Just a name on an application, another face in the crowd

I have been wondering, how many job applications are enough to make a job seeking week worthwhile? How many is too many?  Is there too many?  I wonder if I apply for a ridiculous amount of jobs will my applications become generic and fail to be appealing.

Sometimes I think that finding employment is like a children’s school yard game.  The cool kids, hopefully the ones with the most talent and experience get picked as the team Captains, or Managers if you like.  Then there is everyone else, standing on the sidelines jumping up and down yelling pick me, pick me.

Some people may have noticed my post ‘Totally Awesome Person for Hire.’ This was my attempt at finding a job through social media.  I linked this to twitter and it was retweeted a couple of times to no avail.

In all honesty, I didn’t expect to find a job this way. It was just a bit of fun and I wanted to see what would happen.  Nothing happened.

So far I haven’t applied for a ridiculous amount of jobs, although my search is still young.  I have tried a few different approaches: recruitment companies, online applications, responding to newspaper advertisements, cold calling and door knocking.

I have come to realise that I’m capable of writing a decent job application.  That being said, I am not prone to embellishing.  I would call my style ‘tell it like it is.’  When I get a job, I want an employer to know what they are getting, the areas I am qualified in and the areas I may need some up skilling. I don’t believe in pretending or faking it until you make it.

I received a phone call the other day about a job I had applied for.  The caller asked whether I had a moment to talk about the position.  I agreed, which was a rookie mistake in hindsight.  As the call progressed, I realised that it was a telephone interview.  I wasn’t prepared at all.  The position hadn’t even entered my mind since I had applied.  I must have done something right as I made it through to what I was told was an ‘information session.’  I was advised that the session would go for an hour. I would learn more about the position and could decide whether I was still interested. I was told that someone would also assess my ability to navigate a website.  If I was successful, I would then be invited to a face to face interview.

The information session did not go entirely as described.  The Information component of the session went for 10 minutes.  Then there were four pre-employment tests: a short answer test, a typing test, a spelling and then a grammar tests.  When we were being briefed for all of this, I was sitting there freaking out.  Do I really want to go through all of this? What if I try and fail? My internal dialogue then turned arrogant, “I have tertiary qualifications and they want me to do a spelling test” (my internal dialogue can be a little biatch sometimes).

Very quickly I had a light bulb moment and reality set in. I had left my former career. No one here knows who I am, my reputation doesn’t precede me and my University qualifications don’t matter.  I knew that this time may come, that if I wanted a new career it was likely I would have to start again.  Here I was at the bottom. My competitive streak kicked in and I was off.  I decided that if I had to do these tests, I may as well be the quickest and most efficient.

Some of the others crumbled under the pressure, a couple of minutes after the timer was started they were out the door.  The room was crammed; I was sitting shoulder to shoulder with the other applicants.  I realised something that I had forgotten since I had stopped working.  When I am focussed and in the zone, I like to hum.  It only occurred to me after I received rather strange sideward glances.  It’s pretty funny really.  Apparently I also like to whistle, which is equally annoying to others. My husband told me that I also whistle and hum when I am happy.  Maybe pressure situations make me happy……..

I made it to round four, the face to face interview.  It was a cognitive interview.  It was gruelling. The questions were complex and required me to give specific examples using my life and previous work history. I think I did okay.

I would like to think I would be offered a position, part of me thinks that they should be happy to have me (arrogant I know) and the other part thinks that I put myself out there and put in a lot of effort, so it would be disappointing to unsuccessful. I guess someone needs to be unsuccessful, but I’m not about to prepare for the worst.

Today is a new day, there are things to do, adventures to be had and perhaps a little waiting for the phone to ring.


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