Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Job Search

Yes, friends, I am searching for a job. I know, I know. I realized in January how unhappy I was in my transcription job and was thankful that my ears put a stop to that one. I definitely felt like it was sometimes a lot of effort and time away from my family without equal compensation. But life goes on. And here I am hoping to get a part-time job, something for myself, outside the home. The kids are old enough to handle it now and I even think it will be a good thing for all of us. Maybe it will save a small part of my sanity. Who knows.

But the road to a job is fraught with peril. Remember the old days of filling out a one page job application and handing it to a manager? Right. Those days are gone. Instead, there is usually a four page application to be filled out online, basic information, tax credit for the company information, employment history, and then the list of locations and departments in which you want to work. Can you say intimidating? I haven't worked outside the home in about nine years. Just putting my resume together was a huge process of recalling dates and looking up addresses and phone numbers. A major pain in the ass. But necessary, I know. So the tedious transfer of all that information is step one in the application process.

Step two is where I get annoyed. Each company has an additional personality profile, sometimes 12 pages long! WTF? I get it. The company doesn't want to waste their time with people who ultimately will disrupt other employees with drama, steal things, or basically be too much of a Bilo to be an effective employee. However, some of the questions are really ambiguous. "I care about the feelings of my coworkers." Uh-huh. Well, honestly, I just want to do my job and go home. I don't care much for people I don't know and I certainly have enough drama in my own life without adding anyone else's. So how do you answer that? If I say yes, does the company think I will spend time gossiping and talking instead of working? If I say no, does that make me appear uncaring and therefore unable to relate to customers?

Another question was, "Companies must take risks for innovation." Huh? If I don't work there yet, how do I really know what kind of innovation? Are we talking about self-checkout or self-flushing toilets? Both are innovative ideas. Both involve risk, stealing or stagnation. How do I know what level of innovation we're talking about? I think I answered that one as neutral. Maybe I'm overthinking this. After 12 pages of personality profiling though, I think anyone would be a little burned out.

Another company actually had a language arts and math test after the application process. Wow. There was a warning at the beginning of the test that there were so many questions that I couldn't possibly finish the whole test, but don't worry, I'm only evaluated on the correct answers I give. So, does that mean I should just skip through the test and answer the easy ones? Was I supposed to figure that out? Dang. I just thought of that right now. Anyway, one type of question was, match the beginning letter of the word that matches this definition. That's right, you don't get a list of words but a list of letters. Here is an example, a tract of land for raising crops and animals...E,F,R,S. This is easy. The answer is F for farm, right? But there were a few I could not figure out at all! Come on, at least give me a list of words! The math questions were all word problems, too!

I mean, look, I'm not applying to a hospital. I'm not looking for a position to cure cancer! I think these companies are getting a little too analysis-happy.

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