Is it wrong to…

…blog about lost job opportunities?

I may work in a call center, but don’t for a moment think I’m not like the rest of the world of the cubed: looking for a way out. While I don’t think I have to get out right this moment, I do think it’s imperative that I not lose my own dreams and hopes in complacency and settling.

That’s why I have a boyfriend who I talk about these things with. He and I share our own dreams about what the future will bring for us, and he’s doing his best in a job he doesn’t necessarily enjoy as well. He is the excellent and well-respected assistant manager of a superb fast food restaurant. Read that: he gets treated like crap, walked on, and works overtime all the time because he’s salaried and they don’t have to pay him extra.

Maybe the call center isn’t so bad…

But I digress.

As many people are doing these days, I’m on the hunt, the job hunt, that is. I’d like to say it’s going well, yielding lots of leads that suit my particular combination of education and experience, and giving me interview opportunities galore. The opposite appears to be true.

I’m going to the normal sites that it seems thousands of people visit daily: Monster and CareerBuilder. And I’m using my university’s career site. And then there are a few companies I surf on a regular basis to see if they have any openings in my area, or really in any area so long as it seems to suit my education.

The problem is… the economy tanked. For me, it tanked right as I was graduating college with a generic business administration degree and hoping to make my mark in some business field. Guess how many businesses want you when you don’t have a specialized (read: logistics, marketing, accounting, HR, etc) business degree? Oh, that would be…none.

I always hear something along the same lines: “You don’t have the right combination of education and experience. We appreciate your interest but have hired someone else. But good luck on your continued search.”

Well, thank you for that. I wonder where I could go that I do have the right combination of experience and education. Can you tell me that? Maybe suggest someone or something to me? That might be more helpful than not telling me just what magical combination you were looking for.

Take the job I was supposed to interview for this week… well, more appropriately last week. My initial interview was canceled due to the weather conditions. That company shut down for the safety of their employees. Hearing that, I told myself I’d take a job for them out of their sheer consideration for their employees. Of course, it didn’t help with rescheduling the interview when I got sick, but that was over the weekend anyway, and they wanted to try to reschedule for today or tomorrow. I was game with the hopes my infection would be more manageable by then.

Today I got the dreaded email that my interview had been canceled permanently because the CEO had hired someone else.

At least they had the good grace to email me in the first place. I will certainly give them that.

It seems the more applications I put out, the fewer responses I get period. I rarely hear back from any of them. Over the last two weeks, I’ve probably applied to a good dozen or more jobs. They were the only company who bothered responding. Granted, it was a rejection, but at least I know.

I much prefer a response, even if it is a flat out form rejection that doesn’t tell me anything than a non-response. I can’t even tell if anyone even saw my application. How do I even know if my application made it to an inbox?

It’s like sending your manuscript to a publisher. Why would you assume anyone read it? It likely goes straight to a slush pile where no one ever sees it but the person assigned the task of sorting through the slush and seeing if something, anything, is enough of a gem to send to the next person in the slush editorial hierarchy to view. Though that’s highly unlikely to generate anything more than the next person rejecting it without a word to the author, it moved it all of one person further… still without the author knowing anything about it.

In any event, it sometimes feels redundant to craft a tailored cover letter for a job I’ll likely hear nothing back on to a company who doesn’t care one whit to respond to my query when they’ll have a thousand others to review. Why should they when it’s their market? And I’m just one fish in the sea they can pull from.

The problem is I’m one fish. Among thousands. I have to figure out how to make myself a dolphin or a starfish or a crab or something that doesn’t look like a fish. Something that stands out and looks a bit more unique and at least deserving of a response. That’s why I have to keep writing these ridiculously detailed cover letters that tell you just why I should be your candidate. And if I get a bit high-handed and tell you that you will consider me an excellent candidate for this position because I have an impeccable background and am eager to learn and work hard, you’ll have to forgive me. There’s a whole ocean out there. And I’m just a fish swimming through the waves with the others, trying to find a net.

I’m sure you’ll hear more from me about this job hunt I’m on as I keep throwing my own nets in a sea of employers who are equally happy to cast wide and talk to few…

– RaeNez

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