Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Job searching and Prostitution

I've been in school for years. I'm highly educated. *And* I'm a vaunted minority - an American Female - and a year ago, companies would have been FALLING all over themselves to hire me.

Right now though, things are not so simple. I'm having to go through rigorous search processes that I would not have before this economic mess. I have to demonstrate abilities, which I may not currently have (though I am certain I could pick up). My job search process has NOT involved job talks. No one cares THAT much about my research. They want do know if I can do Important Tasks, not think Important Thoughts. It's depressing.

As a result, I was saying to JLK the other day that the job search process is kind of making feel like a whore. I'm literally saying to these companies, "I'll do anything you want baby, just tell me what you'd like me to be." I'm not joking. One day, I'm telling Company A that does X that I would looooooove to do X, and that even though I currently do Y, I'm looking to make my move into X. Three days later, I'm telling Company B that I'm looking to get even deeper into Y, it would be so fun go further penetrate that field.

Honestly, what I'm saying is true. I think both X and Y are super cool and whomever would give me an opportunity I'd be happy to plunge into the task, whether it be X or Y. But I've been surprised at how mentally unprepared I feel for this prostitutory process. Job searching is hard on the ego. I'll be glad when I find my Richard Gere and can end this whole thing, and feel validated and loved because someone wants me.

In other news, I just heard back from a company to go for an on-site interview. Woot! I wasn't sure how the phone interview went, but apparently it went well enough. Time to bone up on some stuff....when I come back from Ireland :). I am so excited for this trip.

11 comments:

Jazinator said...

mmmmmm, prostitution.

And I think the American Female has been taken off the endangered species ... I mean the minority list.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Not in my line of work! In my line of work, we are totally endangered...super duper low percentages. Duper. In fact, I have an onsite interview in a few months - I'll bet the only women I meet at that company are receptionists and HR people. To be safe, I'll allow that maybe I'll meet one lady engineer. If there are more, I'd be surprised (and delighted).

chall said...

PD. I know what you mean. However, it is crucial that it doesn't sound like you are flipflopping between your interest. The companies (and especially now when they have a VAST pool to choose from) will look for someone who is geniune....

what I am trying to say is; be a good "oh, that would be my dream" with giggly eyes. And good luck with the interview! Ireland is sooooo nice!! oh wait, the interview might not be in Ireland?!! anyway, my best wishes!

/fellow worker in the "oldest profession in the world" ;)

Nicky said...

I once went on a job interview with a large (1000 or so employees?) company that was all men except for recruiters. It was even worse than your run-of-the-mill 10%-women software company. I commented on it to one of my interviewers, who mentioned it to the recruiter, who then had this lovely conversation with me:

Her: Were you interviewed by Jane?
Me: No.
Her: Gosh, I'm surprised! She's our female engineer! We usually have her interview ALL our female candidates!
Me: Gosh, ALL of them? However does she have time to get any work done?

(Did I mention that I had no intention of working for this company?)

You're not prostituting yourself. You're just becoming good at advertising, where the #1 rule is Know Your Audience.

JLK said...

That was a fantastic post, PD, and sooooo true no matter what field you're trying to get a job in! lol

ScienceGirl said...

I don't think I would be mentally prepared for this either. I am starting to see some people opting out of the job hunt this year in hopes for a better market next year...

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Congrats on getting the on-site interview! That's awesome! And enjoy Ireland - I've (shamefully) never been, despite being half Irish if you go back to my grandparents.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Ah, yes... the whoring game. Good times.

Congrats on the interviews!

GirlPostdoc said...

Geez, I only suspected that it was bad and was afraid for the day when I'd have to look for a job. Great post. I agree with the prostitution analogy.

I really hope things go well for you. The economy and the constant stream of new PhDs has really upped the ante. I've been bloggin' about this for a while:

http://girlpostdoc.blogspot.com/search/label/change%20in%20the%20academic%20landscape

Candid Engineer said...

And the most you do it... the best you will become at whoring yourself out. :) Congrats on landing the interview, and I hope it goes well!

PhizzleDizzle said...

All, I am back from vacay and ready to continue the whoring! Wooo! Thanks for the support!