Déjà vu

I know i’ve posted on this before but I cannot get over how depressing job hunting is. It’s really a test of how long you can keep your morale in tact and be optimistic. For me I think it’s about 2-3 months, after that, like what I’m feeling now, it’s a downhill trajectory. When I send in job applications, I mentally categorise them as follows:

A. Job that I really, really, really, really want, meet all the requirements for  and is based in Singapore. Given that I don’t need any special visas and stuff given I’m from there, these are the jobs I really hope to hear from and hence I spend like 3-4 hours per application. I usually have my heart set on these.

B. Job that I really, really want,  meet all the requirements for  and is based in a foreign country. I spend a fair bit of time on these but given that I know they are a long shot as I will need companies to sponsor a visa, I don’t keep my hopes up.

C. Job that I want, don’t exactly qualify for but apply anyway. Again I don’t hold my breath on these ones.

D. Everything else, including jobs I meet the requirements for but don’t really want. I just apply for these and wait and see what happens.

No surprises, I have never been successful in getting a job in category A. Even in 2009 when I graduated with my Bachelor’s and applied for around 300 jobs (give or take a few), I couldn’t. That was a midst the global financial crisis though, so I sort of expected responses to be a little better this time around, but no. In fact, I haven’t had a call back or interview from any job I’ve applied for in any category, A-D. The most depressing part is that I seem to be getting a “you suck, we don’t want you” email fairly quickly from the A jobs after I apply. In case you were wondering, the rejection email I wrote about in an earlier post was a category A job.  And so I feel myself slipping back into that awful place I was in, in 2009. A dark place which my best friend had to pull me out of by dragging me to a temporary job that was nowhere near either of our fields of study. It was good though, that job. The two of us working together made it feel like we were back in school and soon we were goofing off like we used to. But she is now half way around the world. Even if she wasn’t, she’s married and a mom now so her priorities and lifestyle have understandably and rightfully changed. I miss her, but life goes on right? It’s tough though, to go on without a job.

Another annoying thing with applying for jobs is that out of 10 jobs ads that I see with positions that I’m interested in (Singapore jobs), about 7-8 of them require you to speak Mandarin. Basically, reiterating the fact that I belong to a minority and hence have a disadvantage as I don’t speak the language of the majority. Doesn’t matter that I speak the official language that is predominantly used in schools, businesses and everyday life, English. I can’t apply for a job, advertised in English, in an English speaking country because I don’t speak Mandarin. Follow the logic here? Because I don’t. Take up Mandarin classes you may say. I have tried, but it’s not that easy to learn to speak, read and write another language when you get older. I understand enough Mandarin to pick up important parts of a conversation though (and enough to know when people are bitching about me thinking I don’t understand what they are saying =D).

So here I am upset as a defeated and injured, almost in tears Rafa Nadal in finals of the Australian Open (2014 incase you were wondering), trying to figure out what more I can do to get a decent job that I am excited to wake up and go to every morning. I have scoured numerous job websites, spoken to people I know and even gotten in touch with companies that haven’t advertised but I would be interested in working for. Just FYI, taking a break from the job hunt stuff, I just have to clarify that though I was rooting for Nadal in this match, in men’s tennis, I am and always will be a Roger Federer fan.

It really feels like déjà vu for me this whole job hunting thing. It’s getting me very stressed, leading to all kinds of negative emotions surfacing, frustration, anxiety, depression and even making me feel alone, like it’s me against the world. Not really sure who to go and vent all my frustrations to, but well at least I have this blog for that. I am just not in a good place right now. Someone just give me a job already.


7 thoughts on “Déjà vu

  1. Hi Anita, truly feel and relate to you. The Mandarin part I face too, even though I am technically Chinese. I was educated in a Malay school, and my parents are not Mandarin educated as well. I took classes and courses, but I gave up too! It’s not easy, unless you seriously study it everyday like how the kids do. I think because of the Chinese/Mandarin speaking part, my job opportunities in Malaysia decreases by 70%. I think its even ironic for me because I AM Chinese, what excuse do I have other than I was schooled in Malay? People will still say “What about your grandma? What language did you speak with her?” or “Don’t you care about your culture/identity?” (Although think it is so shallow to expect a Chinese person to be able to speak Mandarin). Don’t let job rejections get too personal to you. Its hard not to, but really, the whole hiring system is based on what will improve the company and what is best for the company, its nothing about you, at all. They are trained to think and make decisions on what is good for the company, they don’t care if you are a nice person, or if you have a beautiful heart, if you’re kind, a good human being, etc. They don’t care to know “Hmm what is Anita like?” No. They only care about sales and money. So if you are playing the game they are playing, you will definitely be left with delusions and hurts. So know that when you don’t get the job, it has nothing to do with you as a person, but everything to do with them and $$.

  2. Yeah, I had quite a difficult time getting my current job as well, I basically took a job beneath my qualifications and spent 3 months unemployed. I applied for a job I really wanted a few months ago but because I have trouble identifying patterns and abstract shapes, I failed the psychometric test and was immediately screened out. I don’t get the Mandarin requirement, isn’t it discrimination? I don’t speak Mandarin either despite taking 10 years of private tuition when I was younger… Guess I also suck at languages?

    • I hate those psychometric tests. And I mean seriously, how reliable are they in truly assessing a person’s capabilities? The Mandarin thing, apparently it’s not if the company says it’d required to deal with Chinese speaking clients. I’ve thought about it for a while now and am still not sure I buy that.

  3. Reblogged this on Psichomofo and commented:
    Mannnn, Anita, you, I, and others are all on this ship, not boat together. I forgot about working with friends in jobs not related to what we really wanna do in life. Those were Good Times.

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