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A 12-Step Program for Job-Seekers

I joined the ranks of the so many people this past year when I gave up a very good position in a small health system in Ohio to pursue some new career interests.  My wife graduated with her second master’s degree and was pursuing a rather lucrative opportunity that would more than double what I was making.  So like the Beverly Hillbillies, we loaded up the truck and moved to. . .Florida!

I joined the ranks of the so many people this past year when I gave up a very good position in a small health system in Ohio to pursue some new career interests.  My wife graduated with her second master’s degree and was pursuing a rather lucrative opportunity that would more than double what I was making.  So like the Beverly Hillbillies, we loaded up the truck and moved to. . .Florida!

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After a few months of lounging by the pool, reading, writing, and reflecting in the warm Florida weather, I finally decided it was time to start looking for a new career opportunity.  Being on the coast where the beach is only a half a mile from my house, much of the local economy is geared towards leisure and recreation, hospitality and entertainment, and “The Florida Lifestyle.”  But at my age after working for 20 + years, I wasn’t quite ready to join the AARP or take a job a Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, I wanted to remain active at the executive level.  I contacted Recruiters, had several resumes professionally written, and began my trek across Central Florida in search of “an opportunity.” 

Aware of the down turn in the national economy, Florida’s economy seemed even shakier than anything I’d seen, but I had confidence in my abilities to walk in to an organization, introduce myself to the top brass, and land a job!  Paradoxically, after a few months of this strategy I realized it wasn’t working.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some great contacts here and I don’t regret my decision to “live off my wife,” but what I didn’t realize was just how much the job market had changed over the course of my lifetime.  Being the outgoing profession I think I am, I continued to forge ahead with the assurance that it is just a matter of time before I connect with a potential employer who graduated from the Old School like me.

In the meantime, though, I realized that job-seeking in the present economy is foreign to me.  I don’t know the rules (not too old to remember the old rules, just old enough to know they are no longer the same, if, at all).  Many employers don’t want to meet a potential candidate before the interview and just as many have Human Resources staff over-whelmed by job-seekers through the On-line Application Process.  And after months of being stone-walled by potential employers and their HR Departments I began to realize that my job search had become a kind of addiction. I NEEDED a JOB for my own sanity.  I felt completely powerless and out of control (if such a thing exists).  So I created a  12 Step Program for Job-Seekers.  It’s a parody, of course, of being addicted to job-seeking but the implications for many of the folks I’ve met in my process it echoes the tongue-in-cheek approach this 12 Step Program entails.  Please feel free to use it, abuse it, criticize it, and/or embrace it.  I don’t even care whether you quote me on it but if it works, by all means, share it with others, if even for a laugh.

                                                           A 12-Step Program for Job-Seekers 

  1. I admitted I was powerless over job seeking – that my life had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Job greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of an Employer as I understood the Employer.
  4. Made a seaching and fearless inventory of all the Jobs to which I had applied, been rejected, interviewed, and rejected again.
  5. Admitted to an Employer, myself, and another On-line Application process, the exact nature of my ideal job.
  6. Was entirely ready to have an Employer remove all these defects in job seeking.
  7. Humbly ask an Employer to forgive my shortcomings and give me a job.
  8. Made a list of all Human Resources Departments I had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to the Human Resources Department wherever possible, except when to do so would harm others or keep me from getting a job.
  10. Continued to make a personal inventory of all the jobs for which I’d applied and when I was wrong for the job, admitted it.
  11. Sought through applications and resumes to improve my conscious contact with an Employer as I understood the Employer, praying only for knowledge of our Employer’s Will for me and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps,  tried to carry this message to job seekers, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.

This writer graciously acknowledges the beneficent and nonmalevolent nature of Alcoholic’s Anonymous’ 12-Step Program

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