Jobs, Interviewing, Connections: Where the Truth LIES.

In the past two and half weeks, I’ve applied for probably fifty different jobs, at least. I haven’t come up with anything yet, and beyond the craptacular state the job market is currently in, I get incredibly frustrated with the way jobs are obtained and how I’m expected to go about getting them.

For example, I applied for a receptionist job at a chiropractor’s office and they called me to ask me some questions about my resume, etc. They inevitably asked what I would say my biggest weakness was. I hate when interviewers ask this question, because no one wants to know what your actual weakness is; you’re expected to give a “weakness” that is actually a positive characteristic (my mom always tells me to say that I’m a perfectionist). And I’ve not gotten jobs I’ve applied for in the past because I was honest about what my weaknesses are. The whole world of interviewing is shrouded in half-truths and unspoken rules, and I guess I just don’t understand why it’s that way, why an interviewer asks for honesty when that isn’t what they actually want to hear. It’s just a system that has to be learned in order to win.

I had a group interview (such a weird experience) at this same chiropractor’s office, and they asked each of us to talk about what attracted us to the job. And everyone flat out lied, saying things like chiropractic had impacted their lives and that they thought it would be rewarding to work in a place that helped people. I am guilty of spewing such fabrications too, because heaven knows I couldn’t say “Well, it definitely wasn’t the low pay rate and lack of benefits that attracted me… it’s more that I’m a recent college grad with a mountain of debt piling up around me and I’m willing to take whatever I can get at this point,” or, even to put it more succinctly, “I was attracted by the prospect of money.” I utterly despise the lack of honesty facilitated in such situations, but at the same time, a lot of people are struggling to find jobs and are willing to go through the motions and do what is required (ie. lie/exaggerate) to secure a job.

Another thing that is especially loathsome to me, especially right now, is how much securing a job depends on who you know. Both of my roommates were able to get full-time jobs because they knew people, while I, who know no one, is foundering to keep enough money in my checking account to be able to buy deodorant. This is one of the primary reasons why I aspire to be a full-time student, possibly for the rest of my life: because I don’t have to know people in order to get into a good graduate program or to get an advanced degree; it’s all on me and my own merits. I feel like a poster-child for the myth of meritocracy in the job realm, because I have a degree and am pretty smart and have tried so much harder to find a job than anyone else I know, and I’m still left with nada.

Okay, venting complete. Breathe, Kendall, breathe.

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One response to “Jobs, Interviewing, Connections: Where the Truth LIES.

  1. Job hunting sucks ass. I am a nanny/artists assistant/etsy-er. there are so many nanny jobs but its still all about bragging about how bomb you are at raising babies…and honestly, i don’t particularly want to be a professional baby raiser.

    etsy is all about my own will, but also you kind of have to sacrifice the art side of it a lot of the time just to get sales which i HATE.

    and getting the job as an artists assistant did have a lot to do with just “knowing someone.” but at the same time, it was totally out of the blue and i really do believe the reason why i got the job is because of my 5 years of freakin hard work as an art student. i was a psycho perfectionist in my work in school and a guy named ian in one of my classes noticed that about me. he really liked my art and admired my work ethic. i didn’t know him very well at all. but one day i just was complaining on facebook how i so desperately wanted a job in the art world and he said “hey, the artist i am working for needs another assistant. wanna be an artists assistant?” Getting a job as an artists assistant, you absolutely have to know someone. and way beyond that, you have to be a quality artist. I never had the intention of becoming an artist’s assistant, but because i worked hard and made good things, someone noticed and then helped me a lot. there was no fake schmoozing.

    it could have just been luck, but i really do believe that hard work and really being obsessively excited about your passion CAN get you somewhere. I make not even minimum wage at that job and it is so on and off, so i supplement with nannying. but i am happy with that balance for now. nanny is an alright job and it pays. when i am nanning i get angsty about wanting to be spending all my time on art. and then when i do get to make art I am SO happy and thankful.

    kendall, you are very talented. and right now, being a recent grad, early twenty something, and in our shit economy, life is fucking hard. but you have talented. in that there is power. right now it doesn’t get you lame job that just pays rent. it sucks, but at the same time, your talents aren’t particularly going to waste and you are building up a lot of great angst that will further you in the direction of where you talents will be recognized. With the right time, you will get recognition. and your blending of work and talent will slowly kick in to fruition.

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