The Job I Never Applied For

Person holding drumsticks in front of a drum set

Editor’s Note: The following reflection of Tyson Ernst has been reprinted with permission from the ACB Voices blog, October 18, 2022.

If you pay any attention to the news, you will inevitably hear unemployment is at a 50-year low. I have, as a result of feeling left out of the traditional employment market, decided to become an entrepreneur as a professional job applicant. Over the last year, I have created 20 candidate profiles, filled out nearly 100 online job applications, participated in 4 Zoom interviews, received a dozen rejection letters, and worst of all, had 3 postings I’m highly qualified for taken off the job board entirely after submitting my application. Talk about a blow to your self-esteem. From a 10,000-foot level, it appears the only job I’m qualified for is applying for jobs!

It feels as though I have created a full-time position where my job duties include researching the latest postings across traditional and non-traditional industries, drafting both custom cover letters and resumes, and mastering the attachment function of Microsoft Outlook. Maybe I could make a web series on YouTube out of this, or possibly a blog, if only I could find the time to create a decent website. What do you think? “My life as a serial job applicant?” I’ll keep you posted.

Sometimes, you just have to reinvent yourself!

Editor’s Note: Tyson Ernst updates his ACB Voices reflection. He shares the following as of July 2023.

When you least expect it!

Not long after I wrote this article, I applied for a position at the Lighthouse of Central Florida in Orlando as an Assistive technology instructor. This was among four applications I submitted on the same day, each for something in technology. After about 2 or 3 weeks, I received advice that made things begin to move. I had a LinkedIn connection with someone in the HR department at the Lighthouse. With encouragement from my partner, I sent a message to the connection. I asked her to look it over and forward it if she believed I was a good fit for the job.

I received an email from the director of human resources for an interview two days later!

As of November 28, I am the assistive technology instructor at the Lighthouse of Central Florida to clients are aged 18 to 85. I teach the use of both Windows and Mac computers, screen reader tech, and screen magnification. Additionally, I teach IOS and iPad OS, stand-alone devices such as the Humanware Victor Reader, and digital recorders. I work with clients in individual and group settings. Their goals range from employment to university to writing their life stories. I also am blessed to work with an amazing and talented group of colleagues. I learn from them, and they turn to me for my knowledge and skills with access technology. The leadership values me, and I have come to embrace the servant leadership values they model daily. I have the opportunity to grow in my profession and build relationships with others in my field.

A new chapter

This new chapter of my journey is my dream job. Even in the short time with the Lighthouse, doors have opened to a future I did not expect. The world of seeking employment has changed, and I had to change to become a part of it again. I truly love helping others as an educator, and I hope this epilogue to my tale will help you on your journey. Just don’t do it alone!