I want to talk about jobs; specifically, the bullshit we go through when starting a new job. We talk about work a lot but I feel like there are still some topics we’re skipping over.
I don’t care about your resume. Frankly, I don’t believe in them. As someone who’s been in the position of hiring other people, skill is less relevant than personality. This is also coming from someone who almost exclusively works for small businesses and has no intention of getting involved in corporate greed – alas.
I also don’t care about your schooling. What you’re studying, where you’re doing it, if you ever even applied to post-secondary. It’s all more or less bullshit unless you are performing surgery. I also do not do this, nor am I interested in it.
All of that aside (and the other things that are at the forefront of our “job conversations”), there are some experiences with employment that span across these gaps in all kinds of work that, personally, have affected me way more than what to wear to an interview ever has.
THE FEAR OF NOT KNOWING
This one might be the worst. For years, even without school, I have dedicated time to learning new things. Practicing skills, involving myself in hobbies, teaching and failing and experiencing the nuances of the things I’m interested. But as soon as I need to learn a new skill for work I feel a sense of dread; that familiar panic that lays heavy on my mind. This isn’t because I think I’m incapable – it’s because I don’t want to come to the table empty handed. It is the fear of not knowing before hand, as opposed to the fear of not being able to learn.
It is present in everything. In work, it is as essential to hold dearly as it is to shun completely. That fine line of confidence in your knowledge, ability to apply skills, and even simply intuition vs. holding on too tightly to what and how you think. In other words, how do you bring what you know to the table with confidence and not have it transition into cockiness? How do you let knowledge and learning kiss without innately changing the other?
Changing career directions is hard even in just that you have to think critically about what it is that you want to do with your life. There are battles at the forefront of every cover letter, application, interview, and even which pages you choose to browse for jobs. What if nowhere hires you? What if you’re not good at anything else? What if you’re not as skilled as you think you are? What if you can’t find somewhere that will pay you what you deserve? And most importantly, how do we overcome the fear that life doesn’t have our best interest in mind? What if karma’s just an asshole and is waiting to ram you up the ass? How the fuck is one supposed to relax and trust the process when we’ve got rent to pay?
All in all, there are many legitimate fears and unknowns that come into starting a new job – or even the same job. Wherever there is room to grow there is also room to learn.
As someone who is quick to move on once I feel bored or like I can’t continue to grow, I’ve had a lot of different positions at a lot of different jobs. There are skills I’ve learned everywhere that I’ve been able to bring to the table in the most unexpected places. There is also a lot of knowledge that I’ve had to shed because… well I don’t know everything. I don’t know that there’s a better way until I’m shown a better way.
The Fear of Not Knowing, The Ego, and The Destiny have all had me fucked up more than once over job hunting. It feels terrible to start working somewhere just to quit a month later. I’ve been there. It’s normal that you’re not cut out for everything in the world. This is actually an excellent thing, because if everyone could do everything nothing would get done very well.
So do you overcome these things? Personally, I used logic. And intuition. Together.
Logically – What am I good at? What am I not good at? What can I bring to the table that isn’t related to what I know? What am I looking for in working here? How will what I’m applying for further me? Am I willing to work for this person/company/initiative? What am I willing to sacrifice for this job?
Intuition – What have I always wanted to do? What am I innately good at, regardless of experience? Do I have a good feeling about a place, the people I’m going to work with, my own ability to perform in a said position? How was this work presented to me? And my favourite – can I see myself here in another season?
These are fairly straightforward questions. You don’t need to go into an interview to know the answers to all of them. And you should be able to determine the rest of answers after an interview.
Here’s my advice in finding the answers and the job:
Do not limit yourself in what you’re looking for.
Do not force yourself to apply for something you are qualified for but not interested in.
Do not talk yourself out of applying because you do not think you are qualified.
Know yourself and your own worth – people will only pay you what you’re worth, and you determine how much they think you’re worth.
Trust your gut over paper. The perfect position is more than just terms, agreements, and pay.
Be honest with yourself. It’s okay to not apply for “jobs in your field”.
Bring everything to the table. If you have to hold back your skills or abilities because you’re not being paid enough, or simply what you want to do isn’t required, then find somewhere else.
Give yourself room to grow. Consequently, try to give yourself room to teach as well.
Be confident. Just fucking believe in yourself even if you don’t believe in yourself. Know what you’ve done, what you can do, what you’re willing to do.
Understand that what you give is what you get. Determine how much your work means to you, and consequently what you’re asking from your work.
Don’t do work that doesn’t further your goals.
Work smart and hard.
Trust that the universe is for you.