I am officially unemployed. Quit. Liberated. Done with restaurant work–the unpredictable, long hours, the impoliteness, the greasy smells–I am officially searching for a “real person” job, also known as a “career.” After all, why should I, with my semi-prestigious liberal arts degree, be working in a restaurant for people who don’t appreciate drink refills at half-empty sans request?
But what else is out “there,” outside the service industry? It seems like there isn’t much. Working in a burger joint (NOT a fast-food chain, I’ll have you know) most of the people I worked with were either going to school or had a degree already. One of my managers actually had her MASTERS in social work. What on Earth?! Why are highly educated people working minimum wage jobs with crappy hours? Granted, tips are pretty stellar and make for easy money. But why aren’t we working jobs that pertain to our degrees and our career interests–something we enjoy, rather than just any ole job?
Most people make up some excuse about how the economy has gone down the toilet, which I guess it has. I won’t pretend to know much about the economy and politics because that’s really not my “thing.” But I think that the problem is in part ambition (the fact that much of my generation seems to lack it), in part a weird generational desire to be an artist or artistic in someway (AKA broke), and in a LARGE part the push toward online job applications.
You have to admit that the system is pretty effed. To apply for a job you go to indeed.com or careerbuilders.com, some job search engine, where you type in a key word or two and maybe a preferred city. Then you browse the jobs, pick one out, and apply online, which takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Once you finish that, you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Maybe pray a little, if you believe in God or Buddha or something. But NOTHING ever happens. Or at least not for me. I have applied to like 300 jobs online, no lie, and I haven’t heard a single thing. How is that possible? It’s like you pour yourself and your qualifications out endlessly into this online human resources black hole.
How do we–the Echo Boom generation–find a career, not just a job? I guess that’s what this blog will be about: my career search, unpaid internships (also known as total BS), online applications, interviews.