Thursday, September 14, 2006

Job hunt

I pushed through the headache and sleepiness and made it to my appointment this afternoon at the APEC. I had very nearly cancelled since my last two brushes with official-dom (atleast in relation to my job search/unemployment) were such a waste^of time. But this woman who I had an appointment with actually called me to see what was going on since I never responded to her letter (I was away in the US when it arrived and anyway, I figured it was just a form letter like so many million I've gotten in relation to my freelance job). So since she called me, I took an another appointment. This morning I couldn't find the original letter, so I had to phone to get the address. Then I had to run almost all the way there, since Ella wouldn't wake up from her nap and forced me to leave the house at absolutely the last possible moment. I ended up arriving on time, but totally covered in sweat due to the humidity that turns the metro in a swamp of perspiration and dirt.
But it was totally worth it. Maybe I got lucky and have a good advisor, but I really feel like she helped me today and will keep helping me until I find a job. To be honest, she is exactly what I need. No one else really cares if I go back to work. My family and husband think its great that I am home with Ella, my friends mostly don't work out of the home, and since I wasn't working just before Ella was born, there is no group of colleagues wondering when I will come back to the office. Even though I feel like I personally need to start doing something of my own, I get so caught up in managing the day to day stuff that I just don't make the time to get any further on the job hunt.
Anne, my advisor, was fantastic. First of all, she wasn't even irritated that I hadn't filled in the online profile as requested in the letter that I received (and subsequently lost, hence the total ignorance I had regarding what was going on). She set me up on a computer and when I was done, we just got on with things. She went through my CV and actually corrected it line by line, commented on how I could improve the format, compared it to my English CV and picked out things she would like to see me translate and copy into the French version. It wasn't the typical, "Yeah this is OK. There is some good stuff on our website that you could read to get some suggestions for improvement." Comments like that make me want to stay home- if its all on the Internet, I don't need to spend 35 minutes travelling across Paris for a meeting, I'm a busy lady with limited time at the garderie. Then she asked me about how I was searching for jobs and made some suggestions, gave me two pistes for expanding my network, and even suggested sending my email address to a former client of hers who also works in the oil business. I mean, that is really above and beyond the call of duty.
Best if all, though, she really got me excited about things. I feel like I am motivated to put in the energy this demands. I signed up for a class on marketing myself. Its mainly to help me get my vocab up to par. Like a lot of things, I wouldn't think twice about doing that in English, but when I have to do it in French, my stomach clenches and my palms get all clammy as I sputter out 3 word sentences and search for words that I use every single day. Its just one of those things that doesn't feel natural yet in French so I am really glad that she sort of pushed me into committing to doing this class.
Its silly, because this is some government program that I probably paid a fortune to support in one of the million business taxes I was paying before, but I just feel really lucky. Maybe, this will be the one job search in the history of job hunting that is painless. (Knock on wood)

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