A different challenge

I finished up the courses I was taking for my Web Programming certificate last week.  Overall, I really enjoyed my classes– it was nice taking courses with no writing assignments to stress over.  The programming was fun; I actually had to be careful not to try to do too much in my projects, which was a new experience.  Best of all, I made several acquaintances and at least one friend.  : )

Now I’m faced with a task that I find a whole lot more daunting, though– searching for a job.  I know how to do school, even though it has often majorly stressed me out.  It’s like walking a path, one step at a time.  Trusting God as a student meant trying my best at the tasks immediately in front of me and not worrying about the future.  It wasn’t easy, but I was glad to be able to leave the big uncertainties in God’s hands.

But it seems like it doesn’t work that way once school is done.  There is no clear path to walk now.  I have to make the decisions, or nothing will happen.  And that really scares me a lot.  But when I try to put the decision in God’s hands, he keeps giving it back to me.

I’ve been looking at job postings, but with each of them I have to fight the fear that I won’t be able to do what the job asks for, or that I’ll find it to be completely different from what I thought I had prepared for.

Especially with the way many job postings are written.  Some of them seem to be looking for a superhero.  “We are looking for the best and the brightest web developers in the world.  We need innovative, self-starting, energetic people who communicate well without asking dumb questions.  Should have 2-4 years experience doing this job before starting.”

Others are written are written vaguely enough that the job could conceivably be almost anything:  “The web developer position uses technology, electronics, and/or computers to actualize the company’s three core values in line with its mission statement, taking into account the views of all major stakeholders.”

(Those quotes are exaggerated a little.)

I’ve heard that I shouldn’t take job postings literally because they have to be written in their own sort of language.  For instance, maybe some job postings are unspecific so that if the supervisor needs to ask the employee for help with another area, they can’t say “That’s not in my job description” and refuse to help.  Others may name their imaginary best employee possible knowing that he or she doesn’t exist in real life; they just want to see how close they can get.  So they are actually expecting people to apply without meeting all of the “requirements.”  Very confusing.

As I said, this is a different challenge.  The other times I’ve been faced with it, I fled back to school, but I can’t do that forever.  I’ll see what I learn and post about it if I can.

2 comments

  1. For whatever it’s worth, Nate, I think in at least a number of situations the folks writing the postings don’t really know exactly what they want. From what I’ve seen of university hiring procedures, at least, the thing to do is to just polish up your resume so that it best presents what you have to offer (looking at lots of job descriptions can at least help you think of things to mention that you wouldn’t otherwise) and then submit it to all the positions that you’re relatively qualified for. The resume is just a hoop to jump through; it’s often in the interview/negotiating process that the employer and employee actually create a (hopefully) realistic picture of what the working relationship will be.

  2. I like the picture of trying to leave it in God’s hands only to have God pass it back to you. (The short book Just Do Something has some great things to say about seeking God’s will when it comes to employment.) I also like the slight exaggerations of job descriptions because they really are slight . . . At my company, they always advertise for the next job step up even if they’re looking for entry level people (I found that out from the person I knew who worked there and helped me put together a real resume and target my queries), but I know other places that just toss your application if you don’t meet all their qualifications. There’s no way to tell . . .

    When I was looking for a job, I found it really helpful to read a ton of books about the process, especially the ones that list questions you’ll be asked in interviews. I also found it helpful to apply to lots of positions, so by the time I applied for something I really wanted, my resume and application skills were polished, and I had more experience interpreting the descriptions and tailoring my resume to them.

    I look forward to reading what you discover, too. It’s a thorny forest path, indeed . . .

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