The time has come, once again, to move. Thankfully, this time I am only moving a few blocks instead of the usual several hundred kilometers. I have spent the summer unemployed, developing hobbies and generally being a hobo. But that all is about to change! Not only am I moving this weekend but I am also starting a new job. Nothing like having everything come at the same time. It’s not like I have had ample time to move or start a new job in the last few months, nope, it all had to happen on the same weekend. Yay stress! It really shouldn’t be too bad, I’m sure I will manage.
As much as I despise moving I am actually very excited about this move. Mainly because I am currently living in what I lovingly refer to as a “hovel”. I call this place a hovel so often my boyfriend asked to to look up the definition so he could know exactly what it was I was calling it. If you too are unaware, a hovel is a “small, squalid, unpleasant or simply constructed dwelling” (as defined by Google). As soon as I read that he said “yup, that just about covers it”. “Are you living in a barn or a hole in the ground?!” you may ask. No, but close. We are living in, what I assume, is an illegal basement suite. At first it wasn’t too bad. Sure, the blinds were mainly all broken, there were weird stains on the floors and everything looked like it was constructed by a one armed blind man, but it wasn’t deplorable; yet. Then we had about a month of non stop rain which caused flooding in the surrounding area. We thought we were safe since our place didn’t flood and we didn’t need to be evacuated. We were wrong. Ever since then, this place has become unbearably damp. Everything, and I mean EVERYthing, molds! I was packing up my shoes the other day and discovered mold in the soles of two pairs! I was throughly grossed out and threw them away. We can’t keep bread or baked goods out or they will mold within days. Places where only water and soap ever touch the surface, like the bathroom sink and the dish rack in the kitchen, started to mold. If anything is left on the ground in the bed room, it becomes damp. Pages of books have become warped because of this.
So yeah, I’m excited to move!
Does the degree or major you chose really determine the amount of respect you receive? You might read this and say “yes, of course, some degrees are more difficult and those graduates deserve more respect because they are clearly more intelligent”. I don’t think that that is a fair assessment. Maybe it is more a matter of over simpiflication. I don’t know if you can accurately judge a person simply by the degree they chose. There are many people that only choose a major because they happened to have the most credits in a certain department.
I have a reason for being skeptical about this since I am one of those odd ducks that really can’t be described according to my schooling. I have taken courses in almost every department; not because I am indecisive but because I have so many interests and I don’t want to limit myself. In high school I was in advanced placement course and always on the honor roll. I was accepted to a top business school but after a year of that I realized that even though this was a practical degree it wasn’t something I was remotely passionate about. I ended up going the complete opposite direction and went to art school. Many people are pretty surprised when they find that out. There are few people that are accepted to both business school and art school. I could have graduated from business school and maybe that would have looked better on a resume but I didn’t. It doesn’t change the type of person I am. It doesn’t change my work ethic. So what can you really know about me from knowing that I graduated from art school? I guess that I am creative, I know how to pull an all nighter and I can take criticism. But I’m sure those qualities apply to a lot of individuals who went to many different schools and studied different subjects. In an ideal world, the specific degree you took wouldn’t matter as much as the person. More jobs should offer to train new employees, mould them to be exactly what they want. Not expect people to graduate school and have all the skills and experience that they require; it is not very realistic. I always thought that graduates were supposed to bright and eager but it seems that they are seen as priveldged and entitled.
I supposed there must be some true stereotypes out there. Usually stereotypes are based on some sort of commonality. Maybe a majority of engineers love to eat tacos and their favorite color is red. Maybe history majors are obsessed with Steven King and sleep in satin sheets. If you couldn’t tell, these are completely made up characteristics, but who knows, maybe it applies to some of them. I don’t know enough of one group to make statements like that. Even if I did, I wouldn’t feel comfortable making claims since I am sure there are a few like me who are “well rounded”. It seems weird to say that about myself but I think it is an appropriate word. I have never fit into one group; I have always been able to drift between different groups because of my wide range of interests.
