It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I would love to tell you I have a job now, but I don’t.
I’ve had three different staffing companies tell me they can’t place me because I’ve been out of work too long. COVID-19 is making that worse; no one is hiring, the jobs available aren’t a great fit for me (because accounting and bookkeeping), and if I work in food service or retail, not only will I be forced to run the cash register, but I will get sick. I can’t afford to get sick, nor can the relative with whom I’m staying (who thinks she already had it, but there is no guarantee you can’t get it again, and it can be worse on a second round).
Plus, I tried that in OldCity, and no one hired me; I guess they (rightly) assumed I would bail when something better came along, since nearly everyone in food service with any other experience at all does this exact thing.
Recently, my state’s career center posted a news item stating that they were offering free CompTIA training for workers displaced by COVID. CompTIA issues professional certifications for all kinds of IT jobs, a field that will only grow in future. Since the Plaguepocalypse has derailed my job search, I took a chance and filled out the application.
And someone called me!
Part of my old job duties entailed basic project and workflow tracking. Dyscalculia doesn’t exactly lend itself to computer programming and I’m not well-versed in hardware maintenance, so I figured the project management course would be the best fit for me.
They checked to ensure I was eligible (as a long-term unemployed person, I was), and then the blow fell: I would have to take the Wonderlic test to qualify. As in, that timed, pre-employment screening quiz with a lot of math on it.
This led to a crazy-go-round of accommodation requests, but when the paperwork finally settled, Wonderlic agreed to overnight a paper copy to the career center, where I was allowed to take the test in person with a calculator. No timers. Thanks to these ADA accommodations, I passed!
Today, I received the links to take the course, at my own pace (which will probably be at the speed of light). I don’t think I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo this year. No worries; I’m still working on the second book in my trilogy. It’s with my editor and we’ve got a long slog before it’s ready to send out into the world. Book Three can wait a bit. Besides, I could still get a job.
I don’t know how this will play out or if it will help, but I think it will. I’ve already seen several job listings where the project management training and certification would have given me a leg up. A pandemic won’t stop me; I have extensive experience with working remotely, plus I might even find a role that would finally get me out of here.
If you’re interested in similar assistance, it wouldn’t hurt to check out resources in your area. You can find a lot of information at careeronestop.org. I would not have thought my very red dumbstate would offer such a thing (and I wish they’d done it earlier), but I’m really glad I took a chance on it. We’ll see how it turns out.
I’m off to give blood today. In the meantime, stay safe, wear your mask, and wash your hands. And don’t forget to vote!