Someone once told me that she thought the three of her least
favourite things in life are cleaning the oven, moving, and looking for a job.
In many ways, I have to agree, particularly on the job front. As I’ve mentioned
frequently in the recent months, job hunting is the worst, especially when you’re
a new grad or are early on in your career. I’ve been extremely fortunate and keep
getting extended at work even though my contract should have ended at the end
of August, but as far as I know I only have a week and a half or so left at my
current job, so I have been job hunting fervently.
I have kind of a different perspective on job hunting,
because I work in HR. My most recent contract was in recruiting, so I spent the
whole time on the other side of the job hunting process. I would get calls from
applicants all the time who wanted to know why they weren’t getting interviews,
and what they could do differently, and I know from both this and my current
personal experience that it is a frustrating and at times demoralizing experience,
particularly in our present time when most applications are processed online in
a very impersonal way. Here are some of my tips for motivation and eventual
success during the job hunt:
1.KNOW WHAT YOU ARE APPLYING TO. I can’t stress
this enough. What I mean by this is, know what the organization you’re applying
to is and what it is about before you even apply. Is it public or private? How
many people work there? Is it national? Global? All of these things should
impact how you go about your application, because there are major differences
between how you should approach applying to a job at, say, the federal
government, versus applying for a job at a manufacturing company, even if the
jobs themselves look similar. This leads into my next point.
2.DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME. This is probably not what
most people will tell you. I hear people say all the time that you should apply
for a job even if you don’t have all the experience they’re looking for,
because, well, you never know, right? For many cases, this is true (up to a
point). If the posting is asking for 3-5 years of experience and a college
diploma and you have a university degree and 2 years, go for it. If it’s a
private company and you have even less experience, go for it. But, if it’s a
public or quasi-public organization like the government or a public university
or hospital, or largely unionized organization, you are probably wasting your
time. I worked for a public post-secondary environment, and would constantly
see people applying for positions with very vaguely related experience, or none
at all. They would have taken the time to go through our application process
and tailor their resume to the posting, which definitely takes time, and it
would be totally wasted. Many of these people would also follow up (because
that’s what everyone tells you is the right thing to do), and check in with me
weekly regarding the status of their application. While being eager is great, and
while this may be helpful in a smaller organization, a large organization with
strict guidelines is not going to bend their rules and go out of their way to
give you a chance. Maybe there is the occasional exception (although I have not
experienced it), but you have to think about this process in terms of your time
being valuable. Think of the other jobs you could be finding and applying to,
the calls you could be making, or the professional development you could be
doing while you are applying somewhere that is really not going to give you the
time of day. Save your time and effort.
3.Stay motivated, and think positive. Job hunting
is hard, especially when you’re starting out early in your career, so staying
motivated is key. I’ve told myself that
when I get a full-time job, I’m going to buy myself a present from Tiffany
& Co. I don’t usually buy myself jewelry, so this is great motivation, and
gives me something to look forward to. Find something you want (nothing totally
outrageous, but something that is a bit of a treat), and promise it to yourself
as your reward for getting a job.
4.Set specific, short term job hunting goals. I
find it helpful to say things like, “I’m going to apply for 10 jobs this
weekend.” I usually tell Chris, because it makes me feel like I’m accountable
to someone. Once you’ve completed your goal, let yourself rest. It is easy to
get burnt out and discouraged when writing cover letter upon cover letter and
filling out a million stupid online application forms, so make sure you give
yourself time to relax and enjoy life after you’ve completed your goals.
5.Everyone has heard this before, but NETWORK.
Schmooze. Talk to people. Use LinkedIn. If there are professional organizations
for your field (in HR we have the Human Resources Professionals Association,
etc), join them. Attend networking events. I know a lot of people find
networking awkward, and you don’t want to feel like you’re trying to push
yourself on people. Just try to be friendly, open, and yourself. When communicating with connections you’ve
made, ask specific questions and seek specific guidance. In the era of
impersonal online applicant tracking systems, having a personal connection can
make all the difference.
Next up, I’ll write something on acing a job interview, and
hopefully by then I will have aced another one of my own! ;)
Oh, and a very happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canucks!
I've been wanting trays lately. Two trays, to be specific. One for the coffee table to put the TV remotes on, and one to go on our counter where keys, cards, and random stuff accumulates. I went to Target today after work to look for said trays, because I know Nate Berkus usually fulfills all my housewares whims. Unfortunately, on this particular trip, there were no trays that were exactly what I wanted. There was one in the summer collection that I loved, but I never went for it. Curses. Anyway, I digress. I decided to go to the ol' Value Village to see what they had, and I ended up picking up two trays for 2.99 each, one metal and one ceramic. I'm currently working on the ceramic on and the metal one I finished earlier this evening.
This was the tray when I bought it.
After washing the tray and drying it, and applied a couple of coats of gold spray paint. I forgot to take a picture before the next step, so that is why this one already has some marker on it.
I used a regular black sharpie and a gold metallic sharpie to draw the feather.
This weekend was the first weekend that really felt like legitimate Fall. It was cloudy, chilly, and the leaves are starting to change quickly. Hurray! I am happy, Chris is not.
I like cooking in the Fall. There's something nice about knowing it's cold outside but you are inside and your house is warm and smells like food. I typically go into a sort of cooking hibernation in the summer and rarely make anything, but this chilly weather is waking me up. On Thursday I only worked a half day at work, so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon making a lobster/scallop mac and cheese, and an apple crisp.
The mac and cheese was actually reeeally good. I will have to post the recipe at some point. I took some inspiration from Jamie Oliver's Lobster Mac and Cheese from his Comfort Food show, but kind of just made it up as I went along. The apple crisp was decent too.
Yesterday Chris and I went to see Gone Girl. SO GOOD. We had both read the book and weren't sure how the story would translate into a film, but it was done really well, probably because Gillian Flynn did the screenplay. One of the best films I've seen in awhile, and probably the best adaptation from a book I've seen. You should go see it right now!
Today we went out for brunch with some friends at Bier Markt. I had the Bavarian Benedict, and like other times I've eaten at the Bier Markt, I left feeling like I probably wouldn't go back again for food. Beer yes, food meh. After brunch (which was at 1 so was actually basically just lunch), we went to our friend's place for a bit, and then we went to Starbucks were I accidentally stole somebody's soy latte. Oops.
I hope you all had lovely Fall weekend as well!
P.S.: I got this sweater at R W & Co and I am madly in love with it.
It's October!!!! Also known as, the most wonderful month of the year. The air is crisp, scary movies are always playing on TV, the leaves are changing, the food is delicious, and I could go on and on. The start of October called for a new chalkboard, so it was time for Jaws to get wiped away...
Last year I did this moon cat chalkboard for Halloween, but I'm on a bit of a textless kick so I did (or tried to do) a scene from Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, which is one of my favourite movies to watch at this time of year.
There was more detail than I'm used to, which was pretty trick and tedious as chalk on a not-fantastically-smooth chalkboard is not the most forgiving medium. Oh well. Challenges are good!
If you have any Fall chalkboard designs (of any style or skill level!) I would LOVE to see them! :)
Fall is definitely arriving here in the GTA, and I'm getting pretty excited to busting out the pumpkins and fall themed chalkboards. If it was up to me we would have fall until mid-December, then a couple of weeks of winter for the holidays, and then back to fall temps again until March. But anyway...
3. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing lip balm. I got a a free one in a Clinique promotion, and I'm totally amazed by the colour. The colour I got was Budding Blossom, and it looked like a pale, baby pink. On my lips it showed up as more of a hot pink, the colour lasts more like a stain but feels like a balm.