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Graduate positions and Company history

YogoYogo regularRegistered User regular
So I'm still unemployed after 1½ year of trying to get a steady job. I had some luck back in summer 2014 with an internship which later gave me 2 weeks of full time temp employment. Sadly, the company does not make enough money or have enough assignments to have me on-board full time or part time.

So while I got reaffirmed in my skill set and learned some new things, I still feel very green when it comes to applying for the jobs which covers my areas of interest (IT and business). This mostly stems from my university education being solely geared towards PhD and university life within a cross-field of humanities and IT (Games), and not providing me with the core skills asked by companies (IT infrastructure, data warehouse etc). We are now approaching 2 years since I graduated, and I have reached a point beyond caring about companies and company CSR.

Thus I have taken to looking at junior and graduate positions. While I know it has been 2 years since I graduated, I feel it doesn't make a difference if you have the ambition to excel.

But an issue I keep running into is company history and CSR. Big companies (where I live) thrive on being a special and unique company, and if you want to work with them, you have to share their vision (for the world). They are also the only ones consistently offering graduate positions.

But I don't care about their macro goals. I care about the micro goals such as good work environment, challenging assignments, good colleagues and possibly some work benefits.

So if you produce and sell weapons to third world warlords or make life-saving medicine, I wouldn't care either way. As long as you provide interesting challenges and good work environment, I'm all yours. I begin to care after I become exposed to the company's product and experience the benefit it provides for its customers.

So my question to you, HA'ers, is: how do I hide/circumvent my apathy towards company history and morals in my cover letter and focus on being a do'er and "exceller"?

Posts

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    So my question to you, HA'ers, is: how do I hide/circumvent my apathy towards company history and morals in my cover letter and focus on being a do'er and "exceller"?
    Stop telling people about it, say that you're enthusiastic about these sorts of things in the cover letter, and don't act uninterested about these things during a job interview. It's rare that companies literally give a shit about this - they just want you to be able to fake it. If the company is a non-profit or something, then they do indeed care about it, so beyond saying you're enthusiastic in your cover letter you'll probably also want to lay it on a little thicker, say, by listing some reasons that one might have to be enthusiastic and saying that you find these reasons compelling.

    In general, this is not really something to sweat about. Companies understand that a lot of employees care mostly about their paycheck rather than about making the best belt sander in the world or whatever the fuck. This is only an obstacle if you build it up to be one, in your head, because you think you need to have some kind of religious devotion to a company's macro goals just to work there.

    The part in your post where you say "if you produce and sell weapons to third world warlords or make life-saving medicine, I wouldn't care either way" is the sort of thing you don't want to say in polite company, especially if you're trying to get hired. That you're a demi-psychopath about the results of your actions or whatever is perhaps not overly unusual, but making a big deal about it and seeing it as some sort of obstacle to employment is definitely not helpful. If you could change this about yourself I'd suggest doing so, because good human beings ought to care about whether they're making weapons that are going to slaughter the minority ethnic group of medicine that's going to help people, but in terms of getting a job this is more or less irrelevant for most companies.

    schusstynicPacificstarPure DinInquisitor77programjunkie
  • schussschuss regular Registered User regular
    Agree with Tycho - vision and hiring is about both getting capable people as well as people who are good candidates for a team environment in your company. Training people costs lots of money, so you don't want to invest in someone who isn't going to invest in you. One thing to note is that companies often diversify their focus so you can focus on something more concrete to your daily life.
    My company is a large insurance company, so saying that I'm interested in selling the world insurance is a pretty hard sell to me as an individual, so we focus on our mission statement, which involves treating people with dignity and respect while helping people live safer, more secure lives. I would say you'd probably be on board with that. You don't have to freebase the kool-aid (culture), but you do need to understand and embrace it to some level or there will always be a disconnect between you and others.
    I just want to do good work and work with good people, which comports nicely with the above. Focus on how a company's mission and business relate to your own needs without being a total dick about it. Yes, if you're desperate you'll take anything, but you have to sell companies on why you're something they should be buying into rather than a warm body to fill a void.

    wrong_buttonTychoCelchuuuInquisitor77
  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    The part in your post where you say "if you produce and sell weapons to third world warlords or make life-saving medicine, I wouldn't care either way" is the sort of thing you don't want to say in polite company, especially if you're trying to get hired. That you're a demi-psychopath about the results of your actions or whatever is perhaps not overly unusual, but making a big deal about it and seeing it as some sort of obstacle to employment is definitely not helpful. If you could change this about yourself I'd suggest doing so, because good human beings ought to care about whether they're making weapons that are going to slaughter the minority ethnic group of medicine that's going to help people, but in terms of getting a job this is more or less irrelevant for most companies.

    I suppose the uncaring nature of the "free market" or whatever we wish to label it, is getting the best of me. My statement originally came from the opposition to the idealistic nature of some of my friends and family. They were the lucky ones and still live in a "bubble" when it comes to work and employment, while I wasn't (at least after graduation) and has had to fend and fight my way for even a small job opening.

    I also suppose the energy has been sucked out of me when it comes to applying for jobs at various companies. Too many companies treat you like a number and not a human being, something I really can't stand (because it devalues my worth and existence). Sure, it sounds like I am making too much fuzz of it and shouldn't worry about it, but that's where the apathy sets in.

