Brian and I haven’t actively searched for work in decades—since the days before everyone had a computer and before there was even email. So when Brian decided to look around and see what he might like to do for a part-time retirement job, we learned how much the job-hunting process has changed.
He “subscribed” to online notifications of job openings that he might like. He went with some random ideas, things different from what he did in his years in education. Then if notifications came that interested him, he could decide to apply—online of course.
He found an opening that sounded interesting and completed his online application. He got a call and an on-the-spot brief phone interview. That led to an in-person interview. He was offered the job, subject to a background check and drug test.
Once those hurdles were cleared, he got a stack of forms to complete—via email downloads.
At last, he begins his part-time job very soon! He’ll be driving cars for a car auction house. He’s excited for this new adventure and I’m proud of his navigation of the online world to find it.
I’m reminded of how much job hunting has changed. My first real job was working for the Elder-Beerman department store part-time my senior year. I never interviewed for it, but was asked by my best friend’s mom, who was in administration there, if I wanted a job.
The next summer that same friend heard about a clerical opening at The Palladium-Item newspaper. I filled out an application, had an interview, and got that job for the summer.
The next job came by visiting the Connersville employment office at my mom’s suggestion because the head of it was a family friend. I didn’t talk to him but to a clerk who, if memory serves, rifled through a card catalog looking for jobs for which I might be qualified. That’s how I ended up working for an insurance company as a clerk for four years there and in the sister office in Richmond. I went to college at night for most of that time.
But it was when we moved to Fountain County – all the way across state – that the most bizarre thing happened that led to a job that determined the rest of my career.
One day I was looking at the free shopper newspaper that arrived in our mailbox and the byline of a reporter was that of Sue Barnhizer. This had to be the same Sue I grew up with, was in 4-H with, and lived a hop, skip and jump from me in the Union County boonies. Sure enough, it was. From there, Sue soon was promoted to editor and she needed a reporter – me. There was no interview or drug screening or background check. Sue knew everything she needed to know.
Once she moved on, I became the editor and part of the larger Nixon Newspaper chain / family of papers. Our publisher moved on to New Castle, a sister publication. So when Brian and I moved to Pendleton, what we considered a slower pace and more affordable town than Fishers, where he went to work, I was close enough to apply for a job in New Castle.
I didn’t fill out an application, but was interviewed by the editor who never asked me anything in the interview—just told me about the job. I’m working on my 27th year there.
Brian retired in June after 26 years with Hamilton Southeastern Schools.
I wonder what the job market will be like for young people in their 20s today. Will they stay with the same employers for decades and retire with them? Or will they change jobs several times—or more—during their lifetimes?
Brian’s new job, and the way he got it, is a far cry from knowing someone’s mother who works there or happening across a childhood friend in the right place at the right time. It has been an interesting process to watch as he has gone about pursuing his new adventure.
What about you? How many jobs have you had as an adult? Did you get your jobs in unusual or quirky ways? Or did you apply online? Tell me your best stories of how you got your jobs and perhaps how looking back, it seemed meant to be by The Man Upstairs.
The more I see, and certainly the more I reflect on my own life, I see patterns and connections and that none of it is random. It’s all connected and forms a unique tapestry that makes up my life—and I’m certain, makes up yours.