10 years ago, all you needed to land a general office job was a functioning brain and a High School diploma, but these days employers are asking you to have a 4yr degree to answer the phone, and then they want to thank you for humbling your educated self to this entry-level position by paying you minimum wage.
Needless to say, I have not been able to find a job.
Not only do I NOT have a 4yr degree, but aside from a little retail here and there, I've been a stay at home mom for 7 years now.
It used to be that all I had to do was get an interview and I was guaranteed a job.
I'm a very capable, friendly person and I'm no dummy.
If it can be taught, I can learn and excel at it.
But so many more educated people are out of work these days, people with recent experience that trumps my ability to charm my way into a position that would have otherwise required a degree.
Then there's the whole "is this a legitimate job posting?" problem.
Last week I sent my resume off to about a dozen advertisements on craigslist and 1/2 of them responded with requests for things like a full-length color photo of myself, or my height and weight, and 3 of them wanted me to sit in my home and wait for their packages to be delivered, no questions asked.
Every single one of these ads were legitimate looking.
They must have been copied right from another job board.
BIG DEEP SIGH.
Of course, in my frustration over feeling under-qualified and unable to find any REAL job postings, I began to think about the things that I do on a daily basis. What would my job duties look like if this stay at home/ homeschooling mom thing was a paying gig? What would my job title be?
- Appointment Setter (Dr, dentist, behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, parent-teacher conferences)
- Cook (3 meals & snacks for 5 people, 7 days a week)
- Home Health Aide (bathe, dress & assist 3 people in misc. personal functions)
- Order Processing (homeschool supplies, replacement of missing high school textbooks, etc)
- Janitorial/Sanitation (this should be self-explanatory)
- Records Management (immunizations, birth certificates, IEP paperwork, report cards, receipts, Lego manuals)
- Travel planning (accommodations for 6-8 people)
- Transportation (to and from 3 different schools on opposite sides of the city)
- Mail processing
- Receptionist duties (must be able to handle multi-line phone, in case teenager gets detention the same day 8yr old bites through his lip at recess and 2 schools need to call at once!)
- Personal Shopper (and returns!)
- AP/AR (though, I do a lot more paying than I do receiving)
- Data Entry (somebody has to keep track of who takes what medication, who is allergic to soy and who is allergic to dairy)
- Educator (curriculum planning for a 3 & 5yr old, field trips, evaluations)
- Home Maintenance (toilet plunger, drain un-clogger, tightener of screws, assembler of bookshelves, etc)
- Party Planner (plans all parties for 6 people, creates menus and activities, prep & clean-up)
- Children's Advocate
- Disaster Preparedness (ability to entertain 4 children while the power is out for 6 hours)
- Highly Skilled in Time Management (take everything listed above and throw in some kind of disaster like the stomach flu. Now try to get it all done while somebody is puking in their bed.)
- Most importantly: Must Work Well Under Pressure
In a perfect world, employers would recognize real-life skills, but unfortunately for me and a lot of displaced home-makers (don't you HATE that term?), they just don't.
I'm going to keep on looking, though, in hopes that someday soon, some company will see the potential I have, because if they could actually see everything that I do for my family, I'm pretty sure they'd be begging me to run their office.