Things I’ve learned applying for more than 200 jobs.

I’ve been unemployed for seven months. It has been seven months filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

On one hand, I’m glad to be free of the prison-like confinement I felt being around my previous boss. I’m glad I’m not in an environment that celebrates toxic-masculinity and treats women as though the only thing they bring to the table is boobs.

On the other hand, I miss work. I miss financial independence. I miss the feeling that I felt when I was contributing to something, when I was making a difference to someone’s (not in my office) day.

I looked in my resume folder last night and I realized that it now has more than 200 files in it. 200 resumes. 200 times I was rejected. 200 times I was said no to. 200 times I tried and it didn’t work out.

I’ve been applying for employment throughout the past seven months. I’ve applied for career positions, for retail positions, for casual positions, for any position that I thought might allow me to start earning a pay cheque again. I’ve been hired and had my job offer rescinded after I signed contracts and employment paperwork, I’ve made it to the final round, I’ve been one of the last two candidates for them to choose from, I’ve had people ignore my resume, I’ve had scammers tell me that I need to pay $4,000 as a security deposit before I can work for them. I’ve been to good interviews and bad interviews, I’ve wasted my time trying to hunt people down and I’ve spent a lot of time on interviews and conversations that didn’t end up going anywhere.

I’ve been through it all and, through it all, these are the things that my unemployment has taught me.

Always, always, ALWAYS review your resume. The most embarrassing thing you can do for yourself is to send off a resume with the wrong company name on it, or with spelling mistakes. Whether you’ve sent off 3 or 4 resumes, or 200 resumes, ensure you’re reviewing and spell-checking every time you curate your resume.

Curate your resume. Every time. As annoying as it is, it will stand out a whole lot more if you’ve got it curated to the job your applying for. Everyone on earth can write standard skills for standard employment on a resume. If you want ‘this’ job, then curate your resume to showcase skills that would make you an asset for ‘this’ job.

Rejection is not about you. Think of it this way: most often, you’re competing against hundreds of candidates for a position. As one of hundreds of candidates, if your resume doesn’t even make it into the ‘read’ pile, that says nothing about you. Sometimes, they only read the resumes of those who are local. Sometimes, they only read the first 300 resumes they get instead of all 800. I know what you’re thinking… that’s silly. Why would they only read 300 of 800 resumes, they’re missing out on so many candidates. The newsflash here is… most companies don’t give a damn. They really don’t. I’ve seen this in action. Though they’d never say it publicly, the previous office I worked in would eliminate all resumes from the pile for, management positions, if the candidate had a female’s name on their resume. If they had a name that is more gender neutral (where it could be a guy or a girl), they’d go into the maybe pile. They’d only move to the gender neutral named candidates if they couldn’t find the person they want in the resumes that were clearly men. I guarantee you that my former office is not the only place on earth where things like this happen.

Don’t feel bad about lying to put yourself ahead. Companies don’t care about you. They don’t. If you need to state that you’re living in a place in order to get them to consider you as a ‘local candidate’, say that. If you need to have your best friend pretend that he/she worked with you at your last job in order to get a reference, do that. Companies are putting themselves first, so do the same thing for yourself.

DO NOT be afraid to correct a potential employer. I’ve been called the wrong names… multiple times, I’ve had companies read form the wrong person’s resume to ask me questions… in front of me. I’ve had companies imply things about me that weren’t true and I’ve had companies speculate things they have no business in asking. When you’re unemployed, it’s easy to sit and be quiet about these things because you worry that if you speak up they won’t like you and you’ll miss the opportunity. I’m telling you right now, honestly, it’s far more important for you to stick up for yourself then to fall quiet and be seen as a push-over. Do not let a company ask you when you plan on having children. Do not let a company call you the wrong name. Let them know who you are and that you’re strong enough to speak up for yourself.

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. I had a company tell me that in order to work for them I needed to pay a $4,000 security deposit. I was told that it’s a ‘normal thing and that all employees have to do it’. There is no security deposit required to work. None at all. There are, however, a lot of people in this world ready and willing to scam the vulnerable. If you feel as though someone is scamming you, they probably are. Be mindful of what companies are saying and trust your gut.

You are strong, you will get through this. Deep in the throws of unemployment, it can often feel as though you’re never going to get a job. It’s easy to get ‘down in the dumps’. Though it seems as though it’s never going to end, it will. You’re talented, smart and a viable candidate for many a positions. Don’t let your current situation define your future. Don’t let your head win.

Use each devastating blow as fuel to the fire. Having my job offer rescinded just three days before I was supposed to have my first day of work… it broke my heart. It really did. I think it’s important to remember in times like these, though, that I still got the job. I still was their candidate selected. And I dodged a bullet now that I’m not working for them. Turn those negative thoughts into positives and use it as motivation for your future job applications, future interviews and future opportunities.

