Entry Level =/= 3-5 Years Experience. At Least in My Book.

As an active job seeker I’m noticing a trend in the trenches of job boards like Indeed and Career Builder, and even LinkedIn. Prospective employers advertising entry level jobs asking for mid-level experience. Now, as the job seeker I know I shouldn’t be picky when looking for gainful employment, but is the problem me? Or is it the unrealistic expectations of prospective employers?

I know, I know. Prospective employers call all the shots. After all, they’re the ones looking for someone to work, not someone looking FOR work, like me. But in the ten months that I have been out of college it’s been the same.

Look at job listing
Get excited because it looks like this position was written for me
Responsibilities? I can do those!
Degree? I graduated from college in 2011!!!
Experience? 3-5 years? Oh…

They want someone whose been working longer than I’ve been in school.

Fudge.

I can apply anyway and hope the planets align to my favor, but it hasn’t been working out so far.

How do I overcome this? By working of course, but when I can’t even apply to an entry level job because I don’t have enough experience, what options am I left with? I can’t be a jewel thief, my hands get shaky when I undertake potentially life threatening endeavors. Internships you say? I’ve done enough free work to make Mother Theresa weep with joy. That should account for at least a year of experience.

But what kind of experience are they looking for? Real world experience? I have that. Work experience? I’ve been working since I was fourteen years old (though some folks have been working longer than I’ve been alive). What is it that other applicants have that I don’t?

Some of you may say “a good attitude”. If this post sounds salty, I don’t mean it to but darn it, I’m a little frustrated. I know nothing worth having is easy to obtain but I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall that’s only getting harder. If I keep it up I’ll need a lobotomy (or a new head).

I’m a young and able college graduate raring to get into the professional world and start working? Who WOULDN’T hire me? You can pay me less to do more work, and I have no wife and kids to tie me down. Uh, I mean, no other obligations in life. I would be married to my work!

I was not one of those kids who was a part of every club, faction, cult, etc. in college. I did the homework, made the grade, and got my degree. I don’t think my degree ENTITLES me to a job, but as I’ve mentioned before, what gives? Must I move heaven and Earth to get companies to notice me? Though I’ll admit if I did move heaven and Earth, a lot more people would notice, and probably not in a good way.

Must I stay in the ninth layer of internship hell before a shining hand of hope pulls me out and gives me a job? That’s what I’m doing right now. Networking? You may have me there. It is something I need to work on, but nepotism and cronyism is a plague that is infesting our country’s political and commercial landscape. I’d rather get a job based on my skills and merit than get a job because I know played baseball with the CEO’s son back in ’96. I can say this all I want and be steadfast in my beliefs, but in the end what I believe in won’t get me a job (though it has been known to happen).

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Here’s to hitting the pavement and paying my dues.

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I Feel Old.

Not in the “way am I paying bills and not staring at the clouds” old, but in the “I already wear cardigans and sweaters and sweatpants, and now I have to exercise my shoulder because it’s stiff” old. It’s been five days since my incident, but I am finally becoming whole again.

I’m doing daily exercises, three to four times a day, to help condition my shoulder. I can’t lift heavy objects, reach for anything above my head, or open windows. Whatever. I’ve been listening to lots of music and brushing up on my movies (Blue Valentine was swell by the way, Chico and Rita next), as well as annoying my dog by laying on him and making him as uncomfortable as I am.

Now that I have some time, I want to continue working on my writing and doing what I love. Another respect that I’ve gotten old is how I perceive life and the world around me. When I was in college I was optimistic about the job market and such. Now, not so much. Make no mistake I haven’t given up, but now I’m beginning to figure out what all the old fogies droned on about, about life “beating you down” and when asked “What happened?”, there are some who reply “What happened? Life happened.”

At the same time, I am happy. I have no homework, make enough money to pay my bills, and I am cultivating my hobbies and talents so that one day they may pay the bills. I can see how easy it is for people to become complacent in their job or career and give up on their dreams. Believe you me, sometimes I just think that where I’m at in life is “it” for me. That my dreams are hollow, and there’s nothing left to life. The rich folks and famous are just lucky, born into wealth…But when I get down on myself I say, YOU KNOW WHAT?

Thinking like that is counter-productive. A person’s health is physical as well as mental. If you eat bad food, you’re going to feel bad. If you think bad thoughts…well you get the idea. Everyone’s got dreams so why not follow them? If you think about the people you look up to, especially the celebrities, you’re looking at people who followed their dreams. I hear every now and then that I made a bad decision being an English major. John Hamm was an English major. So was Steven Speilberg and David Duchovny. Now where are they? Famous of course, wealthy yes, stressed out probably, but at the end of the day, they’re happy. They are content with their lives, because they decided to make their own path.

As an aspiring writer I’m finding out more and more that there’s no set “way”, to making it big. I research celebrities and writers I admire and look at how they did it. I’m doing the exact same thing they’re doing, which is eating crap and working on my craft. Granted, some writers have generations of their family in Hollywood, but that doesn’t faze me (or is it phase?). No one blows up over night, and it’d be foolish to think so. Larry David drove limos and repaired televisions. James Franco worked in McDonalds at night and took acting classes by day. The only thing stopping you, is you!

