Like most twenty-something-year-old graduates, I am struggling to find jobs and get my feet firmly on the allusive and wobbly career ladder that has been promised to us all throughout our formally educated lives. I, like many others, (surprising, I know) want a job that I actually enjoy and pays well, yet I also want to travel the world, live a little, and not get tied down to a whopping 10.75 hrs of annual leave because I’ve signed my life away to a contract, which means no more fun, ever.
Anyway, ever the optimist, I am still on hunt for my ‘dream job’, or in fact just any job that will enable me to carry on my travels of this big o’world of ours, and have decided to document my diabolically awful, yet somewhat hilarious stories of failing at life. Since when did being an adult get so hard? I’m pretty sure I’ve lowered the average age of a mid-life crisis by 30 years which is just not acceptable. But, go on and have a little scroll if you fancy, my monumental fuck-ups might just make you feel better…
September – Seriously, someone wake me up when September ends!… (Sorry Billie Joe – I had too)
A local position has opened up in Marketing where I already work, and which I have applied for, and have been feeling pretty confident about. I’ve been told I have a flair for flogging, so it would be the perfect progression for me at the moment. A real salary, 9-5 office hours, I’d almost be considered an adult if I get it, and I have been spoken to about my application form already; it seems I’ve impressed the right people. Hurrah! Here’s to hoping right? I just need to smash the interview and the job is as good as mine…
Three days later…the interview went well, however I was ‘pipped to the post’ so I am told – five minutes before my current shift is about to start. Of course that’s the best timing to be let down by the ones who have bigged you up and pretty much promised you the position right?!
I am told that I have the right qualifications, and said the right things, yet I am inexperienced, and ironically it seems you can’t get the experience without the job? Hmm…Great, I’ve been fobbed off by the old ‘you’re inexperienced’ chestnut like so many others before me; my fallen inexperienced brethren. But wait, it gets so much better, the manager of the year doesn’t stop there; it is then suggested that this is now my chance to challenge my workplace in the future to let me lead some of the campaigns, A.K.A give me the workload but not the title or the dollar. Cheers man, here’s to rubbing salt in the wound otherwise known as ‘constructive feedback’!
Deflated. Unmotivated. September was a bad month.
I feel like a fool for being lead on and having my hopes so high on such a trivial thing when I think about it. Rest assured, I won’t be making that mistake again, my lesson has been learnt. It’s time to move on a look for other prospects. Such is life. My skin is now tough as old boots as they say.
October – November – Online application queen/snooze machine
Self-motivation has not been my strong point since Septembers silly knock-back. It’s been hard to stop feeling sorry for myself when you feel trapped in a dead-end job that you’ve had since you were 16, with no progression or prospects. Gloomy eh? However the show must go on, and my travel goals for next year are not going to fund themselves so it’s time to get back on the horse that previously lured me in and bucking bronco’ed me off.
I’ve signed up to Indeed the easiest place to find a job on the worldwide web apparently. Baby steps. Except, it becomes almost addictive scrolling through the endless listings of quite frankly shit jobs and ‘saving’ them, racking up hundreds of applications in a matter of minutes, I think this baby is attempting to run before it can walk.
So now I’ve got online application forms coming out of my ear-holes for jobs I can’t even pronounce, and I can safely say it has been the most monotonous experience of my life. Dying from boredom must actually be a real tragic state of affairs that has derived from the dull as dishwater task of filling out job applications.
I wonder how some companies can even attract creative fun-types when this is what they try and sell you to start, but maybe that’s my problem, maybe they’re not after creative-fun types like myself at all. Damn. I feel like a child who is not allowed to draw with the pretty colourful crayons, and is stuck with the last broken brown one in the bottom of the pot. Well, at least I can write these ridiculous forms with my eyes closed now, problem is, I’m forgetting which of the 58 tedious positions I’ve applied for now, lets hope I’m bullshitting about the right areas of responsibilities and qualities that I clearly hold…
December – Practice makes perfect, apparently?!
Telephone interviews are an odd one and probably my least favourite form of attempting to be a performing monkey so far. After seeing a part-time contract advertised at a high street clothing store and thinking ‘the hours are pretty decent, why the hell not?’, I made it through to the exciting telephone round!
Lucky me right? – All the while, I liked to think of this recruiting process as a bit of a really unglamorous, and quite boring game show, with a ‘tell us about your self with this ridiculously long winded application form’ round, followed by a quick-fire ‘let’s whittle out the ones who can’t understand those pesky everyday retail conundrums’ test, and finally the exclusive telephone interview from a complete stranger who is 99.9% likely to be sat in a call centre on a different continent, reading cues to find out why you are the perfect addition to ‘their team’ who they’ve never even met.
