Effraeti's RP

One Woman, Two Timelines, Two Destinies.

Back in the Saddle

Let me begin this post by saying that this has absolutely NOTHING to do with feminism and/or my previous two posts.  So if that is what you are looking for, expect disappointment.

Call this my Blog’s Return to Innocence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It has taken me more time to emotionally bounce back from my separation from Girl Scouts than I expected.  :/  Yes, I have been putting out my resume.  Yes, I have been looking through what is available.  No, the commitment and drive has not really been there pushing me along.

Luckily, one of the places where I submitted my resume was an employment agency – the single saving grace to the discouraged.  When I am too disillusioned to submit 40 resumes per day anymore, they are there to help.  When I am not sure I can handle one more blind date reminiscent job interview, they are there to cut some of the anxiety out of the process.

Speaking of which, a few thoughts struck me as I spent nearly four hours at the employment agency yesterday…

(Please forgive the extremely lazy pics, as I am only good at WoW screenshots.)  😉

1. Interviewing is Kind of Like Dating

Interviews and dating are both a matter of sitting on one side of a table, while the person on the other side of the table tries to completely assess you as a person and decide how worth their time you are in the matter of 30 minutes or so.

I hate interviewing, just like I hate blind dates or even first dates.  I do not like to talk about myself a lot, which probably sounds weird saying that here, where every time I say something not WoW-related it is usually about myself.  But that is more because when I write about things I think about here, it is like I am explaining them in a journal, so it is difficult not to make a journal all about me sometimes – my thoughts, my feelings, my opinions.

In a two-sided conversation, though, I would much prefer to listen.  Sure, I will add in related things to stay engaged and repeat what is said in a manner to illustrate that I am listening closely and even to make sure I am understanding things as they are intended.  But I prefer to let someone else talk, find out more about them.  I am interested in what makes people tick.

Interviews and first dates always feel like you have to talk yourself up.  “I am so great because … and that is why you should hire/date me.”  Bleh.  I would rather have an engaging conversation about a mutual interest, or even listen to someone talk about something I am not familiar with.

2. Despite the Vast Amount of Technology Available to Us – I Still See a Lot of Freaking Paperwork

Page after page after page of paperwork.  Read this.  Sign this.  Initial here.  Write the same thing at the bottom of this page that you just wrote at the top of it.  Write 3/4 of the same information you wrote on form 2 all over again on form 3.

So much paper!

3. I Am Quite the Self-Defeating Perfectionist

Being in the top percentile of the of proficiency tests I took was apparently not enough, as I was looking harder at the fact that I missed questions, and got all flustered that the darn thing would not tell me which ones.

So what if I do not recall how to make a macro with Word?  I think I have done so once, and having not used it practically at work, it was hardly top on my list of things to remember forever and ever.  If you would just show me the damn mouseovers I am sure I would figure it out again just fine.

Damn snooty program telling me I cannot use the Print Preview to make adjustments to the way this document will print!  Why should I go through 15 steps elsewhere, when the whole purpose of Print Preview is to setup the way it will print, and ensure those changes where satisfactory all at the same time?

4. Perhaps Contracting is the Way to Go

My last two permanent jobs were acquired through contracting.

First, let me admit I dislike feeling like I am expendable in a situation where I am merely under a short-term contract.  I am a planner, and I prefer the comfort of schedule and routine.  I like my day, week, month, to follow a general plan with solid ideas of what is expected of me and when it is expected of me, no matter how many interruptions that may include.  But living in a state of “At-will employment,” I imagine that holding a permanent position is in no means more secure than working under a contract – in fact, I would dare say less so, as contracts usually specify a predetermined amount of time.

The other plus to contracting is the feeling of actually having someone on my side.  I think the treatment is better while under a contract, as the contracting company is always checking up to make sure both sides are happy and acts as a mediator in terms of uncomfortable situations.

I find myself becoming jaded in regards to my opinions of internal HR staff.  I have recently in my professional career been placed into uncomfortable situations at several points, none of which I feel were handled professionally or confidentially.  How can I feel I am receiving a fair say when my HR rep is friends with the person I am having an issue with?  How can I feel my confidence is being upheld when my HR rep either will not speak to me without the person causing me concern in the room, or immediately pulling them into the room after I have stated my concerns in confidence?  How can I feel able to express my concerns when every other person in a similar situation winds up mysteriously “pursuing other employment opportunities” shortly after raising a concern?

I like the idea of a contracting company that is impartial.  They do not have to agree with me, just as long as I feel I am being handled fairly and not being setup for failure.

