The Ever-so-Confusing Search for my Dreamjob…

My quest for a new direction careerwise is not going well. The little bloggie is about 4 months old now and I had hoped to at least secure one or two jobinterviews involving a role I would thoroughly love. Alas, not a single employer considered me suitable for their lovely, exciting jobs! That said – I have only applied for 4 jobs since I started , as there just aren’t that many vacancies out there which blow me away. The one that kicked off my bloggieness, was a communications officer for the Abby Theatre. A No-No. Next, I applied to be an account manager for Simply Zesty (as you all saw in the rather unprofessional video I posted on the blog), but unfortunately, they had already hired a new member by the time I made the application. Next venture was for an office manager with an online design company – not even a reply! (which I thought was very odd, as administration would be my field of expertise, if such a thing really existed. Finally, I tried to become the next communications officer with Axis Ballymun, but again, was not considered for interview.

Last week did bring me a chance at going for the actual interview selection. On paper, the role looked fairly interesting, albeit slightly confusing as it really didn’t reveal any information about the company nor a specific job description. It just said that a “Young and exciting marketing company” was looking for a Recruitment Administrator with an interest in marketing and PR. The “main responsibilities” listed were right up my alley though, so off I went writing a cover letter and not much later received a call if I could come in to meet. You can imagine, happy me!

Turned out they were a direct marketing company – selling contracts for electricity, television and other providers, door-to-door. My job would consist of hiring these sales people through various channels and ensuring they are cut out of right wood. Also, the success of the company would depend on me, hiring the right, sales-driven, motivated individuals, and naturally, my wage would be commission based and depending on how well the hired monkeys do. Uh-Oh. Cue alarm bells in my head. This was not what I was expecting, at all! “Would I be up for that?” … “Well”, I said, “The hiring, the paperwork, the PA duties, covering reception, doing the online marketing, sending out invoices, yes, no problems. But – I cannot imagine myself walking around towns, going door-to-door, selling utility contracts”. I might just as well have been digging my own grave, as the look from hiring-lady portrayed an emotion somewhere between disgust and surprise. And then she piped up: “Well, I spend a lot of time, out on the field, with my people”.

Needless to say, I didn’t get hired – though she did ring me to explain why and provide me with feedback… According to hiring-lady “I am just not sales-orientated enough”. Nothing new there in fairness, but I must say, I do have an interest in sales. I enjoy engaging with potential customers, taking my time and prefer a soft-sale at all times, both from customer and seller point of view. The days where I used to sell stationary by coldcalling a massive database are far behind me – and this job just sounded to scarily familiar to that.

Now – I must admit that I did have some opportunities coming my way since I started putting myself out there on the big interwebs. A twitter-friend asked if I could assist a small company with their online strategy, which I declined, as I don’t have the right tools nor enough time to do it properly. It wouldn’t feel right to me to engage in a concept without being sure that I would be able to deliver what was expected and desired. I was also asked to provide copy for a website, again through the social networks I frequent, and will soon be meeting up with the owner to discuss his exact needs and how we can work together. He knows I don’t have the same experience as the big PR companies or copywriting specialists, but is willing to hire me because he likes my writing style and “sees my potential”. Those two events and the very positive feedback from Simply Zesty gave me a great boost – but they don’t make up for the paralyzing silence from the companies I apply with for roles I really, really want.

Through those experiences, I did find that I have very well narrowed down what exactly my “dreamjob” would be – meaning I am able to focus on what I need to work on, what I need to learn more about and which people I should talk to. The bad bit about this, is that I have narrowed it down that much, to a few specific industries (Non-Profit, Arts, Communications, PR and Online) that most of the time it is nearly impossible to find the vacancies. Above jobs, I all found on Creative Careers or directly on the companies website. How I am supposed to find vacancies when they are hidden away deeply on the backbone of a corporate website! Ah well – less time procrastinating, back to the drawing board and surfing the web.

As a small cheeky addition: Are YOU looking for a communications and administration officer, handling your PR and press, running a busy office, writing your blog and managing your social networks? Perhaps combined with administration and PA duties? And making creative little things, talking to people and soft-selling your company? Ring me!

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27 thoughts on “The Ever-so-Confusing Search for my Dreamjob…

  1. Dee says:

    Hey, I always enjoy reading your blog (been a subscriber since you had that twitter story spike), so just some random feedback…

    I can’t help but think that just having a blog isn’t really enough to convince people of how awesome you are.

