Tag Archives: job

Italy Holiday Day 07: New Job Application

The new job at my existing work has finally been advertised. I’ve known it was coming for a while; however it hadn’t been ‘official’ yet therefore there hadn’t been a point in me even thinking about it. In fact I really could do without having to think about work as I’m so much happier when I can just empty my mind while sitting in the sun or cutting the grass.

But it’s got to be done – the deadline for this job is this coming Friday. Thankfully I’ll be an internal applicant, so all I have to do is fill out half a page of why I think I’m suitable (which I bloody well am), plus, attach my CV.

Tonight I’m going to give my CV an overhaul in line with the JD (doesn’t need that much tweaking to be honest), and tomorrow I’ll be stating my reason for the application and outlining my suitability for the post.

The only anticipated difficulty/obstacle in my way might be that apparently there is already someone within the company who is likely to get the job. Or so I’ve been told. I don’t know who this person is, but it must be quite a strong contender. And since I only started there in February, they may well have the advantage. As long as I get an interview I’m not too bothered. It’s only if I don’t even get an interview that all hell will break loose here at lenina’s headquarters! In that case, I’ll be fucking angry and shall seriously start looking elsewhere 😐

How to Deal with Conflict

Here are the three steps that I usually use to deal with conflict. Applicable to my workplace atm, but in the past I’ve applied this to relationships too.

Step 1: Communicate. Say what it is that you’re unhappy about in a rational, objective, manner. ‘Make a case’ for your position and where you’re coming from.

If they ignore it/things don’t change within a certain time frame (whatever you give yourself. E.g. 3 months, 6 months – depending on how unbearable the conflict/issue is) proceed to the steps below.

Step 2: Plan your escape.

There’s no point in sticking around when people ignore your needs and continue to do so, despite your best efforts of talking to them. Planning the escape is actually good fun, especially, when like me you are confident that you’ve tried step 1. and that you still don’t get what is due to you. When you are sure of your value, and a company or person disregard this value, it’s all the more fun to take revenge by escaping. Escaping isn’t really ‘revenge’ as such, but a way of having the last laugh and making them realise what they have lost (as they will realise your value once you are gone).

Planning your escape just means to continue on the outside as if everything is the same, and on the inside working out a strategy and start working towards this goal (e.g. a new job). You do this secretly as they have no right to know, since they have failed you in Step 1.

Step 3: Escape. Drop the bombshell. Let them deal with the aftermath. Let them realise what they have lost as you leave them behind.

How to Get a Job that You Like

I’ve miraculously ended up with a job that I like. Why miraculously? Because I started late, and for ages didn’t know what it is I actually wanted to do.

Here are a few tips to help you find your dream job.

1. Don’t work for long periods of time in a job that you don’t like

This is a pretty obvious one. It’s about building your CV and experience, and understanding that every job doesn’t just give you money but also the foundations upon which your professional life is likely to develop. It’s a bit of a catch-22 insomuch as, if you fall into a job that you don’t like that much, and end up doing it for a period of time (say, 3 years), that’s what you’ve got on your CV.

Example: I went to London when I was 19 and stayed there for a year working as an independent living personal assistant for disabled women (also called a ‘carer’ or ‘care assistant’ in less politically correct terminology). When I went back to Germany, I continued doing a similar job part-time to support my studies, and even worked in an old people’s home for a year. Thus, all my experience was from a field that I wasn’t remotely interested in pursuing after my degree.

It took me until I was 27 or 28 to find a part-time job, still supporting my studies (a PhD by this time), that was actually relevant not only to my degree but everything that has happened professionally since.

On my CV these days, I completely omit all work I did within a social care environment, and many people may not know that I worked as a ‘carer’, albeit mostly part-time and alongside my studies, for roughly 7 years.

2. If your job isn’t relevant to your CV and your aspirations, engage in activities that are

There’s no harm in working in a job that you don’t like and that is merely about earning money, as long as you can simultaneously engage in activities that ARE relevant, thus building up your CV. The most obvious example is education. Many students earn a living working behind a bar, but I’m sure few go on to forge a career in the hospitality industry. If you don’t study, engage in interests relating to your professional ambition. Examples would be volunteering for an organisation, or, if you want to become a graphic designer, use all your spare time to teach yourself software and creating a portfolio, taking on projects for friends or charity free of charge.

3. Always do the best in any job, no matter whether you like it or not

When I was working in the old people’s home, I was one of the most efficient, fastest, dedicated, and hard-working students there. The job included dressing and washing people, emptying colostomy bags, changing nappies, assisting with eating, and so forth. It was very demanding, with a very early start (I had to get up at 3.30AM to travel there, for a 6AM start), and my colleagues were small-minded and incredibly dull (I was reading Kristeva’s The Revolution of Poetic Language at the time, and Judith Butler’s Bodies that Matter). It was very difficult, but at the same time I relished doing the job properly. I left after a year.

