Tips On How To Get A Job, Find Love, Or Just Plain Succeed At Anything
My daughter has spent the last month or so looking for a second part-time job. She wants more money, so she can move out next year. She’s been having trouble though – finding something hasn’t been nearly as easy as she thought it would be, especially since she’s been looking for a position that is outside her realm of expertise.
You can’t be a dancer for fifteen years – and that’s all you’ve ever done besides going to school, where you danced as well – and then try to get a job in an expensive restaurant as a waitress with absolutely no serving experience whatsoever. It just doesn’t work that way. Maybe she could be a dishwasher to start, but that isn’t what she wants. Anyway, she’s had to greatly reduce her expectations in this job search of hers.
Of course, I’ve been trying to help her. I’ve been telling her stories of when I was young and unemployed, and how much it sucked. I’ve also been giving her advice, because well, mothers know best.
These are some of the things that I’ve been telling her over and over and over again – you know, to cement the information into her head, or maybe because she typically doesn’t listen until the fifth time when I’m talking to her in my “outside voice” and pulling out my hair.
When I really think about it, I think these tips could be used as general “I don’t want to fuck up, I want to do good” rules in life. So here you go.
1. When you are heading out in public – like say to meet a prospective employer or a date or even just to go to the corner store to buy a pack of Twizzlers and some hand sanitizer for when your vagrant friends come over – don’t wear a belly shirt. Nobody wants to hire (or see) a taller (or even slimmer) Honey Boo Boo. Save that for when you are “gettin’ down in da club”.
2. Try to put a positive spin on things, like instead of saying, “Having to deal with little kids makes me want to strangle somebody,” say instead, “I’m really good at interacting with people over the age of seven.” It may still sound bad, but not AS bad. Also, find something in common with everyone you meet, even if it’s just the fact that you both have hair. For instance, say, “I like your hair.” You don’t have to add, “You wouldn’t look so good bald.” The key is knowing how to edit conversation.
3. You want something? You have to give something. Ask yourself, what are you giving? If your idea of “giving” is demanding in a whiny voice that someone take you to the mall and spend two hundred dollars on a pair of over-priced and unnecessary leather-look jeans, then you are just plain wrong and also pretty selfish. Furthermore, watching Netflix – even though it may seem like it sometimes, especially when you witness stuff like The Hangover III – is NOT considered charity work.
4. Make work for yourself. If nothing else, pick up garbage around the city. There’s lots of it. And no, you may never get paid, but it’ll keep you humble. You’ll also quickly realize that yes, that one little gum wrapper DOES matter.
5. Don’t burn your bridges. Be nice. To everyone. Including your mother. ESPECIALLY your mother. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if she is a bit snarky and you think she might be going through “the change”. You know that old saying, “The customer is always right.” Well, let’s expand on that: “Your mother is always right.” You never know when something you’ve said or done could come back to haunt you. Or when you may need a ride to an interview.
6. Do things. Lots of things. This is probably the most important piece of advice I have to give. Do anything and everything. Play badminton in the park – by yourself if you have to. Ask the neighbour if you can weed his garden. Join a pottery club. Go to a “the bees are dying” rally – that one should prove very interesting. Stand outside a government building with a “death to the insurgents” sign. Doing stuff means meeting people – sometimes the police – and meeting people means making connections, and making connections invariably means finding a job (or a mate) when you are looking for one. That’s how most things work these days. It’s all a matter of who you know. Just don’t sleep with Officer Hartley – Officer BLAKE Hartley – even if he offers to buy you chocolate and a new iPod. He won’t be worth it. Trust me.
7, Be a lifelong learner. I know, cheesy catchphrase, but it’s true. You can never know enough. Especially in today’s society. There are so many smart and talented people out there – competition is fierce. But you can come out a victor in this rat race we call life. Use me as an example. I know the very obscure fact that there are more fake flamingos in the world than there are real ones. This tidbit of information has taken me places, like I STILL get to make dinner every single night, and people STILL complain that I don’t chop the onions small enough. To those ingrates, I say, “Shut up and eat the chunks. You’re not gonna die.”
8. Be proactive. Introduce yourself around, even if no one’s asking. People like people who take initiative. Make yourself available, but don’t be a “starts with ‘sl’ and rhymes with hut”. They get STD’s.
9. Be happy. People like happy people – positive, happy people. But not like crazy happy. Or unnecessarily happy. That’s just annoying.
10. Finally, even though you don’t want to sell yourself short, you should at least have reasonable expectations. You want to date a girl who is an Olympic gymnast – for flexibility reasons obviously, and yeah, you might – then you can’t make smoking and drinking until you pass out your nightly practice. And I’m not saying that you do that now, I’m just saying.
Addendum: my daughter got a job…at the airport…at one of those juice bar places. We (or I) can all breathe a heavy sigh of relief. The world has been set right once again. Or something like that. And now when I ask her to make dinner and she doesn’t, it’ll be because she’s not here. Yay team!