So my phone interview occurred yesterday and a gentleman from human resources and I spoke for 45 minutes or so. It was peculiar to say the least. I had interviewed and was offered a different position with this company before but had to turn it down for personal reasons. They understand and actually recommended I apply for a different position with support. The problem is when dealing with a huge organization like this one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. Regardless, I totally knew what to expect in regards to the type of questions so it was really no pressure. I tell ya what threw me for a loop was how the HR guy responded to MY questions. After the interview he asked is there anything I wanted to know, I asked him bluntly what’s the next step from here. He basically said my name, resume, and interview will go into a hiring pool and when the different regional managers look to hire someone they refer to this pool. Essentially this means you could be asked for a 1 on 1 interview next week or never. You may or may not know the outcome of your interview. I found this to be a ridiculous hiring policy, but I thanked him for telling me, as opposed to me declining other offers (lol @ other offers) in hopes that I would land this job.I think at least sending candidates an e-mail letting them know either yes or no in regards to the interview results and possible addition of your name to the hiring pool should be a policy. He gave no definitive answer, leaving me pretty much hanging.
The HR interviewer did an incredibly good job of actually turning me OFF to the position. When asked if there would be potential for me to promote up through the organization he claimed he only knew of one person who moved up from a support role to a strategist position in his time with the organization. I found this to be incredibly disheartening. I know I am supposed to be selling myself to the organization but aren’t they supposed to be selling themselves to me as well? Telling a potential candidate that this position is essentially a dead end job does not make it sound very endearing. Also, the way he described the job to me made it sound like I would be more of personal assistant to executives versus working with a team towards the organizations main goal. So to recap, it would be a dead end job unless I was very lucky and I would basically be a secretary. Sounds like working for this organization would be a monumental waste of my talents and my degree. Moreover, it sounds like they are looking for personal secretaries off the street as opposed career minded individuals who believe in the mission statement. When I hung up I was convinced that if offered a job I would more than likely turn it down based on this one interview. Then I started thinking about it and my competitive nature kicked in, I want a job offer from this organization simply because I want to win lol. The way HR presented the job in no way sounds appealing but my competitive nature wants an offer lol is that bad? Anyways, I don’t think I ever came away from a job interview having been more demotivated and let down about a position in my life. I really felt I could have made a difference with this group but as the cliche goes, “everything happens for a reason.” I guess its back to the job market.On a side note I did not tell ANYONE about this interview because I didn’t want t get to excited about it or jinx it in anyway, looks like that was a fail. Next time I’m going to blab to high even about even the most mediocre job interviews lol.
It’s time to pull out all the stops and resort to a tactic that I never thought I would ever have to use. This weekend my family is getting together for a little weekend getaway with the extended family. My cousin is a doctor and owns his own practice so I am going to put it out there in a very casual manner and see if he has any ideas or connections in his network. What’s good about that is between my degree, my work experience, military experience, I am very diverse in what I can do, I just need someone to give me the opportunity and it appears in this job market the only ones able to get by are those who call in favors. Sad reality of today’s job market. Until next time!
It’s amazing what happens when one revamps their resume. Like I said in a previous post I toyed with the idea of omitting my military service from my resume and while I didn’t completely take it out, I definitely down played a LOT of my accomplishments while I served. I felt that this and this reason alone was the main reason I was not getting the perspective interest from employers and what do ya know, today I got an e-mail from a prestigious non-profit group that asked to have a phone interview with me tomorrow July 19. I was excited that after three months of grinding away and revamping my resume on a continuous basis it finally paid off. Though I still believe there is a consistent bias or discrimination towards veterans, I am glad to see that at least one organization is at least giving me the chance to sell myself. I think for the most part employers are scared that returning veterans (even though I have been out of the Corps for 6 years) will pull turn into Rambo in the work place. As silly as that sounds I really and truly feel that is what a lot of employers feel. It should be noted that I interviewed for this organization one time before for a different role, was offered a job but unfortunately had to turn down their offer for reasons beyond my control. I totally know what to expect in this phone interview and if successful they will invite me to an in person interview. So hopefully this will be successful and the end to the jobless vet blog will come. Crossing my fingers and hoping it works out, if not I know I gotta stay positive (easier said then done).
So I tried my best to stay away from job searching, to no avail. I’m watching DVD reruns of old T.V. shows and I am thinking to myself if I don’t job search what the hell else am I going to do. It’s almost like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t ya know?I think in my pondering and self reflection I have come down to one issue I have. I wanted to do and have a job that was meaningful. I always wondered why people went into things like retail, sales, etc. It just seems so meaningless. Now I have come to the realization that most people don’t go into those fields because they want to, they go into those fields because they have to. And who can blame them? I remember being given a card by one of the nations biggest retailers at a job fair and thinking to myself “yea right”, I’m NOT going into retail. Flash forward a few months and now I am actually thinking about it. Not because I love retail but more so because it seems like I could land a job pretty easily and move up quickly. Falling directly into that “take a job because I have to, not because I want to category. Now my conundrum, I guess I had unrealistic, grandiose visions about what a meaningful career I’d go into and now here I am pondering some meaningless 9-5, thank you have a nice day, job. I think I may hold off on giving them my resume/application until I have exhausted ALL other means of getting a job.
