There will be play
March 2, 2013 § 2 Comments
Let’s be honest. My batting average isn’t great.
I now have three full months of job-hunting behind me and all I have to show for it is an outbox brimming with failed applications and less than a handful of interviews.
I hit a low point when I got knocked back from an unpaid internship. Everything had looked really positive. Then the e-mail came. My enthusiasm, application and interview had all been exceptional, they just didn’t have the resources to take me on. I wasn’t prepared for underresourced.
In my handful of interviews, I have been caught off guard a couple of times. Most recently, I was asked how my friends would describe me if they were asked to by my potential employers – clearly, positively. But the worst was when I was asked how this job fit within my five-year plan.
After a few months of knock backs, it’s hard to visualise yourself with a job, let alone a career. I wish I’d had a well-rehearsed and thoughtful answer to their question. I’m not in a position to be picky, but at the same time, I’m only applying for jobs that will offer me new experiences and that I’m genuinely interested in. I’m not quite sure what I want to be or what I want to do because I haven’t tried it all. My experience is hardly extensive, how can I be expected to disregard options and pursue others? I have a lot of shadow-drenched plans, a lot of ‘what ifs’ and maybes, but nothing concrete.
I want to work with ideas. I want to prompt discussions and whilst I can’t be expecting to move into a position that allows me the freedom to do that right off the bat, it is the end point. I’m investigating potential avenues. But saying all that probably won’t go over as well as I’d like.
With all this thinking of jobs and work (I don’t know if there’s been a time recently when these haven’t been at the forefront of my mind), I can’t help but wonder if I’m being too idealistic in my pursuits. Since childhood we’ve been aware of the dichotomy of work and play. Work is what comes first and play comes after; it’s the reward for all our efforts. I never quite believed that. I liked school. I enjoyed working, not just for the money, but because my first job (which I still have) was rewarding. I didn’t perform the same task over and over again. There was variety. Boy, do I miss variety. Maybe the next time I’m asked what my weaknesses are I can say that I get bored by repetition. I think that’s been identified as a Gen-Y trait.
Right now, if I were to apply the work/play dichotomy to what I’m experiencing, I like to think of the application writing, job hunting and interviews as the work and the job as the play. Not because I will take the job lightly (on the contrary), but because it will serve as the reward. It’s the result of the grind. Because this right now is the most draining experience I’ve ever had. The repetition. The rejection. The repetitious rejection. Still, we soldier on.
Note to self: devise fool-proof responses for any and all questions ever in order to be prepared for future interviews. Yeah. ‘Kay. And lighten up.