An Unemployed Person’s Lament

My story: After nine years with the same company, I fell victim to the Peter Principle and lost my job. I worked at a series of retail and temp jobs while figuring out what to do next, and I finally decided to go back to school. I cashed in some IRA money, got my paralegal certificate from San Francisco State University (I got my bachelor’s years ago) and graduated a few months ago with one B (in Wills and Trusts) and A’s in everything else.

Since I graduated, I’ve been doing everything I’m supposed to be doing to look for work, and I have nothing to show for it, despite my supposed brilliance. I’ve gone to job fairs, joined the local professional associations, and networked with everyone I know. Of course, I’ve sent out plenty of résumés with politely worded cover letters, too. I may have to resort to more guerrilla tactics soon, such as hanging out with the panhandlers in the Montgomery BART station during rush hour with a stack of résumés and a big sign that says “HIRE ME.”

The legal profession (among many others) has long been one where everyone is expected to put in lots of overtime. Perhaps it’s time to rethink this culture and spread out all those work hours among more people. Whatever happened to the eight-hour work day?

All I want is an entry-level paralegal (or even a legal secretary) position so I can pay my (few) bills and put away a little savings. Since I’m single with no dependents, I’m cheaper than an employee with a family and I can guarantee that I’ll never take maternity leave. Is that too much to ask?

If you want to look at my résumé, it’s posted on the “About Me” section of this blog. Thank you.


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