I just clicked send on the email containing my résumé and cover letter for a job that makes my knees weak. I’m not sure if I need to pee or throw up or cry. I had the Craigslist ad open on my computer for two and a half days, I must have read the entire posting 20 times.
See, I’ve been diligently looking for work in my field, and closely related to my field, for the past four weeks. By diligently, I mean 5 or 6 days a week 5 or 6 hours a day. I have a professional, top of the food-chain, twenty year (read workaholic) background in one particular field. When I met my wild stallion in 2006 re-evaluated my needs and decided to focus on my relationship, building a family, personal development; all those squishy things I hadn’t taken the time for in years. Since that time I’ve been picking up contract administrative work, bookkeeping, project management, etc. Still within the realm of my skill-set and not jobless for any significant length of time, so I’m not a total deadbeat.
In the very long weeks of researching companies, Facebook creeping owners/managers, typing, and re-typing cover letters, and planning potential public transit routes to “it’ll due” jobs on the other side of the Metro area, I’ve gotten ONE call! The resulting interview was a roller coaster in which I was offered the position then promptly had it retracted due to a legal issue beyond my control. It was a great job! Crushed, I’ve felt a tad sorry for myself since then, no other calls. Not one! REALLY!? The Image Army began a full frontal assault with self-pity grenades, fault-seeking missiles, smallpox of doubt , financial-panic anthrax, confidence napalm, weapons of mass destruction indeed! Which I, of course, took out on my very loving, very tolerant husband (poor man).
So, this past Friday afternoon I was doing my rounds on the internet, tracking every new post on a multitude of websites. There it was: “Transition House Worker”. It landed on me like the farm-house on top of the Wicked Witch of the West! I’ve thought of aught else since I read the job description for the first time. It’s a support role (not a counselor) in an emergency shelter for victims of family violence. It spoke to me so deeply the first time I read it I had to get up and walk around the house. I read it again. Ohhh!! Is this me? Is it time for me to give back? Is this why I’ve gotten one call from the near 100 resumes I sent out for jobs I qualify for? Have I been looking in the wrong field? I don’t have the qualifications for this one! I read it again… Nope, I still don’t have the qualifications. No experience with a communal living setting, no family violence worker certificate, no working knowledge of local resources. I left the ad open and paced around the house some more. I read it again and did a Facebook search for the woman’s name listed as the contact. She didn’t look like Nurse Ratched. I did a quick Google search looking for training centers offering the certifications required. Not a crazy amount of time or a big financial commitment. OK, maybe I could do this! I sat down to type yet another cover letter. Then I stared at the blinking cursor for perhaps thirty minutes. What in hell do I say!? To whom it may concern, I… I read it again.
I wanted to talk to my browner half about it but then I was deathly afraid he’d try to talk me down. Don’t get me wrong he’s very supportive and a master at getting out of my way to let me figure things out for myself, I just couldn’t take it if he didn’t think it’s the right direction for me. During the last 60 something hours, I’ve attempted to write that cover letter a dozen times. The trashcan next to the typewriter in my head is brimming over with wadded up papers. I even called my cousin-in-law who is in HR. How in hell do I go about writing a cover letter for a job I really think I’m meant for but have less than half the listed qualifications for? (I heard her light a cigarette) “What is it for?” I love her! She’s very patient with me in my excited moments when I’m talking a million miles a minute. So I purged. Cheeks flaming, hands flying, I told her everything I’ve gone through over this listing. Her advice was to write a testimonial.
Two drafts later I’m ready to send. PDFs saved CHECK, formal email addressed, composed, BCC to myself, Craigslist ad linked CHECK, cover letter and resume attached CHECK. I freeze. I can’t do it! She’s going to think I’m crazy, I DON’T QUALIFY! I AM CRAZY!! I’m sweating, my heart is racing, my tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth and my stomach is flip-flopping! I’m definitely crazy to think I’m even going to get a call. Big deep breath, what the hell! If she can’t hire me I’ll ask to volunteer. SEND!
Even while typing this I’ve checked my email five times, What if she responded! I feel a post (or many) coming on about why this is so personal for me. Stay tuned.