Am I reaching for the unreachable? Career woes....
October 13, 2014 2:24 AM   Subscribe

Approaching nearly 34 in a couple of months, and have been unemployed since end of June, I'm not so sure I can afford to be fussy when it comes to applying for specific roles/industries. I read 'What colour is your parachute', and it was very informative. Identified the skills I love to use and equally use very proficiently, the environments I would like to work within, and the people I would like to work with. The reality of applying for such roles/industries I am not so sure is a logical process to follow. I worry I am being 'too fussy' as a result of reading that job....

So I graduated from University last year (degree in Business, elite UK University), and prior to my studies I worked for 10 years within Central Government Department. My post-graduation job was Marketing in Commercial Real Estate, but I was laid off after 10 months (really messed up my confidence as I adored my job, no joke).

I have always been artistic since childhood - I love designing things. Be it a training manual (I've done), a corporate case study (I'm doing as a favour to a friend who owns a business), or designing infographic resumes, I just love working with graphics and information. Moreover, love to read for hours (uni was perfect for me), and I also love to edit, annotate and write.

This has lead me to decide a career involving graphics/data/writing is my preference, maybe within a marketing capacity?

I worry that my age is against me. I've designed and tailored my CV to target Marketing companies (still in the process of doing as I'm such a perfectionist). However, I'm just worried that I'm being far too fussy and after 5 months of being unemployed, I need to think realistically and just get any job (even low paid, low entry ones).

My plan is to hand in these resumes directly to the companies within the Marketing/Advertising/Publishing industries.

Can anyone reassure me I am doing the right thing? Or do I need to look at other industries which can also appeal to my skill-set?

Feeling a little lost - and I worry it's a pipe dream...

Many thanks for any advice :)
posted by emma33UK to Work & Money (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think you need to apply for any and all relevant jobs in marketing. Generally positions ask that you apply online, and if that's what they are asking for, that's what you should do.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:51 AM on October 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wait... can you clarify, you're still in the process of perfecting a marketing CV which suggests that you haven't sent it out yet? correct me if I'm wrong. AND you're just now deciding that marketing is too narrow...

Maybe I'm misreading this but I'm wondering if you have not been applying to other jobs during this time you've been perfecting your marketing CV?
posted by tel3path at 3:58 AM on October 13, 2014


Hi there, thanks for your responses.

I have submitted previous versions of my CV (felt that they weren't really tailor specific).
Moreover, I've applied for dozens of jobs (any admin based roles), as I was getting desperate.
Only after reading WCIYP, did I realise i wasn't tailoring my CV effectively nor was I presenting it in the best possibly way (layout/design etc).

I have been applying for other jobs, but jobs that deep down I don't really want.

Ultimately, I suppose what I am asking is - can beggars afford to be choosers if all I really want is to only work within a marketing capacity? The book I feel is not looking at matters realistically (climate, age etc).
posted by emma33UK at 4:20 AM on October 13, 2014


I think that where the book is unrealistic is in the idea of dropping off CVs in person, and also about informational interviews. I don't think people necessarily welcome being asked to spend their time in this way. I also think that the advice to get several job offers in a row, line them up, admire them, get into the lotus position, enjoy the silence, and then take a good lengthy amount of time to consider which of them you'll choose - I've never had more than two job offers on the table at any one time, and out of consideration for the hiring companies I didn't keep them waiting for more than a week. The rest of it is fairly realistic though.

Anyway, to answer your question, you need work. Of course you need to take any job, right away.
posted by tel3path at 4:38 AM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


As someone who recently went through a job search, and who found herself very anxious about the whole process, I highly recommend "the two hour job search". It offers a systematic approach to identifying contacts and having productive informational interviews. (The "identifying" piece is what takes 2hours, btw.) The structure was very helpful for me in overcoming some of the anxiety of the process. While the book is written for new MBAs, the principles are broadly applicable.
posted by CruiseSavvy at 5:29 AM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


can beggars afford to be choosers if all I really want is to only work within a marketing capacity?

Well, beggers can afford to launch a tailored, focused job search for any marketing job if you're identifying yourself as a marketing professional on your CV. You need to not be choosy about the industry the marketing job is available in, however.

You can run a concurrent job search for "any old job" with a more general CV at the same time, too.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:01 AM on October 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


I love designing things. Be it a training manual (I've done), a corporate case study (I'm doing as a favour to a friend who owns a business), or designing infographic resumes, I just love working with graphics and information. Moreover, love to read for hours (uni was perfect for me), and I also love to edit, annotate and write.

Sounds to me like you could be a great technical writer. You would need a portfolio but it shouldn't be too hard - just pick a software, a hardware, and some other technical topic that's complex but you could explain simply. Doesn't need to be a paid/official/published job, just pick whatever products you could make a kick-ass presentation out of! Or volunteer for a start-up or a worthy local non-profit, or even better, an Open Software Project.
posted by rada at 6:28 AM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


OMG. Just get a damn job.

I'm serious. Find work where you can learn something new and then do that job for a year or so. It may not be the perfect job for you in this moment, but what are you going to do? Wait for Job Charming to knock on your door and invite you to the ball?

There are plenty of jobs out there for which you are well qualified. Apply for and get one of them. Don't settle for a job where you're not learning a new skill. Skills open doors. But don't be so fussy about what and where this job is. It may be marketing in a widget company. It may be widget design in a marketing company. Just get in the neighborhood.

Don't spend hours and hours on fancy resumes. Do a very good text resume and be sure to target your bullet points.

Also, one book is not the be all and end all of career development. And if it were, it would NOT be What Color is Your Parachute. It's all well and good to define what kinds of jobs you'd be good at and that would delight you. But we can't all be Ballarinas and Fire Fighters. Someone has to do PowerPoints.

So if you want something involving research, data gathering and charts and graphs, Sales Operations might be up your alley, Marketing to a certain extent, Finance. Look for the skills, not necessarily the title.

Good luck to you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:45 AM on October 13, 2014 [6 favorites]


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