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I lost another friend

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I'm going to guess that your brother hasn't done any job-hunting in a while. Your rough, long-running experience of it is actually pretty common nowadays.
    OscarMadison likes this.
  2. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    He's been at his current job for 10 years or so. He's a mechanical engineer.

    Usually, he's a pretty sensible, level-headed person, but I don't really see eye-to-eye with a lot of his advice as far as job seeking goes.

    One example was last year, when I applied for a tutoring job and did an online video interview (automated, not an actual person interviewing me in real time). I figured with a journalism/writing background I should be able to have something to offer helping students improve their writing skills. During the interview, however, after a few questions it became obvious that that job was not for me. They were looking for a trained, experienced teacher, which I am not. They asked questions about specific teaching methods and how to apply them and I could not answer those questions. I didn't even know enough to pretend I could answer those questions. At that point I logged off and left the interview unfinished.

    A few days later, I was relaying my experience to him and he felt I made a big mistake. He said I should have gotten through the interview any way I could, bullshit my way through it or whatever. Just look at it as practice. I disagree. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to do that, you're not getting the job, so why waste your time? As I said, I didn't even know enough to bullshit my way through it.

    He also thinks I should have given a family friend who tried to help me another chance.

    Shortly after my mom's funeral, a longtime family friend ( a friend of my mom's brother, who died about 10 years ago) who works as a career counselor offered to help me.

    We met a few times and for whatever reason, I just wasn't particularly willing to buy in to what he was trying to do. There was an exercise he wanted me to do to figure out what types of jobs I should pursue. (I'll admit, I've probably been asking the wrong question for the last year, which is what sort of things I could do with my skills as opposed to what I really wanted to do). Anyway, what he asked me to do was figure out what sort of tasks interested me and put a dollar amount next to them. That didn't make sense to me. I have no frame of reference as to what those skills and tasks would be worth in other businesses, so I had no idea as to how to go about doing it, so I didn't do it. My brother thinks I should have asked him for more clarification.

    The guy also had a habit of interrupting me, which is one of my pet peeves. I understand he did it for a reason. At the end of our first meeting, I mentioned that I did have some misgivings with the direction my last employer was heading and he cut me off mid-sentence telling me never to say that. It seems so obvious to me that you never do that in an interview that I don't know why he needed to tell me not to do that. He also cut me off after I said "To be honest..." he cut me off and told me never to use that phrase because it implies that I had not been honest in prior communications. He said say "To be transparent.." instead. Another time he cut me off when I was telling him about another experience that explains something about my situation.

    As I said, I understand he was interrupting for a reason, but I just wish he would have given me the courtesy of finishing what I was saying. Why should I listen to someone who is not willing to listen to me?

    A few weeks after we met for the second time, I thanked him for his time and told him I just didn't think it was going to work.

    Should I have given the guy another chance? Should I have accepted the interrupting as him trying to get a point across to me and that he wasn't going to let me get into a habit that could sabotage my job-seeking efforts?
  3. Regan MacNeil

    Regan MacNeil Well-Known Member

    Yes. For fuck’s sake. You actually had people willing to help you and you turned it down because you didn’t like his tone?
  4. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    If they don't want to listen to you, why should you listen to them?
  5. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    We're not you, we weren't there, and we don't know what you were going to say, but yes, you should have given him a little more benefit of doubt. He wasn't try to not listen to you, or mistreating you. You needed to see him in his role: He was being a job-hunting coach, and was trying to coach you.

    Besides, what did you have to lose by listening him, even if you didn't think he was listening to you? Not a job, obviously...

    But that's water under the bridge. You need to do what's best for you, and I know that, sometimes, that's not always clearly indicated, or easily done.

    That said, it sounds like maybe you need to start thinking about living arrangements. Perhaps you need to give some thought to living with another (paying) roommate (or two, if you rent a house), so that you share expenses if you need to move out of your mom's condo. It's not ideal, and nobody's idea of what they really want to do, but just know that there are a lot of people who do it, because they have to if, as you say, they don't want to be homeless instead. Or, perhaps you could be the paying roommate. Would your brother or any other siblings, relatives or friends take you in, at least for a time, if you paid them a nominal but reasonable contributing rent? I know I did that for a while when I was struggling, work-wise.

    Could you, perhaps, move to a cheaper area to live? You might really not want to do that, but maybe a move would be good, and it might open up some new or different avenues for jobs.
    PaperDoll and OscarMadison like this.
  6. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I don't think either brother has room for me.

    I guess maybe it's time for me to stop being like Randy Quaid in Christmas Vacation and stop holding out for that better job. Maybe start thinking in terms of a second and perhaps a third job.

    With that video interview that I mentioned, should I have bluffed my way through it or did I do the right thing when I logged off?
  7. Mngwa

    Mngwa Well-Known Member

    You should have explained your real-world experience and how you would use that rather than another method to teach. Or something. Anything. Seriously, if you never shoot for the hole you will never get a job.
    OscarMadison likes this.
  8. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    What is the downside to bluffing your way through it?

    By giving up and logging off, you dropped your chances of getting the job to 0 percent.

    If you had bluffed your way through it, tried to turn the questions into a way where you could talk about your strengths, even if you had a 5 percent chance of remaining in the game, isn't that better?
    FileNotFound and OscarMadison like this.
  9. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    You should definitely not accept any help or advice from these people. You should definitely just keep doing what you’re doing, no changes whatsoever.
    JC likes this.
  10. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    OK, I have to admit I chuckled at that. I hope that doesn't make me bad.
  11. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I had absolutely no clue how to answer the questions they were asking. It was a lost cause.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  12. OscarMadison

    OscarMadison Well-Known Member

    Have you contacted your alumni association? My land grant hillbilly uni has a jobs office for alumni.

    As for your brother's cluelessness about the job market, yeah, people who think you can just go get another job have no idea how rough it is out there. It sounds like you need to get out of your own way.

    The relative who talks over you probably has some hacks that are tried and true and wants to see you use them. He sounds very results-oriented from what you've said. Is he maddening to talk to? Yah. Thing is, you're not having a beer and talking about the Lakers (or whoever you root for) you're trying to get refitted so you can make a living. He may very well have some insights you can use. Would he give you another chance? Would you give him another chance?
    BurnsWhenIPee likes this.
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