Real Career Advice

October 22, 2010

One of the problems with career advice is that it became much too PC. Not that PC is bad in that I do believe it’s good to treat everyone fairly, equally, and with manner and kindness at all times.

However, how kind is it to give someone BS job advice that doesn’t work?

Here’s debunking some advice:

1. It’s a numbers game.

Yes, and no.

If you mess up 1000 job apps, you are totally wasting your time. So the notion that it’s a numbers game is bad.

Plus, if you try to get the number of apps up too high you tend to be sloppy. So be careful.

On the other hand, you can’t expect to get the first job you apply to so when you don’t get the job, realizing that if you do things right you’ll eventually get a job helps.

My advice is to realize that you only need one job.

If you do a job app perfectly, you could get that job and work no more. So instead of trying to crank out the apps, find a single job you really want and pretend it’s the only one you need to apply to. If it takes three days to fill out the application, spend it. You’ll be further ahead of the loser who filled out 60 apps badly.

2. My skills/intelligence counts.

This is complete BS.

Sure you need to have some basic competency for the job you are applying to. This is obvious.

However, there are many applicants who are all qualified on paper.

But how many people have you come in contact with who seem to be a bit too dumb to have the job that they are doing?

If you are anything like me, you’d say “Almost all of them.”

The point is that you can’t rely on actually being qualified to get you anywhere save for the most low level screening. Once you get past this, you’re almost guaranteed NOT to get a given job because someone’s cousin has all ready been chosen for this job.

Thus you shouldn’t get discouraged.

Instead of wasting more time taking classes, beefing up your skills, etc, spend more time at parties with intelligent people.

3. It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.

This is 100% true.

However, I have not seen a single career advisor actually teaching someone the social skills that they need to get the friends they need to get a job.

I don’t know why there’s a disconnect between this obviously true piece of advice and the actual help one needs to implement it.

For many people, to get out there and to meet people is difficult and challenging.

The good news is that there are many books that can help.

Make friends with advice from a book? Crazy?

Perhaps crazy, but it worked for me. One example is,

How to Win Friends and Influence People (http://www.westegg.com/unmaintained/carnegie/win-friends.html)

There are many other books out there.

One caveat is to avoid “networking” events unless they are invite only, expensive, and exclusive. The free networking events are usually useless for networking because they are filled with needy people.

Oh, when you do go to parties, don’t tell people you are looking for a job right away. Don’t tell them much about yourself. Instead see how you can help other people. But don’t give advice. Ever.

For example, if they are looking for a job, and you know someone who is hiring in that field, hook them up with their info and recommendation.

Needy people are social lepers, and people can see pathetic desparation a mile away; they will run.

4. What’s inside is important.

This is total nonsense except for radiologists.

Otherwise, nobody else can see what’s inside, and they will judge a book by its cover.

This is actually a good thing because no matter how dumb and crappy of a person you are, if you put up a good appearance people will like you. Not for the real “you” but then again, nobody really cares about that person anyway.

This means that anyone who looks like celebrities or other attractive people from magazines will get ahead. Those who are naturally hot will have a big head start in the workplace.

Nobody will admit to this but, EVERYONE WANTS TO BE SURROUNDED BY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.

Sorry, PC police.

Again, everyone looks great on paper, and has basically the same resume so the most attractive and fun person is going to get hired.

What if you are fat and ugly?

You are in luck.

We are in a golden era where anyone could look good through the power of technology. So use it.

Think about it. People get into six figured of debt to get degrees so they can get rich then they refuse to invest in a comb.

Disclaimer: Consult your doc before losing weight, don’t be bulimic or anorexic. You are beautiful all ready, blah, blah, blah.

Note, I knew some people who were overweight but they were actually quite attractive because of the way they carried themselves. So it’s not just about looking like a model, but it’s about genuinely liking oneself. This is not easy to do, but if you make friends you’ll feel better about yourself.

So after you go to the gym, shower, put on a nice outfit, you should make friends with people who need them. Help out the less fortunate such as homeless people. Do lots of good deeds and people will like you. If people like you, you will like you.

