Most of those were in NWA, but many were not. I applied for jobs all over the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. I also applied for jobs in USVI and Europe.
Nothing. All that effort netted a total of only a few solid interviews. I applied for countless jobs at the Beloved State U., and only got a single phone interview for one of them. It certainly didn't make me feel the degree I had gone back to get in 2008 had exceptional value. I mean, if the U didn't think enough of it to hire me, what was anyone else going to think? I also had applied for the job the football coach wound up giving to his chippy (and hence leading to his firing), so maybe my "skills" weren't what was marketable.
Anyway. That was then. Now I'm in New England, and the market here is astonishing. It's so encouraging.
Less than three weeks here, I had an interview arranged for a substitute teaching job. (I tried to do this in Fayetteville, and couldn't even get a callback from the district.) On Dec. 10, I was working for them. I worked two other days, too, and could have worked another... however, I had another job interview that precluded that opportunity.
That interview is going to yield work; I met with a placement firm and they've got more positions than people to fill them. Starting next week, I expect to have even more options.
Today, I sent an application for a great job. Maybe I'll get it. But, I found it simply because I was interested in the organization and looked at their careers site. And I see usually more than one job a day that I am qualified for. And the best part is, there are so many possibilities that I can be a little choosy. I don't have to apply for *every* job I see. This is liberating. I can now work, hopefully, for a company or an organization that I respect and that has a compelling future.
In Arkansas, that was pretty much the U, and not much else. Of the few truly stable companies there, they each have issues that gave me pause. But, I still went after jobs there because I had no choice.
Now, in theory, I don't have that problem. I can pursue opportunities that pay not just a living wage, but also are personally rewarding. It's exciting.