Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the wringing realities of looking for a job

I think it's about time to address this issue that's been mulling in my head.

I am a two-times bachelor-level graduate, the most recent being in fashion design and making (the other one, as you can read from posts a few year back, was in commerce.) As far as I can tell, the last time around I half-heartedly knocked out 30 applications (CV and a half-arsed attempt at why I wanted these companies to employ me), secured two interviews (with two different companies on two different sides of the world), and got a job offer. On the side, I was tutoring for about 6 hours a week, and working in jewellery sales two days a week... that makes it four half-days of booked-in activity.

In the weeks after my graduation I have knocked out 11 in-response applications (all personalised and with freebies like "what I visually think your brand is about" put in at the cost of one project per two days), 4 cold-call applications, attended four interviews/test hour/whatnots, and still no firm offers. On the side: I'm making my own clothes in the morning, I waitress five nights a week, I tidy up my portfolios. My vice is a weekly gelati from Gelupo.

I keep on getting told, either "we need you to have two-year experience for a starting position" or "we cannot afford to employ a graduate [with pay]".

There was one test-hour I went to, I sat down and made what was asked. Another woman, also on test hour, did the same thing nearby. Time she spent in relevant employment: five years. Result: the same.

Anyway, these made me think of the saying "looking for a job is like cari jodoh". Maybe cari jodoh is indeed easier, because it doesn't involve obsessively calling potential employers to hear about rejection at the rate of two a week.

My flatmate said that my CV/application/interview presentation is too perfect employers become reluctant to employ me.
Then, if that is the case, I can say the decades I spend shaping myself to be a decent person is wasted, because they can see to flaw in me?
Are they sure their lenses are wiped clean and notice that I apply for work because I need a relevant paid job, since my spunky haircut is because I save up the money I could've spent on haircuts for food instead?
Do they know that I took off the phrase "fluent in Indonesian" simply because some people on the other side may think I could rock up with a face veil? (well I can, but that means I'd need to buy some black fabric to make them...)
Are they really, really afraid to learn that I may actually have something of value to offer to them in exchange for some decent salary?

You know what, I'm happy to take your employment.

P.S. someone told me not to take the first job I'm offered, so as you can see, a lot of these spoken wisdom conflict with each other...


Anonymous said...

It's indeed an unpredictable journey of finding your 'jodoh', and hence the process (pre, during, post) of every interview shall be as thrilling as the outcome.
Good luck ya nduk, just find a footstep, and from there you will have a better position explore further...

Satu Tollefsen said...

agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Over qualified... I saw this problem before. One of my friend faced with the same situation long ago.

You might get a better shot by adjusting your resume into simpler one, so it will not terrify the interviewer :-)

But keep on searching Marsha, when time comes it is coming... And you will find your place in this world.

You have a lot things in your self. A woman like you could inspire people. And there can even be more (well, I think)