Just don’t buy the BS that one’s appearance doesn’t matter because you’ll be disappointed over and over again. Accept reality.

5. One must be serious about success.

Yes and know.

When you are in student loan hell and about the be evicted, you will be very serious about getting a job.

On the other hand, if you are too serious, you will reek of the nasty cologne of Desperation, and you’ll scare away employers.

Thus, you have to loosen up.

How?

I suggest some comedy. Again, I hated comedy at first because I was serious guy who thought he had it All Figured OutTM. But then I realized that I was actually an idiot, and I needed to laugh more.

Don’t be too serious about what comedy you listen to. Try everything. If you can’t find anything that makes you laugh perhaps you should go into law enforcement or work at a customer service or some other menial job where they have burned out all their human emotions.

Memorize other people’s jokes and tell them to people.

Pull out some jokes in a job interview.

This will make you different than the other loser applicants who are just trying to suck up. If an employer doesn’t like to laugh then you don’t want to work for them.

Of course you shouldn’t overdo it, but I shouldn’t have to say this.

People really hate full time comedians. A joke here and there is fine.

Also, laughing at other people’s jokes is even more powerful than telling jokes. Think about how good it feels to make people laugh. When you laugh at other’s jokes, you make them feel good.

But don’t laugh at jokes that aren’t funny. There’s nothing worse than some unfunny asshole who never got honest feedback. By laughing at their unfunny jokes, you are enabling that poor person to continue to make fools of themselves.

So that’s it. To summarize, most job advice is given by people who have not actually used the advice to get a job.

All the advice here has been tested out in the job hunting battlefield. Unless you misunderstand it or take it too far, all of it works.

I picked up the latest employment magazine which is chock full of nonsense and useless advice. I’ll debunk more soon.

What’s My Problem?

October 11, 2010

My main hate is HR people b/c I believe that their whole purpose is to keep employees away from decision makers to save their time. Since HR ppl tend to be dumb, they don’t actually know what the jobs they hire for are about. If they did, they wouldn’t waste their time in HR. Ppl usually go into HR b/c they “like ppl.”

Before I get into it, I will say that I have met a great deal of wonderful people in HR. One of them even found my resume and called me in for my dream job!

So this isn’t speaking about _all_ HR people. We all know that generalizing about a group 100% is ALWAYS wrong. OK?

I’m talking about the vast majority of the people who have kept me in the welfare lines; someone who deny their company many productive workers.

This is because HR ppl make up really crazy hoops that make no sense in the day to day of the job. They tend to select for people who can get past these hoops which means that they are often sociopaths and other ppl who are good at manipulating ppl. The real good employees don’t stand a chance unless they adopt these dishonest and sleezy tactics. Thus all ppl become more dishonest or go on welfare.

I am highly qualified in at least 3 fields and I applied to about 5 fields in SD, but it took me forever to find a job–any job.

The real irony is that the higher level the job you go for, the better they treat you from the start. The idea of taking any job at all in the “meantime”, IMHO is BS b/c I can’t get _any_ job. I feel that one should only go for the best jobs b/c there are only so many hours in a day to apply for jobs. Not jobs that one can not do, but the highest in one’s field.

I’d gladly work at a bar or grocery store, but I don’t see it ever happening.

How I Landed My Dream Job

September 27, 2010

OK, I know that this blog has mostly been misery, but there is good news (for me).

I landed a dream job!

Here’s how I didn’t do it:

1. I didn’t go to college.

Well, I did, but my majors: chemistry and nursing had little to do with the job I land which is software engineer.

The reason I wound up with my other two degrees is b/c at the ripe old age of 18, I made the mistake of mentioning that I was considering becoming a doctor.

I had just said it to impress them b/c I didn’t think that they loved me enough, but this lead to a lot of pressure to go to medical school which lead to over a decade of pain, debt, shitty jobs, low self-esteem, and many other forms of misery.