4. Once you know what you want to do, go for it

I fell into marketing by accident, via online moderation and then as a freelance seeder (= viral marketing). I don’t have any qualifications in marketing, have never studied it, and a year ago would never have had a chance by applying for a marketing job via the ‘normal route’ (i.e. job ads in newspapers, online, etc.). People would simply have looked at my CV, thought me as a ‘professional student’ who has spent far too many years at Universities, with little real-life and real work experience (in terms of 9-5, office job). However, once I got in there by accident, and got a taste for it, I knew I wanted to work in marketing or advertising as a ‘dream job’ (= with high levels of job satisfaction). Thus, I started applying for good jobs in that area, with my professional experience in marketing only just under a year.

5. Start at the bottom if necessary

In most of the jobs that I’ve done that had ‘career progression’ opportunities, I was offered them pretty quickly after joining (in the crucial freelance job as seeder, I was offered double pay and a standard 16-20h a week about 2 months after I started, and a full-time position 3 months thereafter). I.e. it doesn’t matter if you start at the bottom, for relatively little money. If you’re good, people will recognise it and you can progress pretty quickly. Thus, you can ‘jump’ a few stages of your career without a massive CV with loads of experience in the area.

The only two adversities to this:

a. you have financial commitments that mean you can’t possibly start from the bottom

b. you work in the public sector or in another heavily regulated sector. I got my ‘big break’ in the private sector and a chaotic, unregulated small agency.

6. Sell yourself – Be confident – Know what you want

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be too docile. Many people in the workplace, particularly in my new workplace, are quite happy to accept the status quo. They accept shitty computers, rubbish strategies, and high prices quoted by people who they think have authority on the subject matter. I don’t mean to advise to be a rebel and challenge authority in a destructive manner. What I’m advising is to stand out a bit, making your voice heard, and be visible so that people know who you are. This applies to any professional environment – be it your dream job or some rubbish job, as well as when attending job interviews. Generate a professionally confident persona that knows what s/he’s talking about. Don’t be too friendly, approachable, or laid-back.

7. Make sure your CV is spot-on

There mustn’t be any errors or spelling/grammar mistakes on your CV, especially, if you’re applying for a professional job involving written communication of any kind (be it emails, reports, strategies, etc.). I used to recruit in my past job, and when you have 100 applicants for, say, 3 positions, you eliminate those with errors straight away (that’s what the delete button is for). While other recruiters may not be as harsh as myself, submitting a CV with errors of any sort makes a candidate look either careless, or stupid. With so much competition, the basics need to be right.

I was going to write another 3 points, to make up 10, but I can’t be bothered! The post is too long as it is 😛 .

Getting my Boss’ Job – Strategy (1)

Whenever I make another conscious move to iterate myself as my boss’ successor, I’ll blog about it. Seeing that this blog is anonymous, I’ve got the freedom to do so 😛

The overall strategy is simple: iterating lenina as the boss’ natural successor before the position is even advertised. Preparation also includes reading the JD (all JDs are kept on the intranet) as well as the internal application form, and maybe even have a first go at filling it in.

On the other hand, after looking a bit more at the overall picture, I’m not so sure now that I want to apply. Like anaj said in a comment, it looks like it’ll be more responsibility, more stress, for nothing much in return (other than a bit of power/influence). The money won’t be much more at all – it might even be the same that I’m getting right now.

So, I’ve decided to ‘step in’ for my boss and take on all her responsibilities (= the iteration I was talking about), and by doing so, I’ll have a better idea of what’s involved/whether it’s ‘worth’ it. Either way, ‘stepping in’ won’t really cause any harm – quite the opposite. It’ll be a great opportunity and learning curve, for me to get a deep understanding while at the same time helping out my team/the company (there is a lot of stuff to do, and someone’s got to do it. I wouldn’t trust anyone, other than my colleague, to do it right).

I don’t know yet whether or not I will indeed apply. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it 😛

New Job Starting Tomorrow

My new job is starting tomorrow, and I haven’t managed to relaunch my blog yet 😐

It’ll have to wait until… eh… dunno. I still haven’t had a full day off, by that I mean a full day to myself to just do what the hell I like! E.g. staying in bed all day reading, playing games, just doing nothing. Basically, not having to do anything 😛

These last few days I’ve been tidying up and sorting my flat out, paying bills, shopping, seeing friends, etc. Last night before I went out I also finished Kingdom Hearts II. – a game which I hadn’t played in over a year! All that was left on it was the final boss battle, and I got straight into it and managed to do it first time round. I.e. my hand-eye coordination and gaming skills have really been refreshed through playing Ratchet and Clank – Tools of Destruction. Tonight, I’m going to try Shadow of the Colossus – I started it last night but it’s a bit strange and there are puzzles and strange stuff going on, so it’s not as straight-forward as my preferred genre – platformers.

As for the job, my new employer sent a huge list of things I am to bring tomorrow – amongst other things, my original educational certificates! I’ve never had to do that before. I’ve actually got all my three degree certificates (BA, MA, PhD)  framed in my hallway and can’t be bothered to take them out of their frames (too fiddly) – so I’m just taking them framed. I hope it’s just for ‘proof’ and they won’t want to photocopy them or anything.

I’m also taking my driving license – which is funny as my pic is from when I was 18 and look like an evil punk with full make up and red/green hair 😛

Overall, I’m prepared for it – in fact slightly excited as I’m absolutely ready to do something new 🙂