Another Day, Another Interview…

Let me begin by saying that I am still thankful for the job I have. I really am. I don’t dislike it. In fact, sometimes, it’s even sort of fun and enjoyable. But I am not cut out for a career in retail.

So, let me next say that I am thankful for possible career opportunities, even though I’m anxious to be finished with the interview process.

Just to recap in case you’re new here, (And if you are, Welcome!) I’ve been looking for a job as a writer since Hubs and I got married and I moved up to KC. I had a couple of interviews back in August/September, but since then, other than the interview for the retail job I have now, I haven’t had much luck in my job hunt.

Which is incredibly frustrating and discouraging. (If you know anyone who is job hunting right now, give them a hug and a free meal any chance you can, ok?)

But in the last three weeks, I’ve had three interviews.

Phew.

It feels good to get that off my chest.

I mean, I want to be honest with you guys, but I also don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up (especially mine!) by talking about any opportunities too early.

So, I’ll just finish up this post with a list of things I’ve learned so far in the job hunt process.

1. Having a college degree is helpful, no matter how awful student loans are or how discouraging it is to be working a part-time retail job right after I graduated. If I didn’t have a degree, I would have to leave the “education” part of applications looking a lot more blank on all these applications. Not to mention that I’m actually semi-trained for all these jobs I’m applying for.

2. Going on interviews is not all that fun. Yes, I enjoy meeting new people, and yes, it’s exciting, and yes, I learn a lot with each interview. But no, I don’t enjoy having to wonder if I’m at the right building on the right floor, and if I’m pronouncing everyone’s name correctly, and whether or not I’m saying the right sorts of things when you ask me to tell you “a little bit about myself.”

3. Companies don’t have big enough signs outside their buildings stating their names and addresses. Just saying.

4. All applications are basically the same. And I respect that I still need to fill yours out even though my resume answers almost all the same questions. But it doesn’t mean I enjoy entering all that information in over and over again. I’ll do it, and I understand why you want me to do it, but I won’t miss it after I get hired.

5. Looking for a job and a house is hard to do at the same time. I’m not sure which should be done first, (depending on your priorities…) but I know they shouldn’t be done at the same time.

6. There are a lot of other people who are struggling just like me. It sucks to not have a job that feels totally fulfilling. But until then, we’re all going to keep looking. At least I will, no matter how frustrating and discouraging and emotionally draining it is. You should, too.

7. There are no easy answers to those behavioral interview questions. You know, the ones that ask, “Tell me about a time when…what did you do and how did it affect the end result?” Sometimes I feel like I can rock these questions, and other times I find my thought process to go something like this:

“I can’t think of anything…Quick, think of something! Stop thinking about it so much…but make it be a really good example! And make sure your facial expression doesn’t look like you can’t think of anything! Gosh darnit, I still can’t think of anything. Does he know I can’t think of anything? Stop thinking about thinking about something and start thinking of something!!”

Ok, in all seriousness, it’s not that bad, and I actually do have good answers for some of these questions, and I’m fairly good at thinking on my feet, but still, I will REJOICE on the day I no longer have to worry about these.

8. Looking for a job is hard work, but it helps to have printer. I’m sad to say that my old college printer is dying a slow death (it’s currently in a “false paper jam” coma), and Hubs and I are the proud, albeit slightly annoyed and angry, owners of a new all-in-one wireless printer! It’s awesome so far. But I have terrible luck with printers (Sorry, old buddy that got me through college. If the HP tech guy had said he could help, I wouldn’t have given up on you. You haven’t gone to the garbage yet, so there’s still some hope, right?), so I’ll keep you posted.

9. Talking about how the job hunt is going is both helpful because it shows me that people care and are interested, but also a bit painful because there just isn’t all that much to report and sometimes it’s hard to seem super positive when I’m really just tired and don’t want to think about it. I’m pretty positive and upbeat, but still, it’s just a drain sometimes. However, I do appreciate all the well wishes and support, and I accept gifts and chocolate if you ever want to send a “job hunt” care package my way.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

10. It helps to know people. I don’t know anyone up here in the industry I’m currently seeking work in, but I am going to promise, with all of you as my witness, that someday, after I have a job and am successful (at something! whatever it will turn out to be…), I will do whatever I can to help anyone I know that needs a job in the field I’m working in.

