Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oh, The Job Search

I graduated! ...Yay?

While this should be something you look forward to, after the excitement of the day itself, it can be quite a drag because of the impending job search that looms ahead.  As I troll the job boards, it makes me wonder, is this really the best way to do things?  Does this system really get people in the right jobs? Will I ever find the right position?

Clearly, I'm very much a proponent of the web and social media, so I am mostly looking on career search sites and through Clemson's job boards for jobs, as well as on company's websites and on social media.  However, what if I'm missing something in my scanning?  My parents are very into just sending your resume to different companies or walking right into their offices, whether they have a position posted or not.  It seems a little old school to me, and would that really be worth all the effort?  Is that effective? Do I just have to know the right people?

And its hard to know what the right protocol is.  Should I call after submitting my application?  How long should I wait?  Should I email?  Should I call the person Mr. or Ms. or by their first name?  What do I say when they ask me about where else I've applied or how my job search is going?  Am I being confident in my skills or do I sound too cocky?

Then, say you do get a call and an interview.  You're joyous, but stressed to the max.  During an interview, you're not even really you.  The ball of nerves in your body does half of the blubbering, and the rest is your pre-planned "right" answers to those typical interview questions.  It seems like anyone can research good answers to these usual inquiries and just fake it until they make it.  Does it really show that much about what kind of worker you would be?  Then again, no one wants to actually have to take a test or do a mini project during an interview either, which would probably only be a fraction of your best work due to the nerves.  So we're stuck with this whole talk-about-different-hypothetical-work-situations interview thing.

Then after the interview, comes the waiting game.  You are keeping up with the company and what they are doing on social media and their website, and you think about how great it would be to work there.  Sometimes this goes on for months.  You drive past the building thinking, "soon I could be working there."  You invest your time researching and a piece of your heart into this one, because you felt the interview went well.  Then you get "the call" where they tell you they filled the position, and its like getting broken up with.  They just ended the relationship between you and this job that you built up in your head.  And you think to yourself, could I really have done anything more to get that job?  It may have been some tiny little word you said or quirk you had that you will never know made up their minds.  Will you ever get closure and get an actual reason for the loss? Probably not.

Or say you do get the job, then you get calls from the other places you applied down the line.  They want to talk to you, but you are committed, and you're forced to ponder for a second what could have been.  That is a dangerous thought.

It seems like a traumatic cycle to go through over and over again, and I wonder if it keeps people in jobs that aren't exactly right longer than necessary just to avoid the whole process.  I'm lucky enough that I don't have to worry right now about making money to have a roof over my head or feed myself or support anyone else (thanks, mom and dad), and I'm still going crazy about it!  How on earth am I supposed to find the job that fits me...and if I do, will the company think I fit them?

Is it just me or does this all sound a little crazy?  But I guess no one has thought of a better alternative so this is what we are stuck with.  Congrats Class of 2012, and may your period of unemployed stress be as short as possible.

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