Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Your Guidance Counselor Didn't Tell You

I’ve been conducting interviews over the last few weeks and I have to say, I hate it.
Because I remember what it was like being unemployed for so long, back in 2006. It was hell and I hated people like me.
So, now that I’m on the other side of the table, I find myself wanting to help candidates answer questions better. I finish their sentences for them, urging them to use the correct words. I smile a lot in the hopes that I’m encouraging ‘loosening up’.

As it turns out, I have a soft spot for the unemployed.

I remember being back in high school and Guidance Counselor’s would spend so much time talking about the different career paths available, the importance of good grades and how necessary it was to find a major in College, early on.
At the time, I thought all adults got to choose their careers and were pretty happy working, for the most part.
What an idiot I was.
If I were a Guidance Counselor, I would be more honest with Teens about their education after High School and the workforce, in general.

This is what I wished my Guidance Counselor told me:
  • Being expected to choose a career path at the age of eighteen is a ridiculous concept but I’ll help you the best I can
  • Don’t take career advice from your Parents—they’re just as delusional as you are
  • Do take career advice from a person who changed careers at least twice in their life (if this is one of your Parents, still don’t take their advice)
  • When you get to College, you’ll be asked once for your assignment. Your coddling days are over
  • Life can be monotonous, even if you choose the right career path
  • Most of the managers you will have will be useless assholes but that’s ok because it will help YOU be a good manager
  • Even if you work your ass off for a company, they still may not appreciate you. Don’t take this personally.
  • Hard work pays off but a good, positive attitude pays more
  • Be accountable for everything that you do and never point fingers—you’ll get more respect this way
  • Want a raise? Ask for one before you start complaining about not getting paid enough
  • ALWAYS show enthusiasm when interviewing—no matter what the job is. Recruiters will never forget enthusiastic candidates
  • Don’t schedule meetings at 9am on Mondays—people will start to hate you, very quickly
  • When dealing with upper management, swallow your pride—often
  • If you’re able, please take a year off and travel before College
  • Follow your heart (cheesy & cliché but it works)
  • No amount of money will make you happy if you hate your job

I found one good candidate so far—one more to go! Ugh.


Jai Joshi said...

Sounds like your guidance counselor was pretty smart.


Christi Goddard said...

I completely concur with the last one. I make good money, but every day I want to walk into the office and pack up my things. It's not the job itself, it's the management, beaurocracy, hypocrisy, nazism, and political rhetoric of why things are the way they are. If they'd all just shut up and let me do my job, the world would be a happy place.

The Uneasy Writer said...

Christi: my hope for you is that you get out and into surroundings more positive. Or, tune the morons out as much as possible. It's not easy--I've been there so many times in my career.
However, after many years, I'm finally happy in my job but I think that's mostly because I've changed the way I deal with negative people.

LOL. My Guidance Counselor was a fool but he must have done something right--I turned out pretty good. ;)