Sunday, June 19, 2011

Let's Talk Job Hunting

I've been wanting to sit down and talk about some of what I've been feeling and dealing with on my quest to find a job.

I've been actively pursuing employment now for about 3 weeks. What this means is that every chance I get, I "look for a job." I usually start by putting on my best clothes and shoes, going out, walking into places, asking if they are hiring, then filling out an application and returning it with my resume. A large number of companies now only have online applications. In that case, I then head back home, go to the company's website, create a profile, and fill out the application. After filling out the application I'm usually directed to take a personality test and an SAT-like intelligence test. This entire process ends up taking at least an hour. There have been days where I've done three or four of these a day. Within a few days, I return to the business again to inquire if anyone has had a chance to look over my application and resume.

A few random thoughts on this process:

*Everyday that I go out, I have to prepare myself for rejection, or at the very least apathy, and this entire process sucks an incredible amount of life out of me. Jay says I have an internal battery for this sort of thing that takes about 24 hours to charge and then gets drained after 15 minutes. I'm not good at talking about my qualities and achievements, which is something you have to do if you want a job. I know that I'm a good employee and a hard worker but it doesn't come naturally for me to list all the many ways in which I'm great and should be hired.

*Most places I've applied to have at least three members of management and repeatedly catching the one who actually makes the final decision in who gets hired, can be tricky. Because of this, I spend a lot of time attempting to make a good impression on people who have no say at all in whether or not I'll get the job. Of course, I never find this out until they say something like, "Well, I'll be sure to pass your resume on to the manager." This drives me nuts because I only have so much charm to go around and hate that I routinely find myself wasting it on someone who doesn't matter.

*Companies don't update their listings on job sites as often as they should. I've applied for a few jobs only to find out that the position has already been filled. Very frustrating, not to mention a waste of my time.

*The online application part of a company's website has got to be the least funded part of their site. Just about every one I've done has been inundated with glitches. Most of them are minor and I can find a way to work around them, although it's a pain and adds time to an already long and tedious process. But there was one in particular that I couldn't get past so I attempted it on a different computer and the same thing happened. At this point, I may have just given up but this was a job that I'm actually qualified to do and I wanted to pursue it as much as possible. So then I physically went into the business and asked if they were hiring, only to be told, "Yes we are, but the application process is solely online." Wonderful. This wasn't the first time that a company advertised that it was hiring, only to tell me to go home and apply when I arrived. I truly, truly do not understand why companies that NEED EMPLOYEES send qualified, motivated people away. I didn't just call on the phone, I didn't just sit at the computer, I got up off my ass, and came to you. Why send me away? I just don't get it.

*I applied for a bookstore job. I'm not going to name them here but it's a national company that recently filed for bankruptcy and has been closing a lot of stores. The location near me is a two story building in a fancy outdoor mall and seems to be doing well so I went in to inquire about a position. When I walked in there were six employees behind the registers. If you've ever worked retail, you know that there is rarely a need to have so many people doing one job, especially at 11 AM on a Wednesday. I thought it was odd, but I continued walking around in the hopes of finding someone who looked managerial. No luck. I go upstairs and the second floor is filled with customers but no employees. (Hello. Loss prevention issue on the second floor!) Finally, I go back to the register area, find a manager, and ask if they are hiring, and she says, "We're always looking for new people but the application process is all online." Of course it is. I guess it should come as no surprise to me that this company isn't doing well.

*There are a lot of really dumb people who have jobs. I know this to be a fact because I've met a lot of them lately.

*There are also a lot of really gross people who have jobs. Again, I know this to be a fact because I've met a lot of them lately. I saw a young gal the other day at her workplace and she was wearing a black mini skirt and she had scabs on both knees. How is knee scabs employed and I'm not?

All jokes aside, I'm really trying to not get too down and negative about the job thing. In the grand scheme of things, 3 weeks isn't that long of a time to be looking, and I know that even if/when someone does show some interest in me, the hiring process can be slow. (Although it seems so much slower on my end, as opposed to the one doing the hiring.) I also know that there are a lot of folks looking for jobs right now, folks in much tighter binds than myself. Sure, I'm not in the place I want to be financially, but my needs are being met and for that I'm thankful. So, I'll just keep plugging along.


Daphne said...

Ugh, so frustrating!! I am sorry you're having such a hard time -- sometimes you just wonder how ANY business can even stay in business when they are run so poorly. We also have an online application system (but take applications in other ways as well) and I get the emails from frustrated applicants when it's down, who usually just attach their resumes, like "HERE. TAKE IT."

Too bad I am not the one who can FIX the website; I just get the emails. Sigh.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Holy Shit I find it interesting that someone who as you say, got off her ass, and showed up wouldn't get in front of the right people first.

There was a kid who came into the company where Rick was VP/HR. The assistant came in and told Rick he was there and asked, "What do you want me to tell him?"
It was also an online application place. Rick said, "if he had the balls to come in, let him in to see me."
Rick hired him. He liked his gumption!! (sp?)

Moral of the story - you are correct, most people who have jobs are idots and ugly.

Tammie said...

daphne: it is frustrating and im trying to not let the whole thing get me down, but lately its all i think about.

peggy: i need to walk into a company run by a Rick. :)

i really cant stand the online application process. i think in this instance i do better in person than i do on paper.

--ginger. said...

Okay, the scabs story made me snort. Also, I agree with this "there are a lot of dumb people with jobs." This was the thinking that propelled me to start my first business. It's just true. May you find comfortable shoes that are also cute to propel you on your walking journey. And best of luck.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Searching for a job is not fun and it's not easy. Connections help to get a foot in the door, that's for sure.

Maria Rose said...

Man alive that sucks! Eric was in a rough spot a few years ago---job hunting for a small eternity (I won't tell you how long, I don't want to freak you out). I will say that he faced the same issues, but eventually he did find just what he was looking for. I hope you find it too!

Dani said...

Ugh. None of that is remotely appealing. I have no patience for such things either.

Looking for a job and dating again are two things that I never want to do again.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

Have you tried Craigslist? I got my current job via Craigslist and am currently talking to someone else about a second job, also through CL. It seems like that's how a lot of companies are doing it these days.
Good luck!