So you want a job? A regular 9-5? You didn’t study hard enough in school? You weren’t passionate in school? You weren’t passionate about anything when you were going through your teenage years/early twenties? LOL. GOOD LUCK.
If you read this article, you will feel either compassionate towards my efforts of finding a job or roll your eyes. Just know how hard I have been trying and that I consider myself still losing. You are expected to be strong, hopeful, confident and well-dressed during your job search but this article is about how those traits and efforts, that you put in, sometimes do not yield expected results. I hope to educate you in some aspects of the job search I experienced. But know one thing: You must be passionate and have hobbies to find happiness. (That is what I have seen in my successful friends as well as heard on the podcast How I Built This) School does not teach you that. School teaches you some of the important basics, how to follow like a drone, possibly discourage any non-school-related passions or talents you may have and some random things you do not need in order to get ahead in life. You know how they say that school teaches you to be a factory worker? Well, I can’t even land that job. Go have passion if you want to conquer the world. It could literally be in anything that gives you calmness, happiness and reason to exist. Do whatever it takes to get to that point. Read on to learn more.
So you just graduated college and you have no true passion in what you just studied…
I went to a great school. (One of the top universities in the US on the west coast) I chose to study something called Psychology. I DID NOT think this through. A smart student would actually know what about Psychology they liked. I just liked the subject. A smart person would know that Psychology is not easy or an easy avenue to a job after graduation. To do psych properly in college, you gotta get research experience. I didn’t know that. To understand psychology, you must know that there are roughly two branches of career direction: Research or Practice. Both require you to get top grades, do your own research, get letters of recommendation and give your time to many years of study after a four year degree. YOU MUST LOVE psych before getting into it. You must realize that getting a four-year degree in something you LIKE is not that great.
I am not hating on Psychology. It was fun. It, however, was not practical.
Five years out of school, back in my sleepy hometown, I cannot find a good full-time job. To be fair, the demographics of my hometown leave much to be desired. Then why don’t I move away? Because I am poor. Because I am scared. Because living with your parents is the only way you can have or save money.
I have a part-time job. I get paid above minimum wage so I am still doing better than some friends who do not have a four-year degree. I have never been able to get a good full-time job for some reason. (Not retail, but an office job.) A serious job to show off my skills and dedication. I must have edited my own resume over 100 times by now.
SO WHY DON’T YOU GO BACK TO SCHOOL?
So what if I do? I will have more debt piled on more debt about another passionless study. I am worried that the next thing I go back to school for will be for something I am just doing for the money. (A typical millennial thought, I am aware of this) But it’s true! I hate doing financial or accounting transactions, but I should go back to school and learn them because those jobs get good money. I am not a fan of biology or chemistry but there are jobs for that. When I graduated with no work experience, that was the REAL tragedy. The only job I got on my own was at Target. It was demeaning on some days. I saw no future there, obviously. Even the people in the higher positions had degrees in their line of work. I did not see myself in HR, but you better believe I applied to HR assistant positions before realizing that HR positions needed a HR degree. That blew me away. I could totally do that work, and I needed a degree for it. Ridiculous.
What are degrees worth?
In my job search, I came across three types of jobs:
- The job is something I can do in my sleep. The salary is just okay. Why did I not get an interview?
- The job matches my resume exactly. I am confident I can perform these skilled tasks. Then why did I not even get an interview?
- The job is advanced, but I am ready for the challenge. The fact that I got into a good school should help impress the employers and let them know that I would like the opportunity to even interview. Was I so unqualified that they laughed at the thought of giving me an interview?
In the job search I experienced, my degree is a pile of poop compared to someone with more experience. As a teen, I was never encouraged to get a job because my family had a mindset that when a teen gets a job, it means that the family is poor. (That is the only explanation I could find) Interesting thought, but being discouraged to get a job, even as a young adult did not help me.
Anyway, are degrees worth it? Yes and no. Depends on what you want and how bad you want it. (Bad cliché out of the way now) Not even that: any dummy can get a job. It takes insider information and exact know-how of what you want to achieve to help set a good course. Short-term or Long-term, you need to WANT something. That’s why coding schools exist. That’s why admin assistant schools exist. That’s why technical colleges exist. People need to know everything about what they are getting into… Even though these schools can be totally unnecessary and people should just learn on-the-job-experience. THEN WHY GET A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE IF YOU WANT TO JUST WANT TO BE AN ASSISTANT? Some things are better left unsaid to TV and our TV parents who told us to go to college or else.
