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Thursday, April 12, 2012

J: Job-hunting

Blogging from A to Z: J

Sorry this is late. Something came up yesterday that took longer than expected. Also, I'm not trying to insult anyone, especially teens, (I have two hard-working ones of my own), with this. I'm just fed up with being seen as inferior. Apologies. I'm not feeling very funny today. I'll come back with something better for K, I promise!

Five reasons prospective employers don't like me.

1. I'm too old
That's very short-sighted of them, considering that next month I will be The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and Everything. That's got to make me worth having on staff, surely?

2. I'm over-qualified.
It may look like it, after I went back to school to get my degree a few years ago. But honestly, a general sociology/social psychology degree doesn't actually qualify me to work in those fields without further study, which won't be happening.

3. I haven't had much experience in the past ten years.
I know I've only had one job, but I do have five years of study and a set of well adjusted twin daughters. It's not like I've been sitting around doing nothing.

4. Hiring a teen is cheaper.
Probably, but you know when you and your friend each buy a kettle, and she buys an expensive top-quality one whilst you buy the cheap one? You're on your fourth cheap kettle by the time she needs to replace hers, and it's cost you a lot more than her in the long run. Do I need to say any more?

5. I haven't worked in this field before.
I'm smart. I can learn to operate a cash-register, stack a shelf or greet a customer in the corporate manner fairly quickly. I already know how to write a letter using real words, and answer a telephone using words of more than one syllable. That should count for something.

One more thing, prospective employer. I should thank you. Your policy of 'no response means no' may be irritating but at least it's preparing me for the industry I'd really like to enter. Apparently, they are masters of it :-) Don't worry though. If you hire me, you'll never know there's something else I'd rather be doing. As long as you never find my blog ;-)

84 comments:

  1. Sarah, I'm sorry if things are tough right now. Just hang in there...since you can write, have you thought of being a freelance writer? Anyway, I wish you the best and I hope something will come your way very soon.

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    1. Thank you Cynthia, funnily enough, I hadn't. Perhaps I should :-)

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  2. Ouch! I feel your pain. It's tough to be on the other end of job hunting... the one that doesn't get you very much. I hope it gets better. :)

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    1. Thanks Kayeleen, I'm sure something will turn up eventually :-)

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  3. I hate job hunting with a passion, and I hate that no response means no. I end up waiting for ages! At least with submissions, if 3 months have gone by without a word I know who to contact, you don't with a lot of companies.

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    1. To be honest, I write companies off after a couple of weeks. That way, if they ever do contact me (which has never happened after that time), I'd be pleasantly surprised :-)

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  4. I'm sorry to hear about the job-hunting not going the way you want it. Also, I caught the (coded) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference, and that shouldn't be considered too old at all. I hope things work out for you eventually.

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    1. Heh, I wondered if anyone would notice that :-)

      Thanks Michael.

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  5. Your perfect job is waiting for you, I am sure of that!

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    1. Thanks Claudia, you always know what to say :-)

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  6. Hey - you're a spring chicken. Just keep going and someone'll snap you up - just be yourself. Best of luck
    Lxxx

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    1. Have I told you lately that I love you? ;-)

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  7. Job hunting can be soul destroying. Fingers crossed you find one soon x

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  8. Lost connection there and lost my big long comment - today's not going well! Anyway, I feel for you. I hate job hunting with a passion - best of luck with it!

    I hear you on number 4. I've been at home with the kid for four years but I know I'm going to have to get some sort of part-time job soon to help make ends meet. Couldn't get a job at Tesco although they were "impressed with my application", then you go in there and there's all sorts of snot-nosed imbecilic kids whereas I'm a responsible, articulate adult. Rant over...

    Oh, and my wife is turning the same age this year. (I'm glad she'll never read this!) I can't think of her as old, as I'm 10 years younger but probably look older. Don't worry about it!

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    1. Aww, it sucks when your comments get eaten :-(

      The problem with 'certain' employers is that responsible, articulate adults are the last employees they want. They can't be pushed around, and they know what is and isn't legal in employment ...

      You are a smart man. Your wife (and, therefore, me) is definitely not old :-)

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  9. I hope you find the perfect job soon. I know it's hard but just look at it as extra writing time. I was unemployed straight out of school for 15 months - while my mum used the ever-remembered/highly grating phrase "Everyone else can get a job!"

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    1. Just what you want to hear when you're looking for work, I'm sure!

      Thanks Annalisa.

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  10. It must be heart breaking to apply for a job these days.
    I do wish you all the luck in securing a job soon.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thanks Yvonne, I'm sure something will turn up :-)

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  11. This list makes me sad, but I'm aware that these reasons come into play when hiring. I do hope you get a great job soon.

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    1. Thanks Medeia, I can't really blame employers. I guess they can pick and choose right now.

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  12. Hi Sarah. Must be tough job hunting these days. Luckily the Aussie economy is still booming so no shortage of jobs here.

