Coffee heat rising

On the trail of the elusive job…

I’m not going to sit here and wait for the ax to fall. My source has had further confirmation of the rumor that everyone in my job classification is about to be laid off, and, although my own spy in midlevel administration hasn’t heard the story, he remarked that it was entirely believable and that his unit is so strapped there’s some talk of closing down entire academic programs.

A couple of days ago I applied for a job at a regional nonprofit—an organization whose mission and philosophy seem very laudable and that has a high reputation among nonprofits. Yesterday I applied for three more jobs.

Given that we’re supposed to be teetering on the brink of another Great Depression, it’s surprising how many job openings are out there, with pay in the general range of my present salary. Now it’s true, my salary is middling at best—but I’m not starving and I don’t really need to earn much more.

One of the community colleges is advertising for a marketing director. I used to know the woman who held that job about 15 years ago. She really loved it. And it pays $9,000 more than I’m earning.

The strategy right now is binary (oh! can you believe I know a word like that!?):

Possibility #1: Get another job comparable to the one I have. This will carry me over to full retirement age, whereinatupon my problems will be solved.

Possibility #2: Collect early Social Security and start a 5% drawdown of tax-deferred savings; get a part-time job paying around $14,000 (the max you can make before the government starts confiscating early Social Security payments) and limp along until I reach full Social Security age. Then turn back the $31,000 S.S. will have paid me, reapply and obtain full Social Security (about $400 a month more than I would get now) and collect the returned taxes.

Both of these are problematic.

Scenario 1 could require me to (gasp!) actually work. Horrors. I’ve honed Creative Malingering to such a high art, I’m not sure I remember how to work. Seriously: at my age it’s unlikely anyone will hire me for a full-time job. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, of course; but truth to tell, it’s probably a waste of time to apply.

Scenario 2 entails a significant drop in income. I may be forced to sell my house (if I can!) and move to Sun City, where costs are a lot lower. I suppose I could rent it and use the rental income to pay a mortgage out there, but the tax complications make my head spin. By the time I’ve paid the various tax gouges, I’d probably come out way behind.

At any rate, one of the jobs I applied for yesterday is a part-timer: driving the tourist train at the zoo! LOL! Can you imagine? Actually, I think it could be a TON of fun during the winter months, when the weather’s good. And it would keep the wolf from the door for nine or ten months, until the heat comes back up. I’m not going to drive around in an open vehicle in 110-degree heat. But if I keep looking for work something better should come along before next summer.

My strategy is to consider the broad categories of organizations where I’d like to work: nonprofits, colleges, and publishing houses. Then brainstorm all the employers I can think of in those categories. And then go to their websites and check their HR pages—once every week. I’m also checking job links at various trade groups I belong to: Arizona Book Publishing Association, Society for Technical Communication, and the like. To ensure that I check each possible employer every Monday, I’m building a table with date columns to check off.

????News Flash!???

This afternoon as I was racing out the door to meet a friend, one of the employers I applied to yesterday called and asked me to come in for an interview!

Good grief! Somebody wants to interview me! One day after they get my resumé & cover letter! That is astonishing.

The interview is set up for Tuesday afternoon. I was able to squeeze into the beauty salon Monday to get my hair cut—I’m looking pretty shaggy after a summer of neglect and pool water. And…gosh. I haven’t interviewed in so long I can’t even imagine how to prepare, other than to get the hair styled.
The place is situated in the center of a lovely desert park—absolutely gorgeous. I have no idea whether they have cubes inside those rustic adobe buildings or what the rate of compensation is. But the pay rate may not matter: not much is a heck of a lot better than nothing. It would be a wonderful place to work, and the job—an educational program manager—could be a lot of fun.


The Continuing Saga…

1. Unemployment for Christmas?
2. Does any of this have meaning for individuals?
3. Rumors start to fly
4. On the trail of the elusive job
5. Beating the layoff stress
6. How low can I go?
7. Interview No. 1

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