I guess my question at the end of all of this is really, what is better? Should someone be focused on one speciality, one or two interests and dedicate everything they have to that or should they try different things and different hobbies. I always say “I’m a jack of all trades, master of none”. I guess that is what you give up if you try to widen your circle of knowledge. I’m sure if you wanted to become a brain surgeon most of your time, if not all, would be devoted to medicine and the brain. Personally, I am happy being how I am. I don’t think I will ever burn out because I dedicate myself to a varitey of subjects. I am usually above average at whatever I try my hand at simply because when I do something I do it all the way but I doubt I will ever become the best at anything. I think I am okay with that. I’ll stick to my reading, writing, designing, weaving, drawing etc.
How the older generations view new graduates:
Money well spent?
I feel this is a debate that often goes on during the hiring process. Which should be placed higher, skills or credentials? If someone teaches themselves how to code is that better or worse than someone who learnt while getting a degree in web design. They know how to do the same thing but one of them has the paper to back it up. What about something someone is naturally skilled at, does the skill count if there isn’t a certificate to confirm it?
The problem I often encounter with job postings is that I go down the skills needed, check, the responsibilities and tasks of the job, yup, I can do those, then I get to the school/experience part. Many times employers want a specific degree, it doesn’t matter that you have the skills to do the job, if you don’t have the degree which they request your resume isn’t going too far. Definitely not going on the short stack. It used to be that as long as you had a degree, in anything really, it counted for something; showed you are capable of completing something, were committed to working towards something for at least four years.
Another pet peeve is extensive experience required for entry level positions. Isn’t the point of entry level jobs that you don’t need too much experience? If I am just coming out of school how am I supposed to get any type of job if I need five years experience to get an entry level job; one most likely below my skill set to start with. Most jobs like that you can learn pretty quickly, if it is taking you five years to master answering phones you may want to reevaluate your life. The whole idea behind ‘entry level’ jobs is so people right out of school can work up the ladder. Back in the day, going to college meant you could skip the entry level and go straight to a mid-level career. Ah, the good old days. Of course I was not in the job market during that time but I have heard the myth from my elders. The myth of how going to college guarantees you a decent job. Oh elders, how you have led me astray.
I understand the theory behind these methods. They are put in place to weed out applicants. But it makes it really hard for people trying to enter the job market when employers are being so picky. Is the job market really so much different now than it was a few years ago? What changed so much that a college degree can get you a retail job but not much else?
Can we revolt? Start a revolution of some sort? Well if I do become the face of a revolution at the very least it will be one more thing to put on my resume!
Now everyone’s favorite: Memes!
Since I am moving (once again) I have recently been looking for a new job. While killing time on Pinterest I kept coming across links to articles about interviewing tips and the like. I have always done quite well in interviews, probably because my response to nerves is to smile and laugh and so people generally find me pleasant. I thought it might be interesting to look over these articles and see if I am doing what they suggest. The main thing that seemed to stick out is that standing out, in anyway that shows personality, is considered a negative. I was quite shocked by this. I always thought that showing a bit of individuality was a good thing and made you stand out from the rest of the herd vying for the position. While there are people that take this approach to heart on reality shows ie. acting crazy or coming in with a get-up, that is not the kind of attention I’m talking about. This article went so far as to decree what color you should wear. So basically, if everyone read this article they would come in with their hair in a pony tail, navy blue suit and low heels (yes, I’m speaking from a female’s point of view, sorry men). Well, that rules me out! I own a shocking amount of black in my wardrobe (black is considered too harsh apparently), I have short hair and a nose ring. When I go into interviews I like to dress professionally but with a twist. Something as simple as vintage jewelry, it looks nice and generally comes up in conversation. According to experts I should do poorly in interviews yet that is not the case (thankfully!). While I disagree, I suppose I understand where this advise is coming from. I guess the way they see it is that standing out could be positive but it could also be negative and to avoid anything negative one should play it safe. It makes sense, kind of, but at the same time I feel a little like I’m lying or at least playing a part. Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where we could be ourselves and not have to manipulate people’s perception of us?