Even though I’m a college graduate, I’m still unemployed and living with my parents. Perhaps this makes me kind of an unproductive loser who’s mooching off my folks while contributing nothing to society but I don’t mind nor do I feel sorry for myself. Sure I may not be earning money right now but that doesn’t make me a lowlife by any means. I’ve never been a slacker for I’ve written pieces on word documents I’ll publish eventually on this blog and when I get enough clicks on this site, I plan to get a way to make money from the advertising. But for now, it’s too early. Not only that but I also wrote a book which I published on Amazon and am well on my way to writing a second one. Not to mention, I volunteer for a museum a couple of days a week to fill in the collection records on Microsoft Excel. Also, since I graduated from college I’ve worked two temp jobs and practically worked myself out of the second. Maybe I don’t have a regular source of income I could count on yet but I have plenty to show that I work hard and I’m making a difference. I’m just not getting paid for my contributions, that’s all and I’d still be living with my parents whether I was employed or not. Perhaps the only reason that I’d ever want a job is just because I need the money to pay off my student loans and I don’t want to go to jail for robbing a bank. Still, though I understand that the stakes of finding a well paying job in this economy aren’t great right now, I know that whatever job I do get isn’t going to last long. However, even though I know there are jobs out there, the thing that’s hard for me isn’t finding a job, doing a job, or even applying for a job (though I do know I’m at a disadvantage when they ask for experience since I barely have any job experience to begin with). Rather it’s trying to get the job which is the most difficult and stressful for me for a lot of reasons, especially when there’s the interview which is fairly challenging.
I know job interviews are no fun and I don’t feel up to the challenge either. As an applicant, I’m expected to give the interviewer what he or she wants and the person never really tells you anything except be there at such and such a time. Still, it’s not that I want a job but I don’t want the process to be ridiculously complicated and unpredictable either which basically means putting myself under a magnifying glass and making sure I don’t screw up my chances. Rather I prefer to come prepared and think ahead of time so I could know what to expect. I also wish that I didn’t have to jump through hoops like trying to charm the interviewer or getting him or her to like me or seeing whether I could fit in or trying to make that perfect first impression. Sure a first impression could tell a lot about a person, well, sort of sometimes. I think are plenty of instances where first impressions don’t tend to reveal a lot about a person such as in history or on the news. I mean there are plenty of people who’ve been misled by a good first impression like victims of crimes for instance. This is especially true in the workforce with reports of people committing crimes against their own employers, which happens almost all the time. Obviously these people made a good first impression during their job interviews or they wouldn’t be able to rob the store in the first place or possibly set fire to it. I mean how reliable are first impressions? They might mean that you could fit in the workplace and perhaps get along with your co-workers but doesn’t determine whether the candidate is a competent worker or even trustworthy. Not to mention, there are plenty of other job candidates who would fail to make a good first impression but would otherwise make fine additions to a staff. I mean there are plenty of people who don’t have the best people skills but they can get stuff done nonetheless and won’t steal from the company either. I am not a person who either gives a good first impression nor automatically judges people from their first impression but when I eventually get to know them better. Not to mention, when given a task to do (as long as it doesn’t consist of chores), I set myself straight to work and won’t quit until it’s done. I also try to get the job done as best I can as well as try to show up on time and would rarely miss a day unless it was for some good reason. Not to mention, though I may lack social skills, I do have certain ethics as well as try to get along with my co-workers the best I can. Yet, to the world of the job interview, first impressions are everything and it’s because first impressions are so important that many times the most qualified candidate doesn’t get the job. Sure first impressions may be important but like people skills in general, tend to be overrated.
Another problem I have in terms of getting a job also stems from the job listings themselves as well as the kind of jobs willing to hire anyone. As a college graduate who lacks certain people skills and has no driver’s license, I know I’m not going to have an easy time with my job search especially since many of the jobs out where I’m at require at least either, not that I would want any either. And it also doesn’t help me that I live in the country where it basically requires a car to go anywhere. As with the jobs I might like to have, well, there’s always something. For one, the job might be in Pittsburgh and require me to move, which I’m in no financial shape to do so. For another, the job in question may require something known as “experience” in the field like over two years even for an entry-level job, which is put there by the employers to drive college graduates away since they don’t want to train people for the position. Also, it’s mostly due to the recession since employers know they can get someone else for that job. And even if I do apply for it, chances are likely that I’m not going to be called for an interview.
Then there is the fact that no matter how I try to find a job, the process just seems never ending cycle of filling applications, attending interviews, and being turned down afterwards. When I graduated from college, I thought that I might have a job within a few months but that wasn’t the case. In fact, after a while it began to be apparent that the concept of getting a job was taking over my life and soon my reasons for finding a job eventually became less about money and more about not having to look for one anymore. In other words, I was so frustrated putting as much effort as I could into getting a job and wasn’t getting the result I wanted. Perhaps I felt that I had to work harder than everyone else while my sister seemed to land jobs pretty easily. Maybe I just didn’t want to work as hard getting a job as doing the job and saw how much work had to be put in the former such as charming people and making myself seem more appealing than I was. In some ways, I was probably more concerned with keeping the job than getting the job since I didn’t want to spend my life trying to get someone to want or like me. And perhaps I was tired of the concept of finding a job and trying to get one because it so obligatory and something you couldn’t give up on. But maybe I was just tired of being seen as worthless or not good enough for a certain position or thought that trying to find a job was starting to become a waste of my time. Then again, perhaps I was just tired of being judged by my social skills and appearance instead of my abilities to do the job. Yet, the reasons why I wasn’t getting a job were sometimes blurred for me. At first it seemed that I wasn’t a good job candidate since I don’t have good social skills and have tried to improve my abilities. Not to mention, I’d sometimes showed up at interviews with greasy hair and at times answered the questions in ambivalence. And I’ve tried to improve on my abilities to handle job interviews and all the steps of the application process. Then again, from what’s been going on in this economy who knows since it’s always the employer who tends to make the decisions on hiring and maybe I’m just one of the ones who don’t make the cut. And many times, it might take a longer time for the employers to make a hiring decision or perhaps not hire anyone at all. I may not be sure why the job market hasn’t been kind to me but sometimes I feel that the notion of the job application process doesn’t seem to be helpful nor does the fact that I have to compete with people who may have a better hiring potential than I do and for a common retail job at that. In some ways, I feel disgusted by the fact that I have to go through the same process time and time again just to get the job I applied for when I rather earn my money my own way where I don’t have to worry about another job interview or being disposed of after a certain amount of time. Rather I would rather earn money where I wouldn’t have to count on being social and likeable to strangers nor have to count on a first impression. Well, perhaps I just want to get a job in a way I wouldn’t be at an unfair disadvantage and just not care about pleasing anybody because I think the process on getting a job seems to amount to kissing ass. No thanks, I’ll stick to writing about how dumb the job application process is.