt de-valued with the lack of success in her job search.  Of the many hundreds of resumes she submitted, she received interviews for no more than 5 positions.  She recalls that for a couple of the jobs, while in the middle of completing the application at the companies, she decided that she wasn’t even interested in the companies or positions, so she left and went home.

To fill her time, she joined a job support group through the state’s employment department.  She learned a lot about job search and about presenting oneself, and most importantly, she developed new relationships.  She especially connected with a few group members whom she now considers to be very close friends.

Sandie also began volunteering.  She had always imagined that one day she would volunteer at a vet’s office as she loves animals. Although she did not find an opportunity at a vet’s office, she did get involved with three different animal rescue organizations which gave her something to do, and which she enjoyed immensely.  She also stayed in touch with her previous employer exploring the possibility of working with them on a freelance basis, but they couldn’t afford to hire her at any time.

Sandie is in her 60’s, and her husband works, earning a decent living.  She was collecting unemployment, and when she turned 62, she and her husband decided that she would start collecting Social Security, which added to the unemployment benefit, would help their financial situation.  They were not in a desperate financial condition as many others are/were, but they did need to cut back.  So, Sandie contacted all of their service providers (e.g., utility companies), and she explained their situation thereby obtaining lowered rates and fees.  They reduced their discretionary expenses, but still enjoyed life.

Sandie had just about given up looking for a job.  She didn’t believe she would find anything worthwhile, and didn’t want to stress about it any longer.  They could survive financially without her working.  Out of the blue, Sandie received a call from a company that helps non-profits do fund-raising.  She did not even remember applying for a position at the company.  Additionally, the commute was longer than she wanted.  However, the position presented was for a 4 month temporary assignment, so she decided to interview.

When she arrived at their office, she immediately liked the place, including the people she met, starting with the receptionist and everyone else with whom she interviewed.  She noticed there were a lot of young people in their 20’s.  She interviewed and then heard nothing.  A month later, she received another call from the same company for another position.  Apparently the hiring manager with whom she had previously interviewed referred her to another manager for a different position, and this was a permanent job.

She came in for the interviews, and when she didn’t hear from them after two weeks, she sent an email to follow-up and reiterate her interest.  They responded that they had received an overwhelming number of candidates, that they were continuing to work through the interview process, and that Sandie was definitely a qualified candidate.  After 18 months of frustration and rejection, Sandie felt confident that she would be considered, even given her age compared to the youngness of the staff.

Two days later, the company called and offered her the position as a Project Manager at the salary she requested!

She credits her change in attitude about job search with helping her in the interview process.  Instead of feeling desperate to find a job, she was open to the right opportunity, and she was able to focus on the company, their needs, and how she could fulfill them.  She feels fortunate that she and her husband were not in dire straits financially, and that allowed her to be more relaxed in her search.  She also enjoyed her volunteer work which she continues today in her leisure time.

Sandie has now worked there for more than five months.  She loves her job!  She loves the people!  She loves the company!  She describes this opportunity as UNEXPTECTED and as a BONUS given that she had pretty much stopped looking actively for a job, and had pretty much given up hope that she would find something worthwhile.

She describes the company as very employee-oriented with great benefits, and a real appreciation for their people.  She says that the young people look to her as a mature source of experience, information and responsibility.  She gets along well with everyone and feels that she fits in, even though she is 30-40 years older than most of the employees.  She is learning, enjoying her work and feeling that she is contributing and bringing value.  After 18 months of unemployment, frustration and boredom, she has found a DREAM job.  She now hopes to stay for as long as she can.

Disclaimer:   Sandie was very willing to share her job search success story, and asked me to use her first name only to protect her privacy.




3 responses

13 12 2010
Danny Lee

What a great story, and one that I definitely can relate to! Sandie’s an inspiration, and I wish her continuted success in her career journey!

13 12 2010
josephine k

You need to put up fron that Sandie’s husband works and makes a good living and that she is not also contending with fear of how she will keep food on the table and a roof over her head. You need to put up front that this is a story for people who have someone else paying their way and can afford to “walk out” on applications because they’re not interested and hold out to find something they like. I’m not sure how truly helpful this article is!

14 12 2010
Stuart Fried

I agree with you, Josephine, that Sandie’s situation does not apply to all who are out of work and struggling, as you said because she has a husband who is working. The purpose of the story was to provide hope that a 62 year old woman could find work and a job that she really enjoys, even in these times. Even though she was not in a desperate financial situation, she was equally frustrated and bored as others who have been out of work for so long. So, I hope you and others can take away the message that with perseverance and determination, you, too, can find a good job, and I truly do wish that for you.

I sincerely thank you for sharing your feelings.

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