Saturday, December 31, 2011

What I Learned This Week

     So, the insurance thing didn’t work out. I’d spent nearly a thousand dollars and over three weeks of time on it and was still at least a couple of weeks away from seeing anything that might resemble a pay check. I couldn’t wait any longer and I could not afford to keep driving out to Daniel Island. The bottom line is that I need to get paid. I need to know when I’m getting paid and I need to know how much.
     As I drove away it began to occur to me that there were some important lessons to take away from this experience and job hunting in general that I should share. If you have the time they are listed below.

1. It’s okay to cheat - I had always felt that looking for a new job while you have a job is like cheating on your girlfriend. If you’re not happy, break up. Then, you can shop around without feeling like a schmuck. Wait until the cupboard is bare before you go to the store. (I have more analogies but that should be sufficient) The truth is, in the business world, moving out and moving up is both accepted and expected and not at all like making a pass at your date’s best friend’s sister when no one is looking. I can handle being alone on a Saturday night because I’m a stand up guy. Being jobless because you’re a stand up guy is stupid.

2. Be picky - You do not have to act like the ugly girl at the prom who dances with anybody willing to ask. It’s okay to say no thanks. This is my biggest downfall. I’ve had maybe 15 interviews in my life and been hired nearly every time. There are some I wish I hadn’t accepted. The insurance thing is a perfect example. It was the first interview I got and because they hired me I stopped looking even though I knew it may not be a good fit. It was just so nice to be wanted. Just because they smile at you doesn’t mean you have to put out.

3. Beware of scams - If it’s too good to be true, you can be damn sure it is. If everyone in management says you can make a fortune, but the only employees you see working have less tenure than a green banana at the Piggly Wiggly, then something is seriously wrong. Also, when applying for jobs, if the application you submit online redirects you to another employment worksite or solicits you for an online education, there is no job. The same is true for anyplace that asks you to bring in your own credit report, but encourages you to use their recommended free site. Real jobs do this kind of stuff themselves. There is no job.

4. Do it yourself - Every yahoo with a computer just applied for the same job you did. In fact, finding a job on Monster or Craigslist is like winning the lottery. It’s the same as walking around with a sign that says “I’m available” and then wondering why you can’t find a date. You know what you like. You know who you like. Go talk to them. You don’t know if they’re looking too unless you ask. They may not need a stupid sign. It doesn’t mean they’re not single.

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