Seek help. Accept help. Use help. Wherever you find it, however it comes about in your life, help is a good thing. Whether it’s someone to vent your frustrations to, someone to read over your cover letter or someone give you money, no questions asked, so your bills get paid… use the help. Don’t be too proud. If you’re lucky enough to have people offer help when you need it, take advantage of it when you get it. There’ll be a time in the future when you can pay it forward.

Remember your worth. There are a lot of companies in 2019 who list egregious qualifications and education requirements for positions where they’re only opting to pay minimum wage, if that (a lot of companies are trying to turn these positions into internships). Don’t ever allow a company to make you feel as though you’re worth less than you are as a means to pigeon hole you into a run of the mill position in a sub-standard office. If you have a means of holding out for the right position, do that. And if you don’t have those means, take the position that pays minimum wage, but take it ‘for-now’ and don’t stop looking for your dream job. Because it’s out there and you deserve it.

Find and effective means for managing stress. Unemployment is stressful as heck. You need an outlet to help you get through. So find that outlet and make use of it. Whether it’s yoga, a good book, screamo music or whatever helps you destress, find it and use it.

If it doesn’t work out, it’s probably for the best.

Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.

Unemployment isn’t easy. It’s one of the most difficult things that anyone can go through, quite honestly. I think the biggest thing you can remember through a trying time like this is to just keep going. Keep your support system close and make use them, every step of the way. Whether it’s for a cup of coffee, help with your resume creation or just And don’t ever stop. In the words of Ayn Rand, “the world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

A (whiny) day in the life of an unemployed millennial.

It’s been a few weeks now since my mom was officially declared to be in remission. Here, here! I’m thankful for the incredible doctors, nurses, caretakers and specialists who looked after her for the past eight months. It’s all because of them that she’s now healthy.

Since she’s been in remission, I’ve been struggling to find my way. Truthfully, I don’t know how I fit into this family. When I was looking after my mom I had a purpose for being here. Now I just feel like a little bit of a dead-weight permanently attached to their ankles.

Every day is different, but most days involve the same themes to them.

8:30 am – Wake up, take dog outside, feed dog.

9:00 am – Eat breakfast, watch the Maury show. (I’m not sure if anyone else loves this show as much as I do but watching Maury makes me feel a lot better about my problems)

10:00 am – Crawl back into bed because… really, I don’t have anything to be awake for.

11:00 am – Wake up for a second time.

11:30 am – Go to meet my brother and sister-in-law for lunch. Tell my brother and sister-in-law how excited i am to be starting my new job next week, that I really needed this and that’s important to me to be making a pay-cheque again. Tell them all about the issues I’ve been having in the past six months trying to find work and how frustrating the process is and feel as though they genuinely understand and don’t just presume I’m lazy and unmotivated. It’s a nice change.

1:30 pm – Return home. Take the dog for a quick walk to get her out and give her some exercise.

2:00 pm – ‘To-be boss’ phones and leaves irky voicemail while I am in the shower asking me to call her back immediately.

2:20 pm – Call back my ‘to-be boss’ to be informed that the job I am supposed to start in three days I am no longer hired for. Is it technically considered as being fired if I never made it to my first day? Apparently corporate restructuring came down just three days before my start date, so my job offer has been rescinded. But, she said ‘You’re a smart kid, I know you’ll land on your feet’, so everything’s going to be okay. Right?

2:22 pm – Immediately start crying. Cannot control the crying. Text my mom and Knight to tell them what happened. Proceed to spend several hours feeling sorry for myself and mad at the world whilst trying to tell myself that this wasn’t meant to be, I’m meant for bigger things and that I’ve ‘dodged a bullet’.

6:30 pm – Ordered takeout

6:35 pm – Back to the drawing board. I opened my computer back up, searched jobs in this city and jobs in Calgary (where I’d like to be) and began editing and submitting my resume to each of these businesses.

I would just like to say, job hunting is an aggravating process. One of the applications I filled out asked “Can you speak Canada?” That doesn’t even make sense. I can definitely speak better English than that, so can I have the job of creating your job applications from now on?

8:30 pm – Take dog for a long walk. There’s a large hill with 100 stairs near my house. I like to take the dog there and I do the stairs and she runs the hill beside me a few times over to tire her out. Exercise is good for the soul, especially when you’re in a bad mood. I wholeheartedly believe that.

10:00 pm – Back to the drawing board, continuation from earlier. I’m browsing job postings. This night I am also submitting my resume to McDonald’s and Burger King. I may not like the outfits, but I think it’s time I start one of these jobs, at the least, to ensure I make some money this year.

I like to put Friends, The Big Bang Theory or Two Broke Girls on the tv in the background. The great thing about all three of these shows is that they’re pretty much on at all hours of the day if you look.

