Tag Archives: nytimes

The 5 Easy Steps to Getting a Job (So I’ve Heard)

22 Apr

I recently came across a New York Times article that called me out on my shenanigans.  Entitled How to Turn Downtime into Job Offers, it highlights the major issue that encumbers the unemployed in their job hunts: their misuse of time.  We spend it too leisurely or too unproductively.  As much as this hurts to admit, mayhaps watching Bravo’s reality tv buffet is a bit of time sucker.  On the flipside, sending out a flurry of emails and online applications has not gotten me any closer to employment.  So what’s the solution?

These five easy steps, as paraphrased from the article, will apparently find you a job, and thus turn you into a contributing member of society once again.  Yaaay.

1) Find a spot that you dedicate exclusively to job-hunting, and set up camp there.  Be sure to name it something nifty, like “Job Search HQ,” “Misery Obliteration Station,” or “LeVar Burton.”  This is imperative to your success.

2) Get your shit together.  Have all your materials well organized and easily accessible. These include resumes, cover letters, references, skills, and writing samples.  They also include whatever accolades you’ve received in college or during your career.  It’s recommended that you assemble a “success folder” containing these accomplishments and be ready to whip them out during interviews.  Remember, bragging  does not make you a pretentious douchebag if this gets you the job.

3) Mix up your day by dividing it up into three parts: research, meetings, and follow-ups. You should basically be doing a metric butt-load** of research, everything from companies you’ll be interviewing with to finding new networking opportunities.  Schedule daily informal meetings with friends, former colleagues, or career counselors for coffee.  Follow-up with a thank you to any person who’s helped you along your path to a steady paycheck and a 401K.

4) Don’t end your day before planning your next one, or the next three, if you’re one of those overly ambitious bastards.

5) Embrace this long-forgotten feeling of energy and productivity.

Hogsheads, which are just barrels. Lame.

It will then morph into confidence, which you will begin to emanate and thus increase your chances of getting hired.  Once that happens, relish the sweet flavor of victory, which should taste something like rainbows and Christmas.

**Knowledge Bomb: According to my friend Teh Google, a metric butt-load is equivalent to 476.961 liters, or 126 gallons, or 2 hogsheads.

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News Flash: Many Unpaid Internships Are Illegal

3 Apr

I know what you did last summer…

An unpaid internship, most likely. We all think about it — do I suck up and make negative money for a summer to make the “connections” or do I try to make some bank or do I sit at home playing video games?

Well, as the NY Times points out today, your unpaid internship may be illegal:

Ms. Leppink said many employers failed to pay even though their internships did not comply with the six federal legal criteria that must be satisfied for internships to be unpaid. Among those criteria are that the internship should be similar to the training given in a vocational school or academic institution, that the intern does not displace regular paid workers and that the employer “derives no immediate advantage” from the intern’s activities — in other words, it’s largely a benevolent contribution to the intern.

Well, well, well. Feeling better about yourself already? I wouldn’t get too excited. Unpaid internships are still going to happen (like child labor). But know that you have some leverage to get at least minimum wage at many intern spots. I wouldn’t be confrontational with employers but the law is (likely) on your side.

(more on internship and labor laws)

UPDATE 4/6: Atlantic Media kicks things off by offering their current interns and last year’s interns pay. As a former (paid) intern for NPR, if that announcement in the Atlantic offices wasn’t met with cheers, I’ll be devastated. Those interns better be planning a parade for their publisher because they don’t know how lucky they are.