While I’ve twisted and turned through this diatribe from my shoulder to life advice and such, I feel like I needed to say it. Times are tough, but if we can survive the Great Depression and two world wars, we can survive this. Don’t give up on your dreams, because if you do, you’ve only really given up on yourself. And you’re worth more than that. Like my friend told me, this injury came at an interesting time. I’m sitting back and thinking about what I want to do in life, and all it does is excite me. I’m willing to eat the dirt and struggle now so that later in life I can relax, and none of this has to do with money and material wealth. Will it be easy? If it is, it’s probably not worth it. Will I make mistakes? Sure thing. Will I regret actions that I’ve done? Hopefully not, but life isn’t linear. Only our perception of it is.

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I Dislocated My Shoulder

It was extremely painful. I was swimming and managed to pop my arm right out of the socket at the shoulder. I wasn’t that I’m a bad swimmer, but I was so good at swimming that the water got jealous and sabotaged me warming up for a relay race.You can look at the x-ray below.

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Using space age technology not available to this solar system, I’ve marked with a line where my arm should be. *collective shudder*

On the upside, it was my first ambulance ride. On the down side, now I have to wear this goofy contraption to stabilize my arm.

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I had to use my phone’s front facing camera so I didn’t get the shot in the 8 megapixel glory my phone is capable of. The sling is comprised of several pieces. The first piece is a foam rectangle that goes against my waist (I have to wear this thing on the side…a fanny pack is still worse). The second piece is a horizontal right triangle (angle sloping to the right) that my arm rests on. The final piece is what my arm is in, which is the sling itself.It is harnessed by two straps. One goes around my waist and connects to the rectangular piece, and another around my neck, shown hooked onto the sling in the photo above. There’s even a pad for the strap so my neck stays comfortable.

 

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Here’s a better shot of what my arm is ensnared in, along with a lovely Logitech logo. They make great products. As I type this, I have to lean on one side and turn my body 45 degrees so both hands can type on the keyboard. It’s murder on my back, but hopefully I will only have to wear this bad boy for one week. Physical Therapy starts next week (and surgery down the road, if I decide to go down said road). I can’t drive, sit in a chair comfortably and at night, I get to wear a traditional sling and sleep on my back, as my right arm is chicken winged against my chest to keep from moving. My weekend sucked.

 

But on the upside, I got a limited edition vinyl of the jazz classic A Love Supreme by John Coltrane.

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What’s That Got to Do With the Price of Underwear in America?

On a recent trip to Target I had the bright idea to buy new socks underwear and t-shirts. Lo and behold when I got to the undergarments corner in the Men’s section, I had to make sure I was in Target and not Bloomingdale’s. I ended up spending over fifty dollars on a pack of t-shirts, a pack of socks, and a pack of underwear. What gives?

What gives indeed. I asked myself a question. If American companies such as they are, are outsourcing factory and manufacturing jobs to other countries (India, China, Vietnam) to save cents on production costs, why are we literally paying for it over here? I presented the question at breakfast to my stepdad, who only chuckled.

“Because CEO’s and higher ups want to get rich, while the rest of us foot the bill.”

The rest of us being the general public, have been footing the bill for those corporation types for quite some time now. Since 2008, the public has been crippled by what CEO’s and investment bankers would consider their recess. Playing with the lives and financial well-being of their clients and customers, while doing shady back room deals and rushing legislation through the government in the dead of night, while most normal (read: honest) people are asleep.

What boggles my mind and further cripples my faith in humanity, is why? If they can see the turmoil that they throw the country in, why don’t they repent their gluttonous ways? They say money is the root of all evil, but it seems to regular folk that money is the root of all sorrow and dissonance. You never seem to have enough, but when Mitt Romney released his tax information, I learned that what he pays in taxes could have sent me to the most ivy of ivy league schools.

Another thing I have noticed is the rising price of food. A pound of bacon was nearly $7.00 USD, last time I checked. When I was younger and more innocent, growing up in the whimsical world that was the 90’s, I never paid attention to these things. Now as a 22 year old young man trying to find gainful employment, I sometimes take solace in the fact that I still live at home. With the rising cost of…well, everything, I’d be ill suited to be on my own!

Which is a shame, really. The transition into adulthood isn’t smooth sailing in terms of economics, but where is the fighting chance we were promised, once we walked across the stage and moved our tassels from one side to the other?

 

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Updated Portfolio, 9/13/2011

So this is the first time I’ve actually made a post since October of last year! It’s been a while, but my Portfolio page has been updated, thanks to Skyler Newman. You can check him out at skylernewman.com.

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My E-Portfolio

Welcome to my e-portfolio. Use the headers to navigate.

“You bring a sense of realness to the workplace that few people can mimic.” – Jody McGinness, Manager of Viewer Relations, Maryland Public Television.

“As always you are a dynamic, engaging speaker…you have an excellent presentation style.” – Dr. Snyder, Stevenson University

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