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Career thoughts.

I still have no job.

I have come to realise that this is, in part, because I have this mental block when it comes to applications and cv/resumé writing. I just freeze, go into some kind of brain-lock. I loathe doing it, and I'm not sure why. Part of it is probably some kind of reverse psychology balls from my parents, but... I dunno. Its wierd.

However.. I also blow goats, and ugly hairy ones at that, at selling myself.

For example: skills.

Saying you know something isn't good enough, you have to quantify how well you know it. Usually this is on the scale of Basic > Intermediate > Advanced > Expert. How they hell can I quantify that?

I like to think I'm good at photoshop, I suck at sketching, but I can use the program to do things rather well. Sketching is a different skill anyhow.. but yeah, so.. how good am I? I know people who know lots less than me, but also lots more. Are the ones that know more than me Experts? Or are they just even more expert experts?

Do I actually suck and only know it at an Intermediate level? How can I tell?

Now imagine this dilema for every single skill I posess, you can see why I go into brain-lock huh? This is especially a problem in the more arty things, like design or such like. Its subjective isn't it? Isn't it?

I also hate at writing creatively about jobs. Retail Sales Assistant is about all I can pull out of my ass for a counter jockey... so how the hell can I sell that to an employer? What DID I do there? I made money, I made the company money, so? Everyone does that, its not special.

I guess it all comes down to a certain level of confidence, and knowing what you can get away with. I have very little of both. This is not good.

Help?

this entry made more sense in my mind.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
balinorelle
20th Apr, 2004 09:16 (UTC)
I so feel your pain. I am horrible at this as well. At a certain point you just have to act. Just say I am great at this, I can do this, I have a wonderful work ethic, I am going to make you glad that you hired me!!! That is what I did for the job I have now. Now do I really feel that way... Not One Bit. I have serious esteem issues that make it hard for me to feel like I am doing a good job on any given day. but that isn't what matters. It is that you can smile at them and say I can do this and I am the one you want.

does that make sense?
darkcryst
20th Apr, 2004 09:44 (UTC)
Yes, yes it does.


bar_butterfly
20th Apr, 2004 09:30 (UTC)
when it comes to your photoshop skills, you need some sort of portfolio to go with your resume. something that shows a diverse grouping of your best work with a discription of what kind of work went into it. I can send you a good example, if you like. As for other stuff, I've been working retail for a long time now- one important trick is to lie on your resume, the other is to really think about the job objectively to figure out precicely what is is you did there. there is more to it than pushing buttons on a cash register. here is a sample from my resume:
"Senior Sales Associate-Hot Topic, Berkeley, CA
(April 2003-Present)
Daily tasks include customer service, maintaining visual standards and creatively executing in-store product display, unpacking and arranging new merchandise, loss prevention, identifying and clearing damaged merchandise, general cleaning, cash register operations and assisting the training of new/seasonal employees.

Within my first six months on the job, I earned Employee of the Month three times (August, October and November), in a staff of 6-9 people, for my superior customer service and attention to inventory detail, as well as the highest sales transactions- even surpassing senior employees who had worked in my position for more than a year. I have
also taken the initiative to volunteer in higher-traffic stores to gain new skills and additional customer service experience."

hope I'm helping, I can certainly empathize with what your dealing with right now...
darkcryst
20th Apr, 2004 09:44 (UTC)
Certainly good to see what other people put yeah.

As for portfolio work.. this is my real problem, I have no idea what makes a good portfolio. My university seemed to have the idea that a piece of paper would mean we'd walk into a job without any idea HOW to get a professional job.

To this day I still only have a vague idea. I once tried working on portfolio pieces, but it didn't go well. Another problem is that I'm not a person who can actually draw, I am quite bad, so tradition artists portfolios aren't much of a help.

My main problem I guess is that I'm Mr In-Between. I'm arty, but can't draw. I'm techy, but loathe coding (actual codeing that is - HTML doesn't count).

People keep telling me "Oh I'm amazed you don'ty have a job doing this stuff!" well thats all well and great, but I need to work out WHO will hire me.

Web Design firms want Graphic Design grads (which is actually kind of dumb, but thats another topic), or people with traditional art skills. While I know I can do these things, I don't have anything to PROOVE that I can.

Frustrating.
machiko3377
20th Apr, 2004 09:43 (UTC)
i suck at it as well greg. the last short cv i had to do for an award one of my professor/friends had to help me flesh it out more because i had just left stuff out that i did not thing was important. i loath the whole toot your own horn thing, but i suppose that's what we must do. uugh.
lousy_timing
20th Apr, 2004 09:48 (UTC)
Would you like some spin doctoring?
Apparently, my resume has, at times, sold me before I even walked in the door, and I don't think of myself as particularly special or gifted.

As was mentioned in a previous comment- it really is about how you word things. Saying "salesperson," as opposed to "salesperson of the month three times, exceeded monthly sales goals consistently," etc, will get people to notice you.

I've also had the pleasure(?) of being the one who reviews incoming resumes/CV's AND interviewing candidates, and I suspect that even if you feel that you have fumbled a meeting in a most royal fashion, you probably have only come off as nervous. Here's an example of what I don't think you've ever said:

Me:"So, tell me, Ms. Worth, how well would you say you adapt to change?"

Candidate Worth: "Oh- I'm good with change! Tens, twenties, coins..."

