Readers of this blog know that I was laid off from my tech job at the end of July and have no chance of being hired into another tech job because of my age. Despite my experience and skills, no manager will hire the equivalent of his or her grandmother. I will rant about age discrimination in the tech industry another time. Today I want to talk about job hunting as an older woman.
Rather than expending a lot of time and energy applying to firms that don’t want to hire me, I’ve decided to start my own business. The Powers That Be at the unemployment office feel otherwise and insist that I look for a job if I want to collect unemployment. They require that I keep a journal of all the jobs I have applied for and threaten to audit me for compliance. I will also rant about that another time.
I need my unemployment to live on while I get my business off the ground so I have developed a fake job hunt. I am required to submit three resumes a week to be considered “actively looking”, so every Friday, I go through the job listings and apply to three jobs, even if I am not entirely qualified to do them.
I joke that I may get a job in spite of myself. I came across an interesting article that said that men are more likely to be hired in tech because men and women job hunt differently. Supposedly, when a woman looks at a job ad, if she doesn’t have every single skill listed, she doesn’t apply for the job. I have done this myself. On the other hand, when a man reads a job ad, if he has at least some of the skills required for the job, he applies. This works because it turns out that employers list both the required skills and the “nice to have” skills without making any differentiation in the ad (although some do). So the man applying to the job with only some of the skills might get the job because he has enough of the required skills and maybe some of the “nice to have” skills.
This has resulted in some rather interesting job applications. Last week, I applied to be the Director of IT for a major furniture chain reporting to the president. The ad was obviously written by a non-technical person, probably HR, because I could list half a dozen technical skills missing from the list that would be required (which I don’t have). It looks like they took an ad for a senior manager and merged it with an ad for a sys admin and posted it. I have most of the skills listed so I applied.
Initially I dreaded Fridays when I would have to scour job ads and fruitlessly send off my resume knowing that I would never get a reply or if I did, would never get beyond the first interview. I like to turn bad situations into positive ones, so now I look forward to Fridays to see what jobs are out there that I am only remotely qualified for and apply for them then add them to my journal in case I am audited. I have a very impressive journal!