    I'm having a very busy family weekend so I'm not posting on RFW for K. Might get L up, but have a guest for M so hope you can get over for that one. Thanks for being so good with your visits. Wanna reference???

    Denise

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    1. I wish I'd emigrated 20 years ago when I first thought of it!

      I hope you have a lovely weekend, and you know me - you post 'em, I'll read 'em. Sometimes I get there late, but I always get there :-)

      Wouldn't it be awesome if I could put blogging on my CV?

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  13. This kind of thing really bugs me, because I'm sure if I attempt going back to work, I will face the same problems. Don't get me wrong, teenagers need to work too, but surely they have no more experience than you?

    Good luck with the job hunt, I hope it gets better!

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    1. You're right. I can't even be mad at teenagers, it isn't their fault. I just wish it was more of a level playing field.

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  14. This is so true. I've just started part time work in a shop while I study for my degree and the second anything goes wrong they all just look straight at the young part time staff. It's really annoying, yesterday one of the supervisors put something through the till wrong and then basically told me I had done it wrong even though only supervisors can do that. I just stood there and took it because I know that I'm ten times more intelligent than them and that after my degree I will hopefully be able to apply for jobs earning double what they're on - doing something that may actually be challenging. That sounds harsh but it's true lol. They seem to hire lots of part time staff and make them all do overtime, especially 4 hour shifts as if you don't work any more than 4 hours you don't get a break... Just remind yourself of the reasons why you're doing it and that you have so much more to offer in other areas.... that's what I'm trying.

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    1. Just keep telling yourself that one day you could be their boss, except you'll be doing something way more interesting :-)

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  15. I am older, and overly qualified for my job. And I took a lot of time off to stay with my kids. Yes, I could learn a lot of other things. Sometimes it just seems like they never give people a chance to learn a new skill! Good luck in your job search.

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    1. Thank you - and you're right, it seems like there's no such thing as on the job training any more!

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  16. Ugh, I'm sorry, Sarah. My SIL is looking, too . . .

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    1. Good luck to her. At least one of us should have some luck :-)

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  17. I'm sorry! I think being the answer to the universe should count for something.
    And I like your 'bash F5' several times with your Followers widget1

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    1. It definitely should, shouldn't it?
      And, in my world, 'bash' is a technical computer term. (Hmm, maybe this is why I can't find a job!) :-)

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  18. Itis always curious to me that raising a fmaily does not qualify as "experience". I think I have grown immensely since beocming a mother. Besides that, many women need to multi-task, communicate clearly, cover finances, etc. Perhaps rather than "will they hire me?" it is possible to spin it and ask, "Will I accept them?" Hmmm.

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    1. I so agree. It's amazing how many different skills you learn once you become a parent :-)

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  19. Sarah - Job hunting is one of the most disheartening things there is! You've every right to let off a little steam and this is just fine as "J." For some reason, prospective employers treat prospective employees in ways they would never consider treating anyone else...

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    1. That's true. It's definitely a 'buyers' market right now. One day, though ... ;-)

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  20. It's really stupid that the more educated a person is, the less hireable they are. Stupid. Well, I hope you get a job soon.

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    1. Thanks Clarissa, I'm feeling a lot better today :-)

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  21. Job hunting sucks--and a necessary evil at the same time. I wish you the best of luck job hunting. I know it is enough to want to pull your hair out at times!!

    Cheers, Jenn
    http://www.wine-n-chat.com

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    1. Thanks Jenn, something will happen eventually, I'm sure - I hope it's whilst I still have all my hair :-)

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  22. I agree, the hunt for a new job sucks. Good luck and try to stay positive!

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  23. I know people who have started lying on their resumes by removing their college degrees. How strange is that? There was a time people would lie by saying they did have a degree, but now it can be the kiss of death. I feel for you. The husbeast has had to do the job search thing all too often over the last 5 years, and it just stinks. I am sure you will find something soon.

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    1. You know, I did actually consider that. It's only because I'd have an even longer 'empty space' to explain that I didn't.

      Hope things are a bit more stable now for the other half!

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  24. Know the feeling... Best of luck anyway!

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  25. Though the tone of this isn't funny, you did make me smile at the end. Hope things turn around for you soon. I'm sure some organization out there will see your worth.

    That kettle reference sounds like the way I tend to buy. My husband is highly amused by me and the amount of money I spend buying inferior stuff. :)

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    1. Cheers Joy, I'm not feeling so grumpy today :-)

      I do so love it when shop assistants point out to me that the more expensive one is actually better value. Unless they're going to let me pay monthly, there's a reason I'm buying the cheap one :-)

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  26. I hear you...my husband is out of work and he experiences these things all the time and it gets so frustrating for him...hang in there!

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    1. Thanks Tracy, and best of luck to your husband!

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  27. I'm sorry about the job hunting. Bleh! I want you to write, pal. But I know we have to also eat. Loved the ending. That could be short story. You need to find an anthology to send it to. It's really good.

    This too will pass. Sending hugs and smooches to you.

