So at the urging of my school’s career counselor, I signed up for what was called a “job search support group” but actually ended up being pretty much job search boot camp. We had our first phone meeting (it runs once a week for six weeks) and the jury’s still out on how I feel about it. While I think it’s good to have structure, I wonder if I could legitimately do some of the things suggested. For example, we are told to make 20 contacts per week. I mean sure– I’m looking for a job but that just seems painful and arduous. Maybe I am being lame and this will push me over the edge and force me to do the things that will help me eventually find a job. We’ll see.
At any rate, here are some of the takeaways from that meeting that I thought were interesting or poignant:
1) Suffering is bearable if you can ascribe some meaning to it. Basically, when shit happens, it helps you to be able to figure out what you gain from being put through the experience and it’s the cousin of the philosophy “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
2) Happy people find jobs faster. I mean it’s a no-brainer I guess but worth saying. I tend to come off very unemotional and unbubbly. In life, I tend to think this is a good thing; I’m particularly good to have around during moments of panic. However, I do acknowledge that I make a poor first impression (though I vehemently cannot be fake and bubbly) so some kind of compromise must be reached.
3) When you are switching careers or just starting out in a career, you are selling not experience but rather potential. This makes sense and actually sometimes it makes me mad. My last role was at a gaming company where a ton of the employees had 5-10 years of experience in their field/role. A lot of them, though, I will say were kind of boneheads. There wasn’t a whole lot of active thinking/questioning/analyzing that one would think would help guide a company forward. But in a Hunger Games style deathmatch, the person with the years of experience is likely to trump somebody who is smart as a whip but lacks the background. I don’t question it but it makes it tough for somebody like me (generally bright but still relatively junior in the working world.)
4) The point of the interview is to get an offer: prove to them that you have the skills to do the job (and then decide if it’s the place you want to spend the next phase of your career). Don’t think too much about anything until a decision must be made.
Generally feeling kind of cranky today (didn’t sleep well and it’s Monday) so I am going to need to digest some of that meeting. Just applied to two roles online. I think I earned the right to call it a day.