Job hunting isn’t the funnest process. At least, with these shows I can have a couple of laughs during the hunt.

1:00 am – Play Clash Royale until I’m ready to fall asleep.

I’m not really sure where I’m going next. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. At some point I’m going to have to tell my friends and family that I was ‘unhired’ and had the rug pulled from beneath my feet. I presume that’ll come on Monday when they all ask me how work is going and I don’t have a response fo rthem.

Right now, I guess I just have to keep going until I find the path that’s right for me. I hate having so many unanswered questions. I hate having so much up in the air. For someone who moved out of the house when she was 16, it’s a really hard pill to swallow to be unemployed in my parents basement at 30.

I can truly say that I never saw this happening for my life. I can truly say that it’s a struggle, most days, to keep going. But I guess the important thing at this point is to keep going and stop feeling sorry for myself. I need to get out of this rut. Life isn’t always easy and I need to be better at dealing with that.

I know I’ll land on my feet eventually. I just wish I knew when that was. Because, quite frankly, not knowing is what makes this so hard.

Offer rescinded.

I don’t even want to tell anyone this. Honestly. I don’t want to tell my family, or my friends. They were all so excited for me,and now… ugh. I feel this deep pit of shame in my stomach and it’s not even my fault. I can’t get rid of the feeling though.

I was supposed to start my new job on Monday. Monday. Monday… as in three days from now.

Yesterday afternoon my ‘to-be’ boss phoned. My job offer was rescinded. I was fed a bull-shit line about ‘corporate restructuring’ and that I’m a smart kid so she has no doubt I’ll land on my feet soon.

Fuck her. Honestly.

I guess it goes to show you really can’t celebrate the victory in anything because it’s not really a victory. Last week there was no corporate restructuring… but this week there is. Yeah, yeah, yeah I see how it is.

But I’m a smart kid and I’ll land on my feet…

Fuck her.

Back to the drawing board. I’ll probably wind up working at McDonald’s soon. Not that there’s anything wrong with McDonald’s… just that my degree and the past decade of my life won’t really be put to good use at McDonald’s.

I lied in order to get a job interview and I don’t feel bad about it.

Anyone who’s applied for a job online in the past couple of years knows that, at the end of almost every job application form there’s a question along the lines of “Are you presently living in ________ (location)?”

Here’s the truth: that question in there because said company does not want to pay to relocate an employee. If you select ‘No’, your resume/application is automatically being submitted into the ‘do not consider’ pile. They would rather only consider professionals already living within their city then branch out. Even if it means they’re not getting the best candidate for the job.

If you select no, they won’t even review your application. You might as well not spend the time in sending it, because you’re only wasting your time.

Story time:

I wound up in this city that I am presently residing because I came here to help my mom through her cancer treatments. That being said, this is not where I want to, or plan to, stay. I’ve been applying for positions in Calgary. And, probably will continue to do so until I find the right one.

Last week, whilst on holiday, I got a call from a company in Calgary asking for a phone interview. I distinctly remember applying for the position with this company and checking ‘Yes’ where it asked if I presently resided in Calgary. A lie, yes. But, I knew that all I needed them to do was read my resume and I would stand out from the pack.

I did the phone interview and they loved me, naturally. I’m pretty fucking amazing (and I don’t say that to be cocky, I say that because I know what value I could bring to any office). During the interview I was upfront and said ‘Calgary is a city I would like to be living in by the end of 2019’. Shocked and confused, the woman conducting the interview asked where I was presently living. When I told her where I was she admitted ‘we really don’t interview candidates that don’t live in Calgary’. Somehow they’d read my resume and loved me based on content provided, but had ignored the address listed on my resume.

When I hung up the phone, I really didn’t think I’d hear from them again. Though I’d nailed the phone interview, I didn’t live in Calgary and that seemed like a deal-breaker for them.

To my surprise, I got an email later that afternoon asking if I could have a phone interview with the boss the next day.

Of course!

The next day when I was talking to the boss, I nailed it. He loved me. I could tell that he loved me by the way he was responding to what I was saying. I once again mentioned my wanting to move to Calgary and he said ‘Oh, you’re not in Calgary?’ I explained to him what I had said the day before and the woman I’d spoken to the day before let it slip that she liked me so much she didn’t tell him where I was living.

Nevertheless, he liked me so much that they’re coordinating a video-conference interview for me to do this week. And honestly, I’ll talk to them as many times as they’d like, because the bottom line is that I know I’m qualified, I know I’m willing and they need to know that discounting an application based on someone’s geographical location is stupif.

If you’re looking for work, please LET THIS SERVE AS A REMINDER: if you are not selected for a position, it is not because of lack of qualifications. It can very well be something as stupid as checking ‘Yes or No’ on a questionnaire.

