Thursday, October 08, 2009

From the Job Hunting Trenches

The other day I went to a group interview for a job I desperately did not want. I don't know why I went. I don't even know why I applied.

Okay, that's a lie. I do know why. It was a job to work with children. I have fun with kids, and we usually hit it off pretty well. I have plenty of references who will speak highly of my experience and creativity. And since I'm jobless at the moment, a small part of my job hunt has me looking at jobs involving kids. Basically because I interact well with children, and because I think it's likely that I will be able to find something.

And that's what led me to this interview. I had to do some activities with other job candidates, almost all of them my age and female and overly peppy — in other words, the type of people who usually work with kids (and the type of people I tend not to get along with). The interview didn't go so well. I hated being there. I didn't even try to make them want to hire me.

I left feeling frustrated and dejected. What was I doing at this interview? I do not want to persue a career with children. I have a million other skills that fit my professional goals. I have the whole city at my fingertips in regards to finding a job that is a good fit for me. Why was I going through the motions of seeking a kid-centric job if I don't even want one?

This situation reminds me of a bartender back at a bar I frequented in Paris. I don't know his whole story, but I do know he is some sort of crazy genuis math wiz. But he's been bartending for six or seven years now. Even though he's good at math, and could probably make some good cash with those skills, I guess that doesn't make him happy.

So the moral of the story is just because you are good at something doesn't mean you have to work in that field. If I don't want a full-time kid job, well… then I shouldn't be looking for them. So I am going to stop. And if they call me back for this job, I will politely turn them down.


Anna Vitale said...

I had a similar experience this week. The job was writing 200-word shoe descriptions and uploading pictures onto the shoe website full time. They wanted me for full-time work at $16.50/hour no benefits. First I felt guilty for not wanting the job - because although it isn't a fantastic hourly rate for contract work, it would be full time and more than I'm making now. Then I woke up and was like, "Anna, in two weeks you will be banging your head against the keyboard and hating your life because you have to be in a cubicle from 8 to 5. Do not feel guilty about this." So I sent the woman an email as soon as I got home to take myself out of the running. I knew if I didn't I would continue to ruminate and make myself feel guilty about not wanting it!! Of, the psychology of job hunting.

betsyboo said...

I also got offered a data entry job through the end of February that pays pretty crappily - $11, but more than I am making right now (which is a consistent $0, not counting whatever freelancing I can get my hands on). I felt guilty about not accepting it, but I'm holding out for something that's hopefully challenging and worthwhile. Stupid money decision? Maybe. But not a stupid decision in terms of keeping myself sane.

sallie.hickle said...

If you take a job that you already know won't keep you content, you'll be looking for new work all over again in mere weeks. Take if from someone who's been there: You SO did the right thing.