On a side not I had a realization today. Could it be possible that employers are looking at my military service on my resume as a negative thing. I have read stories online about certain guys omitting their service and getting the job. It seems strange but for whatever reason they believed that either employers may look at them as unstable, war mongering lunatics, or too dumb to get a job or go to college out of high school. One of the first few lines of my resume is my education and you see in big bold words UNIVERSITY OF… but does the Marine Corps experience down at the bottom nullify that? Its an interesting concept that I am going to explore further when I get my batteries recharged from looking at all the employment listings.
I think one of my bigger mistakes was not recognizing how bad the job market is and waking up every day of the business week for the last 3 months and spending the majority of my day in front of my computer job searching. The constant lack of acknowledgment or response from employers really takes a toll on you emotionally. I find myself getting angry, and today I came to the realization that I am done doing this every day of the week. Maybe I will switch to looking every other week or every couple of weeks but this every day stuff is stopping. It’s counter productive. I do have to give myself props in that when I started doing this I went a solid 2 months before doubt and negativity started to creep in. I also realize that I am lucky in that I don’t have a wife and kids I need to support. This is not to say I haven’t had a couple of really weird offers for jobs. The first one came a month ago to teach English in South Korea, sounds good on the outside right? Well there was no third party information about the company and the first phone call I get is from some lady in India telling me to go get a background check and finger prints for my trip to Korea (clearly a third party company). Keep in mind I did not interview, nor did I ever meet anyone in person. For all I know they were recruiting for human trafficking lol, very shady stuff. The other job was at a school for $24,000 a year (i.e. $12 an hour) through a friend’s recommendation. As we all know 24k is nearly, if not at poverty level. Aside from that, I don’t think I would take a job that didn’t require a bachelor’s degree. I know on the face it sounds snobby but when you spend that kind of money (granted it was G.I. Bill money) and spend that kind of time it becomes very important that its recognized on an employment level. I was pretty smart in that I saved quite a bit of money so I can afford to be a bit picky. I guess part of my problem is I also don’t want to be one of the millions of Americans who go to work every day hating their job. Its important that I like my job and I know I just need to be patient.I’m not a super religious guy even though I was raised religious. Yesterday I stopped praying, seems kind of pointless to ask for something God clearly isn’t going to help you out with. So the plan is to stop searching for jobs and putting in resumes until I am in a better place attitude wise. Who knows when that will be. A break will probably do me well but I will continue to blog about how its going, not that anyone cares but it certainly feels good to write what’s going on and how I feel versus keeping it bottled up inside. Till next time.
I guess the title of this post speaks for itself. Frustration and aggravation that many of us feel about the current job market, it really sucks for everybody. You try and stay positive but as each and every day goes by it’s easier to become more and more negative. I don’t know if we veterans have a right to feel entitled to a job (not a specific one, just one in general) after we get out or if that’s just my own selfishness speaking?
My story goes a little like this. I served in the Marine Corps from 2001 – 2005 and did pretty well but it really wasn’t my passion. I took a year off and decided to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and get an education. I earned an AA and then went on to a pretty good University where I got a degree in History (my first mistake). The recession hit midway through my academic career and jobs became extremely scarce, so I decided to take my time in finishing school on the advice of a professor who said that historically speaking, the best thing to do during a recession is go to school. I’m thinking by the time I graduate the recession will have eased up and employers will be clamoring to hire a veteran with a degree. Boy was I wrong!
Since graduation I have sent out countless resumes. At first I started off strong, applying for 2 and 3 jobs a day using the typical job search engines and then slowly the jobs I thought I qualified for slowly started to dry up and before I knew it I was only putting one resume in a week BUT still spent countless hours searching for jobs. I even went to a veterans only job fair that turned out to be a total bust, either I was overqualified or the organization was on a hiring freeze. Why bother going to a job fair if your company is on a hiring freeze, if anything that is just doing the veterans there a disservice.
So here we are going in to month 3 of the nationwide job search and I have come to at least two conclusions. 1.I completely overvalued what I thought my service in the military meant to employers and 2. I completely over estimated what a college degree would do for me. Put those two things together and you have one HUGE over estimation about self worth in the job market today, my bad lol. I figured I’d start this blog and chronicle my experiences as I go through them in this endless search for employment. I just figure I want to try and channel my energy into something that maybe someone else is going through out there, who knows. Feel free to share your story in the comments section, with 11% of OIF veterans unemployed I know I can’t be alone.