So apart from the fact that the hours advertised initially were now not the hours I was being ‘interviewed’ for, which now casually included working Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and all the other days in between Christmas and NYE, (no biggie, I mean who chooses their family, over a mindless retail corporation anyway?), the telephone interview did not work out and I did not make it through to the next round, or indeed even get asked any interview questions over the phone.
It seems not being prepared to change my annual family holiday’ing plans with two weeks notice for a temporary three month contract in the wonderful world of retail (also not advertised), was the final nail in my coffin this time…I’m not actually surprised by this one, at all – but a small note to retail corporations; maybe advertise the real hours and contract you want your worker bees to sign up for, instead of wasting everyones time luring us in with fake stats?
Today, I was interviewed for a job that I already have, and I have lost hours. I have to laugh at this because otherwise I’m going to have a nervous break down. This has to go down in history as the worlds worst interview, ever. Dear employee, thank you for all of your hard work for us over the years, we really appreciate you taking the time to reapply for a job you already have, but we’re going to give your shifts to somebody else…WOW! And I thought the September situation was handled badly by these guys, would somebody like to send me a copy of managerial skills 101 that I can pass on?…
January – New year, new job? Please?
New year, new start, I hope! I have landed my first interview of the year, hurrah! It’s office/admin based and to be honest I’m not sure it’s for me, but it’s got a fairly decent salary and alright hours – perfect for saving money to travel with! Except the interview wasn’t great as far as they go…
After being probed by a seemingly harmless interview panel of two for 20-something-minutes (which included me being told, “I’m concerned you are a bit to bubbly and enthusiastic to be stuck in the office with our current team” – just fantastic), I was taken to another side room, by myself, where a pop quiz was sprung upon me!
Now when I say pop quiz, I’m being kind to soothe my now bruised ego. It was actually an exam styled paper on housing benefits, placed in front of me with a ‘please write your full name here:’, ‘this paper will be marked out of 70’, and a ‘turn over to start here’. Well shit! I know nothing about flipping benefits, this is going to be a complete shambles.
Now sweating, I can hear every normal person ever, shouting at me from inside my clueless brain: ALWAYS RESEARCH THE JOB YOU’RE ABOUT TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR! How can I be so dumb?! I really do amaze myself at times, and not in a good way. I may be able to wing an application form, and an interview panel, but not a bloody test on benefits!!!
So, as a last ditch effort to try redeem my fatal error of not researching before the interview and to try and show some initiative, I get my mobile out and start Googling… I still think this would’ve been fine, and was quite a good idea really, up until one of the ladies who had interviewed me, came into the side room to check on me, and subsequently caught me cheating on my phone.
“Are you looking up questions on your phone? This paper was meant to show us what research you did before the interview…please can you make a mark next to the questions you have Googled” – followed by me not being able to look her in the eye, and handing her an exam paper filled with * next to each and every answer before swiftly leaving with my tail well and truly between my legs. I believe that is what they call disqualification. What a monumental cock-up.
Again, looking back at it now, I probably should’ve just left the paper completely blank and admit I hadn’t been proactive at all, despite the picture of perfection I had just painted of myself in the interview room.
Amazingly I didn’t get offered that job, I’m not sure why?
Email fail this time! Got to love technology, I’m starting to think I might be cursed. My new year, new job resolution is not going to plan.
A cute local animal charity had been advertising several positions of interest, and so naturally I applied for all three – you don’t leave all of your eggs in one basket right?
Unfortunately for me, their broadband broke, (which I’m not even sure is a thing, someone must have typed Google into Google) and all of my email applications bounced back.
Damn. Not meant to be.
So it’s another day, and I have another interview. By now you’d think I’d be nailing these but apparently not, I can’t seem to make it past this stage…at least I have learnt to do a bit of research before any interview in case of those sneaky assessments they may throw my way. Also noted from the last interview fail earlier this month; do not get caught Googling answers on my phone during said assessments.
The assessments for this position took place before my interview panel this time, and was actually really straight forward; a bit of Microsoft Excelling and a small in-tray activity before being acquainted with my three interviewers. One of which reveals that I went to university with her daughter and studied the same course as her which instantly made me feel much more at ease, however I was not going to lull myself into a false sense of security with this as I have done previously.
Alas, my ‘favourite’ interview question popped up again: “Please tell us what are your strengths and do you have any weaknesses?”
Well, yes actually, there’s just a few weaknesses; I’m broke, I’m applying for jobs that I’m over qualified for yet simultaneously lack experience in, I’ve also applied for so many jobs that I’m not really sure what the current job position is that I’m being examined for so i’m winging it once more, but other than that, I’m practically perfect in every way. Please employee me.
All jokes aside, I felt pretty positive leaving this interview, so I guess even if I’m unsuccessful (again), I am getting better at the interview panel malarkey. I’m noticing a reoccurring theme with the questions I’m being asked and think my responses are getting better each time.