Why Every Job Should Be Considered A “Real Job”

Traditionally, to simple-minded, ignorant people, a “real job” would qualify as something doted as successful like a doctor or lawyer; something that took a great deal of effort to achieve. Even worse, today most people associate the term with anything that pays you a salary or provides some type of health benefits and/or a retirement plan. Or any type of job that requires a degree and has you sit on your ass 40 hours every week.

But let’s not forget that that true meaning of the word ‘job’ simply means anything in which one receives payment for performing some type of service.

So, when did it happen that some roles in the working sphere became classified as a real job and others simply viewed as, “not a real job”?

This term is offensive, untrue and utterly mind boggling that people differentiate jobs into these two categories.

The term also brings along people who assume things about others working in certain industries, such as they probably don’t have a degree or they have no motivation. Again, untrue and offensive.

As someone who works in both the service industry and the cushy 9-5 lifestyle, I can say that both industries are very much real jobs and should be viewed as equal, and the former even more so than the latter.

Most alternatives to a regular office job require physical demands like being on your feet all day or carrying things for hours on end. While those inside an office sit most of the time, although they too can become mentally exhausted, it’s not as physically demanding as the job of a bartender, plumber or nanny, for example.

When you’re working in the service industry, customer service, taking care of children, working a blue collar job, or anything outside of the 9-5 sentence, odds are, you’re busting your ass everyday and for probably over 40 hours a week.

You may not have the same schedule or lifestyle as those who may be office workers, nurses, teachers or whatever profession deems them as having a “real job”, but you’re definitely working equally as hard, if not more.

Where you work, what you’re doing, the pay check and any added bonuses, do not define your worth. If you consider it work or feel like you’re doing something you’re passionate about, or even if you’re just content about, it’s a job, and it’s your job. Most importantly, it’s a real job.

If you come home from work feeling tired, it’s a real job. If you come home form work with money in your pocket or a pay check, it’s a real job. If you come home feeling like you did something for someone else, it’s a real job. If you come home from work feeling physically or mentally exhausted, it’s a real job.

Whether someone is a nanny, a bartender, server, tailor, hair dresser, or gas station attendant, they’re making an honest living and they’re doing it on their own terms in respect for their own happiness. There should be no kind of negative or misconstrued connotation associated with their job titles in our society.

Our time is valuable, and how we choose to spend it everyday, and how we choose to earn a living, is a personal decision that is not up for judgement or criticism.

I don’t know when people, especially those recently emerging to the working world, became so snobby about titles and paychecks, but it’s certainly bothersome and pretentious.

And just to shed some light on the fact that those with these pretentious opinions are those who are miserable at their “real jobs” who do mindless, repetitive tasks without any purpose, don’t have any real conversations with their co-workers and complain about how boring their jobs are, all because they fell into the pressure that society put on them to “get a ‘real job'”.

Anyway, maybe the next time someone is serving you drinks, cutting your hair, filling your gas tank, painting your house, watching your children, or all of the other things that you never give a second thought to, remember that you wouldn’t have any of these things fulfilled if it weren’t for those who don’t have “real jobs”.

Alternatives to the 9-5 Sentence After Graduating

The idea of going to college for four years to emerge with the promise of a full-time job is a fading dream, vision and goal of today’s millennial’s.

Instead, as a community of confused post-grads, most are seeking alternatives that could last them two to three years before jumping into the black hole of 40 hour work weeks, regimented lifestyle, and most importantly, responsibility.

It’s true that (on paper) we have the rest of our lives to work, so why should we rush it? Of course there are other reasons to seek full-time employment other than just a pay check. It’s the more responsible choice for incentives such as a 401K, health benefits, paid-time off, resume building, establishing relationships, networking, etc. And for some people, this is exactly what they work toward during their time in college. For others, they want more time to do other things besides work, things that are fulfilling, memorable and meaningful. Although the people around them may not agree, like their parents, it’s important that everyone have the option to take a path other than the 9-5 sentence immediately following college graduation.

