We’re Going On A Job Hunt

28 May


Job hunting!

Is there anything less fun in this world?

Maybe  a trip to the dentist? But only if you have significant work done at the dentist, like your face is numbed and you have that wear that huge separator thing that makes your mouth hurt for hours afterwards.  Then maybe the dentist is worse.

A regular, run-of-the-mill cleaning with blood on your bib doesn’t compare.

I remember the first summer I actively searched for employment, right after I graduated from high school.  Up until that point I had worked random jobs here and there–piano teaching, babysitting, assisting at my dad’s office.  This was the first time I was filling out cold applications and trying to sell my dazzling self.

It didn’t work so well.

For one, I realized that all of my skills at the time weren’t that important to the folks in the food service industry.  They wanted to know about my experience and my availability, not my string of extracurricular activities or achievements on the GPA front.

Also, their questions.  Not what I was prepared for.

I remember a woman at Old Navy asking me my biggest flaw and me stumbling around like I had never heard of that question (I honestly don’t think I had).  I finally stuttered, “I’m really lazy.  Like the laziest,” and then walked out the blue doors knowing I would never return again.

Who tells their employer they are the laziest?

Who says anything but “I can be a bit of a perfectionist” or “I work too hard and won’t go home until the job is done right!”?

Eventually that summer I ended up working at my university’s laundry pressing shirts full time.  It was hot work, but I was so happy someone wanted my lazy, stuttering self I gladly took it.  I spent 20 hours a week dressing a mannequin with a man’s shirt, putting the mannequin in this press contraption thing, and then wrestling with the fresh shirt wrinkles caused by said machine.

It was years later that I ironed a man’s shirt without a fancy press contraption for the first time and realized, oh my goodness, it’s fantastically easier to just iron shirts, not press them with fancy contraptions.

It was like a revelation.

I’ve always kind of wondered if that shirt press job was all a hoax.  A made-up task to give to poor high school graduates like myself who had nothing to offer the world but needed the employment.

Quite possibly.

The last month or so I’ve reentered the job searching phase of my life in earnest.  In fact, it’s not since the summer of my 17th year that I’ve filled out so many cold applications or had so many employment doubts.

I’m not a very patient person.  On  scale of worst to best traits of mine, patience floats somewhere around “ability to create own headboard” and miles away from “ability to carry a conversation on Mariah Carey quotes.”

Patience is not my strong suit, and as I apply for jobs I find myself feeling edgy. Why hasn’t it all fallen into place yet?  What’s the hold up here?  Why am I not Mindy Kaling’s personal assistant already, plucked from obscurity to make my own sitcom in just three short years?

Where are the Tier 1 jobs?

That’s the other thing.  With this round of employment hunting, my recently graduated friends and I have all been using the tier system to describe jobs.  Tier 1 is the dream job category, things we would love to do, things we went to school to do.

Things with words.

Tier 10 is move back to Utah and work social work jobs.  I haven’t applied for any of those.


Most of my applications fall somewhere in the middle, this hazy territory with blurred lines and compromises and questions.

Do I take a Tier 8 job just to have a job?

Is anything below a Tier 5 job worth having in the conversation?

What about a Tier 1 job that pays you less than you made as a teenage secretary?  Is that now a Tier 2 job? Or a Tier 6?

How much is the location?

How much is liking the job?

How much is simply having the job?

How long can my bank account hold out before my answers all of these questions change?

Do I remember how to press a shirt?


Job hunting!

Is there anything less fun in this world?

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13 Responses to “We’re Going On A Job Hunt”

  1. Jeff May 28, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Your title made me wonder if you’ve “got your muscles and your friends” to help you.

    • jillianlorraine May 28, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      That was the inspiration…

  2. Camila May 28, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    I so agree with all of this! I’d probably rather get my wisdom teeth pulled out again than apply for jobs…
    I also have Tier jobs and I just don’t think it’s worth applying for sucky jobs just to have a job. Or at least not in a permanent situation. At least I’m not desperate yet…can’t talk for in a few months/years…

  3. Magen May 28, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Job hunting is the worst! I’m currently considering a career change, or even same job type but industry change with NO LUCK. I say considering a career change, but I really mean I-cannot-work-in-this-industry-another-year-please-let-me-do-anything-else-in-the-world-but-also-afford-my-apartment. Good luck with your job hunt!

    P.S. I just recently found your blog and wanted to leave a nice note and let you know how much I enjoy reading it. I love your writing style.

    • jillianlorraine May 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Aww, thank you so much!

  4. Jules May 28, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Girl, we’re in the same boat! We can do it!

  5. gina May 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    i feel for you – it’s the worst http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/this-week.html

  6. M.R.R. May 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    After screwing up my last job interview, I can appreciate this post. I’ve seriously considered some kind of self-employment.

  7. Elizabeth Dietz May 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Girl I am in the job search boat too. & there really is nothing more painful than applying for jobs. I have even started applying for jobs I don’t really want but my current one is so bad I am willing to try anything new… Even going back to school for another degree! Best of luck to you though! I will be keeping my fingers crossed that you get your perfect Tier 1 job!!

  8. Becky May 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    I feel like the appropriate response would be somewhere around “word” and “preach”….

    I love job websites, let me dazzle you on paper and then I’ll charm the pants out of you in real life. But everytime I hand out a resume to some font of house person who doesn’t care about me I just want to ask if they’re actually going to give it to the chef, or just throw it away. That’s a waste of 60 cents worth of paper!

    Good luck with the job hunt, and keep reaching for tier one! Don’t settle, there will be someone out there who wants to teach you, and needs you on their team.

    xx Becky

  9. lauren packer May 28, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    i always stick with “it’s really hard for me to delegate.” when they ask me what my greatest weakness is. seriously? mindy hasn’t called you? #rude. best of luck!

  10. Johlet May 29, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Good luck lady!
    I’m starting a new job 1st of July! I don’t know what’s worse. Finding work/going for the interview/starting a new work…

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