Living pay cheque to pay cheque
QUESTION: I read your article ‘Job out of desperation’ and I am currently in a similar position. I am a trained educator. I’ve been in the classroom for three years. I left because it was affecting my health. I am currently in a job position that pays at a diploma level while I have a first degree. There are no benefits attached to the position, not even health insurance, and it’s a contract job. My current full-time job salary is not enough to provide savings after bills are paid, it’s pay cheque to pay cheque. I have been applying to lots of jobs but no calls or interviews. Can you provide some advice?
CAREERS: Thank you for your letter. Not all of your questions could be accommodated above due to space.
In the column you mentioned, S.S. was being advised to take some time to decide what she wanted. The article said: “Too often, individuals, just out of desperation to get out of the house, take a job – any job – and end up regretting it”.
She was advised that while she still had a job, she needed to sit down and plan out what she would want to do.
I would offer you the same advice. You say you would want to work for a corporate company or in an education position that is not classroom-based. In fact, you say that this is what is giving you the necessary experience to get into such a job. This point was in your query but not included above.
You seem to be someone who thinks about the direction of your career a lot. So taking some time to map out what you want will go a far way in helping you. You made a conscious decision to leave the classroom because it was affecting your health. And you still are searching for the correct opening to fit your competences and pay you what you feel you are worth.
You also said that you currently do content writing for a top post-secondary institution in Jamaica but that’s payment upon delivery of content. That is wonderful.
Someone like yourself could really benefit from sitting down over a few days and fleshing out what you want. Just taking it day by day, pay cheque to pay cheque, without a firm sense of direction is not the optimum. This is likely to bring you lots of frustration and leave you on the whims of chance happenings.
Look around and select a corporation that fits your desire. That means it has excellent healthcare benefits. You also have the opportunity for a permanent post after you have successfully completed your probationary period. What is the salary you desire so you can save after you’ve paid the bills? In essence, write down your ideal job, the one that gets you excited.
Write out a proposal to your target company. I have done some columns on this you can find online. This will require you to have a high level of self-esteem and self-confidence which you don’t seem to lack.
With the proposal, you stand a much better chance of landing a job that suits you. In any case, this beats sending out résumé after résumé, waiting for call after call, and attending job interview after job interview.
Glenford Smith is president of CareerBiz Coach and author of From Problems to Power and Profile of Excellence.firstname.lastname@example.org