Sunday, August 21, 2005

Job searching sucks

As I was on my way home from work on Friday, I couldn't help but notice the man standing on the corner of the street dressed in a suit, asking for change and trying to hand out his resume. While the majority of commuters walking by him probably didn't even notice him, I did. I noticed him because I have been looking for a full-time job for about a year now with no sucess, and I could sympathize with him. I almost cried though because he was a living symbol of my unsuccessful journey, and I let the thought that this could some day be me pass through my mind at the same speed it entered -- quickly.

Looking for a job has been utterly frustrating and stressful. When you're in college everyone talks about getting a job like it's a natural extension of graduation, but it's not that easy. Soon after graduation I learned that in the "real world" resumes seem to disappear into space after you send them to companies, HR departments move at the pace of snails and you can spend hours of your time interviewing with companies only to never hear back from them. This is not the kind of stuff college career centers teach you. That is for sure. It's not like I am not qualified for the jobs I apply for. I have a B.A. and will have a M.A. in two months and I have a 3.8 GPA. I have done three internships in my field, two of which were in the government sector and the other in a major corporation. I am articulate. I can write and speak well. I am efficient, enthusiastic and eager to learn. In the few interviews I have been on I seem to impress the pants off the interviews, and then I get the "Thank you for taking the time to interview with us, BUT..." letter. So why the heck can I NOT secure a full-time job?

Do I need to jump up and down and bust out my old cheerleading moves to create a cheer highlighting all my strengths? Do I need to become an actress? Fly to the moon? Win the lottery? Become a best-selling author? Change my last name to make it sound ethnic? (No comments about this. I hate affirmative action and you all know it is used. End of story.)

I have a month left of my latest internship and then it's back to begging my mom for financial assistance and accepting odd jobs here and there. And if that doesn't work out, then I guess I'll be competing with that guy on the corner for his space.

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