Oh yes, some of us are still looking. In spite of all the media hype about the improving economy, a lot of people are still in desperate straights. I couldn’t pay my rent for March. I am hoping I will land a job very very soon. I am beyond all the hand wringing, and needless worry robbing my sleep. I’m over it! What will be, will be, is my attitude. I do what I can. I’ll break this post into two parts. The Good and the Bad.
The Good: I had an excellent job interview yesterday. In spite of getting confused about the address, and wandering up and down Sacramento Street, I finally found the store. It feels like a good place to work. The employees seem cheerful and unstressed. Of course, the manager assured me that things get stressful around Christmas time. I’d love to work there, and hopefully, I shall. I’m on pins and needles as I wait. The interview went well because I was relaxed and cheerful myself. I didn’t feel pressured to do a good job. I had prepared for the interview by checking out the website for the store, and familiarizing myself with what they sold. I liked what I saw. So, I went in with a good attitude. Many times, you find yourself interviewing for a job you really don’t want, but things being what they are, you have to work somewhere. This is a recipe for disaster. In this interview, we laughed and got a little off track talking about the crazy world of retail. We talked about how to handle situations that come up, and I enjoyed really exploring how best to deal with various potentially stressful situations. This is how interviews should go. So…always do research and listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking. Then answer to the question, not to what makes you think you should have the job. You will have the opportunity to address that, at the end of the interview if not before. But it is important to not find yourself talking past your interviewer. You need to be on the same page, as they say.
The Bad: I had another job interview last Friday which didn’t go so well. I had glanced at the store’s website but didn’t take the time to really study it. And I payed for that blunder. The first question was: “What can you tell me about our store?” Oops! “Uh, that it is a store?” It wasn’t that bad, but pretty close. Homework is important. So I basically kind of floundered, recovered a bit, but they could tell I was winging it. Even if you have the gift of gab and are charming as hell, which I am, it doesn’t help in this instance. I left knowing there was no chance of landing that job. Then there are the frustrations of endless bureaucracy which the poor and unemployed must endure. I get a bill from what I had thought was a free city health care program. I can’t pay my rent and I get a bill? How does this work? So I will have to hash that out. Then I get emails from a nonprofit company which helps people in their job hunting. You need to take this workshop, Ok. Wait. No. Not that workshop, I meant this one. It went back and forth a few times and I got aggravated and lost my temper. I emailed that I really didn’t need their services, I had gotten jobs without it, and could again. Not very nice, I admit, but sometimes it can feel like you are spending most of your time going through a ton of job hunting preparation instead of actually job hunting. Some of these workshops can be helpful, some of them, not so much. The bottom line is the human interface. I wonder how many people actually land a job as a result of jumping over a bunch of bureaucratic hurdles. Job counselors can sometimes come across in a condescending manner, they can afford to be arrogant, they have a job! Which brings me to the worst of the worst things about job hunting. When you are down and out, people treat you like crap. I’m sorry, but it is a fact. This doesn’t help matters, obviously. It enrages me that there are companies that won’t even consider hiring someone who is unemployed. I consider that to be borderline criminal.
But don’t get me started!