College is awesome because you meet lifelong friends… But not always the best people to help get you a job after graduation.
True stuff. MOST of my BEST friends are from college. But personally, my future suffers. When you get into the workforce, it becomes harder to make friends. Do yourself a favor and know what avenue you want to go on, with various options, before you get yourself into this mess.
Resumes & Cover Letters: The Bane of My Existence
I recently spent a lot of money on a professional resume writer. It has yielded results. If you suck at resumes, then GO BUY A CUSTOMIZED ONE ASAP. Skip buying that vacation to Vegas. You would regret it if you did not try this the first time around. (Or better yet, if your school offers this for free. THEN DO IT. Don’t be an idiot.)
Things I thought of during the job search:
If you hate sales, but are desperate to get a job, you will still hate sales. I have never seen so many fake smiles in my life. Sales jobs are easy to come by due to everyone needing a salesman, but I would rather sell my soul to the devil before I sell knives or phone services door-to-door. (Personality thing of mine) Try it if you want. Who knows? You may even like it. It is a useful skill.
I have a strange name. I changed it for a while to see if my name was the problem with finding a job. It was not.
I still wonder if the fact that I am VERY overweight has anything to do with landing a job. I am still convinced it is…
Employers want the cheapest person to wear many of the important hats in a company. Small businesses are prone to this. Doesn’t make them bad, but it can make you feel sad, overwhelmed and underpaid in the long run.
Before you travel a long distance for a job opportunity, you may want to ask what the salary is before you get there or leave the “salary expectation” portion blank. Or else they will call you “overqualified” when they really mean, “You expensive. Get out.” You will drive away knowing that you wasted a day’s pay as well as your self-esteem and confidence in the job search/human decency with wither and die.
The words, “We will keep your resume on file for future job openings.” IS A PILE OF CRAP AND NO HUMAN BEING SHOULD SAY THIS TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.
When an interviewer asks, “You are not the most qualified person that we are currently interviewing, why should we hire you?” they should burn in hell. The first time I heard this, I thought of how much of my time has been wasted and that I hated the person for even asking me such an embarrassing question. This could have been a tactic of sorts, but it seems rude, no? Made me not want to work there with such horrible people. (Did I mention that I hate sales?)
May we contact your current employer? HOW do you answer this???? (The list of things school did not teach you…) First of all, I want to mention that when you DO land an interview, that you will be given “busywork.” This busywork is a form that you must fill out that is almost the exact thing you spent an hour online or more to fill out, but you must write it by hand. Do you know all your past business addresses by heart? Well, you should! As you should also know how to answer the dreaded question: May we contact this employer? I always said “yes” with the fear that the hiring manager would think I am hiding something. But then another fear was that my current employer would find out that I was looking for a job behind her back, which I feel like is a shitty move. BUT THAT IS WRONG. You are allowed to say NO. But maybe write down: “Only after job offer” or something like that. So that you can have time to tell your boss so it won’t be a shock. I looked this up online and it seemed clear enough. I had a whole breakdown one day after I researched this fact following a job interview. Fearing that my current boss would fire me for looking for a better opportunity behind her back and the hiring manager would hear some negative blind-sided things about me from my current boss who was about to lose a relatively good employee. WHO WINS IN THIS SITUATION? No one. The job seeker suffers. You are always the one to suffer. It is by design.
Don’t be the employer who calls you in for a second interview and says to your face that you will call back all applicants despite they got the job or not to give them an update on the position, but then don’t do it… That is hurtful. This crap deserves a run-on sentence.
About me sort of:
I am introverted 28yr old female from Southern California who is overweight, has a strange name and went to a great university. I was good at school, but afraid of life. Life is about being a nerd about something you like. Your inner nerd could literally be about anything. Depression sprouted in my most critical years of life. Depression is the absence of having passion, things that excite you. I gave up a lot that still affects me to this day. To the smart kids: If you notice that you can no longer keep up with your peers anymore – that you find the daily grind of competing with them in advanced classes a stressful chore, THEN GET OUT. (Reasonably- Like just do the regular classes, change schools, or make friends that you respect and who like the things you like) You will save yourself a lifetime of being passionless. Go get a fast food or retail job and find out what life really is like. That will give you the kick in the pants to never want to work there again and find something you really love doing. Don’t do something if it is just expected of you. Do something you like. There are 50 year-olds that go back to school and completely change their careers but you can do so much more exploring than you are capable of. You will sometimes find yourself in something completely different than what you imagined in the first place. You can do this by giving up the fake friends and the fake competing. You can be successful by your own right. Comparing yourself to others is a terrible thing to do, especially if you don’t even like the reason in the first place. There is a textbook way to do something wrong, but there is no recipe for success for each individual. You must create your own recipe. Success is relative to how you do something. Just going to Harvard will not get you a job. You might get in the door, but not permanently. That is the school of life.
