The joys of job searching…I have aged 10 years in the last 12 days

Welcome back to my adventure of having to move myself for the first time in 23 years. I now have more respect for the movers that the military hired for me- bless you all.

Let’s talk about a new career path that I have discovered- applying for jobs! The pay sucks. I am a nervous Nelly constantly checking my e-mail every 32 seconds, and my wrist and elbow hurt from sitting at a computer desk revising my resume 17 times. I can honestly say that I am not sure if I have ever put in this much work on anything!  

This bullshit that no one wants a job- lies! I have submitted 32 job applications and have received no callbacks, emails, text messages, or friendly pigeon messengers.  

For context- I have over 20 years in the military, 2.5 years of non-profit experience, logistical experience, fund-raising experience, managerial experience, social media experience, content writer experience, AND a BA along with two Advance Certificates. I can file, answer phones, add, subtract, drive, breathe, and will work long hours as long as I have a coffee pot- I am a company’s dream employee. 

So I thought.

Maybe I have been spoiled. Maybe I believed my current pay rate- which reflects responsibilities and ability to work both independently and in a high-performing team- was a reliable indication of my value. Wrong.  

I have foolishly made the decision to apply for jobs that interest me, fall within my educational and career paths, and will pay me enough to live decently while waiting for a publisher to call me out of the blue and beg me to write a book for them. 

And while I am looking in the Washington area, I have checked out jobs in other states- just in case. Here is what I have learned so far:

The average pay in Washington is about $19.00 an hour, which comes out to about $39,520.00 a year. This does not take into account taxes, health care, or retirement funds. 

The average cost to rent an apartment, duplex, or one-bedroom shack with questionable water is about $2300.00 a month for the grand total of $27,600.00 a year without adding in electricity, heat, food, and internet- all the things that make living slightly comfortable. That leaves $11,920.00 a year- divided by 12 months comes to a whopping $993.33 a month. 

That is without taking into account the mandatory health care that I have to purchase, the federal taxes that I have to pay, or the social security benefits that I am still paying into. Or my bills- like car, groceries, phone, or the boat and motorcycle that we just HAD to have. For now, I am not thinking about retiring. I will be working until the autopsy.

Ironically, I have to tell you that according to you need only $17.00 an hour to live comfortably in Washington state. 

BUT according to $60,000 a year is considered to be a middle-income worker. 

That makes sense! 

Let’s look at some jobs that I have found that are hiring URGENTLY- 

Front Desk Receptionist- $17.00 an hour. Full Time. Benefits. The main part of the job is to answer questions, field phone calls, maintain the office calendar, provide customer service, AND open and close the office. You need to be there 15 minutes prior to the doors opening and will have to close the office after everyone else leaves- so let’s give that another 20 minutes. A grand total of 8.5- paid for only 8. 

BUT IT GETS BETTER! They also provided assistance to departments with additional work projects, data entry, AND minor cleaning issues within the office setting.  

So, I am working 8.5 days, paid for 8, leaving and coming in before everyone else, AND I get to help the higher-wage employees with their jobs! That sounds like a winner. 

Ophthalmic Assistant- $16.00 an hour. Full Time. Benefits. The main part of the job is to take patient history, perform lenosmetry, evaluate contact lenses, check pupils, perform any additional testing that the doctor orders, AND do office work. 

They would prefer that you have training but will provide it if needed. It also states that ‘occasional commuting is expected.’ 

This employee is literally required to test and diagnose people’s eyes, and they take home a dollar less than the receptionist AND travel to other offices not in the area! 

My favorite one of all though is the Community Manager- $20.00 an hour. Full time. Benefits. The main part of the job management and maintenance of a manufactured housing community. With that comes the following job duties:

Collect rent, issue late rent notices, initiate and attend any eviction proceedings. In addition, supervise the placement of RV and manufactured homes. Prepare monthly management reports, maintain tenant files, and screen potential tenants. Promote and rent space, along with communicating with home dealers so that they know when a space is available. 

Additionally, you will be responsible for maintaining all common areas, operating the portable gas-powered sewer pump, caring for the swimming pool, taking care of the playground, and painting and repairing facility structures as required. Take care of all the equipment. Maintain and clean street surfaces, speed bumps, and re-stripe common parking areas as needed

ALONG WITH: perform any other specific tasks as may be directed by management. 

While I am not discouraged by my move to Washington, I am discouraged by the current expectation of performance vs. wages. Although hard work should be expected at all jobs, I also believe that the pay should be adequate to survive. 

I also need to confess that I have applied to all these jobs- and have not heard anything back yet. 

So all in all-everything is looking up for me.

What are your thoughts?

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