11. Being a newlywed without a job is HARD. We have bills, we want to buy a house. It’s stressful to try and figure out finances when one half of the couple isn’t working. It’s also a lot of pressure to put on myself that we’re sort of waiting to buy a house, something we both want very badly, until I have a job, or some sort of idea of where I might end up, career-wise. I’m thankful that Hubs is so encouraging, but I won’t lie. I’m pretty hard on myself sometimes because I want so badly to see us move forward with our dreams. Yes, we’re happy here, and yes, I’m trying to not rush God’s plan for our lives, but it’s still hard. Just hard.

12. Post-interview glasses of wine or bottles of beer seem like a good idea. Too bad all of my interviews are usually in the morning….

What about you? Any job hunt tips? Any job offers for a magical, secret dream job you’d like to offer? Is anyone else dealing with this right now?

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13 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Interview…

  1. I couldn’t agree with #5 more! I feel ya on the looking for a job AND a new house dilemma…not fun.

    I really appreciate your honest post though. I know that life can bring some fairly discouraging days, but just hang in there, and enjoy that nice glass of wine! 🙂

  2. Alyson Iuchs

    Just wanted to say I am going through this exact same thing and it’s really hard. But I’m sure we will both make it through this job hunting time!

  3. Mark Curley

    Well first off I have to say good luck to you and I hope you get the job you’re wanting, and quickly because the job search is exhausting. I’ve been trying to become a police officer since last January. Applied to over 20 departments. Seems like the only way to get hired is to be the chiefs nephew, knowing someone is quite important, which I as well have learned. So just wanted to let you know you are definitely not alone. Keep at it and keep your head up. I hope you can soon replace that job with a career.

  4. I know the job hunt is awful! I’ve done it 4-5 times in my career (once for several months) and though it’s never fun, I think it does get better as you have more experiences to share for those, “Tell me about a time…” questions.

    I guess my only advice is NETWORK!! Go on LinkedIn, MeetUp or search Google and find out if there are any writers groups in the area. I joined the Freelance Writers Alliance in Dallas and though everyone there was pretty much in the same boat as me, you never know. There were also recruiting agencies for “creatives” that had happy hours once a month.

    Or, go volunteer for a non-profit and meet people that way. You never know who’s gonna be the friend of the friend who will eventually offer you a job. It’s definitely difficult to continue to put yourself out there over and over again (it’s kinda like dating, right?). But my husband got some great advice when he was out of work for 10 months (after 11yrs with the same company): Show up to networking events thinking about what you have to offer others who are there. i.e. don’t be the one who comes across as desperate. Truth is you’re not! Think about how you can help someone else. Be generous. And be your warm, upbeat self. Everyone else looking is probably also feeling downtrodden, so that’s one way you can stand out from the crowd!

    Sorry for writing a book here. But I totally feel your pain. And hope it gets better! Great post BTW.

    • Thanks so much! I really appreciate the advice. And I have met some people, and am amazed by the people I find that have something to connect us. Coworkers that also want to work in journalism, someone I met through volunteering at a church whose husband is a freelance writer…

      It’s a huge encouragement, for sure!

      Thanks!

  5. Job hunting is really tough. I really liked your honest portrayal of what you are going through, though! I totally respect the filling out 100 identical applications with your resume. That’s just crazy!

  6. *sighs* Boy, this sounds a lot like my last job hunt. It’s stressful sometimes, and I know what you mean about being at a job you can sometimes enjoy but want something more. I’ve got the job part down, but I can’t help but feel like there’s something else out there for me you know?

    *Hug* Rooting for you!

  7. Pingback: Being in over my head… « the newlywed wife

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