The Five Worst Pieces of Advice I’ve Gotten While Job Searching
Posted May 1, 2012 by rough day at the office
5. Just Show Up at The Office You Want to Work At.
Nobody likes this. More than once I’ve been told just to “pop over” to an office that is going to be hiring in the next few weeks and show I’m interested, ask to volunteer, introduce yourself etc. and more than once I’ve actually done it. Nothing shakes your confidence more than recalling feelings of being that kid who just invited themselves to sit at someone else’s lunch table. Most receptionists/assistants have no idea how to handle unexpected guests and will turn you over to someone who is even more uncomfortable with your visit. Next thing you know they’re throwing the i-word at you (intern…don’t make me say it again) and telling you they’ll “hang on to your resume.”
4. Get a Puppy.
I think the logic behind this was to provide myself with a companion and take my mind off the fact that I have more rejection e-mails than e-Coupons from Harris Teeter in my inbox. However, I just killed my basil plant. Its shriveled carcass on my kitchen table reminds me that, if you can’t take care of a plant, you most certainly cannot care for a puppy. A puppy is like 4 steps up from a basil plant. I’d put a goldfish next on the responsibility totem pole (which I didn’t care for in college-in my defense Ellen swam on her side for almost a year. It was quite the moral dilemma when deciding whether to flush the thing or not), then maybe a hamster (Cecilia, the hamster I named after the lunch lady when I was 7, was lost in her hamster ball for almost a week before I found her gnawing on the curtains for sustenance), and then a cat (I hate cats, so no story here) THEN a puppy. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have an obese basset hound named Mr. Pickles to love me when I come home from “The Office,” but until I can harvest fresh basil for a Caprese salad from my own kitchen, I will probably not be investing in a furry friend any time soon.
3. Apply for Food Stamps.
Ok, first and foremost, I have a job. While I might not be using my degree or have benefits, I am certainly not poor. Looking for a job is a full time job. Figuring out how to support yourself while looking for a job just means you get a little less sleep and sacrifice the gym for cover letters and night shifts, but it can be done. I’m not wealthy by any stretch, but I have enough money for green vegetables every week and the occasional chocolate chunk cookie with my coffee. There are so many people out there who need food stamps, and I wouldn’t think of taking those resources away from someone who could really use them.
2. Stripping is Still a Job.
Self-explanatory. The only reason this isn’t number 1 is because I’m pretty sure strippers make better money than I do.
1. Over-Research Your Future Employer.
And finally, this one comes with a small story. I think I’ve alluded to the fact that I love creeping via social media. You put it on the internet; I consider it honing my professional research skills to find it. I’m that friend who is recruited by other friends who can’t remember the name of the guy they met at the bar last night and want to know if they imagined the lazy eye or not. One of my friends was set up on a blind date, knowing only his first name, and I found his birthdate, a middle school story he had written for a contest (a charming tale about a pirate-cat), and at least 6 current photos, despite the fact that he didn’t have a Facebook account. WIN. Professionally speaking, of course, my favorite feature of Linkedin is to see what connections you have in common. Isn’t that the point of Linkedin? Well, tread cautiously, my fellow job-hunters. I went into an interview with a very nice woman who was only a few years older than I was. I creeped, like any good researcher creeps, and determined we had a mutual connection in common. As it appeared that the friend of mine and this woman had worked together, I figured it would be a good “bonding point” to perhaps mention our mutual connection in the interview, since I knew he would be a good reference for me. I can’t recall the exact wording of how I “casually mentioned” our mutual friend (probably something along the lines of “Oh I saw you worked at _____, and my friend ____ worked there too! Did you know him?” I mean, really, there was no nonchalant way to do this. I obviously had spent an inappropriate amount of time researching this woman’s personal life and was willing to take the risk of exposing this, hoping she would take it as “going above and beyond”). The reaction I was hoping for was one of pleasant surprise, that I was in her professional and social circle, and we could bond over what a small world it is, fate etc. However, this woman’s face totally fell and her eyes narrowed and I couldn’t discern whether the sirens I heard were outside the window or in my head warning me that this was a bad, bad sign. “Yes, I know him. We were seeing each other for a while and now we are not.” Oh Jesus. What do you even say to that? I’m sorry? Oh did I say John Anderson? I meant Bon Danderson, we must be thinking of two totally different people…Being that she divulged this during an interview I can assume it was fairly recent and she wasn’t quite…”over it..” yet…. I do believe her final statement of the interview was “And I really should get rid of him on Linkedin. Do you have any other questions for me?”
No, I think you’ve answered them all…