2. I did not collect “key skills for my field.”

To start my “career”, I downloaded linux from the internet, in 1999, and tried to install it on a computer. It didn’t really work for me, so I bought another computer and tried again. I continued to spend my time fooling around with an operating system, that nobody I knew too seriously at the time.

I didn’t learn Visual Basic, or Windows NT, or get a MCSE. I’m sure they could have helped me get a job, but it all seemed too limiting (and expensive).

Linux was free as were the programming languages I learned: bash shell at first then perl. I took every book out of the library on unix and read them from cover to cover.

Every night, I sat and drank cheap beer and tried to program.

Finally, I had enough at my old lab job (I’ll blog the tales of abuse there some other time) and I applied for a part time junior sysadmin job.

It was a huge step down from my research job; it paid poorly, had no benefits, and was designed as a college student summer job to give them pocket money.

I supported myself on that job for nearly two years.

With this job, I was able to pour my efforts into learning computers. I had to learn about web servers and email configurations. It was complete heaven.

Finally, I was able to land a job that combined programming and research. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not being open enough about how I was purely a Unix guy, and I had a lot of problems with that job even though I authored a custom research device that enabled my boss to go from post-doc to a full time researcher. I believe he is still using much of my work w/o giving me any credit.

This lead to a really dark time of my life where I wasted 3 more years going to nursing school. Again, long story, and huge mistake to follow the deceptive Hot Career Tips crap.

3. I didn’t get my job by filling out online forms nor through a recruiter.

Actually, I did do all those things, but they didn’t do diddly for me.

Instead, I took a day off from job hunting, and I attended a party.

While at the party, I didn’t talk about my career problems. I didn’t try to “network”.

What did happen is that I met a very close friend who had what I considered a dream job: linux developer. Of all the things he did on his job, I had done most of them at home, at night, for fun.

After a few months of knowing him, I looked his company up online, and I applied for an open position.

I got the job.

The Nurture of Lying

October 9, 2009

I just got a job. Yay me. However, that’s not what this post is about. See, I kind of tricked you. I don’t feel bad about it because it’s for a good cause.

In our society, tricking people usually is done for something good such as getting a job or selling something.

Thinking of selling was what got me to writing this post. I was thinking of how to get a hook into my synopsis for my novel, and I was thinking of making it something the publisher really wanted. So I was going to read a bunch of synopses of their other books and tailor mine to look similar, highlighting the areas that I think that they would be interested in.

I’m not going to claim that my book is different than it is, but I was going to flavor it a bit. Is this dishonest? I’m not sure, but usually if there’s a gray area, if you have to ask, it’s probably not right.

The worst thing of all is that if I do mislead them, it won’t get me published. I might get them to read my manuscript, but I don’t intend to change it for a publishing house. The novel is what it is. If they want it, they want it. If they don’t, a clever synopsis isn’t going to change that.

Why do fudge my synopsis then?

I think part of it is selfishness, my urge to succeed outweighing all other things. In our society this drive isn’t even thought of as selfishness rather it’s a kind of healthy drive that a good consumer has. Our society also has a lot of depressed people. As a former member of the later group, I tend to try not to make myself depressed again which means acting as morally as I can. Yes, I believe that morality makes you happy which is why I’m so obsessed with this question: why do I have such an urge to deceive?

I think that part of the blame goes to our the career counseling industry where they teach us to “emphasize the skills the employer is looking for.” I agree that you have to give these people what they are looking for. There’s no harm in letting them know what you can do.

However, this isn’t as cut and dry as it sounds. There’s always an urge to fudge a little.

“I don’t know this protocol, but I watched someone else do it in the lab for a year.”

“I never did this procedure on my job, but I did attend a training for it.”

“Whatever I don’t know, I can learn. I’ll pretend I did this job before.”

“If that teacher didn’t screw me out of one point, I would have graduated from Harvard so I’ll just put it on my resume anyway.”

Some of the above things are seen as clearly wrong and others are seen as OK, even logical to put on a resume. On one hand, you can lose your job for lying on the other hand, you won’t get a job if the employer doesn’t see what they want. And you are hardly every a PERFECT match for any job. Nobody ever is.

