Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

Jobs. They pay the bills, they put food on the table and they make fun excursions possible. Some people love their jobs and others cannot stand them. Yet, it’s our decision to decide to apply to these jobs, so what is with the unhappy, tragic stories we hear all the time about others and their workplaces? What can we all be doing better when we look for a job and what can we expect when we interview for them?

Here are some tips and some real life advice:

First, where are you looking?

Certain websites like indeed.com, Monster.com and even Jobs.com are what I consider to sometimes be dead ends. When you apply for positions on these websites, you are less likely to hear back from busy employers who tend to post job listings and forget about them. I cannot tell you how many times I have applied for a job with the hopes of hearing back, I never got anything in return because someone has already been hired and the employer forgot to take down the listing. Sometimes they also never sign back into their account to check for applicants. It is annoying and not helpful for someone who has bills to pay.

Instead, if you are looking for a job at the mall, instead of walking around the mall and asking for applications–which is not to say walking around the old fashioned way is not a way to get a job, because it certainly is—fill out the application online. Many times you waste time asking for applications when they turn around and send you on their website to fill out an online application. You can easily, in the comfort of your own coach or bed, go to the mall’s website and look for Retailer Job Postings. These make it super easy to apply and can narrow your search. As far as any job goes, going to their website and looking for the ‘careers’ tab is another fast and efficient way to find out if a company is hiring.

Once you find a job that interests you, research the crap out of it.

With technology as rapid and resourceful as it is, researching has no end. Find out where it is located and understand their mission. Is this something you stand for? If you are someone who has no religious beliefs do you still want to apply to be a communication intern for a new and upcoming church? Probably not. Understand the basis of the job and decide if you can actually handle the job description. They are not there to skim over, think of them as a checklist of qualifications that you may embody. Employers nine times out of ten will ask if you know any background information about them. This would be your perfect chance to shine.

They give you the job, now what?

Just because you were in dire need of a job two months ago does not mean you make yourself so flexible that you have no you time. When I took a job two years ago, I gave them my total availability, which was a huge mistake. For the last two years, instead of my work schedule working around my school schedule, I was squeezing classes in around my work schedule. Not easy and not fun to say the least. Make sure you have at the least one day a week to work on school assignments, or just to decompress. You will thank yourself later.

A professor I had last semester said to the class one day, “If you prioritize your job at crapplebees before your school work, you have got a problem.” Those words have never rang so true. You are in college, doing well is very important. Some people can juggle school and work at the same time and still turn out and do well. Good for them. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. If you are feeling a heavy workload and if your boss is making your job more important than your schoolwork, they have a problem, not you.

When should you leave your crapplebees job?

If you are experiencing drama, tension or stress at your job, you should make sure you take the proper precautions before you drop the mic and peace out.

Lining up a couple of interviews, or even waiting until you have got a new job is the smart and the best ‘adult’ strategy. Leaving your job because you are angry, or annoyed is not a good enough excuse. Being independent and an adult go hand in hand, so make sure you have all of your priorities in check before throwing in the towel.

‘Adulting’ or being self-sufficient is what we all should aim for. We all want to work at a fun and flexible job. It takes a special person to sit at a computer all day and book appointments, and it takes a special person to tend to customers and keep a friendly smile on all day. It may take a while to find that perfect job, but we can all be realistic and take the right precautions before we get there.

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