Monday, August 31, 2009

Jobs Are Like Boyfriends

This post is dedicated to my two best girlfriends, Elaina & Katie. Elaina is a Medical Assistant working on her Master's in Business/Marketing. She'll graduate in spring 2010 (Hallelujah!). She is currently applying for jobs and internships in her new field. Katie is a recent graduate with a Master's in Speech Pathology. She's ready to apply all that expensive learnin' to her new job this fall. They are two of the most brilliant, creative, committed people I know and I'm so proud to claim them as my best pals.

Although I don't have a degree, I've been rockin' the corporate workforce since age 18. I've applied for a lot of jobs, bombed a lot of interviews, worked for crappy people, worked for awesome people, been pushed around some, seen the benefits of hard work, shed a lot of tears, and have written a few resignation letters. After several years, I'm now finally established with employer that I believe will suit me long-term.

Job hunting is like man hunting. You spot the job of your dreams. Maybe find the it online, in the newspaper, on a bulletin board, or hear about it from a friend. The job sounds perfect.

You start thinking about this job. It's so mysterious. It looks so good on paper, you know it would be even more awesome in person. You pursue the job, make the first move. Write up a flawless cover letter and resume. Let the job know you're interested.

Wait by the phone for days, maybe weeks for the job to call. Finally, the moment arrives. The job wants to meet you! The date is set for the two of you to meet. You panic about what to wear for your first encounter with the job. First impression in crucial. The day finally arrives. You've rehearsed in front of the mirror, have all of the professional jargon memorized, and look like a million bucks. But butterflies take over your insides as you drive to your destination.

What if I slip and say something really lame?
What if it asks me a question I'm not prepared for?
Am I overdressed? Underdressed?
Whatever you do, do not bite your fingernails or twirl your hair or clear your throat more than twice.

The moment finally arrives and you meet your potential job face to face. Seems nice. Nothin' super special, but it's good enough. It's the only interview you've had, so this must be the one. Job says it'll call you within a few days/weeks. So you wait again. Sit by the phone. Check e-mail every 5 minutes. No way will you let this one go. It's meant for you.

You can't stand to wait one more day. Call the hiring agent and politely ask about the status of the job. "Sorry, you were perfectly qualified, but we've chosen another candidate. We'd like to keep your resume on file in case anything else comes up."

You don't know what to feel. Rejected. Angry. Confused. Really, really hurt. What the heck happened? You were ready for a relationship with that job and it just kicked you to the curb (tears, cussing). You'll never have a chance at a job like that ever again. (sniff). Not ever.

Don't worry. You'll show that job what it's missing. You go right to the computer or newspaper to look for your rebound job. Apply to everything for which you're even remotely qualified.
Repeat process above approximately 41 times. Swear off jobs forever. Who needs to pay bills anyway?


A job recognizes your talents, your abilities. Offers you a position. You don't even need to wait a day to think about it. You accept immediately. What is this job again?

OK, so it's not all you hoped it would be. Your salary is several thousand dollars below industry standard. You're hidden away in a sea of cubicles with bad, florescent lighting. Days seem to last weeks and weeks, months. You're unhappy with this job, but you worked so hard to get it, you need to just suck it up for a little while then ask for a raise. Surely, more money will make you like the job.

Years go by and the company suffers with the economic decline. Job cuts. But the job would never do that to you. You being it's most loyal, hardest worker ever.

You and the job go in for "counseling" (HR). It's just not working out. You're no longer what the job needs. The job is letting you go. It'll be bringing in an outside contractor to handle your responsibilities. Slut.

After being off the market for so long, you don't even know if you'll ever be able to get another job. It's only when daytime television becomes unbearable and you're out of Rocky Road icecream but you can't afford the gas in your car to go get more that you even make an attempt at another job.

Repeat job hunting process above.

(Ring-a-flippin'-ling). "We've reviewed your qualifications and would like to offer you the job. Your starting salary would be (enter worthy amount here)."

Maybe this job fits you perfectly. Maybe it doesn't. It's likely better than the last. And it sure beats unemployment. Look back over the process. You've learned so much, established lots of different relationships, and have experience to add to your growing resume. Take the job or don't, but whatever you end up with, make it the very best job you possibly can.

When you find your dream job, all this crap...totally worth it.


Anonymous said...

Hi- Found your blog about a week ago and I love it! This is totally the same process I went through 1 1/2 years ago. Totally frustrating, and yet a great learning experience at the same time. You really do go through so many emotions, and hope that the job you "want" is the one you get. Thank you for posting this! Great writing.

Anonymous said...

haha, i could relate to this post from the dating angle since i have been divorced and in dating hell for 8 years. that's right, 8 years. luckily i have a very stable job as a speech language pathologist (go katie!). though my job is stable, it is definitely stressful, but that doesn't really touch the hell that is dating:)

Happy Cat said...

Jill I love this blog! It is so true to life. Job world and dating world! I appreciate your sweet comments about Elaina and I. I think you are absolutely fabulous and the best friend a girl could have! I love reading your postings! Keep up the amazing writing my dearest author.
Kisses, Katie

Anonymous said...

Jillie, this is excellent--funny, true, well-written. It is definitely newspaper worthy. I'm thinking you should send it to someone to publish. Who knows, it might be the start of something--say, another job? Love, TW

Girly Muse said...

I agree with TW.

boogienights said...

did you just call me a slut?