JOB DESCRIPTIONS ARE UNREALISTIC

Job hunting is fun – said no one ever. Trying to find a job is a job. A full-time position in resume crafting, cover letter tailoring, interview prepping, interview clothes finding (I can’t remember the last time I wore anything nicer than jeans, so it’s a full on treasure hunt to the ends of my drawers) … and that’s after you find one you’re qualified for. Investigating all the Internet hiding spots of open positions is it’s own adventure. Between job sites, company career pages, recruiters, freelance profiles, Craigslist propositions, etc. there’s a lot of “options”. Or so they want you to believe. On second thought, I would say it’s probably not safe to take a multi-million dollar a week salary doing basically nothing for someone you’ve never before interacted with out in the middle of South Dakota from a Craigslist proposition.

PSA Recap: Craigslist may not be a viable place to find a job. One less thing to stress about, then! You’re welcome. That, unfortunately doesn’t do much to diminish the stress from all the legit sites out there. Let’s break down the various ways one can find a job to apply for, and hopefully, get paid for. The original job hunt where you spend time searching all the different variations that one specific job could have as a title and attempt to filter through the results. Filtering by location, experience level, salary, company, etc. Filters for everything that still, somehow, return 10’s of thousands of results. What? I thought that was the point of filtering? To narrow down the list I had to go through? To, you know, make it easier for me to become employed? And contribute to society? And be an “adult”? Clearly, I’ve been confused about the point of a filter, or the ones on job sites simply don’t work.

If sifting through endless postings, most of which seem to be very outdated, isn’t your jam, lucky you! Recruiters will certainly be in touch once you turn on your ‘I’m available!’ button online. It’s a lot like online dating where they try to win you over and get you to apply for their job (heart) so they can get paid (be happy forever). Similar to online dating, they often present opportunities that are well out of your league. Oh, I see this position is senior level and requires a minimum of 8 years professional experience. I haven’t been out of college that long, but do you think they would take my high school parking attendant position into consideration? Do they even look at your resume before reaching out? Hmm, interesting, this is a position that requires a skill set that I, not only have zero experience in, but up until today have not even heard about, so are they looking for a student? Because that’s what I would be … a very expensive student. Like the college model, but flipped! On second thought, yes, please submit my name.

If you’re impatient, and know where you want to work, you can bypass all these middlemen and go straight to the source: the company careers page. At which point you can submit your application right then and there. Assuming your resume is up to date and has every single action key word from the job description somewhere so the automated hiring robot doesn’t fire you immediately. Then your cover letter has to not only repeat the buzzwords, but elaborate on them. Do a little research, find something about the company you can throw in there so they think you really, really want to work for them and them alone. Once again, make sure Hiring Howard the robot doesn’t do a 6 second scan and find nothing of interest to him, thus eliminating all current and future chances of you getting an initial phone screen. All that work for a company to send you an automated ‘thanks, but hard pass’ email. 

Basically, job hunting sucks. After you find a listing that contains qualifications you almost fully meet, or 75% meet, or really, in today’s market, 17% meet, and you write your best little novels of your professional experience, maybe, just maybe, you get a phone interview with HR. Or the company’s recruiter. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then there’s interviews on interviews on interviews, maybe a skills assessment thrown in for fun, because references or past experience is not enough to vouch for you. Then you finally get an offer and you’re all excited because you won’t be part of the COVID unemployment statistic any longer! Only to find out they want to pay you $10 an hour to checkout groceries at the local supermarket. An excellent use of your college degree, student loan debt, and countless hours gaining “experience” at a big boy job.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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GROCERY STORES: FUN, OR NAH?

What’s the best time of day? Food time, obviously, so for me basically every hour is amazing. It’s the little things that get you through the workday and I’m not ashamed to excuse myself from meetings to use the “restroom” – know what I mean? In case you’re not smelling what I’m cooking, it’s code for the kitchen and some sort of snack, meal or dessert. I don’t have a medical issue where all the important things in my life get put on hold for a quick trip to the bathroom like the drug commercial makes it seem. 

Speaking of drugs (the legal kind), what is up with the side effects? Everything is deadly (you can read all about my pharmaceutical questions in THIS POST), which, now that I think about it makes sense because I’m basically dead inside if I spend my life in a bathroom stall and not doing fun things, like walking around a grocery store. Well I, for one, find it fun. How else would I know that Cheez-Its released a cheesier version of their product? I literally did not know that was possible. I’m also disappointed that they weren’t maximizing cheesiness from the beginning.

Or how would I be able to feel what type of bread was calling my name for the week? There are way too many bread options and, like a good supporter of the food industry, I feel a need to try them all. But it would be ok if like 80% of the choices disappeared. Would anyone even know? What even is the difference between whole wheat whole grain and enriched whole wheat whole grain? Do I need 5 grains, 7 grains, or 12 grains? How many grains are too many grains? I thought oatmeal was much smaller and potatoes rounder, yet both are bread so which one is the lie?

Better yet, how would I be able to spend the entire trip through the aisles wondering if I’m going to die sooner because I bought regular, drug-created, produce and not the organic version like a straight muggle? If you haven’t figured this out from my previous posts, I actually enjoy these kinds of questions. Makes me feel like I’m really maximizing my life and fine-tuning my attention to detail. Normal people, however, find these decisions stressful and consuming (so I’ve been told). These people also see grocery shopping as more of a chore and not necessarily a hobby. Luckily, smart people figured out that grocery delivery and pick up services were what the first-world was missing. And all the introverts rejoiced along with actual adults who have much less time and energy than me to spend on things like deciding if the current bag of Mystery Oreo’s in my hand will be yet a different flavor than the other seven bags in my pantry.

Regardless of where you fall on the love / hate relationship with the grocery store, I think we can all agree that it’s a social experiment. If I was a hiring manager (which, shockingly, I am not), I would take all my candidates to the nearest Whole Foods to get a live presentation of how they would react to different situations at work. Specifically, you can easily tell several key traits about someone based on their shopping habits. Problem solving, resourcefulness, collaboration, navigation (also known as public relations), and expectation management (or marketing as it goes by in the streets).

Let’s break this down:

  • Problem Solving
    • When the store is out of hamburger buns, but you signed up to bring hamburgers (and all necessary supplies) to the cookout tonight, what do you do instead?
  • Resourcefulness
    • Despite what I can only believe to be a mediocre, at best, directional effort, the yeast is nowhere to be found. How do you find it?
  • Collaboration
    • When you see someone accidentally knock a bag of chips off the shelf, what do you do?
    • Alternatively, when checking out, what kind of customer are you? Load the belt and wait, or help bag?
  • Navigation / PR
    • As you go to turn down the aisle for your last item, you notice a giant traffic jam of carts and other shoppers. How do you handle this unexpected twist to finish your trip without wrecking havoc?
  • Expectation Management / Marketing
    • When the store said that they had the newest cereal item (that most certainly does NOT pair well with milk – the candy cereals need to disappear) but they don’t even have a place on the shelf for it and now your children are upset and about to make a scene, what do you tell them?

Feel free to use that tactic in your future interviews. Better yet, if you do, I would love to hear about it! If you want to win this social experiment, when you’re interviewing for a job and they ask if you have any questions, see if you can flip this around and see what kind of leaders they are.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers – if you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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