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I've got an issue, a challenge! I'm dealing with non tradition here lately. I'm a 12 year CAD Drafter (Computer Aided Design Drafter) professional. The architectural field has tanked again so, I'm without a job once again. Twice in the last 8 months.

During my job search, I have sent out a lot of intro and cover letters along with my resume and business cards. The 48 days outline. I'm running into a lot of non traditional companies who say, don't send us letters and don't call us. Then I run into the, "submit your resume online" and when you look, you see that the email address given is HR@ABCCompany. This is out of bounds of the 48 Days outline. I also know that the outline doesn't work in all situations, therefore, it needs to be modified or adapted for some situations. I have done this. With a lot of the companies being non traditional in today's market. The list of companies I have is getting shorter and shorter every time I run into this challenge. This issue is becoming more and more the norm and I can feel my career slipping from my hands. Some say to just fire off hundreds of email with your resume and cover letter and hope someone calls you. To me that sounds unprofessional. So what are some ideas I can use to deal with these issues?

What I know and what I use:

1. The rudeness of some companies gives me a picture of how the company's culture may be, therefore, they wouldn't be a good fit me. So I probably wouldn't want to go any further.(Yes, they are rude. Wow, Rude! LoL!)

2. The humbleness of being denied even the slightest opportunity makes me rely more and more on GOD. Which is a good thing.

3. I frequently refer to the 48 days book and workbook.

4. I use the free worksheets etc.

5. I use social media and I let people know I don't have a job.

6. I currently use two head hunter companies. (Who for some reason continue to come to me with low paying jobs that are, sometimes hours away. After the deductions out of my check and the cost of fuel, I have no money left for bills. makes no sense? Some times that seems to be whats out there right now, low paying high demanding jobs?)

7. I also saved precise job searches in all the major job search sites like, Monster.com and careerbuilder.com; I get sent updates twice a week.

8. I do software tutorials to keep my skills sharpened in this down.

I'm currently thinking about career change. I thought about scrounging up money and taking a VIP protection course? I have some skills that could help me in this area. The wife says it would be ok, but her eyes say different. I don't want my wife to become a widow, but bills need to be paid. So ideas like this will be my final option(s) and I will choose the lesser of the evils.

So, if I'm overlooking something let me know. I'm tired of going around in circles. Well, what seems like circles.

Ideas are welcomed.

Thanks for your help.

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Hi Michael,

I feel for you.  It sounds like you are doing ALL the right things and still not getting anywhere.  I'm looking for work too and just can't believe what jerks some companies are.  It is so disheartening to pound the pavement for months and have no luck.

I became friends with one of the custodians at my school and he was laid off after 25+ years CAD experience.  Doing high school building maintenance was certainly not what he'd hoped for his life but he is just an amazing guy, Godly, great sense of humor and very positive.  He took great pride in his work and gave his job 100%.  I was thrilled when he told me he finally found a CAD job after looking for over 9 months.

Are you on LinkedIn?  It's a good site for networking and I've only just recently seen there are really good networking groups and articles on there.

That being said I agree with Nate would you ever consider going into business for yourself?  Is there something you can do or do you see a niche in the market no one else can fulfill?  I don't know what a VIP protection course is but is that where your passion is?  I think a heart-to-heart with your wife is in order.  Her support is critical in this time of transition and if you think she is reticent, it would be helpful for her to put her fears/reservations/questions out in the open so that you can have honest communication.  It sounds like you have a really good attitude and a great head on your shoulders and that is so important right there.  Please keep us posted and know you are in my prayers!

I appreciate the feedback so far!

Nate - as for calling different firms, I have hit up different firms to see if there's any slack I could help with. Right now things are slow enough that their current design drafters have everything under control. I try keeping the blood pumping with tutorials and little tasks that have to do with my job duties as much as possible. As for starting my company, I thought about that too. I currently have a freelance Graphic Design / CAD Drafting business going. LoL! I just have to get some real business. I have it listed on LinkedIn and currently spreading it by word of mouth, gorilla marketing is a great book. I get the occasional logo design business and I do all of my own drafting when it comes to my home projects, Landscaping, interior design etc...I also try to enter as many graphic design contest as I can. Some contest are national and others are international. You know trying to get my name out there. Who knows might not win, but could get commissioned by someone like Richard Branson?

Annie - Last time I was unemployed it took about 6-9 months to get hired again. I am currently linked up with LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/gradymd); I got the LinkedIn set up where I am usually the first one that pops up in my field when anyone in the world does a search. I adjust it every so often so I do come up when a search is performed. Every little bit helps. LoL! See the response to Nate for the answer to the business start question. VIP Protection course (got to have that piece of paper to prove you know what you know. It is what it is! $5k worth.) is a course for someone who wants to be a body guard type person for VIP's. The VIPs can be heads of state type folks or pastors in a church or CEOs of a fortune 500 company. If I can get my foot in the door I could branch out with that. I know a few retired military personnel that would work well in a start up business like this. Wouldn't have to worry about training cost. As for having a heart to heart with the wife, that was one of the things we did at the beginning. I make sure her and I are on the same page. I run everything by my wife from $10 purchases to major career changes like contract opportunities in the middle east. We are a team and her support is endless. I listen to her concerns, fears and every question. I take into consideration everything she has to say when making decisions. She is part of the reason (GOD is the main reason)I am such a rockstar in my field. So if I lose that I lose a major linch pin in my machine. Thanks for the prayers.

I will keep this discussion updated, thanks!

Michael, have you considered doing contract work? It can bring in additional cash and possibly open new doors. I believe both ODesk.com and eLance.com have CAD contract jobs you can bid on or where you can list your services.

Best Wishes.

Well here's a little update on the situation here. I've been plowing through the rocks and granite of society. I received two job offers.

One as a freelance structural drafter for a company with two engineers and one as a professional motorcycle escort. I took both job offers. The drafting position hasn't kicked in yet. The professional motorcycle escort job picked up right away. Neither one pays a lot but it does give me the opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people. This means new networking possibilities.

I also get calls for interviews every once in a blue moon. These interviews go great! For the most part it text book. I'm the salesmen and I have one of the greatest products to sell, myself. These interviews, like the one today, last almost two hours at a time. They ask their questions and I ask mine. I get them laughing and having a good time and all the time getting them excited about the product. Afterwards we all shake hands and I let them know that I am interested in the position and I leave on a smile and a laugh. I get home and I draft the follow up letter and get it out. Then I make the call to check on the progress and.......BAM......stonewalled.

Now I've changed it up and tweaked it and still get the same basic results. I KNOW, MY P's and Q's are covered and my I's and T's are dotted and crossed. I mean come on I'm selling a product I know is one of the best things out there. I also know the product inside and out. LoL! I guess it is what it is. Maybe this interview today will play out different? The only thing I can think of, of why none of these interviews played out is, GOD has a different plan in the works. So me and ol' betsy the mule will keep on plowing thru the rocks and granite and I'll keep on doing the motorcycle escorting thing all the while try to pick up freelance drafting gigs, until things pick up.

Again any ideas or critiques are welcomed....

I'm running into a similar problem in my search.  All of the companies I have identified as possibilities have gatekeepers you just can't get past.

After reading further in your post I have had an idea.  I have noticed that there are prototyping and 3D printing companies out there.  Could your drafting skills be of use with that?  One of the companies I came across seems to tell the customer "tell us what you want and what you want it made of" and then ask for a drawing in a specific format.  rapidpsi.com is the site for this company.  Being in Wichita, KS they probably cater to aircraft.  I hope that helps


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