Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Job Search & the BLOW OFF

Searching for the perfect job is a lot like searching for the perfect guy. It’s freaking rough out there. I would say it’s as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie but I happen to love Pauly Shore movies. Especially Son In Law. I have veered off track. All I’m saying is that you need to have a lot of patience and a thick skin.

I often compare job interviews to first dates. I’m filled with anxiety and anticipation. At least on first dates there are cocktails. I spend hours figuring out what I will wear, tweaking my resume and thinking about thoughtful questions to ask them. I also constantly try to figure out what to say when they ask the dreaded “what is your biggest weakness?” I mean, is there any good answer to this question?  It just seems like a lose/lose.  Even after you leave the interview, you’re not done. Now it’s time to compose a thank you note and determine how much you can follow up without seeming like a stalker.

The job search lately is especially difficult. There are typically two or three interviews, writing tests, PowerPoint presentations and often companies won’t bother to give you a response even after you’ve done all this work for them.

Recently, I received a response to my resume from a Public Relations firm that I had applied to. It read:

Dear Karen,
Thank you for applying for the PR assistant position. We would love to bring you in for an interview.
Well, my name is Samantha. Not Karen. What should I do?  I wrote back saying my name is Samantha and I just wanted to confirm that it was me they wished to contact. They assured me they did wish to contact me and so off I went.

The interview went OK, they sort of seemed like they’d interviewed 10,000 people and would rather be anywhere else in the world, but they still asked me to put together a media presentation. Since I really, really, really need a job I worked hard on my media presentation going over and above what they had asked of me and throwing in some creative elements to show my skills and personality. A few days later, I received the following email:

Dear Marina,
Thank you for taking the time to come in but we’ve decided to go in a different direction.

Seriously? I mean, seriously?
I freak out if I spell someone’s name wrong in an email, but these people got my name completely wrong TWICE. Even after they met with me and I completed a project for them. Oh and the subject of the email was “Sammi Robin Media Presentation.”

I wrote back and said I was sorry that Marina did not get the position but was there any chance that Samantha did? They did not respond.

I guess I should be happy they even took the time to let me or “Marina” know the status of the position. Still, is it really too much to ask for companies to let you know either way? Is it too much to ask for them to get your name right? Would it be possible for companies to only give you assignments if they are really serious about you?  Guys should not give you false hope and neither should potential employers. People should have the balls and the courtesy to let you know where you stand, especially if you’ve invested time, energy and emotion.

Not gonna lie, it’s tempting to say “fuck off” the next time some company that is interviewing ten other candidates asks me to put together a PowerPoint presentation or a Press Kit. I would get a bit of satisfaction in sending emails to all of the companies who couldn’t be bothered to let me know the status of the position and tell them that this is not acceptable and they suck at life. Only I won’t. Because I need a job. So I will continue to put a big smile on my face, attempt to turn all of my weaknesses into positives and create damn great PowerPoint presentations for companies who think my name is Marina. When it comes to jobs and relationships, chances are, you are you are going to have some heartbreaks and rejections. The good news (and the thing I keep telling myself with each resume I send out into what is most likely a black abyss), is that all it takes is one. 

6 comments:

  1. Hear, hear! These companies respect us even less than guys do. And that's a really tough feat!

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  2. This is some serious bullshit! I cannot believe that company got your name wrong TWICE. WTF. I'm going through the interview process as well right now and it is so like dating. It brings out all the same insecurities and anxieties. Hang in there and I hope you find something great soon!

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  3. Thank you!! You too :-) And i think interviewers should start offering all potential candidates some champagne. I wouldn't care as much if they called Marina if they gave me some champs

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  4. Yes, at least on the way out if not before the interview!

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  5. Unlike a specific person mentioned when recanting a dating horror story, this is a PR firm that should totally get outed. That is very unprofessional to get your name wrong twice, especially coming from an industry that is supposed be the epitome of "paying attention to detail." Coming from journalism and then into PR, I think PR firms are the worst. I just wrote a guest post – that should be coming out in the next few days on VentureBeat – blasting PR firms.

    Hang in there! Just like dating, all that went wrong before, eventually leads you to right.

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  6. Good point, SVB! out those bastards!

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