Adventures in Job Hunting

As luck may have it, I seem to be looking for a job at the same time that everyone else in this country is also looking for a job. Ah, my bad timing. I have considered what things would have been like if I had chosen to stick with OWP, rather then quitting. I was already bored out of my mind and discouraged, and suspect this would have only worsened. Bored because I’d long since mastered the techniques needed to get the job done, and was simply going through the motions. There was nothing left to learn, and I needed something more then just the Pimsleur Spanish CDs to get me by. The discouragement was for various reasons. Firstly, realising that doing art on the outside and getting it into the line was not the direction I was feeling: the art that sold was not art I was really into making, and the amount of pieces I’d have to produce to make any sort of decent profit was entirely more then I was really up to producing. The kicker was the company website. For quite awhile, I’d lamented it’s awful database search function and known I could make it far better. So when the bosses talked about a site redesign, I was super excited. Quite sadly, I was not even given the opportunity to give them my resume or show a portfolio of sites, as they were insistent about hiring from the outside. This was horribly discouraging, and only added to my feelings of the production artists being the drones of that company. So I moved on. If I had somehow forced myself to stick with it (the money and company were good, after all), I could have gotten laid off about 2 months ago along with a bunch of other people from the company, and had the sweet sweet benefit of unemployment to experience. Alas, that was not meant to be. I can still at least be glad for the time off, as I’ve done some serious portfolio and skill building, even if my client-getting has been rather lacking.

So yeah, job hunting. I’m reading a Fortune magazine article at Drew’s mom’s place the other day, and it made me irate. Most of it is your standard article, of the “Hey, getting a job is tough, especially right now! Here’s some helpful tips for you!” And then came the last two paragraphs, which said that you really needed to hold out for a job that’s worth it and in your career path, as taking the wrong job could completely throw your career off whack. This really frustrated me. See, in an ideal world every person out there could plot out their career trajectory, what job they’d like to have to get them to the next job. However, this is not an ideal world, and thought like this will depress even the most optimistic of job searchers. The crappy flip-side of the “You can do anything you want to do” ideology of the United States is the possibility that if you end up doing something you didn’t want to do, that you’re not living up to your potential and wasting your life. When jobs are few and applicants are plentiful, it’s rather inevitable that some of those people won’t get the job they want. And why is this such a bad thing, anyhow? There’s opportunity to be found in every job, and, if nothing else, a lesser job gives you a paycheck until a better job can be found. And while you’re not serving your forty hours at that job, there’s plenty of time to be skill-building for your next job.

I sent out a resume last friday for something prospective, a junior developer position that I seemed to fit fairly well, albeit not perfectly. I was good with the required languages, and the rest would be fairly easy to familiarize myself with. The job was posted on Dice by a recruiter, so there were no details about the employer, and only the minimum necessary for the position itself. This is the downside of recruiter-posted positions, there’s no good way to research the company beforehand to see if it’s actually worth your time to apply to the position. In any case, I heard back from the woman this morning, and, after some phone tag, finally got hold of her. Discussed my skills, discussed the employer’s reluctance to hire anyone that’s not already local to the company. She then begins, hesitantly, to tell me of the employer. Based on her tone of voice, as well as experience from a past recruiter (who did hiring for Phillip Morris, among other places), I’m waiting to be warned of the fact that it’s for a cigarette company or something of equivalent potential distaste. But nope. Turns out that job would involve a lot of hardcore pornography. Those people use recruiters to get their hires? And as intriguing as it would be to some people, I really have no desire to stare at porn for 40 hours a week. Alas. Back to the job search.

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