In part three of The Challenge that Failed in the Best Possible Way, we finish out the first two full weeks of my “What really happens when you apply to 100 jobs?” challenge.
Day 8 : November 3:
The jobs I can even reasonably apply to are dwindling. I didn’t even apply to any jobs today, and simply checked my applications and updated my list of jobs.
Day 9: November 4
The only job I could even apply for that would fit into the rules of this challenge is for a spa receptionist at the nearest casino. I would have to either arrange to use the Call a Bus service, or make one heck of a side income to honestly accept something like that, because it is something like a forty mile drive from me.
So far, I’m up to 17 jobs for the challenge. I have still only gotten an offer to work as a temporary cashier at <Big Box store>. I didn’t even get an interview on the two jobs that I would actually take as second teaching jobs.
Day 10: November 5
My day started with working my real job, teaching writing to adults online as an adjunct English instructor. But my day of this challenge started with a rejection letter from <well known cell phone company>.
One of the reasons I have trouble getting job offers from entry level jobs is because it looks like I have too many options. They want people who would appear to have no choice but to keep working for them. They want kids with no previous job history and no education they can take someplace else. They want adults who have never worked, and would have trouble getting another job for a very long time. They want retired people, because althrough they would have the skills and experience, there is still so much ageism in our society, once it’s clear that you retired from a career, it’s hard to get re-hired back into it.
My resume, with my graduate degree, more than a decade of experience in two fields, and an active multi faceted career in a third, looks like I can just go out there and get a desirable job anytime I want. That is clearly and obviously not true, as second teaching jobs do not even appear to be opening up right now, but that’s the way the corporate types who read my resume and cover letter see it.
The second notable moment of this challenge today was a rejection letter from one of the jobs I actually wanted. This is just an experiment to see what job hunting is really like, but I do also have my eye out for second teaching jobs, and this was one of them.
I also received a second “just for the challenge” job rejection. These are starting to sting.
Day 11: November 6
Today I made it through one fifth of the challenge, with my 20th job application. It was for a breakfast bar attendant at a nice hotel in town. They demand one year of restaurant experience. For a breakfast bar attendant. That would be the person who takes the empty self-serve pans back to the kitchen, puts the full ones out on the bar, and keeps the dining area the guests use clean. People with a year of restaurant experience can go get jobs as servers and actually make decent money through tips.
Day 12: November 7
It has been less than two weeks, I’m only up to 21 submitted job applications, and I am already running out of jobs I can reasonably apply for. I even applied for one yesterday and got immediately rejected, because I can’t tutor both English and math.
This is a similar problem to what everyone who applies to work at <national chain restaurant mentioned before> is going to encounter; they want somebody who can do the work of three jobs, for low pay.
November 8: Day 13
I just put in for a temporary holiday job cutting and wrapping cheese for< a specialty food store.> They actually asked me how many years experience I have working with specialty cheeses, and made me take a management skills test to finish the application.
This is becoming an absurd pattern.
November 9: Day 14
It must have been the cheese wrapping job application that wore me out enough to need a day off. Overall, this portion of the journal shows that the “all these jobs are available, people just don’t want to work,” claim is flimsy at best, and is in many cases, completely unfounded. The jobs are posted. They are not necessarily available to anyone and everyone who needs or wants to work.
Any job is going to have reasonable requirements. Anyone seeking to fill a position is going to need someone who meets the basic qualifications to do the job. Rejecting my application if I applied to work in a garage or for a home repair service would be completely reasonable. Not only do I have no skills or training in that area, I’m more than a little dense when it comes to that type of intelligence, and would have a difficult time learning how to repair appliances or work on cars in the first place, never mind reaching a professional level in it.
But the longer this challenge went on, the more it became clear that many employers are….well….asking people how many years of experience they have with fancy cheese.
by Jess Szabo originally published on Artist Cafe Utica www.artistcafeutica.com