I began my volunteer position as a patient navigator at the hospital this past week. As I was introduced to the medical staff as a new volunteer, I mostly kept my composure as I met again the doctors, nurses and staff who had provided direct care to Stephen during his illness a year ago.
My first day as a volunteer was my first day of work after more than a year of unemployment. I felt like a professional again wearing a suit and official hospital ID badge. The employees seemed happy to have the extra help. I have no medical office experience but I am learning their computer applications very quickly. I have been told that I am doing a good job and that is important for me. I will be working three days a week at the hospital and am looking forward to my next day of volunteer work.
I received a call this week for an interview for a retail position. I interviewed with the department manager at the store on Friday evening. I explained that I had not worked in a retail position since I was 16 years old but knew that I could handle the position. When the manager told me that she expected to interview others for the position, I thought the interview was ended. She then asked if I would be willing to meet with the store manager. After meeting with the store manager, both managers consulted for a few minutes while I waited (it seemed like hours) and I wondered why I was waiting. The department manager returned and offered me the part-time position. I was stunned that this happened so quickly. And I was stunned that I finally found a job.
The store is willing to work around the hours I work at the hospital. I’m happy about that. I don’t want to give up my work at the hospital. The retail position is only a part-time position and I don’t know if I can pay the bills with part-time hours but I am hopeful that I can get additional hours as time goes on. I look forward to beginning my new position in the next couple of weeks after my pre-employment screening is complete.
The first person I called after I left the store was the friend who gave me the lead to contact a recruiter for the company. I feel that I got this position not only because of my work experience but also because I was referred by a recruiter.
When I woke up on Saturday, I realized that I don’t have to spend my days sifting through job listings and applying for jobs. Job hunting had become my full time job. Soon I will be able to file my job search records and unsubscribe from the many email job alerts I receive each day. Perhaps I’ll have more time to write blog posts.
I realized after working at the hospital this week that I really want to work. A year of unemployment has changed my perceptions on employment and unemployment. I’m happy to have a job even though I will still have to deal with the issue of having no health insurance. I also know that no job is secure and that I may be in this position again in the future.
In the meantime, I feel lucky. It’s not easy to find a job these days.