What’s an applicant to do?

I really don’t know. I’m not a career counselor. I can tell what I did to get my job. I put the truth on the application.

When I was in the interview, I had to answer this question a bunch of times, “You had a bunch of lab jobs.”

I said, “Yes, I worked in the lab for many years, but I wanted to work closer to people. I wanted to administer the medication instead of just making on in a lab.”

This was exactly the feeling I had before applying to nursing school, and the employment review panel accepted that. My new job is going to pay very well for my lifestyle. It will allow me to do some research on the side and some other cool gigs like helping the poor in Mexico. My supervisor is a compassionate and effective person.

But it took a long time for me to get the job. When they called me for an interview, not only had I given up on this position, but I had actually given up on getting a job altogether.

If it wasn’t for my wife supporting my novel writing habit, I’d probably have gone insane at the very least, I would have been homeless.

Still, I think it’s wrong the way they teach us all to lie. I think it sucks that they give us tough decisions: lie or starve. The bigger lie is that with the right skills and experience, a job is easy to find or that persistence is the answer. I don’t think that this is true. I only got a job after I had completely given up on getting one. This is often the case with me. No amount of punching a wall with your fist will break a brick wall. Similarly, sometimes things are just impossible. But we are told to keep punching that wall. Keep lying.

The honest thing to say would be that if you aren’t rich or well connected, the system IS balanced against you. It IS unfair. Accusing those who don’t have jobs of, “not trying hard enough.” Is as deceitful as it is cruel.

There were days when an engineering major NO DEGREE would be offered a job right off the street. These days are over forever. It makes no sense to laud these people as “hard workers” and to chastise our generation as “lazy” when these are the circumstances. Yes, many of the people hired off the street were brilliant and hard working. But you can say the same about many who now unemployed.

I didn’t want to write this article before because I was afraid of being unfairly accused of being envious of those who were successful. Hell, I respect those who are have success. I had success, too.

Now I realize that all my successes were luck. This is what people need to know when they are looking for a job. You will see your colleagues who are dumber and lazier than you get ahead. Over and over again.

You need to retain your honesty. Don’t suck up too much to an employer. Don’t pretend you are a corporation or try to make a phony brand. Just be yourself. You. You aren’t born a brand. You are born a human being. We work because we need something useful to be done, as human beings, and we need to be fed because this is a human need. We don’t need to promote a brand.

This is just a more elaborate version of the same bullshit we’ve been fed our whole lives.

Another piece of bullshit is that jobs are fulfilling. They can be, but they aren’t designed to be fulfilling. They are designed to maximize revenues for the owners. That’s it. If you find fulfillment in it, great. I hope you do. I urge you to work hard and to try to enjoy the job. But don’t fool yourself.

Companies don’t care about allowing one to have a fulfilling career. They want to make money, and if they can make a buck (or a penny) doing it, they’ll cut you loose.

Best of luck getting a job. Work hard. Apply to many places. But don’t lie. Don’t be someone else. Don’t drink the kool aid or drink the bullshit.

New Pitch Letter

April 10, 2009

I’m sick of hiding all my various skills and creating a bewildering array of resumes. I am good at many things. Is this a crime? Am I any more ADD than the people I see happily employed where ever I go?

I work on this stuff in my spare time because I’m _capable_. Yet this is seen like some kind of sin. I have stayed at a job for half a decade. I’d be at my current jobs right now if I didn’t cross half the country because for once in my jobs, I was actually happy.

I want to be happy again. I feel that if I am honest about what I want and what I can do, this will happen. If they know who I am this should be good right? Probably not. But that’s the magic of cold calling. Never saying you are sorry.

Pitch letter is below. Note, if you diss this letter, your comment will be deleted UNLESS you tell me precisely what to change and why this will help me get a job. If you do this, then you get a (virtual) cookie and/or hug, your choice. Thank-you for reading this.

