Friday, February 20, 2009

Work It

Lake Michigan, Belmont Harbor

A few weeks ago I decided it's time to do something. It's time to seriously look for a job. I really miss the structure of a day job and just the general feeling of contributing to society.

So I updated my CV and started applying. I applied for a lot of jobs and got exactly one answer (I had sent a blind application to the Goethe Institute but they had no jobs to offer at this time) - a negative one. I mean, come on, can't you even find the time to tell me that I am not good enough for your damn job?

Now, I know that I had been lucky in Holland. The job market was very good. It was easy to find a job. A lot of people were looking for native German speakers so I had that in my advantage. In some way the jobs always ended up coming to me. The two jobs I've had the longest I both got through friends. And that's what I keep on reading about the American job market too - you need to network. Maybe I just haven't met enough people yet but that hasn't worked for me at all.

There are some things I won't do. I won't ever go back to working in Customer Service. I'd rather do a mind-numbing data-entry job for a year even though I know I could do better than that. Having pretty much 5 -6 years of Customer Service on my CV - even if I did lot's of things in my job - admin work, training, even translating - makes it that much harder to get anything outside this field. I wonder if I should modify and fake my CV around a bit to get a job. First of all, maybe I have to dumb it down? I wonder if my last employed year that stated "Supervisor" makes people think I am going to be bossy or not happy in a secretarial position.

I also won't do Sales (I am way too honest, I could never do sales) or a financial job (I am not good with numbers and Accounting was my worst subject in school).

I applied for one job that just seemed perfect. It was a job to be a photographer for an Ebay-shop. People would drop of whatever they wanted to sell and they needed a photographer to take nice pictures of whatever people wanted to sell on that Ebay-shop. This job however was only for 15-20 hours per week and the pay was $9 per hour. That's not much money. This is a lot less than I earned in my first real job and that pay had sucked already. Still, I wanted that job so bad. I was going to actually be a photographer! And they wanted somebody who was a bit fashion savvy - hellooo! I worked for a fashion company for three years! Score!

This company like all the other ones didn't even get back to me. I am still thinking to myself what I did wrong in my application. I mean for those hours and that salary I cannot imagine that they got an experienced photographer to do the job. I know times are hard but still. If they would have at least invited me for an interview, you know? But to not even answer me ...

I applied for an admin agency too. A JOB AGENCY! I remember when I was living in Holland, looking for a job, putting my CV on Monster I got at least 8 phone calls a day from agencies that were desperate to hire me. This agency, like all those other companies didn't even call me. Not even an email saying "Sorry but we don't deem you employable".

I am utterly flabbergasted by this hostility.

So I am continuing to apply for jobs and hoping to score an interview. I have always been pretty good at interviews so I think if I could just get to talk to them I would have a much better chance to get the job.
Also I will try to be better prepared. Maybe that photo-job would have been more interested in me if I had made an online portfolio and included a link with my email. Or maybe it would have been like that writing job I applied for who asked for a link to a personal blog as a writing sample. I sent them the link to this blog and they never even looked at it.

Slow and steady wins the the race, right?

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