For the first time in 17 years, I’ve put a resume together and started shopping for a new job. But, of course, I’m a 40-something with a BA in history. Not exactly employable. Going on the job circuit has been an odd experience.
Even the way you go about it has changed. Searching for “jobs + my local area” is a Google bonanza unlike any other. Dozens of websites that are all about job hunting, plus Google’s own native job search, all fill the screen. The last time I considered looking for a job, monster.com was cutting edge and kind of doubtful in its new-fangledness. Back then, I fucking went and got a newspaper and circled options.
I do appreciate being able to use search tools, though. So, with my stunningly useless degree, I decided to fine-tune my job search. Writing, editing, publishing, marketing, research. Fallbacks are admin and office shit work. I had this crazy idea that I’d like to work in a specialized suburban DC law firm, or be a soulless front desk person for a dentist. That’s how desperate I am to get out of my current job. But, really, my search is limited to the writer/editor/liberal arts wastrel options.
The first thing I’ve noticed about the online job market is that it’s an excuse for potential employers to be rude and crazy. That’s, generally, the problem with everyone on the internet, I know. I sent off resumes and…heard nothing back. Not even a go fuck yourself. That’s the least you could say.
The folks who listed one job had a strange reaction. The job sounded cool – an event and design firm in Bethesda wanted a part time executive assistant:
Duties will vary quite a bit between personal and professional. Personal examples include: Travel bookings, personal errands, house organization (utilities, overseeing home improvements/appointments), finances, etc. Professional examples include: Creating and updating spreadsheets, sending emails, proofreading, MS Office tasks, technology streamlining, etc.
So all that’s really easy. The place was a mile from my front door and part time is perfect. That way I can focus on my writing and publishing bullshit. Something as simple as that job is my ideal job right now, and I was excited. The listing said the name of the company and I went and found their site, did my research, and wrote a very nice customized cover letter all about why the job sounded perfect for me and how much I admired their work, etc.
No response. Then, the next day, they scrubbed their listing of all identifiable information. The name of the company was gone and it became a listing for a “Private Family.” In their haste to hide their identity, they screwed up the title as well. Now they’re asking for an “Executivel Assistant.” So keen were they to hide their identity, I can’t help but wonder if that typo is designed to skew the search engines and keep people like me away. (I might be a little paranoid…)
My favorite hit so far, using the exact bullshit aimless liberal arts search criteria I described above, is a listing for “Scrum Master.”
We are looking for a Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Professional with a technical background that is passionate about leading and serving technical teams to innovate and develop state of the art solutions.
You’re a great fit if…
You have 5+ years in a technical leadership role and 3+ years of Scrum Master Experience
You have current Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Certified Scrum Professional certifications (Required)
So I have no idea what scrum is, but I want to be a Scrum Master! I could look it up, I know, but I’d much rather go with what I think it is:
So, clearly, the Scrum Master’s duties are to wrangle these creatures and contain them, lest the public at large learn the dark truth of the world around us.
For that…I am qualified. But, if I apply, will I tip my hand? Will the person who posted that listing know that I know what they know and quickly edit the listing to erase all of the details? Maybe… And then the Scrum will continue to roam the Earth and steal your children.