Tag Archives: local jobs

Guess Who Has a Job?

14 Nov

ME.  Booyah.

VICTORY DANCING!

How did it happen?  Perhaps the universe finally recognized my inherent worth and capabilities.  Perhaps one of my billions of applications finally accepted.  Or maybe I just met a lady at a party and got a job three days later.  (Hint: it wasn’t the first two.)

The literacy council I volunteer for held a tutor appreciation ceremony on Friday, November 5th.  As I was about to leave, a woman introduced herself to me as one of the council board members.  We got to chatting, and she told me she helps run a tutoring service in town.  I off-handedly remarked, “Oh yeah, I applied there a while back, but never heard anything because I’m not a credentialed teacher.”  I’m what you would call suave.

I think I inadvertently guilt-tripped her, because she asked for my contact information and availability, and said she’d check into some opportunities for me.  I scribbled it on a ripped loose leaf with a fat, red Crayola marker.  (Kids, I am the epitome of professionalism, should you ever need a mentor).  She said she’d give me a call, and I thought, “Yeah, okay, and I’ll sprout wings and fly to Neptune.”  Still, I thanked her, and walked out expecting nothing to come of it.

Except that something totally did!

She called me on the following Monday and asked me to come in for an interview on Tuesday.  When I showed up, she gave me the contract to sign and asked me when I could start.  That was it.  I guess networking kind of works, doesn’t it?

It’s very part-time.  I’ll only tutor six, maybe eight hours a week.  But the money is great, because a) it’s money, finally! and b) I get 22 kahunas an hour.  Martha’s Vineyard, here I freakin’ come!

I start this week.  It feels good to have joined the working masses.  It’ll be a sign that I’ve fully joined their ranks once I start complaining about my job, which I can’t wait to do, because it means I have a job to complain about (however small it is).  YAYZORS!

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Adventures in Networking, Pt. 2! Exclamation Point!

26 Apr

After a couple long chats with my parents, there is a new life plan: to focus on finding a local job, save enough money for a move up north, then I can live in a big city in a swanky apartment with all my friends like they do on How I Met Your Mother.  You can’t have charming, uproarious shenanigans in New York with your best pals if you can’t afford to relocate.  Hello real life, my name is Sarah, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.

The dream.

I can handle this development.  All I have to do is network and make connections and yadda yadda blah blah. Except who the hell do I know in Lakeland, FL?! My parents moved here from New York when I was in college, and I spent my summers away.  So yes, I’m totally friendless, but I’m not out to make friends.  I’m out to get a job.  I need to work my professional network, which means I have to target my dad’s connections and my alumni brethren.

I love HIMYM, so you better believe I spent my weekend networking.  I wanna live the dream, man.

I found an alum in Tampa (a 4o minute commute from me) who currently practices law.  Throughout college, I was convinced I was heading to law school.  I took a couple practice LSAT questions, and got all of them wrong.  I also found out that I would be saddled with 30 years of debt, and as a public interest lawyer, my yearly salary would be less than a construction worker’s. I figured that I was too dim-witted to get into law school, and if I did miraculously manage it (does University of Phoenix give away law degrees?), I would develop an intense hatred and jealousy of construction workers everywhere.  Also, I’d probably be eating Vienna sausages for dinner every night, due to my noble pursuit of legislative reform.

This was the future I had envisioned after six practice questions and a quick Google search.  In other words, I gave up on my dream before I even tried, and before I had talked to a real live, breathing lawyer who could shed some light on his occupation.  I figured reaching out to this alum would be a good way to get some questions resolved, and maaaybe finagle my way into a legal assistant position.  Are Vienna sausages yummy?  Are construction workers good people?  Would University of Phoenix turn me down?  I needed answers.

It didn’t totally go as I had hoped, although it was still a helpful, informative interview.  What’s more, it taught me how to properly conduct networking interviews in the future.  Lookit, I made a chart for you describing my experience and the wins and fails of networking. I had one other networking adventure this weekend at Universal Studios, but I’ll save that for some other time.  Are you titillated with anticipation?  Fabulous.