    In order to not get worried, I cease to care. If I cease to care, I come up with demi-psychopathic statements. Downwards spiral.

    But I think you gave me an answer I can work with, Tycho and schuss. I should focus on the task at hand, and present myself and my skills professionally in my cover letter. Worry about the other stuff later.

    Yogo on
  • schussschuss regular Registered User regular
    Also - realize how much of this is coming from the "I'm desperate for a job" part and try to mentally separate it from your normal self.

  • hsuhsu regular Registered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    Too many companies treat you like a number and not a human being, something I really can't stand (because it devalues my worth and existence).
    All large companies will feel like this, as a new employee, because in their eyes, you haven't done anything for them, which would make them want to treat you more than a number. Even a superstar employee will suffer this for a year to two before being noticed.

    All you can really ask for is to have your particular group treat you well. Not your department, but just the small group you work with everyday. As long as your small group gets along, work life will be fairly smooth.

    But with a 2 year long unemployment, I'd be willing to deal with even a crappy boss/group. Because I've learned from experience that if you personally do good work, you will eventually get noticed separately from your crappy boss/group, with an opportunity to get away, even if that means a new job due to your newly acquired skills.

    iTNdmYl.png
    Usagi
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    But an issue I keep running into is company history and CSR. Big companies (where I live) thrive on being a special and unique company, and if you want to work with them, you have to share their vision (for the world). They are also the only ones consistently offering graduate positions.

    But I don't care about their macro goals. I care about the micro goals such as good work environment, challenging assignments, good colleagues and possibly some work benefits.

    Not to be a complete asshole, but you have to pretend to care if you want to be employed. You have to make yourself attractive to an employer (there's a lot of people out there that you're competing against), and part of that is pretending like you give a shit or, even better, actually giving a shit.

    Caring about work environment, assignments, benefits, and decent colleagues is (very sadly) a luxury for most entry level positions. Hell, it's a luxury for most positions regardless of experience! That's a cold and pretty shitty thing to say, but until you yourself have some unique and specialized skill that companies are seeking you are absolutely just another number.

    That said, your apathy and disdain for the companies you're applying to is palpable in your OP, I don't know what your cover letters or resume read like but it seems like perhaps you could use a secondary perspective--have you considered visiting a career counselor or a therapist that works with people struggling with unemployment?

    tynicTychoCelchuuuDarkewolfeDis'PsykomaPacificstarprogramjunkie
  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Yogo wrote: »
    Too many companies treat you like a number and not a human being, something I really can't stand (because it devalues my worth and existence).
    All large companies will feel like this, as a new employee, because in their eyes, you haven't done anything for them, which would make them want to treat you more than a number. Even a superstar employee will suffer this for a year to two before being noticed.

    All you can really ask for is to have your particular group treat you well. Not your department, but just the small group you work with everyday. As long as your small group gets along, work life will be fairly smooth.

    But with a 2 year long unemployment, I'd be willing to deal with even a crappy boss/group. Because I've learned from experience that if you personally do good work, you will eventually get noticed separately from your crappy boss/group, with an opportunity to get away, even if that means a new job due to your newly acquired skills.

    I appreciate your comment and I should also have made mine clearer, but this was in reference to the recruitment process; not when you have your foot indoors. I do really well once they get to see my skills in action*. It's getting that foot inside the company which is the hardest part for me right now.

    Regarding the recruitment process: in my country, companies typically find the candidate they want for the job around 1 to 2 weeks after the deadline of the initial recruitment drive. For some reason, they just don't feel like telling the rest of the applicants that they have found their candidate for the job. So the unspoken rule is: If they haven't contacted you within 3-5 days, you're out.

    I have a feeling that this isn't unique to my country, but I honestly cannot understand why this is a practice which is "allowed". Sure, we can't govern it by law, but whatever happened to common courtesy and letting people know what's up?

    While I can't remember the company names, I certainly remember the messages where the company not only wrote that you weren't considered for the position, but also wrote what skills the selected candidate actually possessed besides the initial requirement. This is very useful information in your on-going job hunt as it gives you an idea of what skills you might need to pick up to increase your chances.

    Sadly, this is not the norm :/

    * This is a bit of a tangent point, but in regards to this I think internship is a good way of getting a foot inside the shop so to speak. Unfortunately, most companies actually use it to get access to free temp employees without wanting to pay due to the low growth economy. The prospect of getting hired on a permanent basis seems low at the moment.
    schuss wrote: »
    Also - realize how much of this is coming from the "I'm desperate for a job" part and try to mentally separate it from your normal self.

    A good observation. I don't think it is as much as "I'm desperate for a job" (though it certainly can sound like it), but more from the fact that the municipality, which administers unemployment benefits, are putting the screws to the unemployed and, honestly, stressing the hell of out me. Their end goal is a job, and there almost isn't anything in the world that I would love more than that, but it seems extremely hard to accomplish. They act as if they are helping you, when they are in fact just following protocol and making sure you aren't cheating the system.

  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    Usagi wrote: »
    Yogo wrote: »
    But an issue I keep running into is company history and CSR. Big companies (where I live) thrive on being a special and unique company, and if you want to work with them, you have to share their vision (for the world). They are also the only ones consistently offering graduate positions.

