Job Searching: A Shot in the Dark?

Let me preface this post by saying that it is completely unsponsored and unsolicited, but is, rather, the result of my own excitement at finding a company that really seems to understand the horrifyingly painful experience that is job searching. The tie-in to parenting is this: in today’s economy, there are so very many parents out there who are struggling to find happiness in a meaningful career while balancing that personal fulfillment need with the very real and material need to provide for a family. Any time I find something that can RE-moralize the parenting masses, I joyfully skip to my computer to share away (The joy mentioned there is very literal. The skipping, however, is quite figurative as, were I to truly attempt to skip, I’d likely end up on my face and never actually make it to the computer to share my exciting news.)

​Without further ado….let’s talk about jobs, baby!

As a resume writer and a person who has done her fair share of job searching and networking, I am well-versed in the pull-your-hair-out frustration and tedium that can drag down the job hunting process. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s an experience most people dread–possibly even more than a trip to the dentist or a colonoscopy.

This feature of job hunting has always bothered me quite a bit. I’ve always thought more people would have fulfilling careers rather than hated jobs if the process itself permitted more transparency between applicant and hiring company and if more recruitment firms approached the task as “matchmaking” rather than applying the all-powerful keyword search to uploaded resumes.

Imagine my surprise and glee when, in searching for writing positions, I found a Talent Recruitment Agency called Onward Search. From the moment you land on their homepage, there is an obvious and tangible difference between this company and most other talent and job aggregates I have encountered. Onward Search has an entirely urban feel, which is likely part of what attracted me, both because of my age and my creative discipline. It is interactive and inviting and manages to say, “Hey, grab a latte and come chat with me–we’ll figure out the perfect fit for you!”

Rather than simply uploading a resume (and certainly without employing the dreaded copy and paste that obliterates all the formatting you painstakingly created as a reflection of your truest self for hiring companies), Onward Search makes the resume submission process a conversation between friends. On the job search feature, locations and categories are simple to navigate and understand and results are clear and easy to peruse. When you choose “Submit a Resume”, you are prompted with a few basic questions (name, professional area, etc), and then you are offered a box to do something I’ve never seen: describe your ideal position. This is an opportunity for you to talk about who you are, what makes you tick, and what you’re looking for in an employer. Then, you are contacted by a recruiter to continue the conversation and discuss matches. 

Now, I’ve not yet been contacted by Onward Search for that conversation, so I’ll have to update the post later with how they perform in the continuing stages of the job search, but I hypothesize that it will be with remarkable personability and attention to detail. I’d also venture to guess that they have fantastically happy clients among both employers and applicants.

I feel comfortable making these assumptions because, from the very first step, Onward Search makes the applicant feel that they are important and that they are not just a number–another uploaded, faceless resume. Rather than just asking the hiring companies what they are looking for in an applicant, they ask the applicant what an ideal job would look like. I think this takes the recruitment process up quite a few steps from mail order bride to, at the very least, a mutual swipe right.

So, for those of you out there scouring the job market, take a gander at Onward Search, if they operate in the area in which you are searching for employment, and tell me what you think!

Happy hunting!

Abundtant Love Allergen Friendly Baking

I’ve been busily testing out products since the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly convention a couple of weeks ago, and let me tell you: it’s been tasty!

Since holiday baking is now upon us, and we often find ourselves in need of a last minute baked good for one party or another, I thought I’d share some Abundtant Love with you first.

As I’m sure you ALL know, life can get hectic sometimes. Before you know it, you look at the calendar and realize that you need to bake something for your kid’s party the next day. Oh, and not only does your child have allergies, but there’s also the kid in the class who, like little Thomas in My Girl is allergic to just about everything. It’s long been my dream to be able to just reach in the cabinet and pull out a baking mix that is basically completely allergen friendly so I don’t have to have 15 different obscure types of flour handy for an allergy that nobody in my family has.

Guess what? Abundtant Love has JUST such a product! So, when Thing 2’s class Halloween party snuck up on me and I was reminded that I’d volunteered to make the cupcakes in an effort to ensure they would be something my child could actually have, I reached into my product stash from GFAF and pulled it out. 

These mixes come together so very easily, and they actually taste good! Sometimes, the world of allergen friendly food can be less than delicious, but this stuff was amazing. In fact, Thing 2’s teachers even commented on how much the kids loved the cupcakes. Total mom win!

Now, I just used the basic mix, as is, and didn’t try anything fancy with it. But, one of the things I love is that the Abundtant Love webpage has variations, suggestions and tips. So you don’t even have to come up with your own creative options when your brain can only focus on getting the baking done so you can sleep before the children are up jumping on your face…(come on–that can’t just be MY kids…)

The proof from a picky child? Here’s an exact conversation I had with Thing 1 this morning:

Me:  “Hey Ethan, remember those giant cupcakes I made for your sister’s class and let you eat one of? What word would you use to describe them?”

Thing 1: “Uh. Yummy.”

And there you have it.

Oh, and for those who truly are gluten free? They sell vanilla extract too!