Finally!

I’m happy to report that my search for gainful employment is over. I received a call yesterday and accepted a position at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research. As part of my job, I’ll be promoting the graduate program in automotive research. I’m thrilled for the opportunity and look forward to taking up this new challenge.

This job search really humbled me.

First, I can’t believe the number of folks who said prayers and shared encouragement along the way. Words can’t describe how you helped me get through this. I am blessed. I am also so lucky to have a loving husband who encouraged and comforted me. There were times that he believed in me more than I believed in myself.

Second, it was a great reminder that the Lord does everything in His time. I was first invited to interview for this position the day after we returned from our family trip to Disney. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to enjoy that very special time with my family before I began work again. I have also learned that there was a very good reason for what seemed like a delay in the hiring process. Again, He was taking care of me through the whole thing.

Finally, this process taught me that we are all so much more than what we do for a living and that people shouldn’t be judged by their job title or employment status. It reinforced the importance of kindness and respect in our interactions.

I know the days ahead will be even more humbling. It’s been seven years since I started at a new employer. I’m vowing to cut myself some slack during the adjustment period. There’s a lot to learn and I won’t be perfect. I never am. There will be awkward and frustrating days. It will pass. I will get better.

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Just a little honesty

Looking for a job is a special kind of torture. Job seekers are expected to lay their lives bare and honestly answer questions about their skills, accomplishments, failures, and aspirations. It’s all in the name of finding the right match.

So dear employers, why not do us a kindness and make your job postings candid and thorough? We are looking for the right match too. It’s nice to have clear information when making the decision about whether to apply for something or not. It’s a bit like online dating, don’t describe yourself as a 6’3″ Adonis if you’re really more Napoleon (Bonaparte or Dynamite.) You won’t attract those who will really love and want you by refusing to be honest.

Don’t use meaningless words. Try listing the actual job duties instead of fluffy phrases that will only confuse those reading your ad. Furthermore, your job is likely to be posted on your website so you have all the space in the world, use it to fully and honestly describe the job. If someone from HR tries to rewrite your description by removing the details, argue with them. If you’ve got a sales job, don’t call it a PR position in your ad. If you require someone to work nights and weekends, say so. Is travel involved? Be upfront about the frequency.

If you can’t come up with a thoughtful posting, you are bound to waste time going through resumes that don’t match your needs. It’s also possible that you are turning off those who would have wanted and qualified for the job you’re really trying to fill.

Don’t settle for a bad job description. It wastes time and can also make prospective employees feel badly about themselves if they wind up interviewing for a job that has nothing to do with their skills and experience. I beg of you, just be honest and take time to write a good description; we’ll all benefit in the end.