Tag Archives: Jobs

3 ways to make job hunting easier (and possibly land your dream job)

So first off, I know what you’re thinking: two posts in one day, is this girl crazy?! Yes, I am, but that’s neither here nor there. I am here and you are there, so I figured I’d share with you my heres to entertain you over theres.

My last post was kind of brutal; very cynical and bitter and pretty much a downer to anyone pursuing a college education, and for that I am sorry (for you, not me, I stand by every word I said, er, typed).

But amidst the anger and frustration, I actually do believe a college education is a beautiful thing, and if I had an endless supply of green, I’d probably take classes forever (don’t forget, the previous post was all about how MY college degree is worthless, but that doesn’t mean I’ve completely given up on the institution as a whole, although it could definitely use some fine-tuning but that’s chatter for another day, another blog post).

Moving on.

In between my bouts of giving up and feeling melodramatically melancholy, I am actually looking for a “real” job (still have yet to clearly define a job as being “real” so we will have to settle for the air quotes for now and call it a day). Having recently moved from sunny Florida to, er, sunny California (all that schooling and I can’t find an adjective better than sunny? sigh), I’m basically in the midst of figuring out what I want to do with myself in my new state, figuratively and literally; I’m digging this state so far, great weather without the crappy Florida humidity, and the people are much more on my level than the general population of the Sunshine State (at least that time it wasn’t my lack of clever descriptive words). Wait, so if Florida is the Sunshine State, what is California? Excuse me while I Google… ah, okay, the Golden State. Not that original, but none of them really are, now are they?

Getting back to the point. What’s my point again? Is this why I can’t find a job? Shit.

Okay, so job hunting. It’s never really a fun thing and it can tend to become very frustrating, especially if you’re currently unemployed and are becoming desperate, but just remember everyone, at some point in their lives, has been or will be where you currently are. Try to maintain a positive outlook and know that, eventually, you will find the right fit (and all those rejection letters that came before just weren’t meant to be, no matter how badly you thought you wanted them). Here are a few tips to get you going in the right direction:

Edit your resume. Before you go sending your resume out to a bunch of potential new bossman bosses, take a quick scan over it to make sure everything on it is current, accurate and relevant. Did you move? Did you change your phone number? Even little things that seem as insignificant as that are important, so make sure all of your information is correct. Then, take a look at your work experience, education and even extracurriculars. It isn’t necessary to have every job you ever had listed on there, but whoever’s doing the hiring is going to want to see some relevant experience,  so make sure that stuff’s on there. If you don’t have any relevant experience (if you’re switching careers or fresh out of school), that’s okay too. Make sure you show you have general work experience, that you know what it is to work hard and accentuate the skills you already possess in a way that makes them relevant to the position you’re applying for. You will have to work a little harder to prove you can handle something you’ve never done before but it’s not unheard of, so don’t lose faith in yourself. Just remember, always be honest about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s enough. It’s better to have a resume that’s a little lighter, one that might not get you the interview, than to beef your resume up with lies and get called out on it later.

Set goals. It’s important to give yourself something to work towards. It could be that you want to apply to a certain number of jobs a day; it could be you’re holding out on quitting your current job until you find the right one, not just the next one. Whatever it is, have a goal(s) in mind to keep you motivated and positive. You’d be surprised how much stress is eliminated when you have a plan.

Be persistent. This is especially important if you’re currently unemployed. It’s important to remember that something will come along eventually; it may be when you least expect it, but if you remain active in the search, eventually something will come your way. After all, everything is a numbers game, and if you send out enough resumes, something is bound to come back. The hardest part isn’t finding any ole job, it’s waiting for the right one to present itself, but it’s not going to unless you stay at it and remind yourself that there is a purpose to your search and you are accomplishing something just by looking and inquiring, even if at times you feel like you’re getting nothing done. You are. Before you know it, you’ll go on an interview or two (or three, no big deal how many it takes), and then you’ll be getting ready for your first day in a new career.

When it comes to the actual interview, though, you’re on your own. I come across much better on paper (I am skilled with the written word, after all) and tend to get really nervous during interviews (I think it’s all the pressure to impress). All I can tell you is dress appropriately, be confident and be yourself. Talk about yourself in a positive, yet humble, way that lets your interviewer/potential new boss know that you have the skills and knowledge they’re looking for and that you would be an asset to their team. Try not to be fake, because if they do hire you, you’ll have to keep up that fake persona and that’s just never a good idea. No one is better at being you than you, so I’d lead with that. Unless you’re a serial rapist or an axe murderer, then I’d be someone else.

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2 reasons why my college degree is worthless

A year and a half ago, I was ecstatic to finally be leaving the realm of education. After spending roughly 20 years of my life in some form of schooling or another, it felt good to finally hang up the “student” hat and step out into the “real world,” whatever the hell that means (because apparently I’ve been living in a fake world this whole time?).

But now, a year and a half later, I’m no better off than I was before I earned that expensive piece of paper they like to call a diploma (which is somewhere buried beneath a pile of random stuff, still encased inside the special envelope it was mailed to me in). Four mediocre jobs and lots of credit card debt later, I’m back to square one, with no job, no money and no real reason why I should believe my college education is going to save my ass, especially in this economy.

