Tag Archives: Job Search

Reasons Why You Should Hire Me

My latest vlog tackles why you or an employer you know should hire me.

Why This Job Market is Inspiring

As a millennial, I feel like blaming the economy and job market has become a mantra of sorts for many — myself included. In any conversation I’ve had or blog post I’ve written about the economic struggles lately, the iterations have generally been the same: jobs are scarce for graduates, the pay is crap or nonexistent, things are ridiculously expensive and debt is on the rise. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for young people to be unemployed for a year or more after graduation and worst of all, it appears that millennials were lied to. Call us entitled or spoiled or naive, but I don’t think it was unfair for us to expect the booming economy that our parents and grandparents enjoyed.

We've graduated! Oh, shit...

We’ve graduated! Oh, shit…

All that aside, I’ve begun to feel a different way about our current circumstances as of late. In fact, I have one adjective for the way I’ve been feeling about it: inspired.

I sound like I’m on drugs, don’t I? After all the criticism the job market has faced from young people, the last word we would use to describe our situation is inspiring. But I’d take it a step further: empowering. Behind all the doom and gloom, I’m seriously experiencing a feeling of empowerment.

I explain:

It’s clear that the big employers of yesteryear are no more. Well, they’re still there, but looking for a job with them is not necessarily a thing anymore. Unpaid internship maybe, but let’s not get our hopes up. But in that, maybe there is hope. With our current job market, there are very little expectations for our prospects as job seekers. I mean, yes, there were quite a few not too long ago, but now I’ve watched all of those expectations simply fade away. That ideal job we thought we’d get in our field is now clouded with seemingly insurmountable competition. That extravagant lifestyle we thought we’d enjoy is more and more unattainable. The expectation that we’d walk off of the convocation stage and into a well-paying job is simply a lie.

You know what? Maybe that’s not a bad thing. If there are no expectations, there are no disappointments. Further, if there are no expectations, it’s easier to be pleasantly surprised when an opportunity comes, even if it is in the form of a two-month contract (I’m currently on two-month contract #2, but at least I’m working!)

And I’ve also found contracts to be oddly empowering. Knowing that I’m only at a job for a little while has allowed me a lot of perks that the prospect of permanent employment wouldn’t. For example, if I don’t like something, I know it’s not going to be a forever — in fact, it has an end date! Moreover, if I know I’m only going to be somewhere for a short time, I’m more likely to put myself out there, build relationships, and appreciate what I’m doing. It becomes a very steep learning curve, but working two different jobs in four months has allowed me to develop skills in TWO different occupations.

Finally, and most positively, this job market is empowering because it allows for unprecedented freedom. In my eyes, a lack of stable employment puts me in a limbo of sorts. Something I am doing right now may not be the thing I am doing a couple weeks down the road. I could be doing something different in somewhere completely new. To me, that’s exciting.

It also means that I am not tied down to an occupation or an employer. I no longer find myself having to be loyal to someone like I was when I worked at the same part-time job for 6 years. In those days, I stayed with unhappy situations because I didn’t want to potentially jeopardize future employment. Now, whether on contract or completely unemployed, the loyalty is mutually non-existent and there’s a certain flair for risk-taking. And if there isn’t, there should be.

Why not excuse yourself from societal norms? Why not take that trip around the world? Why not volunteer? Why not explore job options out of your city, state, or even out of your country? Why not invest your time and energy into something you’re passionate about? Why not live with a certain reckless abandon, especially in a time when it seems the economy has recklessly abandoned you?

A view like this may be waiting for you! Go do something for yourself for once!

A view like this may be waiting for you! Go do something for yourself for once!

I’m not saying you should stop your quest to be able support yourself financially and enter something completely stupid like cross-border heroin smuggling, but maybe now is the time to think outside of the box. Maybe you don’t need a 9-to-5. Maybe you should pursue that one thing you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you should explore alternative lifestyles such as long-term travel, tiny living or freelancing.

