10 Things that Suck About the Job Hunt

things_that_suck_about_job_huntingIt’s finally Wednesday! This week is just dragging for whatever reason. I’ve been applying to jobs like crazy so that’s more than likely why. Several months ago, I was hired for a temporary position in Washington, DC. That position’s contract is going to expire in a few months and I need to find a new, permanent job (preferably near a Starbucks). I’ve been thinking to myself how ridiculous the application process is nowadays. My parents were telling me how differently things were done “way back when”. Frankly, it sounded a lot less complicated. Since we’re on the subject, I’m going to share with you the most annoying things about job hunting. I guarantee you’ll at least laugh or be able to sympathize with me.

  1. Lack of salary information– It’s like “here’s a job that sounds pretty decent but we aren’t going to tell you how much it pays.” I get it, employers don’t want to advertise a specific number when the best applicant they find isn’t worth that much, but at least give me an idea of what the minimum salary is so I can decide whether I should waste my time with the lengthy application process you inevitably have. This brings me to the next annoying thing.
  2. The lengthy application process– There are only a few applications I’ve filled out that I thought were efficient and made sense. Most of the other processes are long, ask repetitive questions, and are clearly designed for a computer to pick through looking for keywords. If your resume (which you inevitably have to reenter into their “employment history” section) doesn’t include these keywords, then it will be tossed into cyber space’s garbage can.
  3. Filling out a profile– For many of the bigger companies, before you can even apply for a position you have to create a profile. This means you come up with a username, password, and give a few other details about yourself. That’s all fine and dandy until you have to do it a million times.
  4. Empty promises– “If you’re qualifications meet what we’re looking for, we will be in touch. If not, we’ll keep your resume on file for 6 months in case another job opens up that better fits with your skill set.” Yeah, I’ve heard that before.
  5. The let down– You’ve applied, waited for someone to get back to you, gotten excited, and then you get this email: “Thank you for your interest in ___ position.┬áThe initial screening of applications has been completed. At this time we have decided to move forward with other candidates whose experience and background better match the requirements for the position.” Thanks for the computer generated response. I do appreciate it. Sarcasm intended.
  6. Cover letters– Who honestly reads these? You spend at least 30 minutes tailoring the cover letter to the company’s needs and then nothing comes of it. The end.
  7. Strength and weakness questions– Do you really think I’m going to tell you what my biggest weakness is? Since a computer is probably sifting through those answers too, I think it would be real funny to say that my biggest weakness is being on time for work. At least it would make me laugh.
  8. “Entry level” positions– Years ago when the economy was on the up and up, an entry level position was tailored to the recent college graduate who had maybe an internship or two on their resume. Now, underneath all of the other qualifications for an entry level position, you need, drum roll please, one to two years of experience! Because that makes perfect sense.
  9. Advertised entry level positions– Yes, I know this contradicts my complaints from my last point but in my application experience, anytime a position is advertised as being entry level it usually ends up being a scam. For example, I applied for a job being advertised as “entry level communications assistant”. I thought I had struck gold when I found this! Better yet, I even got an interview for it. A day later, I got on the phone with my interviewer and she told me more about the job. Apparently my job as a “communications assistant” would include going door-to-door “communicating” to people about the amazing coupons they can buy from me. No thanks, I think I’m good.
  10. The people that say they’ll “keep their eyes open– People are busy and have busy lives, I understand that. It just puts a damper on my mood when I ask someone who I think will actually know something about finding a job in a certain locale and they don’t and then follow it up with “I’ll keep my eyes open.” You’re a human, an hour from now you’ll forget we had this conversation, but I know you mean well.

I know, I’m a negative Nancy and I’ve already been told by my mom that I’ll never get a job with that attitude. Frankly, this whole blog post was just comedic relief. Sometimes you just have to let the sarcasm flow and have yourself a good laugh about it. One day, hopefully in the near future, I’ll find a job I love to do and a company I want to work for. Right now, I’m just going to laugh about life and keep submitting applications.

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A Thanksgiving To-Do List

Good morning to all who are reading this in their pjs with coffee before noon! To the rest of you, get up and smell the fresh brew and feel the sunshine! As I’m sitting here writing, there’s a million little things buzzing around in my brain and one of them is how Thanksgiving is only a few weekends away. Honestly, show of hands how many people are prepared? Yeah, none of us. I’ve compiled a list of things that you can save to your computer consisting of to-do’s that you might not have thought of yet. I’ll illustrate each bullet point beneath the list. To save the list, simply right click on the image and then select “save” in the options that come up.

Thanksgiving Preparation

thanksgiving_preparation

First of all, have you planned your menu? Maybe you have. That’s great. For those of you who haven’t, figure it out. You’ll probably want a big turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac and cheese, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans, rolls, a salad of some sort, and lots of pie. Also, don’t forget that if you’re having house guests that you’ll need food and a meal plan for breakfasts, lunch, and dinner the rest of the time they’re staying.

Moving down the list, you need to finalize the guests who are coming. Is Uncle Bob still coming from Pittsburgh? You might want to check on that.

After you have finalized the head count for the big day, you can make your grocery list based on what your recipes call for and how many people are coming. Go through the cabinets and refrigerator to make sure you have everything the recipes call for.

Check out Pinterest for centerpiece ideas for your table. It can be simple candles with a few small pumpkins sitting around them or more elaborate, just make sure you have what you need ahead of time.

Next, write down the overall plan for the weekend. What time will you serve dinner? Will there be Black Friday shopping? Having a general idea of when things will take place is going to ease your mind.

If you’re having overnight guests, then make sure you have enough towels, air mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, and toiletries. Pick up a few extra tooth brushes and travel sized items for the forgetful people. You also might want to consider having a small coffee bar in your kitchen for the coffee addicts that way no one is running out to Starbucks for their java fix.

An important part of getting ready is dealing with all the cleaning. Take a few hours every week to deep clean the house. Start with the kitchen and wipe down cabinets, stove, and anything that shows finger prints. Move on to the bathrooms and clean the toilet, shower, and wash the walls if you can. In the living room, clean any furniture that might have stains. You might also want to dust given that electronics tend to be magnets for it. Clean around switch plates where dirt marks tend to show up overtime.

For the outside of your home, make sure the entrance that will be most used looks welcoming. Put out fresh mums and a few pumpkins. I’m convinced that flowers of any kind make an entire home look a hundred times better.

Next, consider what personal things you need to get done. Make your hair appointment now if you need a color or trim.

Do you plan to go all out on the decorations? If so, then go ahead and start putting out the decorations. It’s one less thing you’ll need to do.

If your dinner will be a little fancier, then polish the silverware and clean the china off.

Last but not least, make sure you have enough seating and table space for the guests that are coming. You can rent tables and chairs from party stores if necessary.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that has so much work put into it. We expect everything to be perfect. It won’t be, but we want it to. Growing up, Thanksgiving wasn’t picture-perfect. My mom tried so hard though! She never burnt any of the food or forgot the pumpkin pie; however, there are some things you can’t control. For instance, until I was 16 every major holiday was spent with my parents, sister, grandma, and I. After Grandma died, it was usually just the 4 of us unless I brought friends home from college. However, without any grandparents or extended family around, it made it difficult to accomplish the “perfect Thanksgiving”. Moral of the story, don’t expect the day to go off without a hitch. Some things are out of your control.

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