~ Effy

And so, I leave with the song that inspired this post’s title…

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17 Comments

  1. Oh no, now I’ve got interview flashbacks. I’m terrible at them. I don’t want to go blaming everything on my mother, but she raised me to believe singing your own praises is unseemly behavior which makes interviews rather difficult. I managed to get through one interview I remember because the woman had a picture of a dog on her desk. I had no problem talking with her about her dog and did get that job.

    I agree that contracting doesn’t seem any less secure than a permanent position. I’m hoping you’ll find a place where you love the work and they appreciate you, I know they’re out there.

    • I know. We are supposed to be all modest, and then to get anywhere we are suppose to toot our own horn all over the place. Make up my mind! 😛

      ~ Effy

  2. Calayna

    Oh god this so much. I’m about to become an alumni of college and I feel the same way about interviews. =< Though what i'm feeling the most is "OMG all my peers are so much more prepared and have better resumes and work experience than me! PLZ LORD JESUS BENEVOLENT HIGHER BEINGS TAKE PITY ON ME AND HELP ME GET A JOB!" aka severe anxiety lol. ^_^;;

    "…while the person on the other side of the table tries to completely assess you as a person and decide how worth their time you are in the matter of 30 minutes or so." <—This sentence so much. THIS. -_-

    • Being right out college, you may not have a lot of “real world” experience, but you are actually sitting in a great place to get a job. With the economy still in recovery, it has been my experience that companies are looking hard at hiring entry level candidates. The only downside is this means you probably will not start out making as much as someone with more on the job training, but getting paid to acquire that experience is key!

      Yah, interviews can be nerve-wracking. It is all about being honest and confidant. If you stay honest about what you do and do not know, it will be a heck of a lot easier in the long run. Even if you are inexperienced with one thing, just be sure to highlight what you do know – and if you are a quick learner, that is always something to brag about!

      It is tough, but I always have to tell myself to breathe and stay focused on the items at hand. And hey, if you have the opportunity of a great icebreaker, like Ancient mentioned, even better!

      Best of luck in your search! 🙂

      ~ Effy

  3. JD Kenada

    I’m just commenting because as usual I love the music selected for the post. 😀

    • Yah, I totally blame you for getting me on a “soundtrack for my life” kick. 🙂

      ~ Effy

      • JD Kenada

        I accept your gratitude with grace and modesty.

      • *screenshots and sends it to your wife* 😉

        ~ Effy

      • JD Kenada

        Go ahead. Even she’ll see the sarcasm oozing from it.

      • Well, she does live with you, so she would have to recognize sarcasm. 😉

        ~ Effy

      • JD Kenada

        She found this blog, didn’t she…

      • D: Well, your FACE! That’s right.

        ~ Effy

      • JD Kenada

        Honestly, I was reaching with mine. I’d say you won with a very well played comment prior to that.

      • Good, then we will just say that takes away some of the juvenile quality of my last reply. lol 😉

        ~ Effy

      • JD Kenada

        Not really. LOL!

  4. I’m currently going through the same process and it’s horrible. Despite the fact that I used to interview people for a living, I hate being on the other side of the table. Going “Oh I’m awesome hire me” just seems so fake, I mean it’s not like I’m going to say anything negative about myself unless I can put a positive spin on it.

    Plus they ask such stupid questions on the application forms and at interview. I’m sick of giving examples of dealing with adversarial colleagues or violent/drunk or otherwise nasty members of the public, surely one is enough not twenty :(. Not to mention being given flash cards and told to look at them for 30 seconds and then explain in depth what my course of action and priorities would be. I really think they just do this stuff to amuse themselves.

    Oh and don’t get me started on interviewing by committee. Yes, I like sitting in a conference room which can seat 50 people having questions fired at me from multiple sources as between 4 and 8 people attempt to see if I’m the right person for the job.

    Anyway good luck with your search.

    • Yah, and the same with those so-called Personality Tests. Because if I had ever stolen from a previous company, I would certainly say that here in this little questionnaire? 😛 Personality Tests strike me as more of a “Tell Me What I Want to Hear” Tests. Or perhaps it is just because I do not care for “always” and “never” questions. heh

      *shudder* …and committee interviews! I agree, though I have never sat through an interview of more than three, I used to work in a Data Center and I always felt bad for interviewers coming in. There were multiple levels of interviews and one was the entire team/department interview. D: Scary stuff.

      IMO, if you survive that, you deserve the job. Good thing I am not an interviewer. lol

      ~ Effy

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