Traveling is a big alternative. In a way, the 12 years leading up to college graduation has prepared millennial’s for this. We spend a large portion of our education learning about all there is to see and do in this crazy world, it’s only right to seize the opportunity to actually experience some of it instead of just reading about it. In addition, if you’re like me and living at your parents, it’s also a good time to travel financially as you may not be paying rent yet.

Some may also incorporate more schooling into their travels by working towards a master’s degree or doctorate internationally, which is both productive and adventurous. Traveling can also bring perspective into your life and open up different opportunities that may not have existed otherwise.

Taking an internship instead a job right away is a common choice that I’ve been hearing about more and more from recent graduates. Sometimes it can also be necessary if you’re determined to enter a certain field. Whether it be paid or unpaid, sometimes you have to take this route, especially when your job search becomes discouraging.

Volunteering can be a common venture for some. Whether it be a week, month, or a year, there are so many different programs, both domestic and international, working with different organizations that are always looking for more hands. This is a good opportunity to gain some perspective as well as defer your loans while you figure out what it is you really wish to peruse. Also can’t hurt to add it to a resume…

Working a part-time job while working on job applications is something everyone should consider. If all you do is fix up cover letters, send out resumes and compulsively check your inbox in the hopes of getting an interview, you will drive yourself mad. Fill some of your time with a mindless job with people your own age, while also making some cash. The job search can be longer than expected, I can tell you that first hand, and I’m sure many would agree.

Going back to school is popular, whether it be to advance your degree in what you studied in undergrad, or, completely changing career paths and going back to study an entirely different subject. But, this leads to more debt (for most people) which is something I’m personally trying to avoid.

Or, if you went and got your given degree and never want to succumb to the 9-5 lifestyle, as many choose not to, that’s more than okay too. I think the most important choice you can make is just to choose what makes you happy even when others don’t always approve or agree with your decision.

There are also so many alternatives for people to ponder, these are just a handful of choices. If you have any other ideas, please comment below!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Job Interviews: Why They Can Be Awkward, Stressful and Disappointing

Interviews typically happen in different stages; phone, in person and follow-up. In some cases, the company may just require a one time meet and greet, others can be more extensive. I’ve been through them all multiple times and can say with full confidence that every one is different. And to be even more direct, some are just really fuckin’ weird.

I’ve heard horror stories, and also witnessed some, so I wanted to talk about some of my experiences on here and reiterate that I didn’t let these rare occurrences discourage me from continuing my job search.

Over the summer, I had applied to what seemed like a really modern and upcoming marketing firm, and was super excited to get a call back that they wanted to conduct a phone interview.

Now, in the past, the phone interviews I’ve been selected for basically consisted of the representative of the company providing more information about the company and position, as well as some general questions such as, “Where have you been working since graduation?”, “What provoked you to apply for this position?”, “Do you have experience?”, etc. The conversation is generally short and they do most of the talking.

So, when I picked up the phone for this interview, I was a little thrown off when there were three other people on the other end.

It began quite normal for the first few minutes until they threw curve ball at me asking for my criticism in regards to their Instagram page. Luckily, I had checked their page out prior to the interview, but how are you supposed to respond to a potential employer when they ask for your honest feedback on their work?

To be honest, I thought maybe it was a trick question so I tried responding with a double-sided answer subtly, but they didn’t like my response. I don’t even remember how I worded it but basically I told them that they had good content but too many posts with just quotes and words.

Don’t ask for criticism if you can’t accept it.

Then they continued to ask what brands I followed on Instagram. I was stumped. I mostly follow friends, families and select celebrities and maybe one or two clothing stores that post frequently about sales.

At this point I couldn’t wait to get off of this call and luckily, it didn’t go much further.

About a month later I received another call for an in-person interview at a different company for the position of a Marketing Assistant. The only thing on my mind after leaving was: pyramid scheme.

Walking into their lobby, something immediately felt off as they were blasting techno music at 9 AM on a Monday and the first thing you see walking in is a ping pong table.

