Commiserate: Job Applications

Commiserate will be a series exploring the not-so-fun aspects of being an adult. Hopefully, you’ll be able to identify with these posts, see that you’re not alone, and find the humour in the spilled milk rather than crying. But, you can cry a little if you need to…

So, you’ve just finished University, and now you have a fancy new diploma that you worked your butt off for. Unfortunately for you, that means it’s time for the living hell that is searching for a job.

You turn on your computer…

Nothing in Your Field

You’re bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to start sending out applications. But, as you start to scour the web, you reach a startling realization. There is NOTHING posted in your field except the occasional executive level position requiring 10 or more years of experience. What the hell?

You ask around and people start to tell you it simply isn’t a good time to be looking. It isn’t the season for job postings. You’ll have to wait at least a few more months before things start to pop up. Hopefully your bank account lasts that long…

Impostor Syndrome

It’s the perfect time; job postings abound across the web. You start to read and your excitement quickly turns to concern. Can I do this? You get slammed with the crushing feeling that maybe you aren’t good enough. Postings for every job you think you’d love are teaming with so many necessary qualifications that a knot forms in your stomach.

You create a folder and add all the postings you want to apply to, but somehow you always have an excuse for not actually sending an application. You know you’re sabotaging yourself, but somehow it feels better than facing rejection. You finally push the discouraging voices out of your head long enough to send out a few applications. But you don’t hear back, and now you’re really questioning everything. Maybe you’re just a simpleton and everyone’s just been too nice to tell you all these years…

Ok, look for jobs that explicitly say entry level.

Insufficient Qualifications

Even if you are, in fact, a simpleton, the sheer fact that you have a degree should make you a shoe-in to find something entry level. Apparently not. Even the entry level positions require a portfolio and years of experience you just don’t have.

What were all of those clubs at school you could have joined? Damn it, why weren’t you school president? You saw a 12 year old kid on Ellen just last week who already has a multimillion dollar business. Why aren’t you a prodigy? Maybe your parents just didn’t encourage you enough. Ugh.

Why doesn’t anyone seem to count retail experience as real job experience? You learned people skills, patience, and responsibility. Why doesn’t anyone care about that? Ughhhhhhhh!

AMAZING JOBS…with ridiculously low pay

You’ve found it! The perfect job! It will be great experience, has a high-rated work culture, and you’d be doing work you’d absolutely love. Unfortunately the pay is like 20 bucks a week, a few bottle caps, and pocket lint. Will your landlord take bottle caps? F@#k!

Stereo Silence

You apply for the bottle cap job. Why not? Stretch what you make, get some experience, and have a blast while doing it. After all, it’s like the posting was written for you. Sent. You feel the excitement brewing, finally an opportunity worth exploring!

You call a few days later, but they won’t give you any information, they don’t talk to applicants. That’s ok, you’ll just wait for them to call you. You’re sure it’ll be any day now. After a few weeks, you’re starting to worry. After a few months, you realize they just aren’t that into you. In this time you’ve sent out about 100 other applications and your phone hasn’t buzzed once. Maybe it’s broken? Or maybe you should start preparing for your life as a drifter?

Seeing the Same Postings Over and Over

Something’s not working with this approach, it’s back to the drawing board. You fine tune your resume, you get a second opinion on your cover letters; it’s time to get back to the search. Hey, that one looks pretty good; oh, you’ve seen it before. What about this one…you’ve already applied.

The problem with looking every day seems to be that eventually you hit the bottom of the barrel. New postings have slowed to a halt. What the hell? You ask around. You start to hear that it isn’t really the season for job postings; you’ll have to wait at least a few more months.

Hopefully your sanity lasts that long…

Leave me a comment and let me know if your can relate to any of these experiences!

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