    But I don't care about their macro goals. I care about the micro goals such as good work environment, challenging assignments, good colleagues and possibly some work benefits.

    Not to be a complete asshole, but you have to pretend to care if you want to be employed. You have to make yourself attractive to an employer (there's a lot of people out there that you're competing against), and part of that is pretending like you give a shit or, even better, actually giving a shit.

    Caring about work environment, assignments, benefits, and decent colleagues is (very sadly) a luxury for most entry level positions. Hell, it's a luxury for most positions regardless of experience! That's a cold and pretty shitty thing to say, but until you yourself have some unique and specialized skill that companies are seeking you are absolutely just another number.

    That said, your apathy and disdain for the companies you're applying to is palpable in your OP, I don't know what your cover letters or resume read like but it seems like perhaps you could use a secondary perspective--have you considered visiting a career counselor or a therapist that works with people struggling with unemployment?

    It is mandatory is visit a "career counselor" while you are on unemployment benefits in Denmark. This happens every 3rd month or so. They come in all shapes and sizes and some are more qualified than others. They check your CV and cover letter. From what I have been told again, and again, there is nothing they can point at or to within my CV or cover letters. They are, if not "perfect", at very acceptable levels (last one was just 2 weeks ago. Could only suggest I perhaps made my CV contact information type size smaller).

    I have also tried a coach, but she could only shake her head, wondering what the hell I was using her time for when I was so full of energy and direction.

    I know my cover letters are more objective from the cover letters being touted as a prime example of a good cover letter. I was shown a cover letter where the applicant wrote passionately about the company values and how she would carry them on in the position as a communications employee.

    She got the job and I certainly cannot fault her for that. It was a good cover letter and she probably had the skills to fill the position.

    I tried to emulate the example and actually made some really good cover letters, but they still came out being objective. If I attempt to write passionately, I can't even stand my own cover letter because I know it is a pile of bullshit. But if you say I should attempt to "fake till you make it", then that is what I'll have to do.

  • hsuhsu regular Registered User regular
    Are you willing to move? Because I moved 800 miles away from my parents for my first job. My particular field, at that time, was concentrated in only a few cities in the USA, so my options were "easy to find job but big move" or "hard to find job without moving". I choose to move, figuring (correctly) that it would be better for my career. It didn't hurt that all the cities looking my degree were good cities to move to.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Are you willing to move? Because I moved 800 miles away from my parents for my first job. My particular field, at that time, was concentrated in only a few cities in the USA, so my options were "easy to find job but big move" or "hard to find job without moving". I choose to move, figuring (correctly) that it would be better for my career. It didn't hurt that all the cities looking my degree were good cities to move to.

    It is not an option as I bought an apartment last year after having moved around a bit. But I am located right in the center of where the jobs are (capital), I should be good. The jobs are there; I just need to get my foot inside, and I suppose this thread is a bit of a mix of my frustration of that not happening for so long.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Have you looked into employment in those fields at the institution you got your PhD in? Most sizable universities have massive IT departments and have very high turn-around rates due to not being able to offer as competitive pay in the private section. This essentially makes them into mills for highly qualified people with massive amount of knowledge in handling high-volume IT work. Our institution tends to have about a 3 year turnaround on most of our it, they get hired as hourly (non-benefit) for 6 months, move into a vacant full time salary & benefit position for two years, then get hired by local private sector folks once then can claim both degree in field and relevant work experience.

  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Enc wrote: »
    Have you looked into employment in those fields at the institution you got your PhD in? Most sizable universities have massive IT departments and have very high turn-around rates due to not being able to offer as competitive pay in the private section. This essentially makes them into mills for highly qualified people with massive amount of knowledge in handling high-volume IT work. Our institution tends to have about a 3 year turnaround on most of our it, they get hired as hourly (non-benefit) for 6 months, move into a vacant full time salary & benefit position for two years, then get hired by local private sector folks once then can claim both degree in field and relevant work experience.

    Oh I didn't get a PhD. It was just the natural progression in the track I was following.

    Master of Science (IT) -> PhD -> Associate Professor -> Professor

    But the thing, which "sort of" screwed me over, was that I didn't learn any IT at all. We were taught specifically about Games and how humans interacted with them (cyberlogy, gamer culture, immersion, narrative and so on). My own field of expertise was analysis of a blend of narrative, semiotics and psychology, though never specialized in these field. So when people hear I am M.Sc. in IT, they assume I can program and know about software infrastructure and such, except I was never taught any of that.

    It hindered me when it came to looking for jobs within my own industry. It's not very big and word of mouth and good programming skills are the prime reason people get hired. If you don't know the right people, you're not part of the circle and therefore not a first choice. It is a very close knitted community.

    So I switched industries, and am currently pursuing a career within big data / business intelligence.

    Yogo on
  • hsuhsu regular Registered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    So I switched industries, and am currently pursuing a career within big data / business intelligence.
    I work in this field, and the typical hires have a programming or statistics background, sometimes both, as statistics folks seem to program in R or SAS.

    iTNdmYl.png
    schussDis'
  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Yogo wrote: »
    So I switched industries, and am currently pursuing a career within big data / business intelligence.
    I work in this field, and the typical hires have a programming or statistics background, sometimes both, as statistics folks seem to program in R or SAS.

    It's a bit of both and depends on what you want them to do.

    I'm trying to aim for a mix of business analyst and BI where I get the opportunity to do analysis while optimizing X company's business.

    I have been looking into supplementing my skills, but options are limited if I want to take a course or get some sort of certification.

  • schussschuss regular Registered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Yogo wrote: »
    So I switched industries, and am currently pursuing a career within big data / business intelligence.
    I work in this field, and the typical hires have a programming or statistics background, sometimes both, as statistics folks seem to program in R or SAS.

    I just moved into a different position, but used to be exclusively BI. For future state stuff you want to be capable of Python, R or SAS, Spark and some Hadoop variants, SQL, Database structures and strong stats fundamentals. Things are slowly moving from R to Python, but it really depends on the company and the target analytics.

  • PacificstarPacificstar regular Registered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    hsu wrote: »
    Yogo wrote: »
    Too many companies treat you like a number and not a human being, something I really can't stand (because it devalues my worth and existence).
    All large companies will feel like this, as a new employee, because in their eyes, you haven't done anything for them, which would make them want to treat you more than a number. Even a superstar employee will suffer this for a year to two before being noticed.

    All you can really ask for is to have your particular group treat you well. Not your department, but just the small group you work with everyday. As long as your small group gets along, work life will be fairly smooth.

    But with a 2 year long unemployment, I'd be willing to deal with even a crappy boss/group. Because I've learned from experience that if you personally do good work, you will eventually get noticed separately from your crappy boss/group, with an opportunity to get away, even if that means a new job due to your newly acquired skills.

    I appreciate your comment and I should also have made mine clearer, but this was in reference to the recruitment process; not when you have your foot indoors. I do really well once they get to see my skills in action*. It's getting that foot inside the company which is the hardest part for me right now.

    Regarding the recruitment process: in my country, companies typically find the candidate they want for the job around 1 to 2 weeks after the deadline of the initial recruitment drive. For some reason, they just don't feel like telling the rest of the applicants that they have found their candidate for the job. So the unspoken rule is: If they haven't contacted you within 3-5 days, you're out.

    I have a feeling that this isn't unique to my country, but I honestly cannot understand why this is a practice which is "allowed". Sure, we can't govern it by law, but whatever happened to common courtesy and letting people know what's up?

    While I can't remember the company names, I certainly remember the messages where the company not only wrote that you weren't considered for the position, but also wrote what skills the selected candidate actually possessed besides the initial requirement. This is very useful information in your on-going job hunt as it gives you an idea of what skills you might need to pick up to increase your chances.

    Sadly, this is not the norm :/

    * This is a bit of a tangent point, but in regards to this I think internship is a good way of getting a foot inside the shop so to speak. Unfortunately, most companies actually use it to get access to free temp employees without wanting to pay due to the low growth economy. The prospect of getting hired on a permanent basis seems low at the moment.
    schuss wrote: »
    Also - realize how much of this is coming from the "I'm desperate for a job" part and try to mentally separate it from your normal self.

    A good observation. I don't think it is as much as "I'm desperate for a job" (though it certainly can sound like it), but more from the fact that the municipality, which administers unemployment benefits, are putting the screws to the unemployed and, honestly, stressing the hell of out me. Their end goal is a job, and there almost isn't anything in the world that I would love more than that, but it seems extremely hard to accomplish. They act as if they are helping you, when they are in fact just following protocol and making sure you aren't cheating the system.
    Yogo wrote: »
    I know my cover letters are more objective from the cover letters being touted as a prime example of a good cover letter. I was shown a cover letter where the applicant wrote passionately about the company values and how she would carry them on in the position as a communications employee.

    She got the job and I certainly cannot fault her for that. It was a good cover letter and she probably had the skills to fill the position.

    I tried to emulate the example and actually made some really good cover letters, but they still came out being objective. If I attempt to write passionately, I can't even stand my own cover letter because I know it is a pile of bullshit. But if you say I should attempt to "fake till you make it", then that is what I'll have to do.

    After reading your posts I am feeling quite annoyed with you. You need to get off your high horse and do what is necessary to get a job. Not sit around complaining about how you have to feed the interviewer a load of bull in order to be considered for a position. I honestly don't believe you are putting forth a real effort to be employed. Because you and I both know that there are things you are choosing NOT to do in your search process. One of those things, obviously, is writing a cover letter that will make you appear to be interested in the job and whatever company is taking applications.

    Also, not everyone who gets a job has a special "in" with the company or the recruiter. Moreover, if you're getting interviews that means that at least on paper you have the required skills for whatever roles you are applying for. My only conclusion is that you're bombing the interviews. Probably because you let it come through that you don't truly care about the company or the position.

    Sorry if I'm coming off harsh here, but you need a kick in the ass to get moving. You have two choices:
    1. Sit around complaining about how the perfect company with the perfect job isn't hiring you so that you don't have to compromise your standards, like a grade school child crying that the world isn't fair;
    2. Be an adult, realize that not every job will be the perfect job, and do what is necessary to be employed.

    Good luck to you!

    Darkewolfe
  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    hsu wrote: »
    Yogo wrote: »
    Too many companies treat you like a number and not a human being, something I really can't stand (because it devalues my worth and existence).
    All large companies will feel like this, as a new employee, because in their eyes, you haven't done anything for them, which would make them want to treat you more than a number. Even a superstar employee will suffer this for a year to two before being noticed.

    All you can really ask for is to have your particular group treat you well. Not your department, but just the small group you work with everyday. As long as your small group gets along, work life will be fairly smooth.

    But with a 2 year long unemployment, I'd be willing to deal with even a crappy boss/group. Because I've learned from experience that if you personally do good work, you will eventually get noticed separately from your crappy boss/group, with an opportunity to get away, even if that means a new job due to your newly acquired skills.

    I appreciate your comment and I should also have made mine clearer, but this was in reference to the recruitment process; not when you have your foot indoors. I do really well once they get to see my skills in action*. It's getting that foot inside the company which is the hardest part for me right now.

    Regarding the recruitment process: in my country, companies typically find the candidate they want for the job around 1 to 2 weeks after the deadline of the initial recruitment drive. For some reason, they just don't feel like telling the rest of the applicants that they have found their candidate for the job. So the unspoken rule is: If they haven't contacted you within 3-5 days, you're out.

    I have a feeling that this isn't unique to my country, but I honestly cannot understand why this is a practice which is "allowed". Sure, we can't govern it by law, but whatever happened to common courtesy and letting people know what's up?

    While I can't remember the company names, I certainly remember the messages where the company not only wrote that you weren't considered for the position, but also wrote what skills the selected candidate actually possessed besides the initial requirement. This is very useful information in your on-going job hunt as it gives you an idea of what skills you might need to pick up to increase your chances.

    Sadly, this is not the norm :/

    * This is a bit of a tangent point, but in regards to this I think internship is a good way of getting a foot inside the shop so to speak. Unfortunately, most companies actually use it to get access to free temp employees without wanting to pay due to the low growth economy. The prospect of getting hired on a permanent basis seems low at the moment.
    schuss wrote: »
    Also - realize how much of this is coming from the "I'm desperate for a job" part and try to mentally separate it from your normal self.

    A good observation. I don't think it is as much as "I'm desperate for a job" (though it certainly can sound like it), but more from the fact that the municipality, which administers unemployment benefits, are putting the screws to the unemployed and, honestly, stressing the hell of out me. Their end goal is a job, and there almost isn't anything in the world that I would love more than that, but it seems extremely hard to accomplish. They act as if they are helping you, when they are in fact just following protocol and making sure you aren't cheating the system.
    Yogo wrote: »
    I know my cover letters are more objective from the cover letters being touted as a prime example of a good cover letter. I was shown a cover letter where the applicant wrote passionately about the company values and how she would carry them on in the position as a communications employee.

    She got the job and I certainly cannot fault her for that. It was a good cover letter and she probably had the skills to fill the position.

    I tried to emulate the example and actually made some really good cover letters, but they still came out being objective. If I attempt to write passionately, I can't even stand my own cover letter because I know it is a pile of bullshit. But if you say I should attempt to "fake till you make it", then that is what I'll have to do.

    After reading your posts I am feeling quite annoyed with you. You need to get off your high horse and do what is necessary to get a job. Not sit around complaining about how you have to feed the interviewer a load of bull in order to be considered for a position. I honestly don't believe you are putting forth a real effort to be employed. Because you and I both know that there are things you are choosing NOT to do in your search process. One of those things, obviously, is writing a cover letter that will make you appear to be interested in the job and whatever company is taking applications.

    Also, not everyone who gets a job has a special "in" with the company or the recruiter. Moreover, if you're getting interviews that means that at least on paper you have the required skills for whatever roles you are applying for. My only conclusion is that you're bombing the interviews. Probably because you let it come through that you don't truly care about the company or the position.

    Sorry if I'm coming off harsh here, but you need a kick in the ass to get moving. You have two choices:
    1. Sit around complaining about how the perfect company with the perfect job isn't hiring you so that you don't have to compromise your standards, like a grade school child crying that the world isn't fair;
    2. Be an adult, realize that not every job will be the perfect job, and do what is necessary to be employed.

    Good luck to you!

    First off, yes, you are being quite harsh. You are judging me from my observational frustrations and applying it to how I perform and act in my job search when that is not the case. My frustrations are my own and I do not bring them with me when I go job hunting or called in for an interview. I'm not looking for the perfect company or the perfect job. I'm looking for a (good) challenging assignment where I can help my colleagues perform better and in turn, help the company. But most of all, I am looking for someone who believes in giving a graduate a chance even though he doesn't have all the skills on paper (because that's what I am being told when I ask for feedback after the interviews). As @Usagi pointed out, that is quite hard at the moment due to the economy and a lot of willing hands.

    Secondly, there is no high horse to get down from. I asked for advice how to get around or deal with my apathy rising from how I believe the world should be and how the world actually is. It would have been a high horse if I refused to deal with the situation and expect everyone to conform to me. I still believe @Usagi 's advice was the best for me. Fake it till you make it.

    But you are right about one thing, though:
    Probably because you let it come through that you don't truly care about the company or the position.

    Hence the topic at hand.

    I once asked my stepsister's husband about his position at a large IT-company. He has been really helpful in coaching and explaining how he got there and what he had to do. I asked him this question.
    Why do you work for this company and not another company? Why this one? What makes it special?

    He looked perplexed at me and simply couldn't answer, and that's when I found out why I feel indifferent about a lot of companies: there's nothing special about them, and working for them or another "makes" no difference in the larger scheme of things. But what is special are the people and colleagues working there, and that's my motivational factor.

    Except, as @Usagi pointed out, those things are considered a luxury good. I have no solid data on this, but if we assume that I am "bombing" the interviews as you suggest, then I believe it stems from what I say I can do about the assignment and my potential colleagues / customers at a micro-level instead of saying what I can do for the company at a macro-level.

    And if that is the case, then we are back to Usagi's suggestion: pretend to care.

    I don't like it, but I can work with that.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger regular Registered User regular
    Hey, if you genuinely don't care about company morals you are in a *good* position. Apply to companies without morals! Turn a "disadvantage" into an advantage. Since you are in the games field, check out slot machine companies, gambling companies, pay-to-win companies. These guys want workers and they may be desperate enough to overlook your lack of experience and long unemployment. Most gaming graduates want to work for exciting companies like AAA or goalpost-pushing indies, but the sleazy companies have a lot of openings and a lot of money.

    Honestly no companies I've ever applied for have wanted me to care about their big goals. They want to know what *you* can do for *them*. You are an IT guy so what they want to know is what your skills are and how you have kept them sharp in unemployment. You have kept them sharp, right? You haven't just been playing video games and feeling hard-done-by?

    When they ask "So why do you want to work for our company?" they don't want their boots licked with something like "Because of your amazing commitment to environmental standards and your goalpost-pushing technological development! You guys are so exciting that I feel wobbly just sitting in your conference room!" They want to hear "Because you are working with Syngasm 3.5 tech and I have been tinkering with that a lot in my spare time. I've pushed some recent improvements and bugfixes to the Github repository. Do you want to take a look at them? Assuming the dev team approves them they should be available in the next incremental build."

    Yogo
  • credeikicredeiki regular Registered User regular
    It seems like it would be legit to focus on micro goals when interviewing for a company. When they ask "what makes us special/why do you want to work for *us*," you can sincerely say "the day-to-day work is challenging, I like the people I've met hear so far, I really like the way you structure your teams." Probably you shouldn't talk about the benefits until you're negotiating the offer, but I'm sure there's a nice corporate way to say "you treat your employees well, which is a sign that as a company you value having top-notch employees, which shows good company values".

    But yes, you should also pretend to care about their macro whatever. That said, you could (maybe?) go for a line of "I'm a smart person who likes learning new things, and this is a totally new field for me so I'm excited to learn all about [insurance/weapons development/cancer drugs/whatever]. I've already started familiarizing myself with the field and think it'll be interesting to become a subject matter expert". So the focus is on learning rather than on the actual subject, if that makes sense. I am not sure whether companies would be into that, but it seems like it would at the very least come off as honest and possibly the sort of attitude wanted by an analyst (which is what you're going for?).

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
    Yogo
  • minirhyderminirhyder regular BerlinRegistered User regular
    Analytics and BI are a growing field right now. Where do you live?

    I'm kind of inclined to agree with @Pacificstar right now. You seem to have very in demand skills and you're going for a field that has a ton of openings.
    The issue is you're picky about where you want to work and with a 2 year unemployment gap, you absolutely cannot be.

    Pretending to be interested in what a company does is job application 101. Every single phone screen will ask you "Why do you want to work here?" and this where you come in and tell them that their company is the most amazing company ever, they're innovating in whatever it is they do, and it would be an amazing opportunity to join them. You'll also want to read up on what the company has done (any articles, press releases, etc.) and mention them, as it shows that you've done your research.

    Good luck.

    Pacificstar
  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    minirhyder wrote: »
    Analytics and BI are a growing field right now. Where do you live?

    I wrote it in an earlier post, but just for reference, I live in Europe, Denmark, near the capital. So I'm already where the jobs are, and I do see a lot job opening for these positions. I'm currently churning out a lot of applications within the week.

    But the companies seem to be very picky about who they want to hire, and apparently they can afford to wait. During one interview with a global organization, the interviewer told me Denmark had been vacuumed clean for highly skilled people within these fields (this was primarily web analysis). That sort of thing should be a good thing for me, right? It would mean that companies would have to take in less qualified / skilled people to perform the same functions if they can't get or pay for the highly skilled ones. Supply and demand, right?

    Well, not from what I have seen or heard. From what I have been told by others in the industry, companies are more willing to wait a long time to find the right candidate. For one position, which I had applied for, I was told by others within the industry that the position had actually been open for 9 months! It was only filled when a skilled enough person quit his previous job (or was headhunted, the story didn't tell). Similarly a company who I sent an unsolicited application to (and been interviewed) just lured their new Head of Analytics away from Adobe because, again, apparently there aren't any more unemployed highly skilled people in the pool (and from a suggestion from their Head of HR, I sent my application to the new Head of Analytics, but he didn't know me and had already hired 3 new people from his own network, so... :/ ).

    Instead of promoting and creating new highly skilled people, companies within this industry would rather fight over the highly skilled ones. These are just observations, but I am mean, what can you do about that (besides trying to become the highly skilled one)?

    Again, I want to stress that these are just observations. I do not sit on my butt and pout that the world is unfair. I'm was merely looking for methods I hadn't considered (such as focusing on the company's good work environment, organization, structure and etc as @credeiki‌ suggested. I feel better giving such answers because those are the things I actually care about. It also highlighted that I should try to work that into my applications to show a little more motivation beyond "I can do X").

    Yogo on
  • schussschuss regular Registered User regular
    Honestly, based on your posts it's partly attitude. Good people with good attitudes are hard to find, so you may be putting off some nasty vibes given some of your defensiveness and comments above. A decent worker with a great attitude is more valuable than a great worker with a bad or toxic attitude as it poisons the team.

    CelestialBadgerDaenrisTychoCelchuuutinwhiskersPacificstarEnctynicDarkewolfe
  • ArdorArdor regular Registered User regular
    Note: My advice is from living and working in the US.

    You might also consider that not everyone gets a good, challenging, full time job in their field immediately. Sometimes you have to work up to that kind of position either through the company or through less intellectually challenging jobs. If your interviews have suggested that you need certain skills or certifications, you might see if you can find other jobs that will help you get that experience or certifications that are less demanding, pay less or are temporary. Being currently employed helps when interviewing as well.

    An example: I have a BS in Chemistry and thought I'd go after some challenging chemistry jobs. Turns out, if the employers didn't tell me to go get more education, I needed years of experience I couldn't easily get. The jobs I could get, were something like spending 4h a day testing quality or hardness of water, or analyzing batches of chemicals/products for some physical attributes ad nauseam. These were also not commonly full time positions, but rather full time temp or contract positions.

    What I found out later was, these temp/contract positions that were really not challenging at all, were used to weed out those who would burn out fast or who couldn't do simple tasks repeatedly for a while. I chose to go a different career path which was chemistry related, but if I had taken these jobs and survived a few months, I would've likely gotten a full time position out of them doing something much more interesting and closer to what I wanted to do in the first place.

    By knowing folks or having unique experience or really being able to perform top notch in interviews along with having an element of luck, you may be able to get a great job, that you feel meets your expectations and challenges you. Most of us are not that lucky, but there's alternate paths for us to get into those types of jobs eventually.

    You might see if you can find out what some of your potential employers look for, who they hire from, do they get temps/contractors from any specific agencies? The company I work for works regionally with 1-2 sources of temps/contractors for example, so if one wanted to work here, those are the best avenues they can use if directly interviewing for full time positions are not panning out.

    You might also try to find out what related careers or fields your education and skills work in, you may find a route through a position/career in a related field that can lead you to the field/career of your choice.

    GethYogoKiplingShadowfire
  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    Ardor wrote: »
    -snip-

    Thank you for your advice.

    With my recent revelation that I am capable of being an business analyst, I have also become more aware that I am moving into an area of consulting. In Denmark, temp agencies or the like are mostly reserved for jobs below academia level and usually office / manual work. If you want to work as a business analyst, you either join a large / global company who has need of continuous support on multiple locations or you join a consulting firm which "rents" you out to different contracts.

    It narrows down the field of companies to focus on.
    schuss wrote: »
    Honestly, based on your posts it's partly attitude. Good people with good attitudes are hard to find, so you may be putting off some nasty vibes given some of your defensiveness and comments above. A decent worker with a great attitude is more valuable than a great worker with a bad or toxic attitude as it poisons the team.

    I'm going to be honest and say that I am dealing with some very annoying issues at the moment: previous employer not having paid my consulting fee, lack of a full nights sleep and a general feeling that people don't think I am worth paying for, but love me to no end if they get my work for free (aka. why are you willing to pay him/her, but not me?).

    These things may be seeping into my posts and I do apologize for that.

  • minirhyderminirhyder regular BerlinRegistered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    a general feeling that people don't think I am worth paying for

    It's not about only your skills. Your skills are very important to the employer, but you're not a robot.

    Employers are investing a ton of time and money in you when they hire and train you. They want to make sure that after this investment (which is a long term investment, depending on the position, it could take years to mold you into the employee they want you to be) you'll be there for a while. This is why you need to convince them that their company is the only company you want to work for. What they do has been a dream for as long as you remember, and if they pick you to work for them, all your dreams will come true. You need to make them believe that you are worth investing in because you'll stay at least long enough for their investment to be worth it.

    You absolutely cannot go into an interview and show apathy about what the company does. People smell that shit a mile away and they will lose interest immediately, no matter how skilled you are. You can be the best in your field, but if they think you'll bail at the first opportunity, they won't bother.

    schuss
  • schussschuss regular Registered User regular
    I'll also add on to @minirhyder‌ - you don't have to have the job make your dreams come true, but you do need to be aligned with them in terms of general values/interests, as that means you and the company can grow together.

  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    schuss wrote: »
    I'll also add on to @minirhyder‌ - you don't have to have the job make your dreams come true, but you do need to be aligned with them in terms of general values/interests, as that means you and the company can grow together.

    I suppose I'll have to accept that working together, no matter what context, is about taking a chance with each other, and there are no safe harbors. I may know myself and what I stand for, but the other part doesn't.

  • Pure DinPure Din regular Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    I'm looking at some of my old cover letters and one of them does mention micro goals right in the first paragraph:

    "I recently had the opportunity to meet two XXX Corporation employees, Dude A, and Dude B, at YYY Professional Conference. They spoke positively about XXX's work environment and commitment towards innovation."

