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 one: It puts you on edge about everything.
When I’m searching for a job, I’m constantly on edge and can’t relax because I feel like I always have to be on.
I usually never answer the phone for numbers I don’t know, but when I’m actively applying for jobs, I feel like I have to answer no matter what. This feeling led to me taking notes for an interview while driving to work last week with the call on speakerphone in my lap because you can’t have your phone in your hand while you’re driving in California and I don’t have a hands-free device.
I, like everyone, get emails all the time. The vast majority of them are not important or personal and don’t have any bearing on my life. But when I’m looking for jobs, I’m obsessed with checking my email. More than that, I’m obsessed with checking my phone every time it makes a noise — even when I can clearly tell it’s not an email. (Do I think I’m going to get a text message about a job? Maybe?) I even check my spam folder every day, just in case.
It goes further than just being on edge about being available. Searching for jobs also puts you in the awkward position of having to be extra careful about what you post online. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, whatever, whatever, everything you post online is fair game for a recruiter or hiring manager.
Because this is the case, I add this extra layer of censorship on all my posts online. Before I hit “post” on Facebook, “tweet” on Twitter or “publish” on my blog, I have to stop and think.
Is this the first blog post I want a hiring manager to read if they click through to my blog from my website?
Is this tweet representative of my personal brand, but still respectful and uncontroversial enough to not raise any red flags?
Is this post good enough? Interesting enough? Clean enough? Approachable enough?
Am I good enough? Interesting enough?
I don’t want to have to hide myself in order to impress a recruiter. And I also don’t want to be attached to my phone, dying to hear something about whatever new job I applied for that day.
And that’s why I hate job hunting.