My good friend and former boss, Michele Matassa Flores, writes today at Crosscut about being out of work and the effort involved in qualifying for Washington state unemployment benefits. (Michele is a former editor and reporter at The Seattle Times, and whoever you are, you should hire her.)
To earn one's keep, one must conduct three "job search activities" per week and keep a log of that activity. But as Michele points out, the definition of "job search activity" depends on who's citing it, although all agree that applying for a job certainly qualifies. The problem is that you aren't supposed to apply for just any job. It has to be a job you are qualified for. So can you count cold calls? Coffee with potential employers? Coffee with friends who have leads? Yes, perhaps, maybe.
In the end, applying for jobs is the goal. And it's not hard to do in the Interwebs age. But there aren't that many jobs out there for which one is neither under-qualified nor over-qualified, especially if you are at an advanced stage of your career.
So everyone's applying for anything and everything. It's
... tough to find three suitable openings to apply for every week for months on end. And it sometimes leads to nuttiness. Corporate CEOs apply for entry-level office jobs. People with no experience apply for executive-level positions. A journalist friend of mine seriously considered applying to be a train conductor. His initial thought: He does like trains.
That journalist friend of hers would be me. Someone read that and tweeted: "I didn't know you liked trains." Well, now you know.