Job Hunting Week, day four: The inherent lack of honesty

Welcome to Job Hunting Week. Looking for a job is my whole life at the moment, and looking for a job is so not fun. None of the content of this week will be revolutionary or even anything you haven’t thought of yourself, but I want to get it all out there in the open. Let’s commiserate together about the worst parts of job searching and what makes it so truly awful.

Day four: The inherent lack of honesty

Matt and I watched The Shining the other day as part of our October horror movie month.

"They'll love it!"
At the beginning of the movie, Jack has an interview with the manager of the hotel. When the manager asks how Jack thinks his wife and child will enjoy being alone and isolated from the entire world in a strange hotel that was the backdrop for a brutal murder for about six months this winter, he pauses, then says, “They’ll love it!”

Obviously, he pauses because he knows they’re going to hate it and he’s starting to have some misgivings about the whole thing.

But he can’t say that, because it’s a job interview.

Some people — potential employers and job seekers alike — are actively and unnecessarily dishonest in the job search process. Those people, with their job postings that completely misrepresent the job and their resumes with outrageous claims and fake degrees, are not what I’m talking about today.

It's the smaller lies that everyone tells. Job hunting involves an inherent lack of honesty. It’s just how it is, and I absolutely hate it.

When you’re talking with a potential employer, you can’t be completely honest. You have to be excited about every aspect of the job, no matter what. If they throw you a curveball during the interview, you can’t react negatively in any way. You have to nod and say it sounds great.

If you voice any trepidation about the job or don’t seem enthusiastic about any single aspect, or if you don’t have the experience they want, even if it’s just for one tiny part of the job, you’re not going to get it.

Employers are not interested in expending the time, effort or resources to train you on the job. Even if you only need training or a refresher on something that’s only relevant to 5 percent of the position, they see that as a negative.

So in order to get around that, you have to fib a little. You’ll have to do a little bit of administrative work in addition to the design part? Sure! That’s not a problem at all! It’ll be fun, even!

On the other hand, employers tell little fibs too. They skate over the parts of the job that are going to be least appealing and accentuate the parts they know you'll like most. And they absolutely don't tell you if the company in general is bad. You have to want the job too, remember, so they want to make it as attractive to you as they can.

It’s that whole ‘fake it til you make it’ thing, on both sides, and it’s awful and I hate it. I just want to be real with you and still get the job. And it would be cool if you would be real with me too.

No comments:

Post a Comment