04-08-21

eBay Sales: 2 figurines, book, MLP accessory, Super 8 film, candle, Poochie item, 2 plush, 1 paperweight

#MilWordy Update: 133,086 words (5,938 words/day to complete)

I most certainly did not plan on missing so many days.

I had my first vaccine shot on Monday and I have to say that I did have a side effect — fatigue. The first day it was most obvious, but the next two days, I just felt… off. Like my head was filmy and I wasn’t getting much done. I tried, mind you, but I couldn’t concentrate in the way that I prefer. And I ended up taking naps. More than I’d planned on.

I talked with a recruiter today, helping her brainstorm how to find someone to fill one of her openings. And it was nice to talk to someone and give them some help. I enjoy that sort of thing. It also made me think about job titles and the fact that you cannot just rely on a job title to tell you if someone is the right fit for a job.

For example: One of the titles I held was “Administrative Specialist Senior.” What the everloving hell does that mean in the real world? Not what you’re thinking and I’m sure of that. I know that because I get calls about becoming a secretary (I use the old term specifically here) all the time. Like, no Bosco, please read what my job duties were because they were not being an Administrative Assistant. That’s a different skill set. For one, Administrative Assistants have to have a much higher threshold for bullshit than my job did.

As an Administrative Specialist, I did everything from purchasing, to space planning, to writing procedures, to database work. I had the same title from the day I stopped being a receptionist and started being the assistant to the assistant and everyone else on the team, to the day I left the position as a space planner running a nationwide project to consolidate IT functions. I sort of wish that I was kidding, but I was also an hourly employee and, as it turns out, not paid nearly what I was worth.

Still, when I was talking to this recruiter, I mentioned that I knew folks who had started as Janitors in order to get a foot in the door and then, after a year of that, were looking for other work. Her actual reaction was “you’re kidding.” I was not and I am not. The problem is, once Janitor is on your resume, you have to fight to get recognized as another type of professional. I’m hoping that I just helped someone change their mindset about who they’re searching for when they do their database mining and reaching out to people.

Job hunting exposes just how limiting job titles and database searches are. If I put in a search for a space planner, for instance, I get jobs ranging from the planning of the park system for the county to move coordination in an office. Those are completely different skills, but they have the same name.

Also, I am perfectly capable of managing engineers to get their jobs done without having to be an engineer. Why? Because managing means that I help get obstacles out of people’s way. I sit down with them and figure out what’s going on in their schedule. I take the time to realize when someone is overworked. And I don’t have to be an engineer to take a look at a drawing and say something like — you know you can’t actually read the information in this note because it’s overlapping right? Or — where does this piece of the design actually meet up with the other piece of the design. Or — the customer wanted a door opener on this door here. It’s in the requirements document, let’s make sure it happens. In fact, as a manager, there might even be a layer between me and that requirements document. This is a long way of saying “I have a Psychology degree. I know how to talk to people and gather information.” and “I can manipulate as well as anyone else if I need to.”

However, a lot of my skills fall between the cracks. I know just enough to be dangerous in a lot of different topics. I am what is usually called a Polymath. However, people don’t recognize that I have that information when they look at my resume because while I am always learning, I don’t have a piece of paper to say that I know that information. This is probably something I need to figure out how to document or change, but that’s a problem for future me. I don’t want to get derailed right now.

So, in summary. Job Hunting is difficult because trying to determine what a job actually entails from the title or the description is often iffy. And Hiring is difficult because HR systems want something quick to sort through resumes before they get to managers, and if the applicant doesn’t check a particular box, they get booted before a the hiring manager ever gets to see them.

This is why networking is so important in the traditional realm. The people who know you can recommend you to people if they know you’re looking for a job. And if you don’t burn your bridges, you can reach out to your past teams and shake the tree a little bit.

This has been a PSA and kvetch system about the current methods of finding a job and hiring.

If you found this interesting, or you’d like to support my content, please consider buying me a coffee.

  • Goal: Finish 2 books & 12 short stories — 3 short story complete. 1 in edits.
  • Goal: Keep a journal, even if it’s only one line per day — This did not happen much more than the blog posts
  • Goal: Take a photo every day and make myself a book at the end of the year. — Last photo that wasn’t related to auction prep was on Monday.
  • Goal: Complete MilWordy. — I don’t think I’ve written a word since Sunday
  • Goal: Blog every day. — First day back at it.
  • Goal: Modified eBay goal: List $200-$300 per day. Got $0 worth of listings today.

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