Presence or paperwork: Which is more important in today’s job market?


I’m sitting on the floor in a sea of heels and handbags.  It’s funny how the things I loved last year suddenly appear overrated and I’m no longer interested.  Vera Bradley is going on the back burner because leather is so much prettier.  I never used to understand what the drastic difference between Payless pumps and Nordstrom’s big name designer could be.. but the scuffs, salt, marks and chipped fake leather leaves a lot to be desired once you own some of the real deals.  I have an ever expanding list of items to replace forming in my head. This is more than the typical seasonal transition wardrobe swap.  I have come to the conclusion it’s a style phase change as well.

I still love preppy.  I still adore classic.  My definitions of them might have changed a little though.  As my limited discretionary income increased by a little, so did my taste.  The more often I wait on needy wealthy Coach customers, the more I crave the 500 dollar jackets and 300 dollar heels.

So, my plaid baby Kate Spade from October is on ebay and ready for a new home. She’s cute, but not cute for what I paid and I have a lot of life changing decisions to make soo here’s hoping she’ll help.

And by life changing decisions I mean, I would rather have the yellow leather Coach madison lindsey.  She makes one heck of a statement.  I almost wish she would be on my arm friday at my interview.

I leave for Manhattan in less than 48 hours and I am still yet to decide what to wear for my Coach interview.  I am leaning towards my hot pink blazer, but I also have that brand new Valentines Day dress that was never worn on Valentines Day.  I want to look professional, but with personality.  It is a first impression with some very important people, and I cannot mess it up.  I am not taking the dress pants route, because those are on my list of things to buy and I’m conservative, but I don’t want to blend.  In a room full of 20 somethings, I want my appearance to differentiate me more than my age.  I want to captivate the audience in a positive way, and I want it to suck people in to thinking “I wonder what her story is?”

My black leather quilted boots would look so cute with the dress and black tights.  The impression a red rose dress and leather shoes give might be too hard-ass for your typical interview, but this is the fashion industry in Manhattan we’re talking about.  I can’t give off the naive kid-ish vibe that would be much easier to portray.

Young wanna-be successfuls everywhere are confused by how to present themselves.  According to an article I read in The New York Times it appears that if we are lucky enough to snag an opportunity it is time to settle.

I may not be a 20-Something, but in my recent job hunt I am only too familiar with entry level jobs no longer existing, because they are now called internships.  You can’t find very much out there, as the media is all too eager to inform you.  It was a little unsettling to see so much in your face honesty dealing with the young job market in print.  My resume needs to make more of an impression than my apparel it seems and I think that’s my bigger concern.

I’m God awful at settling and I don’t want anyone to settle on me either.

Not being in a physical school location, limits me from having access to things like the Career Center.  I have a Microsoft Word howto.com inspired list of experience, skills, and goals.. but I am not sure how to make it stand out.  I read somewhere that you should have a captivating line at the top of your application, so I made the ballsy choice of putting “The self-proclaimed perfect applicant”  I may be okay with submitting that title online, but standing behind it in person with my flaws in their face is a little more difficult.

We discuss proper use of font and style of writing in my Business Communications class, but there’s only so much textbook information one can depend on.

Would it be better for my in person presentation to speak louder than my paperwork?  Once I leave the interview, my Cover Letter and Resume will still remain, therefore I want them to mirror each other.

There are no room for mistakes.

Allison

For Sale (or hire): One self motivated, fashion obsessed wanna be writer (an 18 year old)


It seems like the job market involves selling your soul to the devil these days.  I have come to the conclusion that “For hire” should not be the tag line any more.

For sale sounds much more appropriate.

In a housing market, real estate agents bluntly inform you “It’s a buyers market”.  In a job market it’s the same way, just that statement might be too harsh for a sugar coating career center counselor to tell you.

If an hourly wage job in a retail or restaurant field (K-mart or Pizza Hut) strikes your fancy though you may be in luck.  Your references will rarely be contacted and as long as you aren’t too ambitious or expect to do something beyond the level of your average 7 year old (granted, they are teaching Chinese in elementary school now, so maybe I am being too generous with my wording) then you are a good fit!  If 6 months times 30 hours a week of “Have a nice day!” and “May I take your order?” is not monotonous or reminding you why you are pursuing a college education, then I am sorry to inform you that you have probably found your career.

Or maybe I am happy to inform you: you lucky Bastard.  

You have met your goal in life at the age of 18.  You may have actually met that goal at 16, I don’t think McDonalds needs a High School Diploma these days…  although that may be changing soon since College Degrees are being handed out to anyone poor and willing these days.

For the rest of us, (that were blessed by God with just a bit too much drive and dedication) 3 months at said above location is going to drive us mad and our goals are far out of reach.  We may be the 1%, but not that 1% everyone hates for having a lot of money or a penthouse in Manhattan.  We are just a rare breed of wanna-succeeders and many of us don’t acknowledge the curse until the age of 30 or 40 when we have an underpaid overworked job, no boyfriend, and all the plants in the house are fake.  The food is probably still in take out boxes and we don’t recall the oven as anything but extra storage.  While the friends are all getting married and spitting out babies like rabbits (or a Chinese Sweatshop manufactures iPhones), you don’t even have time for a cat.

For me, I get to have the realisation at 18.  I sometimes forget I even have a cat.

As I lay in the bed, doing something besides watching Sex and The City (purely because I can’t afford to buy more episodes and cry about being born in the wrong decade any longer) I turned to google, monster, indeed, jobvite, Ed2010 etc.  I applied for a handful of grown-up jobs because come May I will have a diploma for one rushed Fashion Buying and Merchandising Associate’s degree.  I can’t legally drink (all of the wine that I so deserve for taking 23 credit hours this semester), but I can legally accrue way too much debt from continuing on to a Bachelor’s degree.  

I had very little luck finding jobs that I can even apply for though, due to all the red tape and need for experience or an additional degrees these days.  Debt looks like the way to go, maybe the “Can I get fries with that?” is not that awful an option.

I asked my mother for the 15th time this week about why she couldn’t have brought me up to be happy with mediocre.  I can only wish that I would enjoy an hourly wage because I’m 18, and I have been told time and time again that it is a right of passage.

Kind of like dorm rooms, but unless you have been living in a box (or not reading my blog, Welcome by the way.) I don’t live in a dorm room.  

My room has a plastic chandelier and 57 pairs of shoes, mostly from Payless.

It’s kind of an oxymoron, that statement.  A chandelier is elegant and plastic is cheap.  57 pairs of shoes sounds like an expensive habit, until you hear they were from Payless (mostly bought with 20% off coupons of course).  I am 18 and self motivated.  That fits in with the shoes and room.  All of those statements are not supposed to be that way.  They even sound good in theory and to the defense of my lamp and shoes they are good in person too.  On paper when you submit job applications, 18 and self motivated leaves a gaping hole, the same way plastic chandelier and 57 payless pumps sounded better before you knew the material and brand.  According to 40 year old know it alls, you lack experience and knowledge at 18.  At 18 you’re supposed to be out screwing up your life and getting tattoos you will regret at 80, not contracts with Chanel to be an Assistant Buyer.

But why don’t these recruiters and resume sorters get it?  I’ve never done what I’m supposed to.

I was home schooled.  I skipped a grade.  I went to college in high school.  I went home when I was in college.  It’s only natural that in college I am supposed to have a real career.

Allison