Friday, March 5, 2010

My Current Job Status

When I posted my last blog article here, I had no job whatsoever. Thankfully, that's subsequently changed. I've worked for the past several months as a computer specialist and retail sales clerk at Screenz Computing Center, a cybercafe in Chicago. But I'm still in need of additional income, because the Screenz job isn't a full-time job at this point. So this job search blog remains relevant to my situation. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

To save you some time during the interview process, I've attempted to anticipate some possible questions you might ask, and to furnish you with that information in the form of a blog post.

QUESTION: I see that you've been unemployed for quite some time. To what would you attribute that fact?

ANSWER: Obviously the current state of the economy has hindered the job search of many people, including myself. Pick up a recent issue of the Chicago Reader, for example. That publication used to list tons of job openings. Now the printed edition of that publication has become almost useless for job-seeking purposes, because there are hardly any job listings there.

The involuntary loss of my previous job has also been a factor, in spite of the fact that the Illinois Department of Employment Security found in my favor when my former employer unsuccessfully tried to prevent me from obtaining unemployment insurance benefits after I lost that job. In other words, IDES objectively reviewed the evidence and found that I had made my best effort to do the job in accordance with my employer's expectations. One would think that that would counterbalance the negative effect of having involuntarily lost that job, but I think that some employers automatically and erroneously assume that anyone who's fired from a job must be defective in some way. I think that's rather unfortunate, no only because it has created a real financial hardship for me, but also because it has prevented employers from benefitting from my substantial knowledge and skills.

QUESTION: So how have you been supporting yourself?

ANSWER: I've been fortunate insofar as the government has offered extended benefits for people who have been able to receive unemployment insurance benefits; and I've also qualified for the Illinois LINK card (food stamps), which has helped considerably. In addition, I've been able to earn money occasionally by doing short-term "temp" jobs and side jobs, ranging from office work to house painting. I've also been fortunate to have a source of income in the form of a regular monthly check connected with my inheritance, as a result of my father's death in 1999; and I've recently been able to sell some Arkansas property (which raised enough money to pay my rent for a couple of months). It hasn't been enough to meet all of my living expenses, but it's definitely helped. Finally, I've received some substantial monetary help on several occasions, from people who were made aware of my plight, and who believed in what I was doing, with regard to my attempt to launch a Christian ministry of the arts to be known as the Christian Arts Initiative, via my websites, and

Nevertheless, in spite of all of the above, being unemployed has been a real struggle for me, so I am very eager to obtain a regular job once again and get back into the ball game.

QUESTION: Are you limiting your job search to jobs which fall into the category of office work which takes advantage of your abilities in that area, or are you broadening your search to include other types of jobs as well?

ANSWER: While I do believe that I would be particularly suited for employment in an office environment, the current economy does not offer the luxury of limiting one's self in such a manner. Those who assume on the basis of my current resume that I would be poorly suited for other types of work, such as restaurant work or janitorial work, are making such assessments on the basis of incomplete information.

It's been a while since I worked in restaurants, for instance, but most of the work which I did as a younger man was in the area of food service. I have experience as a prep cook, sandwich and pizza cook, etc., and I've also handled other operations such as bussing, washing dishes and so forth. I won't claim to have been trained as a gourmet chef, but there are a lot of food service jobs which I can do quite well.

My primary reason for moving on to office work wasn't that I wasn't good at the more "menial" types of labor, nor was the reason related to an unwillingness to do such work. My primary reason was that the pay rates tended to be higher for office workers than for kitchen workers. But I'm currently at the point where I'd welcome any opportunity for regular employment.

In some respects, I actually prefer working in restaurants, because such jobs offer more flexibility in scheduling. Consequently, part of my plan for getting back into the workforce includes making a concerted effort to make such employers aware of my willingness and ability to meet their staffing needs.


Monday, May 18, 2009


To download my current resume (which is stored in a free, publicly accessible Skydrive online file folder), please click this link.

Doing so will take you to a PDF document which can then be downloaded by clicking the word "Download" which appears immediately above the icon for the document page (on the left side of the screen). If you have a reasonably current browser, chances are good that you already have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program you'll need in order to open, read and print the aforementioned document. If you have any problems with that document, please let me know by contacting me at mwp1212[AT]


I understand the need for brevity in communications, and I'm aware that "conventional wisdom" says that resumes should generally be kept to a single page. I'd be more than happy to create a single-page resume for myself, if I thought that such a resume would do justice to me in terms of giving prospective employers a good idea of my diverse job skills, experiences and qualifications. As things currently stand, my resume requires two pages, not one. Form follows function, as they say.

Of course, if anyone out there can figure out a way to create a single-page resume which contains all of the important points contained in my two-page resume, so that I am still eligible for all of the positions for which I am qualified and so that people can read my resume without the aid of a microscope or magnifying glass, please feel free to have a go at it.

In truth, there is a lot of relevant information which had to be omitted (such as my collegiate experience as a radio news announcer and classical music disc jockey) in order to fit everything onto two pages.