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.

I’m Too Comfortable at my job

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I want to start off by recognizing that I am lucky to have a job, and one that I don’t hate at that. I’ve had jobs that I’ve hated in the past, where I woke up and dreaded the thought of spending the day at work. Jobs where every night I had to make a pit stop for a drink or two to unwind. I’ve had jobs where the very thought of it made me sick. Of course it didn’t start out that way. Most of my jobs I had for several years. I stayed because although I had minor gripes I was generally happy. I am a quick learner and usually progressed very quickly. Eventually, that progressed stopped and everyday started feeling exactly the same. Out of frustration, I became discouraged and thought any effort I put into work wasn’t appreciated. I also didn’t really have a passion for the work that I was doing.

This was part of my motivation for going back to school. I always planned on writing but fell back on my early administrative and accounting experience to pay the bills. Eventually, I began taking steps to transition careers and thought a degree would help. While in school I ended up working in the business office of the college. While I was in school it worked out great and it was only supposed to be temporary. After graduation, my main goal was to find a full-time job and pay off the debt I had built up during the years of school. So last year when a coworker decided to retire and I was offered her position, I figured I should take it. I hadn’t had much luck finding anything else since graduation.

My goal was to pay off my bills as fast as possible so I wouldn’t have to worry as much about money. This way I would be open to taking a position based more on the fit instead of the salary. However, I have noticed a huge amount of slacking off on my job search. Not only do I not have the energy or time to commit myself to job hunting, I’ve noticed myself being picky about the jobs I apply for. I rationalize it by thinking why should I leave somewhere I’m generally happy at for anything less than the perfect job. So instead I’ve been sticking it out while not taking any risk to find something better. I’m think I’m holding on to this job because I’m just too comfortable. After almost four years, I’ve proven my hard work ethics and have developed a friendly relationship with coworkers and bosses. However, I have bad days where I feel over worked, stressed or even bored. I have started seeing the warning signs that I missed in the past that got me to the point where I didn’t care anymore. I also realize the longer I stay the harder it will be to leave. At some point, I may begin to hate it, maybe out of boredom or simply because I’ll get stuck and not fulfill my plans.

I’m feel stuck the only way to move forward is to leave my comfortable job. Somehow I have to create that sense of urgency I’ve had in the past when job hunting. At times I found a job within weeks of starting my search. If I really want to move on with my new career I have to take a risk and quit whether I have a new job or not. The only question now is how and when?

 

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?