BEGIN FANTASTIC PITCH

I am a highly capable worker who can improve productivity in nearly any area, saving money and increasing profits. I learn new fields while I am in a given position because it’s what I like to do. I prefer to stay in a given career for life. However, I will still continue to take classes and to learn because I feel that life long learning is important in a good employee. I believe that the best researchers are able to draw in relevant information from many fields and to synthesize it to create new hypotheses.

I am looking for a corporation to call home for life as I am a loyal employee. I’d be excited to stay in one area for life or to expanding with the company’s needs.

Here are the fields that I have mastered:

1.Chemistry BS
2.Biomedical research. 10 years experience
3.Computer programming. It it’s not COBOL, I know that language. I have software samples that can be downloaded. I have programmed a research instrument from scratch.
4.IT. OS installation. I have maintained research equipment, servers, and I have built web servers from scratch. I am fluent in all major networking protocols. I have given support on the desktop.
5.Writing. It’s my passion. I write daily. I have written manuals, and I have given presentations. I study grammar for fun.
6.Nursing. I have an active RN license. I would like a job that is more creative than the traditional nursing path. I have experience in critical care taking care of two patients. I have done phlebotomy, physical exams, vital signs, and everything else a critical care nurse needs to do.
7.Medial terminology. I have taken all the basic medical sciences. Again, I’d prefer a field that allows me to be more creative than medicine.
8.Administrative assistant. I have worked in an office, and I have excelled.

I have excellent references to attest that the above is true.

I am not looking to use all my skills. I am not looking to make a lot of money. I’d like to work with people who are passionate at their jobs as I am. I strive to be the best at everything that I do, and I am looking for a position that will allow me to focus on one of my strengths and to help create new products that are highly profitable. Despite my various interests, I don’t get bored easily as I practice mindfulness, and I am happy doing whatever is best for the position I have chosen.

END FANTASTIC PITCH

Price of Happiness

April 6, 2009

Back when I was in medical school, I was miserable for two years. Suddenly in a flash I realized that most people in the world were in fact not doctors and if they were miserable and inferior to the docs out there, they were doing a great job of hiding it.

I felt that there was a point where money was not so important and there was this thing called “happiness” that one must also pay attention to.

Now, years later, in front of me, I have the choice between a miserable job and no job at all. What do I choose? For now, I am going to try to get a job as a nurse. Hopefully. I might not even get a job in this field despite my perfect record, high grades, and license.

I was told that being out of work for over a year made one harder to hire. This fills me with a lot of anxiety as for this is the only game out there. Every other field I applied to NEVER EVEN GOT BACK TO ME save for a few positions in non-profit.

If I want a job, I’m going to have to go into something a bit more specialized. This is nursing for now. My question is that how much suffering does there have to be on a job?

When someone complains about a job being hard, people are skeptical. “It’s not that bad,” they say. And it’s not. It’s just my happiness. Small price to pay for a few bucks.

Things I See as Praiseworthy in Millenials

April 1, 2009

I am tired of reading about people complaining about the Millenial Generation.

Whenever, I actually meet these lovely people, they are so much different than their slanderous press.

True, they do have PDA’s grafted to their hands. But if I could take a computer more powerful than my C64 with me at all times, I would have. If I could connect with everyone in my class with the touch of a button, I would have. Who wants to be left out?

Are their text messages the new Shakespeare? I don’t know. Probably not in most cases. But was I any brighter when I was their age? No. A lot dumber and a lot of other bad things, too.

Here are the two things I would text if I were their age:

1. “She’s hot, right?”
2. “Eldrich the Dark Mage hits you with a psychic whip for 10 points of mental distress. Saving throw to avoid insanity.”

The Millenials I met had career counselors. What? I’m 35, and I’ve never spoken to a career counselor let alone had one go to my place of internship IN HIGH SCHOOL! My first job in high school was when I was a senior and it was McDonald’s.

These children are working in a lab. They will learn, long before wasting four years on a stupid major, that research sucks and go into something more practical like banking where even if you screw up, you win.

