I looked for a dramatic picture... this is from a hike outside of Santa Fe, NM
With graduation now behind me I am left facing the great unknown (see awesome photo above for dramatic symbolism) - the real world without a job. It would be misleading for me to say that my current state of unemployment is due to a lack of options. A more accurate explanation would be to say that my circumstance is a result of my being picky.
Have I been to multiple interviews over the last several months? Yes. Have I gotten offers? Yes. Have I taken any to date? No. Why? Because they weren't the right fit for me. Some people ask why I applied at all in the first place. To that I respond:
"…before a first date you can do as much research as you want, but at the end of the day you're still left with a bunch of speculation as to what that person is really like. They might seem sexy, smart, well put together, and seemingly a perfect match for you. But it's not really until you get through that first, second, third date that you can start to form a more accurate picture of what that person is actually like. Why should a job search be any different?"
What I think a lot of job candidates miss in an interview, is an understanding that they should be interviewing the prospective company just as much as that prospective company is interviewing them. Most of the time it seems as though candidates forget the fact that getting the interview in the first place is an indication by the company that they already feel as though you're qualified for the job. What they want to determine is who you are as a person, what you're about, how you are going to fit within the system they have in place, and whether you have what it is going to take to succeed in their environment. As a candidate, why not take the opportunity to find out the same things about the company? At the end of the day, everyone will end up being happier - no matter what the outcome is.
With that said however, being picky is also a very real and potentially dangerous gamble. It seems like everyone I talk to in the sports industry tells me to just get my foot in the door. Once I do that, I can then figure out what it is I really want to do and where I want to go. I get that, I really really get that. I have seen up-close how difficult it is to break into the industry full-time. I also understand that working in the sports industry is about "earning your stripes" and working your way up the ranks. But I can't help but feel utterly under-appreciated and under-utilized by being told I'm going to be making minimum wage while carrying out a monotonous task. I'm not necessarily looking to get rich, but I at the very least want to be challenged, I want to use my skills and knowledge, I want to be valued, and I genuinely just want to grow as a person. So then comes the response "Alex, if you want all of these things in your first job after business school, the sports industry is not the place to get them. You knew all of this when you went down the path of pursuing a job in the sports industry."
I disagree. I think it simply takes a fine balance between being picky and being realistic about what exists. So it's May 17, 2013 and I don't have the slightest clue as to where I am going to end up. I have some hopes as to job opportunities I want to come through, but at the end of the day that's all I have right now - hope that this "gamble" pays off.
I have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring, but for now I embrace it with open arms (how poetic of me).