Sneakers’ Insights on Easing Job-Search Stress

I feel like I spent two of my nine lives watching my owner look for a new job after he left his position in the declining newspaper industry. Here I share my insights on easing job-search stress.

After researching the best US jobs, my owner reviewed the latest trends on writing a resume. While taking a few deep breaths to quiet his stress, he created a first draft of his resume – no easy task since he hadn’t needed one for 20 years and updated his LinkedIn profile. Intending to offer some comfort, I jumped onto his keyboard while he tried to write his summary of qualifications. “Sneakers!” he shouted my name as he prodded me off the keyboard. Boy, what a grouch!

The Application Process

Then I jumped on the back of his chair to encourage him to pet me while he crafted his resume to pass the 30-second test so that all the relevant information could be gleaned in that amount of time. Using action verbs and results-oriented descriptions of his work experiences, his resume started taking shape.  When he suddenly got up to take a break, I accidentally scratched his neck as I jumped off his chair.  That earned me a loud scolding as he applied anti-biotic cream on his neck.

Finishing his resume, my owner culled through his favorite online job-search engines looking for jobs that matched his qualifications. He soon clicked on an ad to apply for a position and write a cover lever. Nearing the completion of a long application with a personality test, I “accidentally” pounced on his power strip, clicking off his computer. That caused him to lose almost an hour of work.  He then locked me in the laundry room.

When he finished for the day, he retrieved me.  Looking very stressed, he petted me slowly while I purred and cuddled in his lap.  After a while, he calmed down and got me a few kitty treats before he went out for a nice walk.

Preparing for the Interview

A few days later, my owner received an email requesting a phone interview for a promising job. He happily petted me when I jumped on his lap to share his good news.  Finally, grouchy man disappeared for a while.

My owner’s wife role played an interviewer with my owner asking him common interview questions. As I cleaned myself next to him on the couch, she asked him common interview questions. This helped him land an in-person interview. Boy, did I get petted enthusiastically then!

To prepare for that interview, my owner carefully researched the employer’s website and anonymously visited the work site to glean a sense of appropriate work attire. He also prepared a mini portfolio in a glossy, black folder containing his resume, recommendation letters, certifications and work samples. Then he prepared several thoughtful questions to pose to the interviewer which he packed in his briefcase with a notepad and fountain pen.

The Interview

On the morning of his interview, his wife cooked him his favorite breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, whole grain toast and coffee.  He ate happily and pet me occasionally as I purred in his lap, “You will do great!”

Before he shaved and showered, he carefully laid out his black wool slacks selected for his interview on his bed. Big mistake! I took a short cat nap on those nice comfortable pants, leaving them full of white cat hair. Too stressed to make a fuss, he merely grumbled as he scraped my hair off his pants with a lint brush.  Then he took a whiff of lavender essential oil as he reminded himself that the purpose of a job interview is to select the candidate who best fits a job, not to offer judgment on the candidate’s worth as a person.

Follow-up to the Interview

Coming home from that interview, my owner related what happened to his wife as I jumped on his lap. He had been nervous but managed to answer the questions well and ask all the right questions about the job. The interviewer told him he would hear either way by the end of the week.  His wife reminded him that he prepared well and did his best.  If he keeps at his game plan, he will eventually land the job he wants.

After playing laser light with me for twenty minutes, he hopped on his computer to write a brief thank you letter to the interviewer. Remembering to write the letter on a Word document, he recalled a question that he fumbled during the interview and clarified his answer in his second paragraph. Upon careful review, he emailed his letter as an attachment to the interviewer.

TO BE CONTINUED . . .  In the meantime, visit the National Career Development Association website for extensive resources on career planning and job search.


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