But one might argue that such initiative often comes from the parents not the children. You might say that children, who have been taken care of their whole life, don’t think any more about careers than an occasional game of doctor.

This leads to my second point that the Millenials have better parents. When it comes to getting a job, I _want_ my hand held. When my boss yells at me, I _want_ my parents to tell me that they will make it all better then actually do it. I _want_ to believe that I am the best and that the world revolves around me.

Look at the people in the world who grew up in this kind of delusion. They are now the business leaders of America. If they have some stupid theories about the next generation, they don’t need to sign up for a crappy, free blog service (no offense WordPress). They can give a lecture tour and people will pay them, hoping that their words of wisdom will somehow help make them rich, too.

If a part of a job sucks, they’ll complain till they get reassigned, refuse to do it as below their intelligence, or get a higher paying job that’s more fun. What’s wrong with that?

Oh, but one might argue that all this pampering makes for a self-centered, whiny, group of people who need to constantly tell themselves that their generation made a difference while the others were a bunch of apathetic automatons who live and die by corporate advertising.

Well, no. ProzacTM was not made for Millenials.I don’t believe they were even born when the chemists were twisting molecules into the shape of happy pills. ProzacTM had a huge market before the next generation. Why? I don’t know maybe because life sucks all around?

Don’t let the older generation to tell you how “soft” you are for taking a pill to make you feel better. Who’s the market for ViagraTM? Huh? Let’s get this straight, the notion of pills to make one feel better is an American thing not a generational weakness.

Why? Because these pills work.

I can’t think of another reason why people hate Millenials. If someone can send me something then I’ll write “Things I See as Praiseworthy in Millenials” part II.

Overall, they are as kind, sweet, and selfish, and mean, and all the other things ever other group of humans is. Thing is that they have some edges in careers, and I want in.

Life in the Shit Lane

March 24, 2009

It’s been six months since I last had a job. That’s half a year. This is not for lack of trying.

I have literally applied to positions at a car dealership, several hospitals as a nurse, countless biotech firms (none of whom called me back not even to tell me that the position was filled), non-profit administrative positions, IT support jobs, programming positions, numerous government agencies, and I cold called over 100 area colleges about office work.

I had two non-profit full time interviews that I totally rocked then did not get the jobs. I had one part time non-profit interview where I idiotically did not promise to stay there until they kicked me out. Finally, I had a single job at one of the 100 or so colleges I cold called about a position. They didn’t hire me either, but they were nice about it.

My next mission is to go door to door to every area business to ask for a job. Any job. This seems like a depressing feat, but it has actually been pretty fun so far. It is nice to get out in the sunshine and talk to people. Even when they say “no”, I feel that I am at least trying to get a job. And no, I do not get discouraged. At least so far. I don’t know why. I am more motivated than ever.

For one thing, I despite the title, I don’t subscribe to the whole hierarchy caste system of jobs. I used to, but at this point, I can’t afford to. I feel too old for this nonsense, too. It’s like a mental game that children play at. I just need to have money flowing in so I can pay off those student loans that people told me would lead to such great career heights and happiness.

Therefore, no job is beneath me. In fact, I’d do pretty much anything right now. I see the people at the beach who take out the trash, and they do it with great dignity. Plus they are on the beach. All day. Most importantly, they are getting paid. Also, they get to drive a nice truck for free.

Before the week is out, I’m going to peddle over to the beach and take some more applications. Hopefully someone will hire me.

Right now, I’m shaving off the beard that the wife loves so much, and I’m going to bicycle over the nearest blood bank to see what’s up with my application. Follow up is everything, I believe.

Career Survey: Lab Technician

January 16, 2009

This is a job that I have spent most of my life doing. There are some things about the job that I liked, and some things that I miss when I think about them. But most often, I hated this job.

This is not about an actual scientist job. This requires a graduate level degree. I made the mistake of never getting this degree, though I spent almost enough time in school to get it. I just dropped out because I hated it so much. Guess where the easiest place for me to get a job was? After all, my contacts and everything I knew for the past 7 years was science based.

