If you haven’t been involved in a job search recently, pay homage to whichever divine “Ultimate Other” you worship—fall to your knees, burn incense, dance around naked, twist the head off a chicken, shake some beads…whatever your rituals dictates. (Though you probably shouldn’t be doing any of these while at work.) You might even consider a “thank you” note to your employer that you are among the growing minority of those who still have a job. Face it: you are the object of jealousy and envy for millions of us. (That should at least help you rethink your sense of importance, right?)
The fact is, finding a job has changed. My mother, who’s in her 70s keeps reminding me to look in the “want ads.” LOL. (That last expression would be lost on her. She can't play a DVD, bless her heart!) If only it were still that simple. The rules, the targeted people and the required processes are so different now…to the point that often I feel like a dinosaur who’s come out of deep freeze, looking to become a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. (i.e., outdated and ill-equipped!)
I’m by no means an expert (I’ll get to those in later posts), just a traveler and an observer. I'm a job seeker...one of millions on this road to my dream job. (Or on some days, the detour to any job!)
I’ve been trying to deal with all this by keeping a sense of humor about the entire process. I've waded through the intricate methodology to even apply at some places. I've read (and gasped at) the all-inclusive requirements and over-inflated performance expections for some jobs. (Apparently, since most companies have been forced to downsize their staff, the new employees are expected to do it all...at half the combined salaries!). I have talked to a vast array of interesting and/or unusual “people.” (To be truthful, some just barely qualify for that human designation.) For me, it helps to laugh--at the persnickety people and their perplexing processes. Otherwise, I fear you’d see me on the evening news, in a story that goes something like this:
“A bizarre incident tonight, as a local job searcher has a massive emotional breakdown in the lobby of a well-respected company. The alleged incident came after the individual spent hours filling out an online application for an open position at the company. The application wanted the exact same information contained in the required resume he had uploaded. Several days later, the candidate was sent an extensive questionnaire, which was required for all applicants. He had one day to get the questionnaire completed and turned in, though the answers involved complicated concepts of topics ranging from personal work ethics to theories of time travel.
“Following weeks of waiting to hear back from the company, he eventually did a preliminary telephone interview with the company’s recruiter. This was followed by several additional phone interviews as well as numerous in-person interviews on two different days. He provided writing samples, took aptitude tests, drug screenings and submitted to a background check. A blood oath and promise of first-born male child forms were pending. The process, from beginning to end, took more than eight weeks.
“In the end though, after all the company-mandated hoop-jumping, he was informed they’d decided to fill the position with an internal candidate. At which point, he allegedly entered the building and threw what one observer described as ‘a classic Southern hissy-fit.’ Using profane—but extremely witty and urbane—language, he verbally assaulted a young HR assistant who sent the rejection form letter. Afterwards, he apparently crumpled to floor, where he was heard mumbling the primary rules for good news releases: who, what, when, where, how. Though the HR assistant, an eighteen-year old temp, didn’t understand his highly educated and sophisticated tirade on the indignities of the human condition and the historic injustices of the disenfranchised, she called the police.
“The job candidate could not be reached for comment. According to what our news team could gather, he’s resting comfortably in a nearby hospital, with the proper medication, his laptop and several Broadway musical CDs. The guard outside his door would not allow our crew to interview him.”
So, primarily because I have so much time on my hands, I’ve decided to share what I’ve encountered along the road (acquired wisdom or twisted perspective?) and I hope you’ll share, too. There’s much to learn and I look forward to spending time with you all. That is, until I get a job when I’ll drop this blog like a garage-sale Louis Vuitton knockoff bag!
Let's begin with a shout-out to The Hollies, “The road is long, with many a winding turn.” (http://tinyurl.com/5su9qy)
More later: The all-important resume, those employment "experts," and the joys of networking.