I Hate You, Potential Employers.

I’m feeling depressed. There is nausea. There is heartache. There is dryness in my throat. My nails are shorter.

And I know exactly why.

I’m currently in my second semester of my first year as a graduate student. My program is two years, maximum, thus by next May I will have graduated and will being making my grand entrance into the real world – again. Whatever the hell that means.

Given the nature of our economy and in an attempt to further make myself less financially dependent on my parents (they want grandkids like next week), I’ve been thinking about my career quite a bit these days. I’m well aware of the fields in which I’d like to dabble my fingers and the sorts of jobs that I would interest me. I’m not interested in a single career really – stagnancy has always been a bit of a turn off for me. Rather, I look forward to a career that spans several fields and positions.

Can you tell how naive I really am by now?

So, since I need a resume full of non-extracurricular activities (i.e. actual jobs) I thought it would make sense that I look into getting a job or internship for the summer within one of the many fields that interest me. And this conquest initially excited me. I am, after all, a grad student now, working as a Teaching Assistant, with a sea of extracurriculars, a GPA I haven’t seen since high school, and am a writer for  a well-read blog as well as my university’s only independent paper. I am well above anything I was as an undergrad.

I. Have. My. Own. Goddamn. Cubicle.

Yes.

A freaking cubicle. With drawers and everything.

Yet given all of this, I am a complete and utter failure.

Okay, perhaps not really but why is it that I’m still not really qualified for any position I come across? Everything seems to require 15 years experience. Who needs 15 years experience to get you a cup of coffee and edit one of the most well-respected journals on international affairs?

How absurd.

In all seriousness, though, it is rather aching. Of course having experience for a position is dire and completely expected. You’re an idiot to think otherwise. But to my potential employers, look – how can I EVER gain that experience if you won’t give me a chance? It seems as though not only are the expectations for simple jobs and internships becoming absurdly unattainable but that degrees (and further education in general) are becoming increasingly irrelevant or just diminishing in work value. My work experience outweighs my educational experience. I understand the reasoning behind this, but hey I’m sorry I sacrificed interning at a law firm to help build homes in Latin American slums.

I didn’t, but still. I did other things that have helped me cultivate various skills that are certainly worth something. Or I like to think so, anyway.

So, when will I be qualified? Do I really need to get the Fullbright and start my PhD on Turkish hair removal rituals to even be considered as a fundraiser for a human rights organization?

Plus, aren’t there some ethnic/gender quotas you guys need to be filling?

p.s. To potential employers: I’m kidding. I love you. Thank you for putting up with my insecurity-laced rants.

One thought on “I Hate You, Potential Employers.

  1. Love this post, Sana.

    Honestly, I can tell you from slogging it out in the real world for 6 months, half of it is total bullshit. Seriously.

    In a couple of weeks, I am starting a 6 month paid internship out in Calgary at a magazine. Absolutely no idea how I got it. I feel as though they should have given it to a Journalism grad. This, along with other experiences in the “work force,” have led me to think that after a certain point it’s all totally random.

    From the few interviews and successes I’ve had, I’ve discovered that tons of people meet the basic requirements, but they’ll pick you over someone else based on something totally unpredictable or arbitrary. Another employer might pick you for a job that you’re technically unqualified for, because of another arbitrary or bizarre thing that made you stick out.

    My advice, however meager it may be, is to accept it as being somewhat out of your control and random. Write the best cover letter you can, put together a great resume, practice your interview answers, and then just let it go. Stuff comes together weirdly.

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