So why don’t I follow my own advice?
I am under the impression that I have failed. I feel like I won’t feel that way until I land that full-time job. I just don’t know why. I don’t want the job hunt to conquer me. I want to conquer IT. But I am slowly realizing that with every passing day, that I need to go back to school. For what? I don’t know…
That is where I will end it.
In more recent years of my life, I have been asked if I have any hobbies. When someone asks me this question, I tell them hobbies I do once in a blue moon- hobbies I used to have before life showed me its ugly face. What I really love is watching TV. But I tell people that I like to read and write. It’s not completely false, but it makes me feel smart or like I am more interesting somehow. I do not have the best talent for writing, but I still do it. Same with reading. But if you were to show me a new show on TV, I will quickly critique why it is relevant and why. Comedy is my favorite subject, probably because of my history of being sad. (Lets play the world’s smallest violin)
Anyway, back to hobbies. You must have a hobby that you do often. It will not only help you master a skill and make you stand out but it will also cultivate the nerd in you to where you can speak fluently and passionately about something. A good example of this is the Ron Swanson character or the Leslie Knope character in Parks and Rec. I like these examples because they obviously love some things more than their current jobs. (There are more characters like this, but those are my favorite) A level of passion that I have yet to obtain. A level of passion necessary to their own happiness. You can have a boring job you don’t like, but as long as you have passion and a hobby, your life will still have meaning. If you are in finance but might not like it, you might be able to make the money necessary to doing expensive hobbies you enjoy in your free time. Is the trade off worth it? Can you really do something you love and get paid for it? Would either of these examples be completely worse than having a life where you hate every day at your job and have no hobbies to make you happy when you come home? Is it worth putting the time and effort in something (Such as years of school or a crappy starter job/internship) to get to a higher level where you like your job? What is worth it? What are you able to achieve in order to become happy? That’s why hobbies are important. Because you need to be able to make yourself happy as well as keep busy because doing nothing might not be healthy for you. You know what I mean. I don’t need to explain unhappiness to a smart human being. Don’t be the person who daydreams happiness. Just do it. Even if it is cheap and takes up a bunch of time.
To A Future Employer:
P.S. If you are an employer who is looking for someone who will give it her all, will smile every day, who isn’t a diva or a drama queen, who cares about the quality of her work, who is punctual (ALWAYS), who respects her peers, who works hard every day, who can deal with difficult people, who wants to be creative, who is motivated and systematic on completing all her tasks, who likes innovation, technology and taking risks, who is organized as hell, who just went through a rough patch from life- but has conquered it with style and and humility- then I am the woman for the job. I work hard. I am a team player. I am a leader-in-training. I have experience with all walks of life. I am personable on command. I like to do tasks quickly. I have a recognizable face and I am kind. I ask questions. I make mistakes but learn from them to prevent them from ever happening again. I am shy but have a funny, witty, caring personality when warmed up. Aren’t these the qualities you hiring employers are looking for? Why am I not already on your team? The content of the job is irrelevant. I am telling you that many jobs are on-the-job training anyway. You just have to be LIKED. So why is my personality not even considered? I am put in a room with someone who has the absolute power to just brush me off and say I am not qualified or fit for the job. How can that NOT make a human being looking for respectable, honest work act nervous? The introverts have lost this battle, haven’t they? I must have a big personality to sway your whim, is that it? Should I tell a dirty joke? Should I be clumsy and overly happy? Should I be loud and kiss your ass? Do I need to know someone special? What will it take to change my humble personality to get me hired?
What am I doing wrong?
A terrible question that all job-seekers ask.
Good luck out there homies… The job market is a cruel place. You have to continue forward until you are successful. I hope this article has helped you as it helped me…