Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Snapshot of the unemployed and still looking

Let me begin this treatise by introducing myself. Or should I ?I am probably the same as a million other people who are in the same position as me at this very moment. So what makes me different from all the other people in this universe who working towards the same goal for probably far longer than I have. What is it they are doing u say ?looking for a JOB, of course. Well, looking for a job is probably the understatement of the year. Hunting desperately in the hope that someone is enamored enough of our resume and cover letter to call and speak with us face to face?is a more apt phrase.I have spoken to so many people out there who have been in the same boat for the past months and each has a different idea as to how to land a job. Refine your cover letter specifically for each job position says one ?but do we see any difference in the response that we get from the companies? Nope, zilch.

Then we go on to the next level. Tailor your resume to mention all keywords stated in the job requirements. Try to rephrase the work that you have done to fit the job description. We do this diligently and enthusiastically hoping that this is the magic password we have been waiting for to get that much-coveted first job? We send out the resume?and the cover letters (filled with buzz words, since this is a continuation of the previous step) and wait anxiously beside the telephone for that one ring that is the answer to all our prayers. And the wait continues.........

There goes that trick down the tubes. Then starts the self-psycho analysis phase. Am I good enough? U ask yourself. To look for a job? To work in an office? To earn money? Am I important enough in this world that some one would want me to do something for them? Am I worthy enough of a piddling chance in this whole wide world that would help me stand on my two feet and grow into someone useful? Maybe not? The worst one...am I worthy enough to be alive in this world and wish to become someone of importance that people would like to look up to?

And this is where the alley goes downhill. Self doubt sets in. The job hunt goes from an almost furious pace to a tottering and dawdling pace where we are just going through the motions of looking for a suitable position and attaching a pre-standardized resume and one of the aforementioned cover letters to the application, all the while thinking that it does not matter what I send since they are going to trash it anyway or find a way to disqualify it? So why should I bother to spend any time on it. I could spend my time doing more useful things. What is more useful that looking for a job, u say? Well at that point in time cleaning the restroom would be considered more important, believe me.

So why do this at all? Well we have something called a guilt conscience that simply refuses to be silenced. It insists on taking us to task about the entire process of job hunting and how we are not doing enough to land us a job. So we do this in the fond hope that the guilt can be assuaged with these actions and we could have some peace at least some of the time. This continues for a while and as most professionals would say, if our chances of getting a job were few, now they are miniscule.

Then comes the silver lining around a humungous, mile-long cloud. There is another way to attract the attention of the recruiters towards our resume?and cover letters. Enthusiasm begins to course through our veins once again ?warm and pulsing. Adrenalin rushes through our body. Hope arises in the form of the same old thought ?the golden gateway??

We, being humans, love hoping in something. Then what was all that crap about pschyo-analysis, u say? Well that was a passing phase, a really long passing phase. Now the contender is back in the race. Hunting with an almost feral attitude. What is it that caused this sudden change in demeanor? Simple. The newly discovered technique says, when a job requirement asks for something, just put it in the resume. Whether you know it or not is extraneous. If and when you get a call for an interview, make sure you schedule it with enough lee way to enable your self to learn what it is you do now know, that you have added in your resume under technical proficiencies? Remember there should be enough time for you to gain at least a working knowledge of these so-called proficiencies. This would be about 4 days. Four days of looking through websites, books, problems, and of course software (and beware, do not sleep during this period, you will lose this time that you could use to study) and then get ready to face the lions.

Day of the interview. Amazingly enough you are able to dazzle them enough for them to give you a job. WOW. Then is this it? Is this the magic pathway that was hidden to us for so long now? It must be? When all else has failed, this worked? You are euphoric. A little thing like lying on your resume?cannot bother you. And technically you were able to deliver the goods, so to speak. So for the rest of us who are struggling to catch up. Should we or should we not do this? Is it right? Or are we past caring?

But I am digressing. The point of writing this was not to give you a lesson on morality. Nor is it berating all those great people who have helped me through so much and given very useful advice without whom, I would not be here (I am not being sarcastic). Hey, in my opinion, whatever works. As they say, all is fair in love and war and it is a war. Survival of the fittest describes this situation to a T. Yes you may get a little irritated that when you did your degree in engineering, you would have to pick up the skills of a salesman, an accountant, a financial analyst and some where push in your engineering degree to convince the recruiters that you have the technical finesse to carry out your responsibilities.

But in the end, it is worth it. And for all those who have gone through what ever I have described and have landed a job, hats off to you. And for those who are still going through it, like me, do not lose hope. Things will work out.

When ?...................I have no idea
When you need it the most ?............may be
When you are ready to though in your towel completely and say “lord, I have had enough of this??........................................................................definitely

So hang in there ?............................Cheers


At November 10, 2004 at 4:01:00 AM EST , Blogger Hifzur said...

I can completely identify with this. I am in a similar situation myself, and all those self doubts you listed out were spot on, minus a few ofcourse. I havent lost much hope in myself that I wonder if I'm any good in this world.

Hope you land something soon as well. Good luck and cheers.

And a good post too. :)

At January 22, 2005 at 6:49:00 PM EST , Blogger Deepak said...

Your post was amazing...almost completely describes my life over certain period. Hats off to you!!

At May 10, 2005 at 11:16:00 PM EDT , Blogger UK said...

Life does take serious turns and you have to be cautious not to fall of. Though I am not in this situation yet but have seen my friends going through it. Hope every one in this situation finds peace of mind and success too.

At July 22, 2005 at 8:38:00 AM EDT , Blogger Meghna said...

Hi all and thank u for the comments. I apologize for the delay in responding but I have been busy and with good reason. I joined a second MS program and now I am interning with AstraZeneca. So there is a silver lining to every cloud.....

At August 13, 2005 at 3:48:00 AM EDT , Blogger Kanishk | कनिष्क said...

thats an amazing post. I am going through this phase right now and as per your post, I am currently in the self-doubt stage (third para). This is a very dicey situation and one has to pass through it..sooner or later..once or more than once..!!!

At August 14, 2005 at 7:52:00 AM EDT , Blogger Kanishk | कनिष्क said...

I have mentioned your post in one of my similar kind of post. Check it out:




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