Anyway, if you'd like a review of your resume or perhaps a sample rewrite, I'd be happy to assist.
darkcryst
20th Apr, 2004 14:19 (UTC)
Re: Would you like some spin doctoring?
hehe.. no I'm not that bad ;)

I think the whole review/rewrite thing is a good idea. I'm doing mine atm, hense the post, so once I've done my new version I'll let you rip it to shreds ;)
mind_opened
20th Apr, 2004 10:10 (UTC)
"this entry made more sense in my mind"

Now I'm trying to figure out how you got in "my mind" to begin with! It's like you were reading the words out of my head. Which worries me cause I'm pretty sure I've got mental issues, and if your having the same thoughts... :-)
I think balinorelle is right - it's all about acting. I never could represent myself or my skills very well either, in fact I resent being forced to do so. I end up portraying the person I think they are looking for, with all the confidence* and amazing skills required. The whole time that voice in the back of my head is screaming "What if we can't do it? What if we're not good enough?" Under my breath I'm whispering "We will figure that out when we get there, lets just get there first..."
I guess what I'm trying to say is deep down I know that my Excel skills kick ass, but I just can't say that out loud**. And if someone does throw something at me that I don't know how to do I figure it out... as fast as I frigging can.

*read "over inflated ego"
**For whatever eff'd up reason
darkcryst
20th Apr, 2004 14:21 (UTC)
See.. I can act, although I won't try to say how good I am at it, and I enjoy it.

The trouble is.. stick me in a place where I have to do it and there are real consiquences.. I fall apart. Scripts don't exist in the real world sadly..

but I get your point.
miriammiriam
20th Apr, 2004 10:55 (UTC)
*hugs*
well first off, i don't know if you should even listen to me because i've only been hired once and it was based off interview...not resume...but it makes more sense to overexaggerate rather than under-exaggerate.
Do I actually suck and only know it at an Intermediate level? How can I tell?

well, even if you do, you still want the job and a bunch of other ppl who do are probably sucking at an intermediate level for sure, but are in fact, saying that they are photoshop masters.
the guy who was trying to teach us all quark last week told us that when he applied for his job at the SF guardian (magazine) he knew NOTHING about quark but told them he was an expert.
so they hired him, and he says he worked his ass off learning quark while simultaneously working for the magazine over the next 6 months. now he IS a quark expert. i dont recommend you do what he did since that was a huge risk to take (but he had nothing to lose) but the point is, 2 yrs later he's still with the magazine.
i wont lie on my resume like that, but i DO make things sound better than they actually are. i take a class taught by a professional art director. i can't say i have WORKED with him since i don't get paid, but now "collaboration with an art director" is listed under my experience. and its technically true.
i had a simpsons quote to go with this, but you're probably tired of those by now ;)
miriammiriam
20th Apr, 2004 20:12 (UTC)
i had to put the simpsons quote.
marge: well lisa, i'm done with my resume! *hands her a piece of paper that says : "homemaker, 1989-present"*
lisa: uuuuh...mom? i think it needs a little padding. *sits down at typewriter* the trick is ebellishment!
marge: *reads new paper* chef, cheuffer? what's this?...curator of large mammals?!
homer: *walks into the room wearing his underwear* maaarrge, can you shave my back?
marge: oh...
lousy_timing
21st Apr, 2004 09:40 (UTC)
After today's mess(es), made my moi...
I felt the need to say, "I never claimed to be an HTML guru, not even on my resume!"

There.

Now I feel better.

ALSO? You are fascinating. I've decided.

I would like to know more about some of your interests: 1) violently passionate love, and 2) open passion, as seen from the GW-S perspective.

I'm done now.
darkcryst
21st Apr, 2004 09:50 (UTC)
Re: After today's mess(es), made my moi...
In a way those two are connected. Also, I should clarify this point I think, the violent part is.. like..

Ever hear the phrase (or something like it) "when I saw her it was like being hit by a freight train" ? Violent ike that.

I come up as Ewan's character in Moulin Rouge a lot, that should tell you something. ;)
lousy_timing
21st Apr, 2004 10:14 (UTC)
Happily, I didn't think otherwise.
You didn't strike me as the type of person who felt that passion must be expressed through physical violence. I will say that at times, two people can connect physically in a way that is rather violent but not harmful or dangerous. It is these scenes that speak to me most in books and films.

I can barely breathe when I watch Moulin Rouge. It is the most beautifully passionate creation I have ever witnessed. Before Bas Luhrman put his film together, I only found single scenes in a few films to be as moving. The one that stands out in my mind as an example of the "before Luhrman" type comes from the Deborah Kerr and Yul Brenner version of The King and I.

In the literary world, Anais Nin created many moments like this/these.

I can totally see you in the afore-mentioned role. I was also fairly certain that the two interests were connected.

Another phrase that I think works (yours described what you meant quite well) would be: "Upon first glimpse of him, I was stabbed through the heart and knew I would surely bleed to death if I could not have him, and soon."

If you were to exemplify what you think of when you say, "open passion," what would you use? Would it be something akin to saying, "there love and desire for each other was so intense that it was palpable in their presence?"
darkcryst
21st Apr, 2004 10:20 (UTC)
Re: Happily, I didn't think otherwise.
Something like that.. but also honesty.

Honesty of expression too, lack of fear to express it. Those sort of things.

lousy_timing
21st Apr, 2004 10:58 (UTC)
Lyrics that fit.
I'm typing up another rant and listening to Alison Moyet- Singles, and it struck me that some of the lyrics fit (IMO) the passions portion of our conversation:

I want our lips to kiss,
and our limbs to entwine,
let our bodies be twisted,
but never our minds.*

When I put a vision in my mind for the song, I see a magnetic, untainted passion and love between two people.

*From "Is This Love?"

I think my favorite artists- musically and from other genres- have all shown an ability to touch on passion the way that I see it.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )