Back to Reality

(OH, there goes gravity, OH, there goes Rabbit he choked, he’s so mad but he won’t give up that easy, no…)
I’d like to believe that my blogging maturity will someday evolve to the point where I can script a simple entry title without it launching an Eminem song in my head. Maybe on that day, I will know I’ve officially crossed the threshold into adulthood… but I’m not holding my breath.
ANYWAY. This week my luxurious three-week vacation is over, and now it’s back to the grind.
Which means…
Job Hunt: Day One.
There are very few experiences in life quite as unnerving and disheartening than searching for a new job. One day in, and I’m starting to remember why I had previously been with the same company for almost six years: Oh thaaat’s right, because JOB HUNTING IS THE MOTHERF$#%ING PITS.
The last time I was reallyin the job market, it was 2008, and I was 17. Fresh out of high school, and ready to move on from my fulfilling career at Cold Stone Creamery. Back then, it meant putting on a professional-looking outfit, DRIVING around town and physically stopping into places to ask if they had openings. If they said yes, you sat down right then and there to fill out an application, occasionally being interviewed on the spot.
Two things have happened since then: 1.) I grew up a little, and am no longer looking for the same type of entry-level position that this sort of job hunting lends itself to, and 2.) The entire world stopped doing this whole in-person rubbish, because of inventions like Craigslist and Monster.
So I’m a little out of the game here, but I have life experience and the benefit of previous management positions on my side. I know what I look for in potential candidates, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea of how to present myself to others. That, and I’ve been trying to make up for lost time by doing as much online research as I can. I have a million resume-building tips and “How to Write an Effective Cover Letter” articles practically coming out of my ears.
And yet, even for the most qualified applicants (which is a category to which I desperately hope I belong), you cannot help but get discouraged with the skewed ratio of outgoing to incoming. By my estimate it’s about 20:1. That is to say, for every 20 times you send out your resume, you can expect one callback.
It’s like speed-dating. You have a very restricted opportunity to give a quick overview of yourself: “Here Is Why I Am A Worthwhile Human Being.” And the person across from you has a split-second to decide if they think you’d be a good fit… And if not, BYE! That’s it! That was your shot! Go home, do not pass go, do not collect $200. (I might take this opportunity to shed light on the fact that I also haven’t really been single much since high school. I think the same principle applies here: I’d rather know I’m loved than have to be out in the world, vulnerable, constantly facing rejection.)
And oh, the rejection! I have been the unlucky recipient of several canned email responses from companies:
Thank you for your interest. We are fortunate to have many qualified applicants. After careful consideration, we have determined that the credentials of other candidates may better fit our needs at this time. We wish you the best in your career search.
In one case, this response was received LESS THAN 30 MINUTES after I sent my resume, which of course plummeted me into a downward spiral of shame. How could they have decided they didn’t like me that fast?! Was it something I said? Was my resume too generic? Did I use the wrong font, should I have picked a different color? It made me want to march right into their corporate office, slam my fist on the receptionist’s desk and demand to speak with the person responsible. I would storm into the Human Resources department, look them up and down, and say “EXCUSE ME, you little self-righteous twerps, but you don’t even KNOW ME!”

C’est la vie. It’s still early; hopefully this venture will be more fruitful in the coming weeks. Until then, you can find me reciting Eminem lyrics to my bathroom mirror.

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