Also note, that this is speaking of a technician for academic research only. I believe the corporate life is much better. Don’t believe the hype! Academic research gives you no more freedom than anything else. That freedom shit is bullshit to trick you to work for less.

Pros:

1. You get to use some really cool machines, and do some really cool experiments that nobody has ever done before.

2. You get paid to think, at least some of the time. You can use your mind to solve problems.

3. This is one of the best job to talk about during cocktail parties. When someone asks what do you do, and you say “investigate taste and smell”, for a moment, you are life of the party.

Cons:

1. You have to use some machines instead of just sitting in a desk like a normal white collar job. Since the experiments have never been done before, they might not work out like the boss says they will. Guess who gets blamed if things don’t work out?

2. They say they want you to think, but the boss can always shoots down your ideas which can hurt if you put a lot of time in it. Also, much of the work is grunt work which could be done by a child so it’s actually not that thought heavy as the boss reserves much of the deep thinking for himself.

3. The aspects of the job that people who go to cocktail parties like to hear get really boring after a while. Life on the job is not nearly as cool as it sounds.

4. As a lab technician with graduate level education, I managed to get paid less than my wife who had a HS diploma.

5. The job can actually be high pressure as the boss lives and dies based on grants. This means that the experiments, the ones that you preform, have to get the results that he wants.

6. The hours can suck. Since the boss worked for free for six years, guess how much he values your time? Since he’s in love with whatever obscure thing he’s researching, guess how much he cares that you don’t want to spend an unpaid weekend doing experiments? Basically they wish to pay you as much as a fast food worker, and work you hard as a doctor.

Overall, this job is for people who have a HS degree or some college and think that they’d like to do research for the rest of their lives. That’s right, many lab jobs give you the same work you’d get with a BS if you have the proper skills which can be gained by internships or volunteering. A year or two can pay the bills and allow one to live the good life in the big city. Longer than two years, and you start to look old like the staff at the local fast food joint. Ten years, and you’ll be an angry, bitter person.

There is no career advancement save for going back to school and working for free for 2 to six years (or more) while you get a graduate degree. Then you still make less than many paralegals and accountants who have less than half the higher level education than you do. You’ll have tons of debt, and a huge competition for mediocre career prospects.

I suggest getting an office job and watching lots of Dexter’s Laboratory.

The Job Center Rules

January 15, 2009

My brilliant wife, through networking aka attending a party, found out about a job center that has been a great boon to me all ready. It is called the Metro Region Career Center, and there are 1700 of then in the United States.

The people were incredibly helpful especially with regards to the classes. The first class, which was resumes, like the group interview I had a few weeks ago, merely served as a self-esteem booster. I knew nearly everything that was being said, and the people seemed not as bright as I am.

The next class, which I had today, was about Navigating the Job Market. The teacher was great. He motivated us to find a job, but also he did the best thing that one could do which was point us to a place where we could get information regarding what to do in a career.

At this point, I’m going through careers I all ready know are fun like Administrative Assistant. I’m going to pull some skills out of the site which I all ready have. Then I am going to make sure they are prominent in my resume. The teacher told me something that I had all ready suspected. HR staff uses a point system when judging resumes based on embedded keywords.

This means that under the UV gave of an HR agent, a resume is not a coherent piece of text, but rather the keywords light up in bold and are tallied. The other resume niceties that one spent hours on become invisible. That is unless it’s a spelling mistake. In that case, your resume goes in a hopper that reads REJECT.

Regular readers know that I have a great deal of anger toward the HR industry because I am a brilliant person who has gotten into the best schools, beating out thousands of applicants, only to wind up in debt, nearly homeless, and struggling to get any sort of job. Although I have woken up from the bad dream called the Delusions of Higher Education, I have decided to embrace my anger for all things HR and to study the enemy in the hopes that I can use their methods against them and infiltrate the citadel of solvency.

The thing that has given me the most hope was a stint at a University Housing office which turned out to be the lap of luxury, laughter, and happiness. Now I hope to repeat this wonderful experience using my new found skills.


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