We Sail at Break of Day: A Disjointed Look at Job Searching

Here are the facts about job searching in today’s arid climate:
  • 86% of managers will reportedly hire someone they like rather than someone who meets all the job requirements.
  • Based on information gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it takes an average of 24.9 weeks to get hired.
  • Generally the first person to follow up with a company after submitting an application has a 95% chance to be offered the position. However, many companies include disclaimers discouraging follow up calls.
  • Statistics reveal 50-90% of all jobs are not posted online or listed in print.
  • Based on some calculations there are roughly 100 applicants for every posted/listed job.
  • Many companies no longer use humans to review applicant information; rather, they use software to detect specific job descriptors.

Here are the facts about my personal job searching ventures:
  • My confidence in finding a job depends entirely on the songs that shuffle into my iTunes’ playlist.  John Legend’s “If You’re Out There” guarantees an “I’m-going-to-be-the-first-female-president-of-the-United-States” kind of motivation, Smash Mouth’s “All Star” fosters confusion and a renegade spirit, and the US Navy’s “Anchors Aweigh” tempts me to abandon all plans and enlist in the armed forces.  
  • I signed up for LinkedIn in order to network more easily, but it has become the bane of my existence.  LinkedIn is the awkward third cousin of the social networking family.  Its job recommendations are impossible to take seriously.
  • I have considered applying for the doctor and/or lawyer positions that have shown up in my online search results. If the internet database thinks I’m qualified, maybe I am.  I could be selling myself short by not applying. Catch me if you can style.
  • In the debate about relocating out of state, the availability of Packer games on network T.V. has been added to my pro/con list. Also, the availability of cheese curds that squeak.
  • I spend about as much time looking up apartments on Craigslist in prospective communities as I do looking for jobs themselves. 
  • I have fantasies about being the hip new employee—the one who brings the tastiest treats to the break room and tells the funniest jokes.  “That Melanie.  She’s the greatest.” they would say.
  • At one point after several discouraging days of searching, I stopped job searching all together and started looking once again at graduate schools.  The problem with that plan has always been the fear of committing to one program.  It’s one thing to get bachelors degree you don’t use; it’s entirely different to earn a masters degree and then decide that field is just not your cup of tea.
  • I have had several phone interviews thus far.  The interviews are most often conducted while I sit on my bed in lounge wear, grimacing every time I give a less than succinct answer. I have sold my skills and talents sufficiently enough to secure on sight interviews and additional contact in a few cases.  I can’t help but wonder, though, do they suspect I’m wearing lounge wear? Maybe they can hear it in my voice… the sound of comfortable waistbands echoing through my responses.
  • I drove to Memphis for an interview, and during my trip the check engine light flashed red on my dashboard.  I was six hundred plus miles from home as I desperately sought the help of two mechanics who told me my car’s transmission was bad. So now, in attempts to further my professional career and expand my bank account, I am instead emptying my pockets to pay for car that is mocking my efforts to be responsible.
  • My degree qualifies me for specific types of therapy positions and my experience qualifies me  to work in the non-profit social services world.  In other words, I'm a professional mutt; I might have the best of both "breeds" but I'm no pedigree winner.

The Good Lord is going to need to speak pretty loud for me to hear His directions.