Toiling Tuesdays: An Observation on Getting New Jobs

I have heard both ends of the stick on being able to get a new job, one being that it is easy and you only have to try and the other being there are none and you can’t seem to get an offer (or even an interview!)

Being able to get a job is like being able to follow a new recipe, at least the way I do it. The first time following the recipe I sub ingredients, I only partially follow directions and it never turns out how I want it to (I don’t get the interview or the job because I don’t properly prepare or style my resume to highlight my relevant experience and expertise). The second time I only sub ingredients I know can be subbed and I follow all the directions I’ve newly found to be important after flubbing up the first time. The produced effort is rewarded with a decent reward (or a half dozen interviews). The third and subsequent times you throw a spin on the recipe to make it your own so it caters to your own tastes (this is when you are so confident in yourself that you get the job!).

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Toiling Tuesdays: New Job Woes

What I have noticed since getting a new job

To clarify: I have never had a full-time job, have never had a desk job, have never had this type of job before.

I thought it would be a struggle to change my sleep-wake habits to get up before 9:30 AM but I have found that I am so tired after working eight hours at the one job and doing other necessary things afterwards that I am so tired by 10:30 PM that I go to bed before midnight.

My body must sense something I do not because I hardly ever wake to my alarm but instead wake up 30 minutes – one hour before it goes off. Perhaps I don’t need as much sleep as I used to or I’m getting better, deeper sleep. Or I am so paranoid of being late that my body senses this anxiety and wakes me up in rather plenty of time to get ready.

I have already known this but I am less groggy in the morning when I have a purpose (such as getting to work by 8:30).

My eating habits are starting to suffer. Don’t tell my parents, but I ate a bagel and ice cream for dinner last night…. This should be easy to get a handle on because all I have to do is be prepared for making food, such as curbing myself from snacking right before eating and ruining my appetite.

Ego Depletion. Staying focused at work takes almost all of my concentration and depletes my ego entirely so that when I get home all I want to do is garden and watch movies. Unless I have something important pending, like taking care of business, phone calls, or job #2 I don’t have the heart to do anything for the rest of the night. The real loser in this situation is my writing. I don’t feel like it. Perhaps it is because writing is a never-ending project and I prefer to work on something I can complete, like a lesson in my web development class, a poster for farmer’s market, or that engineering project I can do.

Am I an adult now?

When can I retire?

Toiling Tuesdays: Volunteer into that New Job

If it’s all about getting your foot in the door so volunteering those feet is the way to go!

http://blogs.wsj.com/laidoff/2010/03/01/using-strategic-volunteering-to-help-with-the-search/

Even if they say ‘no’ or there are no job openings, this could be the way you squeeze yourself into that company you want to work for. If it doesn’t pan into a ‘real’ paying job then it only adds good fodder for your resume.

Toiling Tuesdays: Blanket Form

I’m so tired of filling out that ridiculous impersonal blue and white application form. I had the idea to just get a copy, fill it out and copy it. This way I can bring their own filled out form for them and not have to keep re-filling it out every time I applied for a job where I wonder if they even read it…. Would save me loads of time and annoyance plus it might show my creativity/innovation/time-saving skills.

Toiling Tuesdays: The Follow-up

Toiling Tuesdays: The Follow-up
 
Everyone tells me how important it is to follow up after an interview or after you have sent in an application. I  have tried this method. So far it has not gotten me anywhere. Frankly, nothing I have done has gotten me anywhere but here is my trick. I have been applying to restaurants recently because I feel out of all the jobs (hopefully) out there I am perfectly qualified to get one of these jobs. My trick is to spend an hour or so in the actual restaurant and buddy buddy up to someone who works there and then follow up with direct communication with the hiring person(s). For example, I had an interview for a restaurant I had never been to and after my interview I hiked my butt all the way down to one of the restaurant locations to check it out and show my commitment  Not only did I show how dedicated I was about getting this particular job, but I also got to see if it was the type of environment and restaurant I wanted to be working in. 
 
For other jobs where they only want me to send in a resume or fill in the lengthy online application I try to find a number of the hiring person or simply the business’s number and give them a ring. This ensures that they received the application/resume and can direct me to someone in charge of the decision process. Perhaps I will be given an email of the person I need and then can send my resume directly to their inbox. I have done this on several occasions (to no avail of course). Sometimes I can find out if the position has already been filled or if I’m not what they are looking for so that my hopes can be dashed right away, instead of hanging on to the hope that I will win this lottery we call job hunting. 
 
Other times I have even sent handwritten letters thanking the person who gave me an interview and explaining why I’m perfect for the job and what I thought of their particular establishment. 
 
Sometimes I think it is all a waste of time but I’m sure I will send a card to that one person who says, “You know, out of all the candidates this one took the time to send this card. She must be really dedicated. I want someone motivated like her to be working for us.” 
 
Soon there will be a phrase, ‘You’re more likely to be bitten by a shark/struck by lightning/win the lottery than get a job.’

Toiling Tuesdays: Would you lie to get the job that isn’t your dream job?

Toiling Tuesdays: Would you lie to get the job that isn’t your dream job?

I walk up and open the door. I hold it open for two ladies to exit and for one man to enter. Then I gather myself and walk in briskly. I want to make a good first impression, that I’m upbeat and ready for anything. I put on a smile and walk in to the dining area proudly, peeking around the corner to find someone who works there. It is almost 4PM and the dining area is deserted. A lady comes around the corner, “Can I help you?” She asks. “As a matter of fact, I saw that you were hiring a server and I wanted to apply.” I answer professionally and cheerfully, as if I have no where better to be but at this particular establishment  “Here is the lady you must speak to then.” The first lady beckons over to another lady. The second lady wastes no time, “Do you have experience with breakfast?” She scrutinizes me. I wish I had not just thrown a nice sweater over my black Beatles t-shirt. I feel that she can tell I cheated on my dress that day. “Well.” I pause. Crap. That was the moment to reassure her that I lived for breakfast. That I knew all about eggs and toast. But that’s not quite true. I never worked in a true breakfast environment. And if I was going to embellish or straight out lie about my prior experience I had already botched it with that pause. “I worked at a gracious retirement living center working many of the morning shifts, which were breakfast. I have also worked over three years in the food service industry.” I say swiftly. I have lost her. I can tell she has already said no in her mind. “This position requires experienced breakfast. We are very busy and we don’t have time to train. I’m sorry but we’re looking for someone with experience.” She basically shoos me out the door without even a chance to boast about how I can handle most anything, learn quick and fast, and am entirely up for the challenge. She is a no-nonsense gal and if only I had lied about my previous working experience I might have gotten the job but did I really want that job?