Maybe it’s time we as a generation take back some control over our lives and what we choose to do with them. Our biggest mistake moving forward is blaming others for our lack of success in the job market. It’s time we create our own success, even if that means rewriting what we believe being successful is.

We have nothing to lose, right?

No, really.

6 Stages of the 20-Something Job Search

If you’re like me, you’re facing unemployment. You’ve just finished high school or your fancy-dancy, hideously expensive post-secondary education, and you’re ready to face the real world. Or you’re one of the lucky ones who snagged a summer internship or contract position and your end date is looming. But it won’t be so bad, right? The real world isn’t that scary. I mean, everyone around you is doing it and they’re fine.

I’m terrified.

Stage One: The Pre-Search Feel-Goodies

Your resume is sparkling and you’ve honed your cover letter writing skills. You attended a few workshops and you can wow any employer with your apt responses and buzzwords. Your mom has looked over your application material and she said that she would hire you.

You feel good. Enjoy it. I wish I could tell you this would last longer.

Stage Two: The Application Process Jitters

You’ve started your search. You’re picking and choosing a select few jobs here and there that interest you and that are relevant to your experience and your goals.

Wow! Look at how many there are in this list. Recession? You don’t even remember what that means. You’ll apply to this one and that one and look, there’s another over here. Oh, wait. That one wants 5 years experience. And this one? Who the heck has training in bathing chimps?

Maybe you should take a bit more time perfecting that cover letter for the one job you actually qualify for. It may just be your lifeline.

I guess that doesn't look too hard.

I guess that doesn’t look too hard.

Stage Three: Taking Over the World

It’s been about two weeks. No one has contacted you for a job or an interview or even to tell you that your application was garbage. Out of the 10 jobs you *thought* would be awesome for you, you’ve managed to get none of them.

Time to expand the job search. Weird hours? Okay, fine. Dog walker? At least you don’t need experience. 10-day contract with the option to extend? Well, okay.

Just apply to everything under the sun. When all these people see your fantastic resume, you’ll be prying them off of you with shovels. Then you can pick and choose. Good plan.

Stage Four: The Low

It’s been almost two months since your job search began. You’ve applied to every job that you’ve found, tried that whole networking thing that everyone seems to rave about, but still you’ve yet to secure a job. You may have had a few interviews, but they went terribly and you’re convinced the hiring manager got you confused with someone else (wait, experience bathing chimps? I don’t remember putting that in my resume…)

Ultimately, you’re still unemployed. You’re broke. You’re depressed. Your dad is offering to get you in somewhere because he knows a guy who knows a guy. If you live on your own, this is normally where you move back in with your parents. But free meals, right?

Don’t cry.

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Stage Five: The Perfect Job

By now, you’ve settled into a cycle: wake up, browse for jobs, eat lunch, browse for jobs, have dinner, wallow in self-pity or invite others to join in on your misery train. In fact, you’ve become so good at this, it ought to be a full-time job.

But then there it is. You’ve just made your morning coffee and a new job has been posted. It’s the most perfect thing since all of life began. It’s interesting, there’s good hours, it’s close to home. Best of all, you qualify!

You start hyperventilating. You’ve been waiting for this moment, but what if you’re not ready? What if your resume really is terrible? You call Mom for support. “Just do it,” she says. “The only sure way to fail is to not try… and you’ve been pretty much failing already.”

One final read-through of the application. Click submit.

Stage Six: The Moment of Clarity

On an unassuming Tuesday afternoon, you’ve almost completely forgotten about that perfect job you applied for last week. In fact, it’s pretty much been absorbed by the other positions you applied for, since technically you’re still applying to anything that has the word “job” in the description. But then the phone rings. It snaps you out of your mindless twitter feed scrolling. An unknown number? Who could it be? It better not be a telemarketer. You already told them you don’t need the ducts cleaned.

But it’s them. You’ve gotten an interview. Two days later, you go to it, so nervous and excited that you’re terrified you might pee yourself if they speak to you. By the following week, you get another call. Same number.

Welcome, job. We’ve been expecting you.

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That’s the ideal, right? I’m just not quite there yet :p