I’m willing to relocate to Calgary on my own dime. And if a company would bother to talk to me, they’d learn that. So counting myself out because of location isn’t a fair step of the process.

Don’t ever let ‘the process’ keep you from your destiny. If you need to fudge the truth in order to be heard, do it. The process is an extremely convoluted and, at times not even fair, series of events. I don’t see anything wrong with taking control out of their hands and putting it into your own. If you’re a badass, count yourself in, check yes and let them see just what they could have if they opened their eyes beyond a narrow scope.

On the importance of standing up for yourself.

I cannot stress enough how integral it is to stand up for yourself. Too many people in this world lead a life of conformity because they’re afraid of rocking the boat.

I think that there’s a negative connotation when it comes to ‘standing up for yourself’. People immediately take the defensive and they believe you’re in it to start a fight, when in all reality, it’s not about starting a fight at all.

Standing up for yourself is about speaking your truth, and about making someone understand your perspective and why you believe what you do. You don’t need to be rude, you don’t need to be angry, you don’t need to insult. If you’re really aiming to prove your worth to someone with respect to anything at all, your message is going to be much more well received if you do it in a calm, well thought-out, discussive manner. (Yeah, I just made up discussive)

Don’t pout. Don’t fight. Don’t be rude. But also, don’t settle. If you’re worth more and you know it, advocate for yourself. If you believe you’re being treated unfairly, advocate for yourself. Lastly, if you think something is wrong, advocate for whoever it affects.

Please don’t ever be afraid to advocate for yourself and your value. If you have a fair and reasonable request, anyone worth their weight in anything will be willing to hear you out. And if they’re not, there’s plenty of room in this world for someone who will.

ROCK THE BOAT. Do not be afraid to rock that boat. Show someone the value you possess, in the process reminding yourself what’s been inside of you all along.

Context – I ABSOLUTELY went in and advocated for myself to a potentially employer this morning. Like a boss, I strategically formulated my words and talking points ahead of time, was heard succintly and it worked out in my favour. DON’T EVER SETTLE for something just because it’s something.

Adventures in job hunting: I just can’t make this shit up.

This morning I got a response from a position that I applied for last night. This is odd to me. I get an iffy feeling about companies that respond to resumes in less than 24 hours. Nevertheless, I continued reading the four paragraph email in hopes that something positive would come from the words they’ve written me.

It didn’t really wasn’t worth my time in reading.

Firstly, I would like to state that this position was listed as being in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am currently in a small town in Northern British Columbia, Canada.

It was a four paragraph email to which they explained the importance of my transferring them $4,000 dollars as a security deposit. They apparently use the security deposit in place of signing a confidentiality agreement. So, I was to send them $4,000 for a security deposit, that could be returned to me upon six months completion of work (the probationary period).

The letter stated that, if I sent them the money today, I could be working as early as this afternoon. They’d provide me a list of errands to run and I could hop in my car and go do them and the company would reimburse me for the gas costs after the fact so long as I kept a log of miles travelled.

The letter went on to state that the company operates under a policy of ‘trust, but verify’ and their means of verifying is through the transfer of this $4,000, and that it’s a perfectly normal request that everyone who works for the company does.

To sum it up: If I pay $4,000 to this company, today, I could have the job and be working as early as this afternoon, running errands in my car, in a city that’s 12 hours away. Utmost discretion is required and, I am not to discuss this position with anyone else and we could work on salary and payment arrangements after I’d started working.

I reported this posting to LinkedIn today.

There’s no need for people to deal with this shit. It’s clearly a scam and I don’t want someone who doesn’t know any better to fall for this.

YOU SHOULD NOT EVER HAVE TO PAY MONEY TO AN EMPLOYER TO GET A JOB (I feel as though capital letters are necessary to proclaim my tone in the sentence).

I didn’t get the job.

In response up to: Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow – I didn’t get the job.

I’m not really sure what to say on the matter. It’s obviously not the outcome that I wanted. It’s obviously not the outcome that I thought was going to happen. I got my hopes up for this. I really thought this was it, this was my opportunity for growth, for a my next career move, to work for an organization that didn’t break the law and ask me to cover it up. There were so many bonuses to working in this office and I’m kicking myself right now because I don’t get any of them.

I can’t even be mad. I’m not mad. It’s an incredible company and I know they’ve got to do what they feel is right for them. I just can’t help but feel as though they made the wrong choice. And, in their making the wrong choice, I’ve lost out.

It sucks. It really does.

All of my worst fears seem to be coming to fruition. I’m too qualified to work in retail, not qualified to work at these jobs that I’ve been working towards for a decade. Job hunting sucks. It really does. I’m squandering all of my talents and there’s nothing I can do about that.

I don’t know what to do with myself.