Even though one of my dogs is a trained guide dog for the blind, I find I am struggling to see where I am going from time to time… Not that I am blind but the road ahead does seem a bit obscure sometimes. As I put one foot ahead of the other on the road of job seeking my dear Charlie mostly acts as personal coach and reminder to stay in the moment and focus on each day as it comes. Seeing the road is not easy as it twists and turns quite unpredictably.
“Dear Mrs F. We regret to inform you the position you applied for has been filled by another applicant”
“Oh, Thank you for letting me know. Could I ask for some feedback so that I can improve my applications in the future. I understand you are really busy, but as the answer came from an actual person this time, rather than a system, I thought I would at least ask. All the best / Mrs F”
- Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone with less experience.
- Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone junior that has experience in all the criteria we have set for this post and anyway we judge you to be overqualified.
- Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone with more experience.
- Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone with at least five years of experience for this junior role.
- Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but there were other applicants with more relevant experience than you have.
Same kind of jobs, same level, same criteria asked for in the ads and the only answer that seems reasonable to me is number five. It truly is a jungle out there and perhaps I need a sharper machete to cut my own path instead of trying to find an existing one.
Of course every employer has a wish list, just like I do when it comes to the dream job but being told I am inexperienced in the wrong way, or too experienced, makes me feel half the applications are a waste of time as the true profile for the job is much narrower than the ad. Not in a sour grapes kind of way. More like ”gosh this must create an awful lot of extra work for everybody involved that slows down the whole system”…
I just can’t wait for the day when I can turn my back on my Sisyphus stone of application writing and start to make a difference. Preferably in a workplace where my work also helps improve quality of life for individuals or society as a whole. In the meantime I shall go and pet my retrievers to ground myself and try to remember that the true value of a person is based on internal quality, not external attributes.
Merry Christmas to all.