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