It has been more than two months now that I’ve been writing cover letters, refining my résumé, and sending in applications. After a number of phone interviews and proceeding to the in-person interview stage, I am still ‘unemployed’. However, even though I’ve met only a little success in this pursuit, I have experienced enough to have formulated some comments on job searching.
Firstly, it’s no joke that job hunting as a recent graduate is more than challenging.
Second, here in America–or more precisely, Denver, CO–most of the jobs consist of either a) answering phones/customer support or b) work occurring in an isolated office where social interaction is contained to only your immediate colleagues. Typically this is data entry type stuff, but even a Research Associate position I interviewed for today (which I would very much enjoy getting) seemed to be mostly consisting of work done far behind closed doors.
Maybe I was spoiled on London life (or, perhaps, I really don’t know anything about London [work] life), but it seems to me that in London, most work has some aspect of interpersonal relations with ‘the public’. That is to say, getting out there to represent the firm, connecting with potential clients, attending social events, and demonstrating a professional presence in the Western motif are qualities that are not only desired, but required. Here in Denver, the aptitude to present oneself in and to the public is not necessary to fulfil the requirements of most positions.
Here’s the rub. One of my core competencies is being able to socialise in an intriguing and adept manner. This makes me excellent in interviews–able to impress and captivate any middle aged, female HR specialist. Unfortunately, when interviewing for a role that consists mainly of being a carbon based, living answering machine, this characteristic is sorely irrelevant. However, it is no surprise, considering the individuating, isolating and wholly anti-social society that is America (Denver, CO) that the work conforms to the society in which is occurs.
Seeing that I don’t _know_ anyone in this town, it’s difficult to find a job where maintaining and presenting a polished public image is an integral part of the position in question. Obviously, I would love to work for a PR firm, lobbyist, State or City government or anything that capitalises on my cultivated poise, but apparently I must pay my dues and work behind many closed doors–probably answering telephones–prior to being able to find a position that more suits my abilities.
Notable interviews: Promontory Financial Group, BMGI, Wells Fargo, Elavon (US Bank), and National Valuation Consultants.