    Let us bake the cake! :-)

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    1. Thanks Robyn. This comment made me smile when it came in :-)
      Heck, let's bake a whole library of cakes! (Wait, that isn't quite right ...) :-)

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  28. Hear, hear! It is a problem, isn't it? In the situations you've noted, it all comes down to saving money and cutting corners. It's disgusting, really.

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    1. I totally agree. Some companies definitely don't think long-term!

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  29. Allegedly, the job market is improving, so hopefully, a Goldilocks job will turn up for you real soon. Good luck.

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    1. I love that, a 'goldilocks' job. Thank you for the smile :-)

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  30. #3 is the one that gets to me. Employers can be awfully narrow-minded about what counts as experience.

    Good luck with your job search.

    Lucy

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    1. Thanks Lucy. It's a shame blogging doesn't count :-)

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  31. Man, i've never not had a job since i was fifteen. I can't even imagine adult life without a job (though i know raising kids is a full time job. I just mean a job where you have to get dressed and go somewhere)

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    1. I'll admit, there was a period of time where I didn't get dressed every day, but I had to snap myself out of that. Not a good example for my kids. Now only Sunday is PJ day :-)

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  32. There really should be more respect--or at least some kind of diploma for raising children, right? I watched a news piece recently about "older" adults trying to find a job and there was not only ageism and the economy as road blocks, but employers requiring applicants to be currently employed BEFORE applying. It's insanity. I am sorry you are having a rough time! Hope things go more smoothly ASAP!

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    1. I think that could actually be insane! Nothing like making you think it's not worth it, hey?

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  33. I'm having a hard time too, though hopefully I'll be able to get a job as a camp counselor again in a few months. I was laid off last May from the newspaper I'd worked at for two months shy of five years, and I know the problems that paper is still having are being felt at many other newspapers. People just don't want print newspapers as much as they used to when they could get the same stuff for free online. I know I should suck it up and get back to studying the math portion of the GRE so I can belatedly go to grad school. I wish this were still the era when you didn't need years of experience for even an entry-level job, and it was routine to get some basic on the job training when you first came aboard.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you're having problems too. It's just hard to deal with sometimes, isn't it? You're right about there being no 'on-the-job' training any more. These days we're supposed to have the answers before we ever know what the questions are.

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  34. Perfect timing. I'm on the job market (if you follow my blog, you'll know I've been on the job market forever), and am attending a career fair tonight.

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    1. I had it in my head you were doing assistant teaching? Did I get that wrong or is it part time? I know you were taking more classes weren't you? I remember reading that and being a bit envious :-)
      How did the career fair go? Anything interesting?

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  35. Oh gosh, this made me laugh with all the humor you put into this. The hubs got laid off from 7 jobs within 3 years. It was darn tough, but he eventually got one that's stuck for a year and a half now, and that's all we can ask for right now. :)

    Good luck my dear!

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    1. Oh my goodness, that had to have been so tough on you both! I'm glad things seem to be better for you now. I hope they stay that way :-)

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  36. Oh, there are so many things that could be said, but why go on that rant? I mean, me... right now.
    bah!
    That "bah!" is for you. :)

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    1. Heh, thanks Andrew. I know what you mean about the rant. It's all a bit pointless isn't it? And thank you for the 'bah'. I shall take it as a sign of encouragement :-)

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  37. Oh, that stinks. Job hunting is seriously frustrating. I looked for my current job for 2 months and almost got turned down again. Lots of employers are so picky. I'm over-qualified for my job, but I guess it works for now.

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    1. I wonder how many people are in jobs right now that they're over-qualified for? Makes me wonder why all the youngsters are bothering to saddle themselves with all that debt for a degree.

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  38. Good luck--best wishes on your job hunting. I was permanently laid off of a job I'd held for 22 years, a couple of years ago. It gets better...

    And I see your sense of humor popping through this post-- "If you hire me, you'll never know there's something else I'd rather be doing. As long as you never find my blog ;-)" Yep...I hear you :-)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. That must have been incredibly rough for you, after 22 years. I hope things are better for you now.

      I look forward to visiting you later, and getting to know you :-)

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  39. This is hardly grumpy, Sarah. It's insightful. It's honest. It's straightforward and rightfully pissed off. If they didn't recognize what a great choice you were, you didn't want to work there, anyway. Yes, you would have collected a paycheck, but what would YOU have paid?

    Better is coming.

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    1. J, I love that you know what to say to make me feel good. Thank you :-)

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  40. Look at you go with your grumpy self... :)

    PS... stil waiting... your Grumpyness :)

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    1. Heh, I haven't forgotten I promise :-)
      It's good to see you :-)

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  41. Very timely post, and a serious one too>
    Great work
    Keep doing
    Waiting for the next installment :-)

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  42. awman. we're always so short-staffed. i bet if you lived here, my boss would hire you in an instant. and you would be one of the younger workers there! :)

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I happily answer all comments on my blog, and by email if it's not a 'noreply' address :-)