If I’m unemployed (and I am) and you have a job, that question is the equivocation of approaching Superman with Kryptonite or a second-grader with the cooties. I am already defensive and my will to communicate is collapsing. Because whether intended or not, the question carries with it allusions of accusation. The inference (to those with free time) indicates that I don’t have a job because I can’t cite, industry and title, the position that I want to have.
Oh, if it were that easy. If naming a job created a job, I would be a star on Dancing With the Stars. (Or more realistically an editor of some description.)
But the thing is: IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE. Applying for jobs, especially in this economic atmosphere, is a lot like walking a tightrope balancing between being under and over qualified for every position. With more than 5 years of work experience in an industry, I’m over qualified for entry level positions that would take my career in a new direction. I mastered the skills that are required of door-opening positions years ago, but I want to start something fresh. Does my cover letter need a cover sheet? And on it the emboldened message: Call me! Call me over a recent college graduate! I have experience! Which means that I applied here because I may actually WANT to do this!
This is my most frustrating circumstance.