Not too long ago, I compared the job hunt to a few things, a Sisyphean task, and a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Today I would like to share an anecdote that compares it to those Lovecraftian moments when you see something that cannot be unseen, and pay for it with your sanity.
TL:DR – I saw someones LinkedIn page and I lost my shit.
I saw a job, I applied to it, etc. After that I mostly sat around hoping things would turn out well, and largely forgot about the job while I applied for literally dozens of others.
I was pretty happy when they reached out to me for an interview, and I agreed willingly on a Thursday afternoon to do an interview that coming Tuesday. Great, please send over the zoom link. Friday went by and the invitation for the interview never came. Nor did it Monday morning. It ended up coming late Monday afternoon, with the comment
“I look forward to speaking to you next week.”
This gave me heart palpitations. Was I crazy? I thought the interview was tomorrow?
In fact, on the very invitation she had just sent me, it showed the interview was the next day.
I should be forgiving, I thought. They are probably busy. Everyone makes mistakes.
This was red flag #1.
The next day, the interview went well enough. The job seemed interesting, and I think I knocked my performance out of the damn park. On their end, there were massive issues. But those things aside, they gave me some bad news. The position paid poorly, and it was only for six months. This last point was disheartening, and the person interviewing, in an attempt to lighten the blow, said something that made it worse.
“It’ll look good on your resume.“
If someone is applying for your job, you should not be finding yourself in the position to try to pull off a hard sell. What you really shouldn’t do, is use the kind of language you would to a kid with nothing on their resume, and not the asshole that I am that has a decade and change on his. My resume doesn’t need to look good. It already does. That’s why I am here.
This was Red Flag #2. Keep it in mind, as we will be coming back to this point.
I was at this point already decided on not taking the job. There was far too much that disappointed me about that first interview. But I knew I was going to get a second interview, and I decided I would go through with it anyway. You can never have too much interview practice, so I figured why not. If anything, it would help me work up the courage to start asking for more money (as of this writing, asking for a living wage has gotten me a rejection 100% I have done it).
As predicted, a couple of days later an email came in requesting a second interview for Monday at 10Am, which would have been when I was busy with something else. I replied asking for another time, and received the following reply.
“How about Monday at 10am?”
This was red flag #3. This one came with an option. I could either interpret this as them being rude, or them being incompetent. I choose the latter.
I explained that that too would be too early, and suggested Monday at 1pm, which was accepted.
At some point before the interview I was sat at my computer applying for more jobs when the podcast I was listening to mentioned on how now-a-days we have a tendency to google the people we meet. This thought jammed itself into my brain in the worst possible way, and I thought to myself “I should google this person who interviewed me”.
I don’t know know what end I was trying to achieve here, but this was a colossal fucking mistake.
Soon, I had found the linkedin page to the person who I had interview with.
She was unqualified for the job.
During the first interview, she had mentioned how she would be my boss. The position was for her assistant. She herself, did not have the qualification they were asking for to fulfill the role as her own assistant. She was one of those weird ex-pats that turns up to Rome and spends a decade working as a tour guide. That was all she had on her resume. The job posting had asked for two years in an educational field (I had ten) and she had only been doing this job for 6 months.
I was 20 times more qualified to do the job than she was.
This broke me. and then the words she had said to me wafted back into my head:
“It’ll look good on your resume.“
Which was when I broke:
What the fuck would you know about what looks good on a resume? Clearly you only got this fucking job because you are somebody’s fucking niece!
It was a reminder at best. We live in a world where your actual skills and competencies don’t matter at all. What matters is who you know, and unfortunately, I don’t know anyone.