    I also recently read the book, Perfect Phrases for Perfect Interviews, which had a lot of good examples of how to phrase things. The examples seemed really over the top but the advice ended up being really helpful for interviews.

  • VeeveeVeevee regular WisconsinRegistered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    Ardor wrote: »
    -snip-

    Thank you for your advice.

    With my recent revelation that I am capable of being an business analyst, I have also become more aware that I am moving into an area of consulting. In Denmark, temp agencies or the like are mostly reserved for jobs below academia level and usually office / manual work. If you want to work as a business analyst, you either join a large / global company who has need of continuous support on multiple locations or you join a consulting firm which "rents" you out to different contracts.

    It narrows down the field of companies to focus on.

    What his story was saying was that if you took those "menial, be mow your level" office jobs you could prove yourself to a future employer or make contacts within those companies you temp for. Put in the grunt work, prove yourself capable and opportunities can open up for you.

  • YogoYogo regular Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Veevee wrote: »
    Yogo wrote: »
    Ardor wrote: »
    -snip-

    Thank you for your advice.

    With my recent revelation that I am capable of being an business analyst, I have also become more aware that I am moving into an area of consulting. In Denmark, temp agencies or the like are mostly reserved for jobs below academia level and usually office / manual work. If you want to work as a business analyst, you either join a large / global company who has need of continuous support on multiple locations or you join a consulting firm which "rents" you out to different contracts.

    It narrows down the field of companies to focus on.

    What his story was saying was that if you took those "menial, be mow your level" office jobs you could prove yourself to a future employer or make contacts within those companies you temp for. Put in the grunt work, prove yourself capable and opportunities can open up for you.


    Note and TLDR: I'm relaying information based on how things are in Denmark because it is an issue for generally university educated people, and has been up in the media a number of times. Just want to provide perspective to show the different work mentality, and not shutting down the idea. I've worked in those positions myself.


    They are unlikely to hire you based on your educational level or work history. Danish employers are really afraid of hiring a person who is overeducated or overqualified for a position, be it from having multiple educations or having been a CEO or boss at some point (if the position isn't at a C level). This is despite our labor laws which allows an employer to fire a recently hired employee without having to pay any extra costs associated. They might do a really good job at it, but the employers crave safety when it comes to their employees. You must *fit* within the hierarchy almost perfectly, skill and social wise.

    In 2013, our minister of employment used a myth phrase to describe what university educated people could do if they couldn't find skilled jobs: Just get a job in Netto (national supermarket where many high schoolers / students get jobs).

    Besides the uproar from both the unions and the supermarkets themselves, there was an unemployed man who wanted to test that theory. He was in his mid 40's with an extensive IT background. With the help of his union, he sent an application to all their store locations, describing who he was and that he was applying for a position, regardless of level.

    Out of 104 stores, he received 4 written rejections and 1 interview. He completed the interview and as he noted afterwards, they couldn't give him a position matching his level despite just wanting a position at any level.

    I experienced the same when I was done with my studies. At the time, I was working at an IT firm, but in their separate warehouse location as a logistics assistant and not doing any IT related work. My superior, despite really enjoying my work, wouldn't create a position matching my skill level. He did try to help me by relaying whatever information he could from HQ about potential openings, but it was a dry desert. My own labor didn't bear any fruit either, and I was met with a rather cold shoulder from those I asked (a tangent point, but the Silo-mentality was really strong).

    A similar story brought up in the news was a foreign law student from Eastern Europe. She had worked as a cleaning lady while studying and after finishing her studies, she wanted to work her way up within a law firm to prove her worth as an employee, and to build her CV. She began applying for positions as a messenger girl, coffee girl or similar office jobs because that's how she was taught from her home country to prove her worth (if you couldn't get the exact matching position for your education).

    To her surprise, she was met with rejection stating that she was overqualified for the positions, and she was totally baffled about this Danish mentality (and I agree with her). I believe she said it "forced" her either to remain unemployed until she got lucky or she would return to her home country (name escapes me) because the employer mentality was different there.

    I've been there myself, both in an employed position way below my skilled level for almost 5 years and from sending applications to simple office jobs while unemployed without being considered, so I can relate a bit to these stories.

    Does that mean it is impossible? No. I have also met a guy who used to be a boss, now working menial security jobs or warehouse jobs. But he also let me in on a secret about how he managed to get those jobs: he wanted to work as security or warehouse worker because it had been a dream for him; because it excited him and he wanted to try something new after having been laid off. He didn't want to become a boss again, that hadn't been his original goal when he became one and it wasn't his goal now.

    So yeah, it is possible to jump between position levels, but it requires a bit a luck and the right timing to meet the right open minded employers. But there are also tons of perceived notions about who you are and what type of person you are based solely on a piece of paper called Curriculum Vitae. A lot of our second and third generation immigrants suffer from these problems way more than I do.

    Yogo on
  • AkilaeAkilae regular Registered User regular
    Truth be told, what you are encountering is not a Danish issue. It is an issue that the developed/developing world faces.

    The only thing I can say is that you shouldn't be too discouraged. You will be, and it is a very demoralizing process. However, you are not alone in this process. A lot of people have gone through it. Sometimes the only thing you can really do is to take the first job that comes your way and climb your way up from there.

    Yogo
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