The same adaptability that flummoxed my realtor many years ago (an aging farmhouse on acres of land? loved it! a quirky cottage in Chapel Hill? I could see myself there. a 70’s ranch in Durham? Sure!) allows me some leeway as I hunt for my next job: I am not necessarily interested in doing what I’ve done before, even though I really enjoyed it.

The three jobs for which I applied last week involve my core competencies in some way, although they differ in the details. The first involves investigating and resolving claims against insurance companies on behalf of the state. Considering my extensive background in investigation, and that I was licensed as a claims adjuster in this state, and certified as a claims specialist, I believe that on paper, at least, this is my best fit. The next job is conducting background investigations of federal job applicants. This is posted as an entry-level position with a private company contracting with the government. “Overqualified?” Probably. I do not expect to hear from them, but hope I do. The third job is my favorite. The title is a mouthful: Human Resources Consultant (Grievance Coordinator and Violence Administrator.) The employer is a local university. Not only would I be spending my days on a beautiful campus, I would be most likely to be able to resume my education. I’d be right there after work! I am sorry to say that I am probably less likely to get an interview here. The warning language, directly from the announcement: “Bachelor’s degree and two years of progressively responsible professional human resources management experience (italics added); or equivalent combination of training and experience . All degrees must be from appropriately accredited institutions.”

The problem is not convincing myself that I can flex into the demands of the position, it’s making it clear to the hiring authority. I am feeling more and more like a character in the Wizard of Oz. I possess the desired qualities, just not the symbol of such possession. Will my combination of training and experience be considered “equivalent?” I can only hope that my cover letter was convincing.

In the meantime, the hint that I am getting is that of the jobs that I am finding most interesting, experience in HR is a frequent requirement. Is there an MBA in my future?

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