What I Did Do (Huzzah!) What I Didn’t Do (Booooo)
  • Be friendly! The five networking emails I sent before were very matter-of-fact and to the point.  This one had an exclamation point!  This connotates that you are a nice, outgoing person and aren’t just using them for personal gain(even though you absolutely are)!  The  naive enthusiasm that this punctuation symbolizes is endearing and people will be inclined to help you! Also, make a light joke if you feel comfortable, but don’t overdo it! Exclamation point!!!
  • Have a list of prepared questions ready before the interview Don’t wing it, otherwise you’ll look like an unprofessional asshole who is wasting a non-asshole’s time.  I was glad I did, because I was a bit nervous talking to someone who charges his time by the minute, and was thus very efficient in his responses.
  • Be gracious. Thank them!  The follow-up email is integral in making a good impression, and shows that yous be a classy fellow.
  • Taken total control of the interview from the start I realized that the people you’re contacting are just as clueless about networking as you are. We just assume that real grown-ups know how this works, and so they’ll guide us through the bizarre process, like our college advisors did, but that is E-RRON-EOUS.  It’s entirely up to you to get the results you want from this connection.
  • Made sure my contact knew who the hell I was We exchanged a couple emails before I called him, but I never sent him my resume, which would have effectively told him about myself.  On the phone, I pretty much said, “I LIKE LAW LMAO!” Mid-convo, he stopped and said, “Can I ask what you majored in?” Yes you can, sir.  Incompetency and humiliation.
  • Not babbled! ‘Nuff said.
  • Grown a pair–asked the questions that I want ed to ask When push came to shove, I couldn’t ask the one fairly innocuous question that would’ve maybe led to a job offer.  “What’s a good introduction to the legal profession for someone who’s on the fence about it?”  Totally harmless, but I still couldn’t do it.  As a result, I hung up with the lawyer and immediately wailed to a friend about my dissatisfaction with the interview.
  • Take

  • total control of the interview from the start. I realized that the people you’re contacting are just as clueless about it as you are. We just assume that real grown-ups know how this works, and so they’ll guide us through this bizarre process, like our college advisors did, but this is E-RRON-EOUS!  It’s entirely up to you to get the results you want from this connection.
  • Make sure your contact knows who the hell you are. We exchanged a couple emails before I called him, but I never sent him my resume, which would have effectively told him about myself.  On the phone, I pretty much said, “I LIKE LAW LMAO!” Mid-convo, he stopped and said, “Can I ask what you majored in?” Yes you can, sir.  Incompetency and humiliation.
  • Don’t babble! ‘Nuff said.
  • Grow a pair-ask all the questions you want. When push came to shove, I couldn’t ask the one fairly innocuous question that would maybe lead to a job offer.

Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined: Finding a Hometown Gig

16 Mar

I arrived at my parents’ house in Lakeland, Fl six weeks ago, and like many recent graduates, decided to look for a local job to kill the time as I continued my real job hunt in other, more urban areas (like Boston, NY, DC, the moon, just anywhere but Florida). Today, I finally received my first interview invitation.  Exciting, right?

Great big jugs.

Keep reading.

“Hello, is this Sarah?  This is Stacy from Lakeland Parks and Recreations, and I’d like to invite you to interview for the position of Camp Counselor.  Are you available tomorrow afternoon?”

“… Oh riiiiiight. Yes. Umsureyeahok.”

“Great! So, we’re located right behind the Hooters on Imperial Blvd.  Do you know where that is?”

“Stacy, I can honestly say I don’t know where the Hooters is in town.”

So.  Hooters.  Who looked behind that “delightfully tacky yet unrefined” establishment, known for its trifecta of boobs, wings, and beer, and thought, “this would be a great place for kids to play!”  Was it someone inside the restaurant who had overindulged on the goodies offered there, looked out the window, saw the grassy field, and was struck by divine inspiration?  And what about the kids who go to this camp?  I bet they didn’t expect to receive a dose of sex-ed when they go out to play kickball.

Here’s the thing about looking for a local job.  I believe you have to find the right balance between “killing the time” and “building your resume.”  I don’t think employers will be impressed by “Lakeland Parks and Recreations” when I’m competing against kids who’ve held internships at both JP Morgan and Lehman Bros.  Sure, this is something to do, and it is paid, but it seems like a step down to have a Bachelors and then go back to a summer gig I held three years ago.  I can’t help but think it would be better to do something that’s reflective of your personality and allows for potential leadership growth: stage manage a show, volunteer on a campaign…start a blog about unemployment, whatever!  You just have to be sure to step back and think, “How will this opportunity help me in the long run?”

I probably won’t take the camp counselor job.  It doesn’t start til June, and besides, I am ill-equipped to answer the question, “What are hooters?”  Because you know they’ll ask.