Now, don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways, a college degree is very useful. Like, say, for using to brag to all your non-educated friends, or for using as kindling to start a fire when your electric is turned off due to lack of payment (see: insufficient funds).

But I feel there are several good reasons why my college degree is completely and utterly worthless, some of them being:

A college degree doesn’t guarantee you a job. Basically, there are no guarantees in life. I get that. But I sure wish someone would have warned me before I wasted five years of my life and thousands of dollars of my dad’s hard-earned money (thanks though, dad, really, I appreciate the support) that the piece of paper I was busting my ass for would only marginally help in getting a halfway-decent job. Classroom learning is important but I’ve always believed life experience was more vital when it came to knowing a profession, especially after all the times I’ve been told there are no entry-level jobs when it comes to publishing, that you have to know what you’re doing before you do it (which obviously makes no sense and clearly supports my belief that experience is more necessary than education), which brings me to my second point:

I graduated with (one of) the most useless majors. Don’t get me wrong. I love English literature and clearly I love writing (who would actually waste their time writing a blog this cynical if they weren’t finding some sort of pleasure from it?) but having a degree in it is like having a degree in cat-napping; you can’t actually do anything with it, except go on for more schooling. Or maybe be a teacher, but even then you have to jump through more hoops and are simply better off with an education degree. A Bachelor’s in English nowadays is a good foundation for any other type of degree or major, and if I was planning on being a lawyer or a psychologist or a publicist, it would be very useful in providing the groundwork I’d need to go on to pursue those careers. But heaven forbid I actually want to utilize the degree as is and have a job that means something without putting myself in student loan debt and spending more years in a classroom. It’s basically impossible. Finding a job in my field (whatever that means) is like finding a needle in a haystack, cliched as it sounds (hey, when you’re this stressed, you can’t think in anything other than cliches). When I was a student, I never had to worry about landing a “real” job, because whatever crap-ass job I was working while attending classes didn’t matter, because there was always the promise of something better that was just out of reach, waiting for me after just one more class, just a few more credits. But sitting around as a broke, unemployed college grad doesn’t exactly scream success, so what’s a bitter, almost-twenty-four-year-old like me to do?

Ok, screw this “real world” business, I’m going back to school.

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What I want to be when I grow up

When you grow up, you eventually have to pick a profession and (somewhat) stick to it. At least for a little while. The problem for me is, there are so many different things I want to do with my life, it almost seems impossible to pick just one. I’d like to think I’ll have a chance to at least fulfill some of my dream careers; who knows, maybe I’ll even get to be them all. What are they, you may ask?

"Look what I found over here!" Practicing my skills of an archaeologist in Egypt.

An archaeologist.  Specifically an Egyptologist. Since adolescence, I’ve been completely captivated by everything Ancient Egyptian. When I spent a week in Egypt, I just wanted to explore beyond the ropes and barricades, to explore what the tourists weren’t allowed to see, to discover something exciting for myself.

An actress. The least likeliest of the bunch, this is actually the one I want the most. Unfortunately, the risks out way the percentage of succeeding (and I’m talking Hollywood), and it’s just not feasible to go after this dream right now. Sure, you can argue that if you have a dream you should always pursue it, but this is one I’d actually have to be willing to commit my entire life to, and I’m just not ready for that. Maybe in another life. Or a few years. Whichever comes first.

A psychologist. I’ve been told I give pretty good advice, and I like helping people, so I figure with an actual education in how to evaluate people and help them with their problems, I’d probably make (and enjoy being) a really good psychologist.

An interior designer. I love decorating and design. Maybe enough to make it a profession, maybe not.

A teacher. I’m not sure yet if I want to teach at the college or high school level, but I know I want to teach. I had a writing teacher in high school and an English teacher in college who both impacted me in such positive ways, I owe most of my determination to succeed as a writer to them. Mr. Johnson and Prof. McDermitt, if you’re reading this, thanks for giving me the nudge I needed to go after what I love.

Check out my mad photography skills. I could totally see this picture in Nat Geo Mag.

A photojournalist. Although I don’t photograph nearly as much as I used to when I was a teenager, I love taking pictures and, of course, I love writing. My ultimate dream job would be writing for National Geographic Magazine.

A business owner. I’m talking non-profit, though. This I’m actually working on, but it will probably be quite awhile before I can actually get the project off the ground and out of the planning phase.

An author. I’d like to think this is one that will definitely happen for me. Sure, I’ve published other works before, but never a novel. I suppose it’s just up to me to actually finish one of the many works I’ve started. One day. For now, I’ll keep blogging like my life depends on it.

A lawyer. I often wonder if I am conniving enough to be a lawyer; I would want to be able to put some justice back in the justice system, but I know it’s not so black and white. There’s a lot of grey area I’m not sure I’d want to be involved in- like getting a murderer off free just to win my case.

One of these days I’ll hunker down and get serious about one (or two, or three) of these. Personally, my money’s on the actress. If only Hollywood would discover me already, geez.

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