It’s over. Phew, I have a job!
Its been an interesting process for me but perhaps the most interesting part is that I have managed to get so old without having to go through this sort of thing before.
I should clarify a few things about this. One is that it wasn’t really stressful for me, but that’s maybe just me and another is that it really didn’t take all that long, just around a month of serious looking.
But one thing I did manage to do this time was to take it a bit more personally. Every other time I had been applying for jobs I have been younger. I know I know, it’s only a number but last time the number started with a 4. This time I had to do this with the dreaded 5. Yep, between leaving my last job and looking for this one, I had clicked over from being 40 something to being 50 something and I have to say, for some reason I became acutely aware of this number change. I would send off a CV then think of the much younger hiring manager looking at it trying to work out my age and then think ‘nah’ and hit delete on the application. I didn't include my age on my CV but I did include all my employment history so it wouldn’t be to hard to work out that I was early 50’s. I am pretty sure that the actual truth would have been far from that, and age probably didn’t ever come into it, but in my head, it was all they were considering.
So because of this single hurdle, I spent a disproportionate amount of time worrying about the jobs I had applied for. It was however a bit of a double edged sword too and the upside was I thought long and hard about whether I really would have wanted to work for a company that I thought would be thinking twice about employing someone my age. This is where the taking it personally bit came in.
I did of course write a cover letter for each application addressed to the advertiser and if it wasn’t an industry or position I had worked in before, I felt I had to justify the reason for applying in the first place. Some were pretty easy as I had developed the skills required in other jobs, like selling. It’s pretty much the same process in many different jobs and industries. Then there were fringe industries or different jobs within industries I had worked in previously but whatever it was, I did my best to make sure they would know from my cover letter, I wouldn’t be wasting anyone’s time, least of all mine.
Right at the time I push send and the application leaves my outbox, I am committed. The process of finding the job, researching it and writing the cover letter had convinced me that I was the right person for the job and I had connected with the company and it’s products or services. Now, I may well be quite extreme in more parts of my life than my outdoor expeditions and adventures, and this feeling may well clearly demonstrate that fact. I take my jobs seriously! I actually commit to a job and business even though I may not stay years and years. So for me it’s really really disappointing when I don’t even receive an acknowledgment of the application!
So disappointing in fact that now after this job hunting effort, I have a list of companies that I would think twice about giving my business to or referring to friends and family. That might sound extreme but I feel it’s a complete reflection of the employing manager and therefore the company or the department they head. When I send my CV, I am parting with a lot more personal information than I would not normally give to a stranger on the street, and when I don’t receive an acknowledgment, that’s pretty much what I have done. Given it to a stranger. It’s no different to ignoring a customer that walks into your showroom and to be honest, I feel if I walked into any of the ignoring employers showrooms, I would expect to be ignored.
So, please don’t be like them. Is it that much harder? It shouldn’t be and I really believe that I am not alone or unique in my thinking with this so perhaps these companies, especially some of the bigger corporations that have a large workforce, and are employing often, are throwing away some business. But more importantly, they are destroying goodwill which is intangible and can often be very hard to win back. Thankfully my new employer was right on the ball and kept me up to date at each step of the process even though a lot of the responses were automated. Its the small things that can often be the difference between a good employer or just a job.
it's Our Epic Trip...
David & Christine are from New Zealand and are embarking on a trip around the world the slow way, on foot and by personal vehicle. This could get interesting!