The Great American Job Search

Since I bartend, most of my weekdays are wide open. I generally sleep in until 10:30 a.m., and even then, I have to force myself out of bed. I make my way to the couch, get on this here laptop and begin my daily search for regular employment. (Nothing against bartending, but I’m ready for a big-boy job.)

I go to idealist.org, a search engine for nonprofit jobs. I go to nikebiz.com, because I’m a dreamer. I avoid monster.com and careerbuilder.com, because it’s essentially a hodge-podge of listings from companies like the U.S. Army and Kaiser Permanente — neither of which I would enjoy working for. Craigslist.com provides few leads, but I keep after it anyway.

Every site seems to want the same thing: Someone with experience, 2-3 years minimum. This (I think) has created a huge void in American employment, and it’s my generation that’s suffering the most. I pool myself with the 20-something-recent-graduates who have amassed record debt due to rising tuition costs, yet have fewer options than ever.

Where did we go wrong? We went to college. We put in the work. We got the degree. What do we get in return? Outstanding financial aid payments and serious lack of job leads. So much for The American Dream.

I’m going to keep my nose to the grindstone until something shakes out, but as an English major, my outlook might be more dire than most. Here’s hoping I can fool someone into hiring me. The sooner, the better.

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4 thoughts on “The Great American Job Search

  1. Keep at it buddy. It is the most frustrated thing ever but you’re worth waiting for so be picky for a little bit longer. There is a punk with a sign outside my work who stands on the corner with a sign that says “Went to college and got nothing. Anything helps.” Like my main man Sir Charles Barkley said, if you can say “Can you spare some change,” you can also say “Welcome to McDonalds, may I take your order?” Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Something will come around.

  2. Andrew,

    When you get a job interview, here are some questions that you might have to answer:

    1. I interviewed a girl this morning who already has her masters. Why would I hire you over her?
    2. Do you have a website or blog and may we have the link?
    3. We are a non-profit organization. We rely on the goodwill of others. What will you contribute to our efforts to stay in business?
    4. Your website says that you would like to work for a non-profit or Nike. That is quite a difference. Explain that difference for us.
    5. What attracts you to Portland?
    6. What would your graduate advisor at Mankato say about you?
    7. Some people would say that it is brave of you to quit one job without having another, particularly in this economy, others would say that it shows lack of judgement. How do I know that we wouldn’t hire you only to find out that you lack good judgement?
    8. I see that you were a bartender in Mankato. What experiences there do you think will help you in this job?
    9. What would your boss at the bar say about you?
    10. Would you be the type of bartender that you would want to have waiting on you?
    11. You will be sitting in a cubicle here. Does that appeal to you?
    12. Work starts at 7:30 am. Are you an early riser?
    13. Give an example of how you have worked with others on a team project.
    14. Do you have any arrests? Any driving violations other than speeding?
    15. How many days of work have you missed in the last year?
    16. English major, huh? How will that help you in this job?
    17. Give an example of a conflict you were involved with at work and how you resolved it.
    18. Have you ever taken anything, even office supplies, that didn’t belong to you from an employer?
    19. What is your greatest strength?
    20. What is your greatest weakness?

  3. Now hear this, all ye who enter cyberspace and read this:

    I’d hire Andrew Miller any time, at any place, for any position other than brain surgeon because he can:

    Think
    Write
    Make connections

    Did the university teach him this? Probably not. But some of us there gave him daily blessings along the way and stood in awe of his talent. And that continues.

    Ellen

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