How does one approach the job market nowadays? Can there be any room whatsoever for bargaining, negotiation, or "feeling one's oats," as it were?
The reason I ask this very broad question is I'm really struggling with specific facts about my Self, which make me feel proud and a little self-righteous, if you want the whole truth:
I'm nearly 46 and I have an excellent resume that clearly stands out in a crowd. I am well-spoken, mature (when the mood strikes), and make an excellent first impression. I am well organized, can work for any jackass on the market with ease and professionalism, and can learn any job quickly and easily. These are FACTS about me.
Okay, facts aside and despite all of these glorious things: I have been unable to find a job after applying for between 45 and 50 jobs since I quit my job in September 2009. I have applied for jobs ranging from "Unemployment Specialist Hearings Officer" (hey, they sent the referral TO ME) to cleaning lady at the hospital (now you know what that would entail, right?).
I cite my age above because I feel I'm beyond certain types of jobs like working at McDonalds in a paper hat or hustling plates at the local diner in orthopedic shoes and a threadworn blue and white poplin waitress get-up. I would rather clean up hospital ickies than do either of those jobs.
Hundreds, no thousands of college grads are pounding the pavements for real and in the computer ethers, debt-laden and possessing papers that should be getting them through doors that are shut fast against them. Those people with jobs aren't budging and the companies who are downsizing are not rehiring. They are simply making do with less workforce.
And, here I am thinking I should be able to negotiate because I'm valuable. WOW.
Even as I write this and see how crazy it all looks and sounds as I read aloud, I'm still convinced I should be able to negotiate something better for my Self - because I'm valuable and I know it. Pride goeth before the fall, eh? Well, shit even after I fall down I'll still be rolling around screaming, "...but I'm valuable!!"