Thursday, April 11, 2013

The numbers

Staying with my plan of sharing my current fortunes, here is the day's post. I made $2,200 gross in February between the two part-time legal positions I currently hold. In March I pulled down $2,400.

Do the math. If you work full-time, 40 hours a week, and gross $2,200, you are getting paid at the rate of $13.75 an hour ($2,000 / 160 hrs = $13.75). I am on track for a $28k year. I made more than that at a retail position back in 1998 or '99.

That was when I was in my twenties. 

I am now trying to get back to where I was in my twenties.

How depressing is that?

It gets better. No only was I making more money back then, the rest of my financial situation was glorious by comparison. My wife and I had purchased our first house, a three bedroom ranch. We were both working full time. Her job paid a fair bit more than mine did (go figure, right?). Our house payment was about $700. We owned one car, a Honda Civic, but we owned it outright. Were not paying a note on that car. It was a few years old, and had about 55,000 miles on the odometer.  But, that baby ran great. All that car ever needed was oil, tires, and brakes. Neither of us had any student loans from our undergraduate educations (those were the days!). And, we had about $35k between saving, a small money market fund, and a handful of stocks.

Things were looking great. Just great.

That was then, this is now. I've been applying to damn near every job I find that sounds either remotely interesting or that I am remotely qualified for. Some of these jobs are for legal positions, and some of them are not. I'm not proud. I just need more income.

I'm not sure the J.D. is hurting me, because, really, how do you prove that? (Inversely, how do your prove that the JD helps? Answer: you cannot.) I can say in all honesty that it doesn't appear to be helping any.

I don't hear anything back about half of the time. No response at all.  No letter, no email, no nothing. Certainly no phone call. The other half are split between a paper rejection letter and an email. I have about a dozen recent rejection letters now. Three or four of them were for legal positions. Two were for what amounts to entry level office work: administrative assistant.

They're are simply form letters, with boilerplate language, and no reference to the actual position applied for. At least two are nearly identical. Go figure.
"We have decided to pursue other applicants show qualifications more closely reflect the requirements for this position and the needs of the department."
That phrase, or something very close to it, appeared in most of the letters.
"We have had a good response to our recruitment efforts and received applications from many well qualified individuals."
You get the idea. Bland, non-specific, form letters.

I'll keep knocking on doors. Because, really, what other choice do I have?