The interviewer came out, greeted me and escorted me to a room with nothing inside with the exception a table and two chairs. I felt like I was in an interrogation room.

The interview lasted maybe under 10 minutes and he didn’t once ask me anything about myself or my background, yet thought I was a “great candidate for the role” and asked me to come back again tomorrow for a second round of interviewing.

After he basically sugar coated that this was a door to door sales role and began talking about some irrelevant YouTube video, I knew I was never coming back. There were red flags everywhere.

Although I was desperate for a job, I wasn’t this desperate.

The third one I want to talk about was when I interviewed for an Administrative Assistant position in a corporate headquarters for a bank. I didn’t even remember I had applied because at this point in my job search I was just shooting out resumes everywhere, I couldn’t keep track of who I was sending them to anymore.

The woman who called me basically hyped me up primarily only talking about the pay and benefits, which were extremely enticing. And although she thought I was great candidate for this position, the two women I interviewed with 2 weeks later in person, did not.

It was an extremely awkward interview followed by two written tests which I was not forewarned about. Definitely bombed the one.

There were a few more interviews that followed that last one which were all relatively normal but required more experience than I had, but it’s okay because I persevered and found the position I’m currently in now and I’m very appreciative.

Lesson learned that you’re not going to land every job you interview for and sometimes, you probably luck out by not getting the job. If there are obvious red flags from the start, don’t take it and get yourself into something not worth your time, there’s always going to be something better down the road.

In addition, there are some really useful tips and advice for interviewing on the internet and my best advice is to just be prepared, research the company you’re applying to, print your resume prior to the interview, over dress, and most importantly, be yourself.

Good luck to anyone going through this frustrating process, it will be worth it in the end!

 

 

 

 

 

Substance Vs. Stability

As someone recently emerging from college, it can be hard to find a job you love, let alone a gig within your desired industry or field. There’s a constant, external pressure from society, or more specifically, your family and friends, to “get a job, any job”. And although this decision of settling for something will serve its primary purpose of paying the bills, it may not have substance, or any rewarding feeling for that matter.

It’s obviously far fetched to obtain a job within your desired field, or a “dream job” right out of college, but does that mean you should necessarily settle for something that will have you working 40+ hours/week with no substance in return? For some, this situation will be content for them, and kudos to them, truly. But for those of you who feel like they’re wasting away in front of a screen eight hours a day, performing jobs that hold no value to them, feel like they’re gaining no experience relating to where they wish to pursue their careers, and leave everyday feeling like their position holds no meaning, I understand. However, it’s hard to draw the line between when enough is enough since we do have hefty bills to pay and lifestyles to fulfill, but when do they paychecks become irrelevant in regards to your happiness?

It’s easy to keep a mindset that involves daily reminders to yourself that “it’s just my first job, this isn’t permanent, and I’m making good money”. And although I do think those are crucial prompts to keep in the back of our minds, the anxiety surrounding the mundane position you hold may still have the potential to effect your mood outside of work, take a toll on your own, personal happiness and leave you feeling empty and undervalued.  So, when do you decide to leave and find a role that fulfills you both financially and emotionally? That’s up to you to decide, because really, it’s all circumstantial to each individual’s life.

Some people want a conventional work life and are content with whatever 9-5 job pays them enough, and I appreciate those people for their determination and ability to subside with a role that they don’t necessarily have a passion for. But others may find that they’re not cut out for this lifestyle, and may have to turn to something more unconventional while waiting for something better to come along that will provide them with both substance and stability transpired in one.

Just because society has instilled this ideology of “getting a job, any job” for so may years, doesn’t mean we’re required to follow this road map that was laid out for us long before we were even born. We’re categorized as millennials and our role in society is to shake things up and change the precedent-ed way of thinking surrounding the working world.

