…. or… Why am I being pushed out of technical writing?

As we face today’s economy, a lot of us are looking for work. Some are doing quite well, others are muddling along, and others  (like myself) are looking at a completely different change in work options since nothing else has appeared.

I was at a professional meeting a few weeks ago and discussing an online job that I had done (creation of online Help for proprietary software). One of my acquaintances asked me what I had charged for the project. I had gotten around $20/hour… they were shocked and said they would never have taken the job for that rate. On the other hand, I had mentioned to a friend that via some online sites, there were lots of tech writing jobs that I could do, but I was not willing to work for $5 an hour (bidding against an international market really does lower your rates). She implied that I was too proud to do anything.

I thought about that and so I took a bid on one of these sites to do an ad for $10 – long story short, I ended the project without getting paid, after learning that the client really wanted me to do several ads for entry in a competition where they would win a prize! Unbelievable.

I’ve done my research. I know there are people successfully working via websites like Elance and Guru… what I find terribly frustrating is that every single one of these sites requires a massive time input in taking tests, reposting your resume in a thousand different ways, fees for testing in areas that you should not have to test on (I believe), if you can show quality work samples and provide excellent references.

At a recent seminar I attended, talking with people, and reading articles, I have heard people saying over and over, “It is not WHAT you know, but WHO you know.” In other words, in today’s job market, our qualifications are no longer important. If you do not have the right connections, it simply will not matter.

What really stunned me, most recently, was when a recruiter at an agency recently told me, “There are plenty of jobs out there. If you really wanted to work, you would be working. You just aren’t trying hard enough.” So how many hundreds of applications and resumes does one have to send out?

I thought maybe the problem was my resume. Some great people on a technical writing newsgroup helped me to make a resume I could feel confident about. I have learned to rewrite my resume for every position I apply to, working on massaging those key words… but to no avail…

I have given professional presentations that were well accepted. I just had an article published in a professional newsletter.

Yet over and over, the message I receive back from other recruiting agencies is the following statement, “I know you can do this job, I know you have the qualifications, but the client wants XXXX, and this is not in your resume, so they will not look at you.” I had gotten a call from one agency and was hopeful… they could not even call me back… but they had told me from the beginning, “you don’t have the specific experience the client wants, but we know that you could excel at this job…”

I even tried applying for the job of a secretary– would you believe they told me I had “no experience” so they were not interested?!

I’ve found myself begging agencies to look at me… that has not gone over well. So I go post resumes, and vacillate between up and down. Yesterday, I saw an ad that has been reposted for a position that has been advertised on and off since last year. I called an agency that I am working with (at least they think I have something to give). They feel that I could definately do the job, but they know that I will be underpaid for it. I tallked it over with Rich and decided to go ahead and apply – even though it will mean over 2 hours driving a day, plus work. At least it would be an income.

Rich is not confident… I don’t know what to think anymore. Why can’t I find a job with a salary? What is REALLY going no here? And as I write this… the thought comes to me… where is GOD in all this?

A few days ago I got extremely upset about the whole issue and had a long talk with our Pastor. He suggested that perhaps I’m trying to handle everything in my own strength… and as I think about it, I’m reminded, only God can change a person’s heart. He is the one who can sway the hearts of Kings, or hiring agents, or government agencies.

I have mentione I’m looking into a different type of work and have already earned my Life Insurance state license to be working in this field. It is the ONLY door the Lord has opened.

How I am railing against it… I’ve mentioned it in passing in some of my previous posts… would you believe… there is someone in the comany and in his 20 years with the company, he has earned over 8 million dollars!?

Its not a scheme or a scam. The work is real (and its hard work), but the work also helps families. I alreay have 2 clients, and am seeing how this work really will help them. So what is my problem? Why am I resisting this so hard? In my head I know that this can be good… but… but..

but it leaves me totally and utterly dependent on the Lord in a way I have not had to depend on Him in, well, in years… If HE does not bring me the clients… no income… if HE does not enable me to do this work, no income… if HE does not help me to learn very difficult and challenging financial and mathematical concepts… no income…

And when I look at my ranting and raving about job searches and trying to do other work… is it possible that HE is the one shutting the doors? He is the one pushing me in this direction?

I don’t know if I’ll get the job in Kalamazoo… part of me really wants it, part of me really does not want it… but I have not looked at the real issue… what does my LORD want of me?

So this is my prayer… and I want to go on record with it, so that I am held accountable before the Lord for it… Lord Jesus – I want YOUR will in my life. I KNOW it was YOU leading me here to be Rich’s wife and I am thankful for that. And now I see that You want me to trust you more deeply yet… for our income, for work, for you to position us where You want us… Lord, please don’t let me get any job other than the job You have for me, which will be for my best good, for the good of my family, and bring glory to You.

What is really going on? Lord, You are in charge, not me… all I can do is once more bow my head in worship and thanks, that You are worthy to be trusted.

Like the knight in warfare, I have been thrown down from my horse, armor rent from my head, and the lance is at my throat. The ONE I fight says, “dost ye yield?” If I yield, I live, but my life is His forever… but wasn’t that what I did so long ago when I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life? It seems like the rest of life, is a series of deeper yieldings to my Lord who has already spared my life.

“Dost ye yield?”

“Yes Lord… I yield.”