28 July 2011

Arts of Being Discreet

My coffee was found: in the laundry basket. I did laundry at my sister-in-law's and had placed the empty travel mug in the basket to be able to make only one trip out to the car. It's strange. I'm efficient.

Hi friends. I am most likely correct in using this adage, because those that most likely will read this will be my friends and/or family.

At this point in my job search, I'm feeling a little down, a little blue, as they say.  It's been one year and almost three months since I graduated from the exceptional institute known as Trinity Christian College.  I had long hair, a big smile, and really cute shoes.  Suffice it to say: I still have those really cute shoes and that's about it.

I didn't have these. You would think I'm crazy. But they were similar.
So anyway, no one really wants to read a blog that complains a lot, and I know people like pretty pictures.  I've just finished watching the Season 4 Finale of Mad Men and I'm completely caught up.  Because I'm completely caught up, it also means that I'm completely obsessed with the actors and the fashion and the era, right down to the desk lamps. (Starting to feel like I need to put my name on the bottom of my grandparent's things to save them from Salvation Army).
I think it's fair to say that while I don't have the job I would like to have, I also don't have the spending money I would like to have. But that can't stop me from Microsoft Windows shopping.  It's shocking to find so many items come up on Craigslist after you type "Eames".  People know what's hot. And you gotta give the people what they want!
Herman Miller, mid-century, Danish modern, Mad Men, Don Draper.  These keywords are guaranteed to bring you something jaw-dropping when you're browsing Craigslist.  (Mostly in love with the sideboards I've found.)

If I could choose one article of mid-century design to put in my own home, I would choose the Eames Shell Rocking Chair.  Probably white.
It's hard to feel like the world sucks if you're sitting in one of these--better get me one.
So anyway, you're probably wondering what the heck my title (discretion) has to do with this post.
It's something to do with: being uncomplaining on facebook when everyone else is being little babies about the heat and their children and the amount of money something cost (then don't freaking buy it), being gracious about the things I do have, and learning to draw the line between public discontent and private so-on and so-forth. 

Today, I will write a beautiful cover letter. And I will expect an interview, because if I do not expect one, my cover letter will give me away as a pessimistic, morose, run-of-the-mill under-employed gal.

I'm gonna go grab some vitamin D and bucket o' coffee. There's still some optimism left out there.

22 July 2011

Several Failed Interview Attempts Later

My coffee was found today: in a green travel mug on the counter before we commuted to work together--thank you, Aaron Charles.

There are a number of things that I suspect have led me here, this state of under-employment. 

List of things of which I'm aware:
1. I was unable to commit to being a complete freelancer in a matter of seconds in a conversational portion of the interview.
2. I do not have the specific experience for which you are looking.
3. You somehow assume that I'm a slow learner and that I am lying about being a quick-study. In fact, you think I'm am not earnest at all about anything and don't know how I managed to get an interview with you in the first place.
4. My suit was not black, but a really amazing shade of grey/beige/light olive with stitching detail on the lapels [Anne Klein].
5. My glasses are last, last, last, last season but still Prada.
6. The amount of time I spent pinning my hair up was a little obvious. (It was just a bun! A simple, standard bun!)
7. I practiced my answers too much and therefore my improvisational skill must be lacking.
List of things of which I'm unaware:
1. Would I list something of which I was unaware? Really?
2. I wasn't a good fit--but how could I know if you didn't let me try "fitting in"?

So far I've interviewed (since my last, forever-ago-post) for the following positions:
Freelance Textbook Editor
Radio Line Producer (obtained a second interview from this one)

I wish I could say, there seems to be no limit to the number of the interviews I've had.  But there is a limit--it's limited to two and a half.  And that's from December to the present, late July.  Prior to that I interviewed for the following positions beginning in May, before I had graduated until November 2010:
Program Representative (was flown into Chicago for this one)
Admissions Counselor
Secretarial Temp
Counseling Center Administrative Assistant
The worst part about most of this is that many interviewers gave me bonus points for my well-organized answers, my aesthetically-pleasing and impressive resume, and the creativity I possessed in my cover letter.

It is my belief that 9 out of 10 times, I was not given the job because I was not a good fit.  (There are always reasons to say no, some of them being acceptable.  Acceptable reasons: Jobs had a lot of travel and I was a newlywed.  Who wants to travel that much a week after they've been married?)

Please do  not get me wrong--I am not complaining. But this is a blog, and I will share my opinions, without being too specific.  I've given a lot of thought towards why I am not being hired into my area of expertise/experience.  And I share it with you now.  I know so many of you are in the same boat.

And I must say, that while my experience continues to look meager stacked up against other persons' resumes, I cannot say how much I have been blessed with what I have been given. 
Two jobs. 
Two bosses that care about me. 
And time enough to continue to do what I love: writing. 

Also, time enough to do what I don't love: looking for that elusive copy editing or copy writing job.  I think one year and two months has given me enough [life] experience to give you, Interviewer, what you're looking for.

17 November 2010

Something Called Growing Up

It sounds scary, doesn't it?  You move into your new place and it starts looking pretty empty and the only smell you can rightly identify from the previous tenants is the stench of 7 years worth of smoking--indoors.  The other unidentifiable scent might be cancer of the lung.  But you're not sure.

And then suddenly you realize that in addition to paying rent on this apartment and the electric bill, you have to live here--so it better look good.

That's when you run to IKEA (or drive, depending on your athletic ability).  You pick up a few things, put them together in a few hours, and set your TV on the new TV stand.  Only problem is: your TV is from about 1996.  And the screen is the same size as your computer.  You might as well put your piece of Dell right there on the TV stand because it's looking a lot sleeker than that huge TV box with a tiny screen.


But then you figure: we'll buy a new TV in a few months, when we can afford it.

And then you delicately set up your brand new floor lamp--it's kind of cool and modern and bows over so that it hangs, chandelier-like.  But...it's lighting up your dreadfully ugly and juvenile room filled with an old fuzzy red rug with strange unidentifiable creatures in pastel colours on it and it throws really strange shadows across your borrowed futon that's covered with a fitted grey jersey sheet.  Maybe it's time to invest in another piece of furniture...like a sectional couch.

Inspiration from Crate & Barrel

I will show our own result just as soon as I can get my camera to link to this computer.  :)  But we haven't got a rug just yet.  I think white may prove a poor choice, but seeing that our cat is a calico, I don't think any colour will disguise an amount of cat hair on it.

Perhaps it's time to buy a vacuum and forget this nonsense of rug colouration.