I remember when I was a fresh grad and applying for a new job. The cycle is humbling: you go to your desired company to present your resume; you stay for a looong exam which left your hand raw and wished to be called for a preliminary interview; you agonize for a few days before being called by the company for a 2nd, 3rd and final interview. Then, after what seemed like forever you get THE CALL: welcome to the company, you’re hired. If you are really unfortunate, you don’t hear anymore from the company. So, armed with your trust pang-apply costume and a stack of resume, you scour the urban jungle for a chance to get the job of your dreams.
Ten years after and a couple more companies in between, I still ask myself why I have to go back to repeating this cycle each time I try looking for a better employment. Am I that much of a masochistic corporate slave that I keep going back to this.
One time, I remember seating near two guys whispering loudly and discussing the long wait, as they’ve been “sitting for almost an hour”. The oldie in me wanted to snicker and answer back, you call an hour-wait long? I remember applying for a junior position in 2003 and waiting for what seemed like eternity (four hours) only to be given an exam in the end (to my mind, you could have given me this exam the minute I walked in right?) And guys, if you’d like to bad-mouth HR for not attending to you immediately, please keep your voice to a minimum. If I heard you, I’m sure the good receptionist did too and that counts against you. Not exactly the best way to please people, kids.
Sometimes, I ask myself when will I get tired of the whole scheme. Writing your personal and professional info on the Info Sheet, answering exams in varying nature and trying to please the interviewer, with fingers crossed they’d take you in. After which, showing up for work on your first day, working on egg shells, secretly looking for a new friend, working your ass off to impress the higher ups. It’s a vicious cycle.
But nothing beats my most painful and humiliating job-hunting experience. After I left Bulletin, I applied for an editorial position in this broadsheet called “Not the Star and Not the Inquirer, either”. After what seemed like an eternity in interviews and finally impressing the Managing Editor, I was asked to return the next day to finalize the job offer. Silly, 21 year old gullible me went back excitedly the next day only to be told, “We’re sorry, there’s a mix-up. The position is not really open”
This really happened to me and just remembering that experience always reminds me why I don’t bother to read that newspaper even to this day.