The Job Hunt
Now Playing: Green Light - Lorde
I'm switching things up this week. I was planning to blog our LA trip, but my mind is on something else...my impending job search.
Greg is out in Seattle this week talking with a couple different companies, which is great!! He's been hustling looking for jobs.
Gosh, I don't even really know where to begin with this. I guess I should back up. Greg and I have decided that upon his graduation in May, we will be moving to Seattle. Why Seattle? When we visited there last March, we loved it. We kind of just fell in love with the city. Our families are primarily in Indiana; we just have a couple friends out there, but we loved it....so that's where we're moving. Neither of us have jobs lined up yet, but we aren't going to let that stop us. Greg will have his MBA from Purdue in May, so he is seeking marketing type roles...me on the other hand. I really don't know what I'm going to do, other than......not engineering. That ship has sailed and I'm not going back.
What I know is that I want to find something that has a fashion type focus. Ideally I would like to be a buyer, stylist, or content creator of some sort either in the editorial world or corporately in the retail world. I'm open to PR, marketing, publishing, styling, pretty much everything that's in that general areas because I have no experience to know exactly what I want. I had experience in engineering, and what I thought I would like, or at least be able to tolerate, I was wrong about, so I'm not going to make that mistake again and just assume that I'll like something without even trying it. Does that make sense?
Anyway, Greg and I have both been struggling to get interviews. We've both pretty much been flat out rejected by every position we have applied for.
I think it's particularly hard for me because in the past, I haven't really even had to look for a job in engineering, they found me and wanted to interview me without me even applying. I still get emails every week about engineering opportunities. So I've never really had to work for a job. That is definitely a positive about being a female engineer. But now.....now that I've completely shifted gears...I feel like I don't fit into any of the categories.
Which brings me to my next point.....the categories. Cold applying online for jobs is such a shitty system. So much of it depends on filtering that is unknown to the applicant and therefore, cannot be controlled. I think it's great that I don't fit into a category. I'm an engineer, who's creative, yet values systems and efficiency...who loves fashion and people, yet strives to create structure through planning. I'm someone who enjoys literature and writing, but also likes learning marketing techniques and discovering socioeconomic trends. Shouldn't multi-disciplinary skills and interests be celebrated... or at least valued?
Also in the online application process, there's the human factor. Let's say my resume/application does make it through all the invisible requirements set up by the employer but filtered by Indeed or whomever...let's say it makes it onto someone's desk......how they view my resume completely depends on: their mood, aka what they had for lunch, if they've even HAD lunch, how much energy they have that day, what day of the week it is, if it's rainy or sunny, when their next meeting is, all of these things that have NOTHING to do with what is on the piece of paper in front of them. I'm not saying it's their fault, I'm just saying so much of it is out of the applicant's control.
I understand that the online application process is set up out of efficiency, and I am all for efficiency whenever possible, but I don't think it's doing me any favors in this situation. Also, my resume can NEVER fully capture my skills. It's not a good indication of my potential, my experience, or who I am.... and I feel like my resume is very well-done. But it's a piece of paper that I write shit on, and at most, it covers some highlights of my background.....which may be useful in predicting my future career capabilities, but in no way fully reflects what I know I am capable of. Am I alone in all of this or does anyone else feel the same way?
So I figured out that cold-applying online is not going to work for me switching from engineering to fashion. I switched to phase two....where I reached out to people directly on LinkedIn and through their email, when possible. The responses I have gotten back......zero. Greg has had more success going this route...he specifically has reached out to Purdue alums in Seattle. I haven't yet done that. I probably should and maybe I would have more luck. I just don't get it. I am a Purdue engineer with a proven track creating (what I feel) is quality fashion content, and have so much potential. Purdue School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is one of the top 10 programs in the nation! And people always say....a Purdue engineering degree looks good no matter what or where......well........I thought that too until recently. Maybe this is naive of me, but I thought having a Purdue EE degree would still be looked at as an asset, even in the fashion world. I am not trying to be a designer....that has never been my plan. I didn't, and still don't, think you need a fashion degree to be able to style or have "an eye for fashion". I'm just frustrated. Most of the positions that I have applied to, I am more than qualified for....according to the job posting's own requirements list....and I've applied for internships and have heard nothing back. Is it because I have an Indiana address? Is it because I only have minor retail experience and mostly engineering experience? Is it because of _____? No idea.
So what can I do? I can find some Purdue alums in fashion (or related) in Seattle and reach out to them...same with other fashion bloggers....continue to apply? Hope that once I get to Seattle and have a Seattle address that will help? Any advise or ideas any of you have would be greatly appreciated. My mom keeps telling me not to get frustrated or down on myself.....but it's just that I truly feel that I have so much potential, and drive, and desire to learn, and I'm a worker.....I feel like whoever I work for would be lucky to have me. That's not me thinking super highly of myself, but that's me valuing my time, energy, and capabilities. I just need someone to see my potential and take a chance on me. I just need a seat a kids table for now.
I know the job world is all about connections...and that that is especially true in the fashion world. I'm trying to make those connections, but maybe it will be better when I'm actually in Seattle. We'll see. Another idea that I've also had is to say screw it and start my own business. I hate how corporate America is based on the 9-5, 40 hour work week. I have held 3 different full-time jobs and I have never needed 40 hours a week to get my shit done. I don't think I'm the only one either. Most people aren't working the whole time their at "work"....they're just there because they have to be.
Entrepreneurs work many more hours, but they're actually working....because they believe in their idea or business or product. I want to believe like that, I want to be utilized like that, I want to make a difference in the world like that...so maybe starting my own company is the way to go.....Greg and I have always figured we would start our own company at some point. But I have been wanting industry experience before doing so...so I could better figure out a creative direction for myself. But lately I've been listening to How I Built This podcast and almost none of the people who started their companies had any experience and they built massively successful empires. Is that easily done? NO freaking way....but it's possible. And I don't even really want to start a company that turns into a million dollar business.....I just want to have a positive impact on the world, or a small piece of it, and improve peoples lives. If clothing is the engine that gets me there, it would be great, but it might be something else.
Wow. Okay...so sorry that was all over place. These are my unfiltered, very candid thoughts. My fingers are tired so I should probably stop. I don't even know how many of you guys actually read my posts all the way through? Lol. But I would love to hear your take on all this....my struggles, my thoughts, my ideas, anything. Please provide feedback and I welcome any advice!!!