Opal Siren

My life in dreams

It Is A Job To Get A Job


I am the first to admit these past few months have not been the easiest for me. My mood has had more downs than ups. My self-imposed loneliness has skyrocketed, and so has my frustrations at times. I have thought of the possibility that by the time my husband comes back from his deployment, he will be a different person and so will I. Six months is such a long time. I am almost cringing the “get-to-know-you-again” awkward phase. Each time I speak to him on the phone or through Skype, I know that he is the husband I saw depart several months ago. But when I think of him actually being here with me, the thought feels strange. Not that I am not happy and excited for his return home soon, but it will be like going on our first date again. I am a shy person and I hate uncomfortable situations. I hope the awkward stage does not last long. I hope we can get back to where we left off.

On the other  hand, I have managed to lose some weight, tended to my health needs, applied to jobs, and got to go on interviews….And I landed a job 🙂

The job process has been frustrating at best. There are not many entry-level openings in my field or ANY field it seems. Even the internships I had my eye on require 2-3 years of experience, and the few openings in my field, Bioinformatics, require a PhD. Well, I am exhausted from school and there is no way I am going back to get a PhD to gain an entry-level job.

To that end, I completely understand that if a job candidate requires no training or has experience, then most companies will go with that candidate instead of the recent graduate with less experience, if any. However, the job postings should mention these preferences clearly and not waste an applicants time. It takes a lot of time, and research, and resume update, after resume update, for an applicant to apply for a post. It is like having a job to apply for jobs these days ( I have heard this many times by many people).  Although to me if someone has experience, then they should be applying for an experienced position and not  an entry-level post. I also understand that do to the massive lay offs that our country has endured, many experienced professionals are taking the entry-level jobs for  lesser pay. So that leaves the new graduates, like myself, fighting for jobs in other fields or hoping that eventually something will open up. I have also found that there are jobs available but the applicants are simply not skilled enough to obtain the positions, and companies are no longer willing to invest in good training programs for their employees. Colleges and Universities do the best that they can to educate their students, but at the end of the day it is the hands-on experiences that will get you the desired job or promotion. So that leaves many good paying jobs with many required skills to do the job and no one to fill these positions. Those that have some of the required skills do not have enough to land the job and go for the entry-level positions.

I really hope that our economy improves and jobs do come back to the mid-skilled worker, the experienced worker, and the new graduates that are going out in the workforce. It is a shame that I see so many young professionals that have to work in fields that are not even what they went to school for,  just because the internships and entry-level positions are being taken by the more experienced professionals. How are these young professionals suppose to repay back student loans, buy a home, or a car, when they cannot get the experience that they need to make it in their intended careers. This is the reason I find that I am extremely lucky to have found a job in Information Technology, working at a company that manages Medicare and Medicaid programs. I will be part of their database administrative team. Granted it is not a position in the Bioinformatics field, but I will be working with databases and analytical tools. Instead of genomic or proteomic data, I will be working with customer data. I am also lucky that it is an entry-level position and I will be learning on the job and getting the technical skills that I need to advance. I was also lucky that this was the second company I interviewed for since I graduated in May. Per my university’s career counselor, the job search these days for a recent graduate is 6-12 months or more.

I am keeping my fingers crossed so that things turn around for new graduates and workers in general, and that things work out at my new job. Wish me luck!

Happy Reading!!!

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Reality Bites


So the other day out of pure boredom I decided to read my old diary…Ok, who am I kidding?? I still write in it from time to time. I have written in this diary since the tender age of 13. I am now 30!!!. 

I was surprised, upset, happy and melancholic all at once. I started to read old entries of my 13-year-old self and some more recent ones, and boy have I changed. I don’t even recognize the young lady that was writing most of those entries. 

I have to say that my old self was very naive, loopy and oh so dramatic!!! I can not believe that most of the entries were about school, grades and family matters. Nothing juicy. Wow how boring was I? I would say that the majority of the entries was me venting my frustrations about school. I was sooo worried I was going to fail. Unfortunately, that part of me is still here. I am always worrying, and wondering, and hoping. Of course there were a few posts about boys liking me and me liking them, but nothing worth getting all excited about. I was so uptight!!! Thank God I have let my hair down a bit. 

To make matters worse, I have not had much luck getting a job in my field. Oh, and  I received my prestigious diploma today, out of all days. As many of you will recall, I graduated recently with a Master of Science Degree in Bioinformatics. I have no clue where to begin to gain an entry-level job in this field, and I have no experience. What was I thinking??? 

I guess I should feel happy that I got my diploma and I am done with that part of my life. That part of constant studying and taking exams is OVER. But I was quite sad when I got it in the mail. I thought about how I don’t even have interviews lined up, how I always made Dean’s list and graduated Summa Cum Laude for my undergraduate degree, and how I entered into my masters program with zero knowledge or experience; and yet I finished with a B+ average. And yet I feel so unfulfilled, unhappy, and worried. 

My husband is still deployed and he is usually the little bug that bites me back into reality and gives me motivation. I feel so uninspired, and quite frankly I have no energy to even put a suit together with a bright smile and shake hands with a recruiter. 

Of course my husband is a wonderful provider and he has no issues with me staying at home, but I don’t want to. I want something that is mine and that I go out each day and work for. I look at the faces of some people around me and I wonder: “Is this what they would have chosen for their lives, the constant and the mundane…or where they just forced to give up on their own dreams?”  I don’t know what it is, but most people I see look so unhappy and miserable. 

Am I trying so hard not to fail, that I am worrying too much and pushing away any possibility of success? Am I ever going to get a job that is decent and won’t leave me broke, because the gas money is much more than the actual paycheck? 

I have so much to ponder on and I feel like I am running out of time. I feel like it is make it or break it time. Or even better, I feel like I have to make this happen and even throw in a baby in the mix, because guess what?… my eggs are getting old too. Once again my hatred towards time begins, as I really do not want to rush through life like this. Can’t I just go back to my 13-year-old uptight self? 🙂

Happy Reading!!!

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