Thursday, April 29, 2010


I really love the title 'Job', because it could mean both 'job' like one of those boring things you have to go to every day in order to be able to afford wine so you can go to sleep and get up and do it again the next day only this time with a headache, or it could mean 'Job' like that poor suffering bastard in the Bible who had all those bloody locusts after him all the time.

You probably know that Lloyd recently left the Air Force, and you might also know that we had planned to take a little time off before doing something else. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Lloyd is constitutionally unable to take any time off. Doing nothing drives him CRAZY. Naturally, I have plenty of ideas about things he could do to occupy himself, but they apparently do not meet his criteria for suitable activities. And so, he is looking for a job. And by 'he' I mean 'we'. And I thought it sucked when all I had to do was brush my hair once a week, whether it needed it or not, and go to the OSC coffees, and maybe kiss the COW's butt once in a while.

You might wonder what 'job' and 'Job' might have in common, and since I know some of my military pals might be reading this and dreaming about the day their shackles will be shattered forever, I'll just go ahead and tell you. Finding a real job after an Air Force career is a major undertaking, my friends. Somewhat on the order of being constantly chased by giant swarms of man-eating bugs, say. And let me just preface my less than complimentary comments about the whole ordeal by saying in no way am I sorry that Lloyd retired instead of staying in. NO, SIR.

First off, the good news: there are plenty of jobs out here, despite all the constant gloom and doom from the fear-mongering media. Come on in, the water's fine! BUT (here come the locusts!), every single one of those plentiful jobs requires a carefully and specifically constructed application package. You can't just whomp up a resume and send it out to 8,000 places and wait for the job offers to roll in. For example, jobs with the Federal government are good opportunities for ex-military members. It sounds really easy: just go to the job site and use their online tool to build your resume, and then click 'Apply Online' when you see a vacancy that interests you. What could be simpler, right? So far, every time we've clicked to apply online, we get a nasty gram that tells us we have to go to a different system to apply, like this one or this one, each of them requiring a new account and a new resume. Oh, and don't think you can cut and paste, either: One of them has a very strange list of which punctuation marks are acceptable. On the no-no list? Apostrophes. Don't even think about trying to submit a block of text that contains one, got it?

Oh, and then you have to know which medals you have. I guess some of them are better than others? I dunno, and neither Lloyd nor I have any idea which medals are which. I don't even know what medal I have. I have one, you know. I got it when I worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I used to wear it, too, until I dropped it in a bin at the $1.39 a pound store and almost lost it forever. People would look at me weird, but what good is a medal if you don't wear it? That's what I always say. Anyway, you might think that list of medals is worthless after you retire, but hang on to it. And make sure it's right. Faking medals is some kind of big deal felony, or so I hear.

I think we are getting the hang of it now, so I feel qualified to offer a little guidance about where to start for my friends who will be retiring soon. Definitely get signed up on the main Federal job site and start getting a resume in. It takes FOREVER, so you might as well start now. Set up searches with auto-notification so you get the listings you want and can see what's out there. Check out if you have a security clearance, and for aviation jobs. There are tons more, too. Just get clicking and you will find plenty of vicious locusts to chase you, too! I promise.

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