Friday, April 17
Tips for Job Seekers
Remember 45's? For the rest of you, the 90% of you, let's just say they were the predecessor of CD singles. Well....you know that single (metaphorical or otherwise) that Susan Boyle is about to release? Well, this, in my not so humble opinion, is the "flip side".
So, I'm making my rounds of the blogs that I really like this morning, trying to get inspired, and trying to catch up (there's a lot of good stuff out there!), and I come across this story about Kari Ferrell on a really interesting blog. Have you heard about this? Well now I have, and I have to say, after reading through lots of comments on various sites (and using way too many commas), that I'm feeling kinda alone here.
I'm also feeling kinda disgusted with myself for talking about this story at all, since I'm the sort who comes down hard on the people who make a story like this a media phenomenon, thereby producing precisely the sort of narcissistic supply that the subject of the story is after, thereby enabling them in multiple ways, thereby nothing except that there seemed to be a string of "therebys" here and I just got carried away.
(On that note, Ramblings of a Madman wrote yesterday that "one of the rules of blogging is to stay away from the stream of consciousness kind of writing", and one of his commenters said it's okay every once in a while because it's "helpful for your mind". This was a shock to my poor little system. I don't know what manual they got, but at the risk of stating the obvious, I got a different one. Oh. Wait. I didn't get one at all. But if I had gotten one....oh, who the hell am I kidding? Even if there were such a rule, and I don't know that there is, I wouldn't follow it anyway. I does what I likes here (and pretty much everywhere else). You read it, or you don't. I think you should, but hey, it's your life.)
What was I saying? Oh, I was saying how I can't stand those people who build people up into media celebrities by talking about them on their blogs.
At least I'm not posting a picture.
So, I read through all the comments, and people are commenting about her lies, about having met her, about the undeniable power of google, about the stupidity of employers, it goes on and on. But no one seems to be talking about what this story teaches us about employability in today's overwhelmingly tight job market.
You do remember the job market, right? You do remember that unemployment is at a 15 year high? You have noticed that one or two or more of your friends have lost their jobs? If you don't remember, here's a handy little flow chart to help you figure that out. But have no fear. We now have the story of valiant (if ill) Kari Ferrell, who can help us all understand how to become easily employed in the current job market, and without any of those pesky reference checks that we all love to hate!
Now, this is not a lesson or a story about Kari Ferrell, and you know it. Sure, it's is a story about employers, most notably the total idiots at Vice (attention VC's who may be funding their endeavor....maybe it's time to check in on their operations, eh?). Then again, the quote in the article from the one person who works at Vice was "O.K., so she’s kind of abusing her role to get swag and fucking with people we work with—not cool." So maybe it's not a problem. Maybe it's a requirement. (I know, I know, I'm politically correct, I'm an old fogey, I'm out of touch. I yam what I yam.)
But here's the point I want to make (you knew I'd get there eventually). This is, first, and foremost, a story about us. It is, believe it or not, exactly the same story as the other one that is spreading like wildfire around the blogosphere and beyond, the story of Susan Boyle and her inspirational singing performance. Like I said, it's the flipside.
Of course. It's about appearances. It's about "the cool kids". It's about how phenomenally quick we are to make judgments based on appearance. It's about how completely stupid and stubborn we are about those judgments, sufficiently so to lose our grasp on reason and procedure, not to mention manners. (for what it's worth, it's also clearly about how men often make decisions with the wrong part of their anatomy, but that's a whole 'nother subject...) It's about how we all nod so vigorously, murmuring our "about time" and "that's right" and "people are awful" under our breath when Amanda Holden and Demi Moore remind us about "wakeup calls" and not judging people (because after all, Amanda and Demi certainly haven't bought or fed into that). Like we don't do it ourselves. Like we've been "cured" of our inclinations by one or two or forty exceptions. (have you figured out why Europeans think Americans are stupid yet?)
So attention all you job hunters. Forget about buying food for your children. You've got to think of your career. Here's what you need to do:
First, and most importantly, get a tattoo. It should be a large one, and visible, even you are fully dressed. And it should be "cool", so be sure to consult with someone under 25.
Secondly, be young. Very young. I know, you're saying that this is one thing you can't do anything about. I'm sorry about that. I can't help you there. Do you want to get a job or not?
Third, be brash and talk about sex a lot. I know, you tried that, and it didn't work. Try again. It makes you more appealing and believable...and successful!... when you talk explicitly about sex.
Last (and most importantly)...lie. Lie all over the place. But be cute and pixie-ish while you do it. And talk a lot--just a hair short of manic is good.
Write when you get work, K?