I’m not saying quit your job if you hate it, that’s up for you to decide. But what I’m trying to convey is that there are other options aside from what you’re doing right now and it’s okay to be somewhat unconventional fresh out of college. If you relate tot his post in any way, think about what you’re passionate about, find a way to incorporate those interests into a profession and make a plan. We all have to start somewhere and we’re placed in a society where opportunity is all around us.

 

The 9-5 Sentence: The Truth Behind A Full-time Job

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Less than two months into my full-time job and I feel suffocated. Maybe suffocated isn’t the right word to use, but I feel trapped. There are only seven short days in a week and the average working person is expected to work for 8 or 9 hours during five of them. Which, in perspective may seem fair in regards to the paycheck, but when you think about how much can be done over the course of eight hours, or how much you can accomplish, you may begin to question why the standard work week has you grinding 9-5 Monday through Friday.

Regardless of the hours employees are expected to actually be at work, we can also factor in commute time to our respective workplaces. So now not only are we looking at 8-9 hours a day, we might be designating 9-11 hours to our work day. Maybe this a stretch, but it’s still something to think about considering the time you spend working per day is more time than you designate to yourself a day.

Furthermore, just thinking about how extensive eight hours actually is, we can begin to wonder what else we could be accomplishing during this time frame; laundry, cleaning, errands, working out, binge watching- an episode on Netflix is only 43 minutes…

An alternative way that the corporate world could employ could be by giving each employee a set of tasks that need to be completed in a given week, giving them 40 hours to complete the task and being able to finish before the 40 hours is up; rather than judging a full work week on how many hours an employee sits on their ass in front of a computer screen. Because let’s be honest, we all have times throughout the week we find ourselves just staring at the clock, waiting for that eighth hour to roll around enabling us to clock out.

And before you begin to think I’m naïve, just know I fully understand that this is just how the working world is, and I accept it. It’s just interesting to analyze the mundane, routineness that surrounds it. In a way, I appreciate it too since it pays the bills, but would I rather be working from my home? Yes, and I’m super jealous of those who have the opportunity to do just that. Which brings me to my next point, why can’t most people in the corporate setting work from home?

For those who sit behind two screens all day, you can probably agree that most of your work could be conducted from the comfort of your home since all you really need is the internet and a computer, and maybe a phone. I condone businesses that allow their employees the flexibility of this work style, and encourage others to do the same. But what really raises questions for me, is when businesses allow employees who are sick to work from home, or require their employees to work from home on snow days- this is a dead giveaway that working from home is possible and can be done.

To top this all off, after working ex amount of hours a day, by the time you get home there isn’t much energy left to get anything done. Then before you know it, you’re hitting the hay to recharge your batteries and start the same routine tomorrow. I now understand why everyone lives for Fridays; they are extremely crucial to the happiness and well being of us young, 20 something year olds.

I know that I’m doomed to the 9-5 sentence for life, but that’s just how the world works. And I knew that by choosing to go to school for something in the corporate field, I had already fallen victim to this life, but I’ll accept if for as long as the paychecks keep coming. Hopefully one day I can escape this mandated schedule and find a job where I make my own schedule, be the one who makes the schedule or even better, can work from the comfort of my own home, on my own time.

Does College Groom You To Become A Professional Bullshitter?

Not only in regards to work ethic, college has groomed us to become professional bullshitters in everyday life. Whether it’s pretending to know what you’re talking about at work or lying to your parents about your ‘good’ financial standing in order to justify your degenerate weekend habits, we’ve all become really, scarily good at pretending, lying and fabricating.

Driving home from work one night last week, I heard the latest way college students are sliding by and continuing to do the bare minimum. Coming up short for a lengthy essay? Write in a bunch of random words at the end, make them the smallest font size possible and change the font color to white. Apparently you can cut out a significant amount of those required words.

