The struggles with searching for employment
Complaints about a fruitless fight
Although leaving university is an exciting time, full of enthusiasm, relief, and celebration, there is also significant fear, stress, and worry, especially when considering what direction to take in regards to employment. For many students, obtaining employment that is secure, well-paid, and enjoyable is important. However, obtaining these types of jobs, let alone any decent job, is nowhere near as easy as it should or could be.
Over the last few years I have gotten work through the University of Regina as a staff writer for the Carillon, a research assistant, and a teaching assistant for numerous professors. While I am grateful to have had these opportunities, now that I will no longer be a U of R student, these jobs are no longer an option for me. As a result, seeking other employment has become a major priority.
Over the last few months I’ve come to realize that although searching and applying for jobs is a necessary process, unfortunately it’s a horrible one, because not only is it difficult and time-consuming, but it also frequently ends in frustration and disappointment.
Despite the existence of multiple job search engines, I have realized that looking through their postings is an extremely time-consuming process, which often results in significant wasted time. Many jobs seem to require various qualifications, such as previous experience, owning your own car, or even having some specific certificate. It always seems that no matter what job posting I read over, I am always lacking the required qualifications. It’s difficult to not feel extremely frustrated and stressed when an interesting job comes up, but is just out of my reach because of these specific qualifications.
The most frustrating requirement is needing to have a certain number of previous years of experience. How can someone ever get this experience if no one will hire them to begin with? I understand that experience is an asset, but it’s unfair for a lack of experience to limit or prevent an individual from getting hired.
Employees seem to believe that individuals who lack former experience will not be a good employee and are therefore not worth hiring. I strongly disagree because not only can individuals be trained, but many also have beneficial transferable skills and should be given a chance, before being completely ignored and bypassed because they lack experience.
As a graduate student with a degree, I have significant skills, which I am confident would be beneficial in a variety of different work environments. However, because I don’t have the amount of experience that a specific employer requires, I am prevented from obtaining a job. Even if I do apply for the job and highlight multiple skills which should make me a good individual to hire, because I lack experience, I will most likely be bypassed and this reality completely pisses me off.
In addition to often unfair qualification requirements, I’ve also found that employers have multiple unrealistic expectations. For example, employers expect that if you are interested in a job, then you are more than willing to work anytime. It doesn’t matter if you only want to work daytime hours, or just evenings and/or weekends. No, that is just simply not good enough for most employers. Many job postings stress that your availability must include daytime, early mornings, evenings, and weekends.
I understand that employers need workers for shifts throughout the entire work time, but why do these availability requirements have to fall on the shoulders of only one individual? Some people only want to work evenings or weekends and others only during the day. So, I honestly don’t understand why most employers can’t hire with this concept in mind.
Additionally, many companies have online job applications which is problematic for a variety of reasons. Firstly, this usually requires individuals to make an account, which is not only time-consuming, but also involves submitting a great deal of personal information. I’m not a lazy person and I don’t mind putting time and effort into something that I want. However, I have made quite a few of these online job profiles/accounts, which have led nowhere, and it is absolutely frustrating.
Secondly, as part of this process there’s usually some type of questionnaire with a variety of work-related questions, as well as questions which seem completely irrelevant. For example, an older acquaintance of mine applied a couple of years ago at a grocery store and was asked if she could be a fruit or vegetable, what would she be? Excuse me, but what does this have to do with assessing whether someone is qualified for the position or not?
Interviews are another stressful and frustrating component of job searching. In the past, if you got an interview it usually meant that you would get the job, unless you really screwed up the interview. However, this reality is no longer the case. No matter how confident and prepared you are heading into a job interview, there’s always some surprising question that often results in an unintelligent and regrettable response.
My decision to pursue a post-secondary education was motivated by the belief that obtaining a degree would lead to well-paid, secure and enjoyable employment. I know that I will have to look for this job because it is not going to just fall into my lap one day. However, there are days when I feel that my expensive and hard-earned university degree is absolutely useless to employers since it does not seem to lead to a job.
I wish employers would have less specific requirements and would give people a chance based on their skills, personality, and work ethic rather than the amount of experience they have. People have told me to try to be patient because eventually something will come up. I sure hope they are right, because to be honest, right now I can’t help but feel pissed, frustrated and beyond stressed out by the lack of available job opportunities as well as employers’ unrealistic job expectations