I Can’t Find A Job

Overeducated, under experienced, and unemployed

“What can you do?”

with 6 comments

facetofaceA few weeks ago I was at a professional organization’s meeting of which I am a member. The organization consists of local chapters that hold regular meetings to network and share knowledge.

One of the people in attendance worked for a company I applied with two weeks prior. I took note and went up to the guy after the meeting concluded for a face-to-face chat.

“Hi, I understand you’re with (name of company),” I say with a big smile.

“Yes, hi.”

“Pleasure to meet you. I applied for (position) with (name of company) a couple of weeks ago and haven’t heard anything back. Would you know about that position or any other opportunities with the company?”

“I don’t know about that position. They were probably looking for someone with experience in that field,” he says.

“Oh, well, would you know of any other positions available with the company…perhaps in your (related) department?” I ask.

“What are your skills? What can you do?” the man replies back.

Slightly perturbed, I answer, “I just graduated from (name of college) with a master’s degree in (major). All my experience is academic as I just graduated.”

“Okay, but what is your experience? What have you done? What can you do?” the man torts again.

With ever-increasing blood pressure, I respond, “I just finished grad school and haven’t worked in the field yet. I’m looking to get into it.”

“I see, but what can you do? What job could you do?” the man repeats like an idiot.

Realizing I’m not getting anywhere, I try to politely escape the conversation with this half-brained moron. He drops his interrogation of my skills and offers crappy advice. I walk away as I curse and mutter vulgarities under my breath.

I hope I don’t come across as conceited but I earned a master’s degree. Unless you’re getting a technical degree, you don’t learn any on-the-job skills or training in academic degrees. However, what earning the degree delineates is that you’re capable and competent. You have the ability to absorb information and complete tasks. You can complete projects on time and show commitment and dedication to see things through. Apparently this idiot didn’t realize that. Seemingly unwilling to teach a job to a youngster, this moron probably prefers some set-in-his-ways jackass that performs the job like a monkey mimics a task. No fresh ideas, no young blood, and no brains.

The job search goes on!


Written by icantfindajob

February 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Hell

6 Responses

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  1. So, you’re saying that you have no practical knowledge in the field that you seek to work. All book learning… Maybe pointing out some courses you enjoyed would be a start.

    Good luck. It’s a tough job market. They’re hiring census takers 🙂 (you might be surprised at the professional persons who will be working the census for extra money)


    February 28, 2009 at 11:37 am

  2. @IPLawMan: Thanks for the advice. I actually looked into becoming a census taker but it seems that my part-time retail job actually pays more!

    No practical knowledge, just book learning. But I like your idea of pointing out courses I liked. Its worth a shot!

    Thanks again!


    February 28, 2009 at 12:13 pm

  3. Should have interned somewhere while you were getting that master’s degree. And it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Next time you meet a guy like that, you should be friendlier and attempt to network and socialize instead of throwing a temper tantrum about how stupid he is. I know plenty of people who thought the heavens would open up and they would be given a job right out of grad school. I’m afraid that the world doesn’t work like that. And you probably shouldn’t get mad when a guy asks you “what can you do?” and “what skills do you have?”and you can’t give him an even remotely straight answer. Look at things from his perspective, he probably thinks you are the idiot. Just my $.02.

    Jack S.

    March 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

  4. @ Jack S. Jack S., while your comments and readership are certainly appreciated, I must disagree whole heartedly. I didn’t intern while I was getting my master’s degree because between the amount of work classes required, the actual time spent in class, the commute to class, and working in retail to pay the bills, there wasn’t enough hours left in the day to devote to an internship.

    I speak to a lot of different people in face-to-face settings for networking purposes and most are receptive, offer their contact information, and say they will help me along any way they could (some would have probably offered jobs if their companies weren’t in such dire financial straights). This guy, on the other hand, seemed unreceptive, cold, and condescending. When you badger a young, fresh out-of-school prospect about not having skills, it’s not helpful and almost unprofessional. What job skills did he have 20 years prior? Just because he may know something now doesn’t mean he knew it when he was first starting out. I’m sure someone had to give him a break and take him under their wing. Perhaps his perceived attitude didn’t come across in my writing.

    Lastly, I didn’t think the heavens would open up as soon as I graduated. I figured people would see the value in a master’s degree and not label me “another idiot” looking for work. I hoped the degree would delineate maturity and competence and from that would stem job prospects. I don’t expect VIP treatment or feel like I should be courted by legions of employers just begging to “sign” me.


    March 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm

  5. Hey there, I think that academic degrees actually DO give you practical experience. Some examples are: writing, editing, research, *TIME MANAGEMENT*, critical thinking/analysis… the list goes on!


    February 1, 2010 at 11:51 pm

  6. @ mico Excellent point, actually! Too bad you’re not in HR or a hiring manager…are you? 😉


    February 2, 2010 at 5:21 am

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