    When I hear the term ‘social media expert’ my cynicism alert bells go off; having a social media expert is 100% useless to any company. What companies need is someone who understands how to leverage social media to improve sales, customer rapport, site traffic and conversion. The word I hear in professional circles is “SEO and Conversion Specialist”.

    SEO is a boring topic, but it’s tangibly useful to businesses; conversion improvement is something that people sell for a fortune as consultants. Social media is only useful when it’s driving one of those things.

    If I had one thing to say, it’d be, stop trying to sell yourself as a social media expert, and look into being a conversion specialist _via_ social media. Blog about it. Show that you know what you’re talking about. Add a “You should follow me on twitter” link and blog about why it’s better than having a twitter feed. Blog about analytics and conversion funnels, and how social media interacts with those.

    Don’t want to be a downer; I enjoy reading your blog, I just don’t think it really sells you in a professional capacity the way you want it to at the moment…

    1. sNarah says:

      Thanks Dee for stopping by. I agree with what you’re saying – though I would never describe myself as a “social media expert”. I’m reading up on SEO at the moment, as it is a neccessary tool for providing copy for websites, but I much prefer a more creative approach when editing and creating press releases or statements.

  2. Nick McGivney says:

    The ones with the deafening silence are swamped with applicants. It’s poor manners not to reply, but don’t take it personally. They’re rude to EVERYBODY. And waiting on the dream job in someone else’s organisation is like waiting for that one lamp that has a genie, in my experience. But have you considered putting all your experience, drive and obvious talent at the service of someone who knows how really good you are, ie yourself? I think you’d love your boss and work your ass off to impress her. 🙂

    1. sNarah says:

      Oh I know Nick – it’s an employers market and I haven’t nearly applied for enough jobs to justify a proper rant!
      I have thought about being self-employed, though there are so many worries linked to that! What if I can’t get clients? What if I mess up a job? Plus I feel that a run of a few years in a corporate environment will give me the confidence and knowledge that I’m lacking now. I will keep it in mind though – Thanks a mill for dropping in!

  3. David Ferrie says:

    Ok, trying to look at this from a positive perspective. Of the 4 companies you applied to 25% of them (1) gave you an interview, but you knew the job was not what you wanted. So in reality there were 3 companies that counted. Of these 33% (1 of them) had already hired before your application was received, so not a failure on your side and what’s more I seem to recall they had positive things to say. 33% didn’t reply, probably down to number of applicants, so not necessarily down to your qualifications for the role (perhaps you were too good for them) and 33% (Abbey) gave you a no – but it was really your first foray into looking for such a role, perhaps the role was at too senior a level for somebody starting out.

    I get what Dee is saying, that said, to be your blogging on social media is only one part of the equation that is you, it does show your ability to use and analyze the use of social media.

    In a way you have an advantage over some other applicants, you have a job, it used to be said that it was easier to get a job if you already had one (A) because you could take time to find the right job and (B) prospective employers see that you are already employed and so another company values you.

    Just a random thought, have you looked within the company you work for, to see if you can take on some work/roles in the areas that really interest you. Perhaps if you approach “the boss” and offer to work in those areas as an unpaid intern (but retain your current paid roles) he would like your “drive” and give you a shot. I think you know who I mean by “the boss”, not your immediate supervisor, the guy at the top, just a thought.

    1. sNarah says:

      Ah thanks Eric – must check them out, was planning to go to one of the BTW’s!

      Dave – I like you idea, I have asked around but there’s no opportunities at the moment. And the big guy you’re talking about hasn’t worked in HQ for 3 years, he sold it all!

      1. Steve says:

        Would you try a bit of freelance event journalism? Take your own photos, write your own reports then submit them to various companies and see if anyone’s interested…

        I enjoy reading your blogs because a lot of what you discuss directly relates to my current job, but on the ground it’s not all it’s cracked up to be really.

  4. aafke says:

    Sorry, i won’t be of any help re dreamjob. To me it seems Dee and David did a great job on advise/advice.
    btw. holding onto a dream can pay off in the end, it actually does sometimes

      1. sNarah says:

        Hi there Steve – I know it’s probably not as great once you’re actually in role, but I’m pretty sure it stills beats what I’m doing now! Perhaps I writing to a few local papers mighn’t do any harm indeed. Thanks.

      2. Steve says:

        Ah it’s not all bad, but there’s a lot of red tape where I am so 90% of ideas get cut back to basics. I’m sure in a different organisation it would be great.

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