As most of you know, I was let go from my job two weeks ago. It was done in a highly unprofessional way. So unprofessional, I had to laugh. I mean literally sit in my car and laugh out loud. That may have been a bit disconcerting for any passersby.
So now I am looking for a new job, and I have applied for unemployment. Since I was let go do to lack of work and her needing to consolidate costs, I thought there would be no problem. I am so silly thinking that when dealing with any sort of government.
I have gone online and applied for my unemployment. I have ‘claimed’ my weeks (all two of them) and provided all the information required. At this point (two weeks claimed) I ought to be getting some sort of feedback or a payment. At least one would think that. I really have to stop thinking.
I also received a letter from the State telling me I qualified for SEA. SEA stands for Self Employment Assistance. In short, the State will let me work on opening my own business rather than look for a job. I will still receive my unemployment benefits, but I won’t have to do the job searches and job search related activities. It won’t extend my benefits, nor will it increase them. This is good news should one wish to start their own business.
As part of my unemployment maze, I had to report to my local Workforce Center and have a face to face a consultation. So off I went with my resume in hand (as requested in the information section). The gal I spoke with was fun and almost helpful. She gave me a few places for job related activities (reading articles on resumes, interviewing and such). She rejected my ‘old fashioned’ resume and told me the way I ought to build it. She explained web crawlers that look only for keywords in your resume. When you apply online, a web crawler scans your resume for key words. You may get an interview, if you have the proper keywords. No one seems to actually read a resume anymore. This point is driven home by a local company that has been looking for a receptionist for over a month. I have several years experience as a receptionist, but since no human is reading my resume, I am rejected with a computer generated rejection letter telling me I don’t have the proper experience. With no human interaction, they will be trying to fill their job openings for a long time.
I hate my new resume. It is ugly. It is basically a bunch of keywords with a list of the jobs I have held. No dates, no explanation of duties. But this is an electronic resume. It is made strictly for online applications so the web crawler will find the keywords. I was also told to change the keywords according to the job description.
This could get to be exhausting. I am now supposed to read the job descriptions, and change my keyword resume to use the keywords found in the job description. I am tired just typing all that. I am not very excited about this new job hunting world.
I also asked my fine consultant about the SEA program. She handed me a pamphlet and told me she didn’t know anything about it. Wait. Isn’t the SEA program part of what is offered at the Workforce Center?
I went to my local SBA (Small Business Administration) office. The lady there knew a lot more about the SEA program. She told me they get a lot of people in there asking about it for the same reason I did. The Workforce Center doesn’t have a clue about their own program. She asked me several questions, gave me places to call, and some papers to read regarding self employment. She even thought my business idea was very good. She was also impressed that I knew I needed to find how to answer some of the SEA questions. Apparently, most people don’t. And right there on the one of the forms she gave me its says ‘Applications for the SEA program can be gotten at your local Workforce Center.’ It seems no one has told the Workforce Center that.
After my little trip to the SBA, I came home and made the telephone call to the State office to get a SEA application. The lady I spoke with was very nice (and funny). There are a lot of questions I have to find answers to, so it won’t be a walk in the park getting the application done. I also asked about my benefits claim. What I found out was this:
My unemployment claim is up for review. It is in line for a case worker. I will not see any benefits for 6 – 8 weeks. And that is if my former employer does her part and tells them the same thing I told them.
Six to eight weeks. Wow. Way to go State. I still have heard nothing from them regarding the status of my claim. Had I not asked, I may not have ever known until they sent a letter telling me I do not qualify. Hopefully, the S.O. and I will manage to keep my phone and car until payments kick in.
It is no wonder so many people end up homeless. And not by their own choice.