Adventures in Job Hunting

Read to the end for a post for an uplifting dad joke

My hunt for a job has been one of learning how companies do business and the weird caveats of the entire process. Stuff that would seem so rude to do to someone you know is just standard things that are acceptable. HR, job seekers, recruiters, and everyone in the entire "employment industry" work in bizarro world.

I've learned if you don't apply for a job in the first 10 minutes of it being posted, there are about 350+ applicants. Good luck standing out from the pack! I'm ready to set LinkedIn to wake me up at night so I can apply for a 3 AM posting.

That posting will inevitably be entry-level, looking for 5 years of experience, describing a "high-paced and demanding environment" and telling you how amazing the office snacks are. There will also be 5 years of experience desired on a technology that has existed for only six months. Explain that math.

That office will have a hybrid policy but list the role as remote. So it's kinda-sorta remote. Oh and if you don't live in the 6 states listed in minuscule 8-point font near the bottom, don't bother applying.

When you click to apply, you're ready to create yet-another-user-account for a system you'll never use again. Oh it's WorkDay Jobs? Awesome. Each company runs its own instance, meaning the login you created on Company X doesn't work on any other company's WorkDay Jobs system. I believe I have 35 WDJ accounts created that I'll never use again.

Of course, once you're in you'll be asked to upload your resume; and then retype the entire thing into every field because it's 2023 and no system can yet parse a resume correctly. Don't forget to self-identify, because choosing "I decline" is still required instead of conveniently making those fields optional. It's great when salary is a required field (I simply put $1) along with the years I attended school. That is a "fun" workaround for determining your age. Are we excited yet?

When you do submit a resume you now apply a Venkman score of 100. The Venkman score measures the probability of being ghosted by said company. Sure, you get an auto-reply from them that they're "excited" to review your resume and "We'll see if you're a good fit". After that, they're on the same playing field as that ex in college you've forgotten about.

When you do hear back and the Venkman score drops, the money dance begins. "What are you looking for? What is the range? What can you expect? Here are vague benefits, do you like them?" I believe people who conduct screenings have a trap door they stand on during the call. If an actual number is said aloud, they are dropped into a pit of alligators.

Once you make it to speaking to a real-life human in the actual group you have a <1% chance of joining, they will be nice and you can put on your best face. But now there's a whole backchannel communication going on. How do I know this? Because I've been accidentally CC'd on that feedback. Oopsie! It seems my lack of getting "hyped" about potentially having to work nights and weekends is held against me. Silly me.

At this point, the Venkman score either rises back to 99 or 10. It's a coin-flip whether you hear back right away with the next steps or never again, like that aforementioned college ex.

And it's all a house of cards. The entire process is a ton of Rinse & Repeat with nameless face after nameless face all the while my bills stack up. The cards can fall over for any reason and I'm none the wiser until I get some generic email many weeks later. I'd been holding out hope for that role, but they already knew I'd been long passed up.

But don't worry. It's just business. Don't take it personally. You're only putting your best face on, hitting the digital pavement daily, and trying to support your family. The ghosting, faceless rejections, and lack of any feedback are the system's way of showing it cares.

Thank you for reading. I sincerely appreciate it.


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