12 January 2012

Sentencing Tired Career Advice to Death

Call me a moaning Myrtle, or however the saying goes but there comes a point where career advice just becomes patronising. Now I'm not an ungrateful person - my friends will gladly tell you how much I can love and appreciate almost any silly little thing on this planet - I'm just not stupid either.

Let's start with the classic. "You just have to keep applying to everything until something comes up." Really? Because I thought that maybe if I stopped applying to things, then they would definitely give me a job. You mean there isn't a job God who looks down from his shiny office in the sky and reads our CVs diligently, handing out dream jobs delivered by angels? Bummer, bang goes my religion. On the other hand, maybe I should try a new method - maybe if I don't apply for jobs I will definitely get one. Hah, that's the other one that gets me - "you just need to be patient, something will come up". Unfortunately, I don't think it quite works like that in reality. If it did, this blog would have blown up and I'd be a top columnist right now. So I think I'm just going to stick with what I know and have been doing for the last few months... endless job applications. I'm still agnostic about the whole CV God thing though.

My favourite piece of advice I have received so far (and about a million times) is "it's all about the connections"...well duh! I don't really say duh, but in this case it's necessary. I am a woman torn. I both love and loathe connections. On the one hand I love meeting new and interesting people and the idea that someone might give you a job or some experience because they take a liking to your personality and they think you can do the job well. On the other hand, the democratic and liberal side of me is screaming out against nepotism and favouritism and calling for equal opportunities for everyone, whether they know people or not. Of course we should use our connections in a professional sense but in a way I know I value the jobs that I got totally on my own by going through every level of the application process even more. I guess that I am in no position to be getting up on my moral high horse in my situation, despite the fact he is rather a comfortable and ethical horse.

At the end of the day, it would be nice to be given a teensy weensy little interview. Just so I can show them how good I would be at the job. My motto, and that of my other unemployed friends has become "we're so hireable!". It's so true. Plus it shows how much we have grown up since the age of fourteen when it was more like "we're so fancyable!" - priorities girls. If I get one more piece of overly-spouted, obvious career advice, I may just have to stamp on it very hard with my new winter boots.

p.s. original career advice always welcome and not stamped upon in a malicious fashion.


  1. I feel your pain! I am in exactly the same position and people give me the exact same advice as they give to you! It's ridiculous but I am not going to lie...there are days then I fall for that kind of advice and just believe that I've got to be patient and something will come up. I mean, what else can I believe in? I do everything I can. Btw, we both are graduates from the same Uni and I somehow used to think that graduating from such Uni will open at least a few doors... eh!

  2. Hi Greta, I remember you....we were both in Elms I believe?! Let's not give up just yet. I have had a lot of positive responses from people when I tell them that I went to the University of Nottingham. It's better than a lot of others anyway! (Nottingham Trent?...) Doors will only open when there is room for them to open - at the moment the current economic climate is making sure that there are as few doors open as possible! Good luck to you...and let's hope that we both manage to get somewhere worthwhile after three years (though very fun years) of putting ourselves in debt.

  3. Yeah, I stayed in Elms! I am not giving up but there are days when I just don't apply for anything. I've got so many different CVs, and cover letters on my computer now that I am starting to think of opening a cv/cover letter writing service or something lol. My biggest problem is that I am in Canada now and no one cares about my degree at Nottingham, if I on the other hand, stayed in my own country or even England I think it would have worked a lot better...but oh well, I like challenging myself I guess! Anyway, good luck to you too and keep us posted!

  4. Ha Ha! Yeah I know all about having a whole computer full of cover letters. Maybe we should go into business together on that one?! Mind you, we wouldn't want to let other people get away with not putting in all the hard work. Hope you beat that challenge soon.