The Road So Far: Keeping Busy

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Pretty soon after I started classes I ended up leaving my job at the bakery. There were a lot of changes in the business and I was forced to split my time between working in wholesale and retail at the Manhattan location. I was discouraged and unhappy with the situation. Deciding to move back into office work, I found a job in accounting for a restaurant chain and franchise company. I enjoyed the change and quickly took on more responsibility. The workload steadily increased and eventually it became too much to handle.

Next I found a job working two days a week for the nonprofit company Seedco. I started out doing data entry for one of their programs. Later I got the chance to help out with the program newsletter. I wrote and edited articles, then reformatted it from print to email.

While there I used the extra time to to do an internship. I found one assisting the editor of a website aimed at expecting and new parents. I wrote small pieces for the newsletter, proofread articles, assisted with the editorial calendar and did administrative work. The internship was unpaid but I was hired as a freelance writer for several articles published on the site. By then I had built up some momentum and was writing more regularly. I even tried sending out some work for contests and publication submissions.

I stayed at the internship from April until December of 2008. I felt I had gained enough experience there and couldn’t afford to work for free anymore. At that point I thought it would be a good idea to find ways to expand my experience and explore different areas and industries I was interested in. I joined the internet marketing team of band, volunteered for a film and arts festival, and attended a conference on working in the magazine industry. I also wrote published a story in a heavy metal themed horror anthology and began writing music reviews for a metal website.

When I got my degree that May, I started to even more actively search for a second or new full time job. I didn’t have much luck and even considered taking on another internship to beef up my resume. I eventually decided that I would continue with school, getting my Bachelors degree. If I went full time I would be eligible for full financial aid. Tuition would be paid with money left over for me to survive.

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The Road So Far: Back Home

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In December of 2001 I was back home from school after a year and a half. I struggled to find a steady job full-time job for almost a year. I eventually stumbled upon a bakery that was hiring retail sales people. I spoke with the manager and gave him my resume. I called to follow up several times until he finally put me on the schedule. It started part-time and I grew to really enjoy working there. It was a relaxed workplace where I easily learned and quickly took on new tasks. It taught me a lot of patience and great people skills. Working at the bakery my goal was to pay off my debt and eventually return to school. However, as my role at the bakery continued to grow I became comfortable and in no hurry to return.

Not expecting the bakery to be long-term I occasionally looked for work and made attempts at improving my skill sets and experience. I searched for internships that didn’t require school credit and found a work at home program promoting bands. I was sent a package of promotional posters, cd’s, stickers, etc. that I was to post and give out around the city, then take pictures and send them back to the company. I wasn’t motivated enough to do the work on my own, especially since I had no interest in the band I was assigned and quit very early. Since I was interested in writing for the web I tried learning HTML with a self learning kit. I learned basic coding easily but I didn’t really have a way to put it to use. I wrote stories and poetry occasional. I also tried to improve my writing with free online classes and joined the website DarkPoetry.com. The site is a community for writers to post work, receive commentary and support. I also submitted for publication once in a blue moon. But due to a lack of discipline my I wasn’t very consistent and easily let other things in life take priority over writing.

After several years at the bakery I moved into a full-time position handling wholesale business. But I was getting restless and there wasn’t much more room for growth. I still wanted to work in a field related to writing but lacked the experience or degree to gain a position. When I did start applying to jobs, the only offer I received was in accounting for the food service industry. I don’t mind accounting work, it’s easy and I’m good at it. But it still wasn’t something I wanted to do long term. With my failed efforts on my own to gain the experience, knowledge and skills I would need to move to something else I realized it was time to go back to school. I turned down the offer to stay at the bakery after negotiating a raise and a flexible schedule, both of which I would need to return to school.

Rude Interviewers

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I understand that when searching for a job, especially when they are internships, you are not the highest priority on the interviewers mind but it would be nice to think that you can get the common courtesy of the person interviewing you. There are many things that I have encountered that are pretty much completely and utterly rude and if anything nearly close to these behaviors was done by the person being interviewed they would be guaranteed not to get the job. I understand obviously that its not the same thing, and usually we need the interviewer much more than they need us but does that mean we don’t deserve common courtesy. Here are a couple of pet peeves that drive me insane in no particular order:

1. The interviewer being late.  I was on time if not early why can’t I get the same respect.

2. Having to reschedule and then never doing so. I really don’t understand this, because to me it says they didn’t need somebody in the first place or already made their decision. Now all they did was give me a glimmer of hope and then snatch it right back.

2. Keep me waiting for more than twenty minutes. This is almost the same as being late but instead the person is there and is involved in something so much more important that you have to wait. Or my favorite their last interview has run late. Please again common courtesy I may not be working but I have a schedule to keep too.

3. Taking calls during the interview. Now this one I give a little leeway on. Just because we are having an interview doesn’t mean the rest of the world stops. But recently I have an interviewer take several cell phone calls during an interview and then sit there and have at least a minute or two conversation each time. Not only was it rude but also distracting; after each phone call neither one of us remembered what we were speaking about. If you must take a call make sure it’s not an emergency and then tell them you will call back when you are done.

4. Rush through an interview because you have to be somewhere else in five minutes. Why did you schedule the interview for that time then? I always tell interviewers when I’m free and ask when they would prefer to meet, yet I still have some that have to run out to a meeting. At the end of those I always know I wont be getting the job because there is no way they got any sense of whether or not I was the right candidate.

These are just a few things off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are plenty more. Anybody else have similar or even worse examples of bad interviewers?