Half the battle in college, particularly dealing with presentations, is acting like you know what you’re talking about, being confident, sounding educated and not seeming nervous or flustered. Not much has changed from college to work. Whenever I’m asked a question I’m unsure of, or just not completely positive, I just nod my head with reassurance that I comprehend it and am in the loop. However, 80% of the time, as soon as someone walks away I’m breaking into a panic in my head, fingers are going 100 mph on the keyboard, searching for something relevant to the topic, attempting to figure it out. It’s all about playing it cool. I came across this meme on Twitter and found it so fitting for this post.

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And even when you know you’re doing something wrong, or outside your scope of work at the office, you always have a back-up plan, or response, in case you get caught. For example, printing personal stuff, browsing through social media or online shopping, there is always a part of you that is playing devil’s advocate, brainstorming ways to BS your way out of the potential situation of being caught.

Furthermore, when it comes to discussion board posts or papers, sometimes all you have to do is ramble on and on until you convince someone else, or even yourself, that you’re making sense and telling the truth. Similarly to small talk at the office, when someone asks how your weekend was, you’re obviously not going to respond with, “Omg so much fun, I blacked out in the city with my friends, spent most of my time recovering in my bed and virtually achieved nothing productive.” So, you simply say, “It was really good, super relaxing, how about yours?”

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This also occurs when my parents question my spending habits on the weekends. “I thought you were trying to be more conservative with your money and spend less?” Casually, I respond with something similar to, “Yeah I am, I picked up a babysitting shift so I haven’t really touched my paycheck yet.” Half truth, half lie, but I have to keep the bullshit coming especially when it comes to money to avoid a row with my parents, and also myself. Sadly, I think I internally lie to myself about my ridiculous spending habits on unnecessary clothes, food & alcohol. But I forgive myself.

We bullshit through everyday interfaces as well; whether you run into someone randomly and say you’re doing good, even though you might be having a shitty day, you justify buying that $20 pair of shoes because you didn’t spend as much as you anticipated over the weekend, or tell your parents you only had 1 – 2 drinks at happy hour after work, we are bullshitters.

Will we ever get to do something with substance, or are we doomed to a life of bullshit?

What Deems Someone as ‘Qualified’?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, obtaining your Bachelor’s degree is nothing more than taking a bunch of irrelevant classes for four years (with the exception of people who majored in something very specific like nursing or teaching), spending a lot of money, and coming out with nothing to show but a piece of paper that’s supposed to deem you as ‘qualified’. But what really makes someone qualified? Experience? Skills? Knowledge? It’s all garbage. According to an article published by The Washington Post, only 27% of college grads have a job related to their major.

While job searching, when I’m seriously considering applying for a position within a company, particularly smaller or newer companies, I like to look at the ‘who we are’ page and read the description under each employee. Before discovering that alarming statistic above, I was shocked when I would read that employees within marketing or financial positions in a firm would have degrees in education or biology or political science. People who have no degree even remotely related to business are the future of Corporate America.

I understand this though I suppose. It doesn’t take a genius to learn basic office skills and most companies provide a standard, two week training process when hiring new employees, whether you’re fresh out of college or have been working in the field for 20 years. So why do all of these companies set these unrealistic requirements of experience in their job descriptions? Probably a question I’ll never know, or understand, the answer to. Most entry-level jobs could 100% be done by someone who never even went to college because I don’t feel any smarter than someone who’s highest degree is a high school diploma. Kudos to those people for saving those tuition dollars.

I don’t necessarily remember every aspect of what I learned in college, at least not enough to make me an expert in anything particular, but I know that when I was there I remembered it for the duration of a semester. To me, this is equivalent to attending a two week training session in which you are exposed to the kind of work your new employer needs you to do and when you begin work you continue to learn and you’ll remember it for the duration of your time there, but once it’s over? It’s back to square one when you begin at another job and have another two week training session. So why does a Bachelor’s degree deem someone qualified?

What we learned in college, in my opinion, is irrelevant. All the bullshit philosophy and art history classes aren’t going to help me in any job I ever have. Sure, they may have been interesting, but for the price I paid for them to not be useful? It’s a waste. But this bring me to another point which I’ll unfold in my next post- stay tuned!