I have work experience next week, so I’ve managed to trick myself into believing that I’m not really unemployed. However, given that I don’t know when I will next have an income, and that is pretty important for, you know, paying for stuff, I have spent a large proportion of time over the past two weeks applying for jobs.
It is a distinctly un-fun* pastime, not that anyone ever said it would be anything different. And while it is important to try not to miss any opportunities, it is important that you do not spend all of your time on it, because you might just go a little crazy. (You don’t want to sabotage potential interviews now, do you?) Here are a few signs you might have been overly dedicated to application forms…
1. Writing nonsense. Convinced that no one is even reading your applications, you decide to be ‘creative’. You start trying to prepare a covering letter entirely in iambic pentameter, because the thought of writing even one more makes you want to throw your computer out the window. You wonder if employers might admire your gutsiness were you to simply write ‘GIE US A JOAB!’ (Or whatever your appropriate slang might be.)
2. Anything is more fun. ‘I should definitely iron that Halloween costume right now – I might dress up the same next year. In fact, do you need me to iron anything for you?’ ‘Maybe I should clean the bathroom! It’s been a whole three hours since I last went on a Mr Muscle rampage.’ ‘Root canal? Cool, when’s the next available appointment?’
3. Laughing at things that aren’t funny. Last week, I was texting my mum what I was having for dinner (because my life is just that exciting), and I wrote that I was just putting chickens in the oven. I laughed for about ten minutes. This is not OK.
4. Everyday writing is suddenly very formal. You find yourself carefully crafting boring text messages as if they might one day be used as an example of your flawless (or otherwise) written communication.
5. It’s actually doing you more harm than good. You irritate your repetitive strain injury thanks to spending roughly 16 hours a day on the laptop. Likewise, you spend so long looking at the screen that you find yourself straining to see things more than a couple of metres away.
6. Putting on weight. Just because your brain isn’t registering the Maltesers you’re eating absent-mindedly as you type up your latest masterpiece, doesn’t mean your body isn’t. You also embrace brunch and create elaborate mid-afternoon snacks as a means of procrastination.
7. Resentment. You start to resent your employed friends (i.e. everyone), even if in reality you would rather be forced to watch golf for twelve hours a day than do their job. You start to hate yourself for not finding science/maths/tax interesting. And you definitely hate your useless degree, singing along venomously to Avenue Q’s What Do You Do With a BA in English, inserting your chosen degree instead. (As amazing as Avenue Q is, please listen to something else at this point.)
8. Accuracy disappears. You cry when you see that you wrote ‘Yours faithfully’ instead of ‘Yours sincerely’ on your otherwise perfect covering letter. You also realise that one of your CVs told the potential employer that you carried out a job in 2015, and therefore seriously overestimated your time-travel skills.
9. Casting a (very) wide net. OK, so you’re not getting many responses from your chosen field. Now you have started thinking of anything you like – any of the things – and applying to random jobs within companies that have anything to do with said product or service. I like chocolate – let’s apply to Cadbury! Ooh, Disney, I could work for Disney!
10. Blogging about it.
Get out the house and do something fun for a while! The applications will still be there when you get back.
(The jobs might not be though.)
(Gah, this is my problem!)
Yours faithfully, (because yes, I know the difference between the sign-offs, although to be honest I wanted to write ‘yours sincerely’ because this is addressed to you, reader, although that is (probably) not your name and therefore I am probably right, although it is hard to be sure at this stage because I am assuming I know you even if I don’t know your name and even though odds are I do not and I guess you see what is happening here)
*No, I do not use words like this in my applications. In case you thought that might be the problem.