2.03.2010

The Resume Code

[Editor's note: Hi there. FYI: my Customer Relations Conference ends tomorrow and I'll be back a-bloggin' then, I swearz. In the mean time, thank you so much to Co-Blogger Chris for picking up my slack this week even though I gave him zero warning. And also thank you Chris for talking me off like 5,000 various ledges in the past three days alone. I'm not kidding. If Chris had a nickel for every time I threatened to quit my job, delete this blog or kill myself this week...well, he'd have a shit ton of nickels. In the words of Lou Reed: you keep me hanging on. You a beautiful little lamb, you. (My words, not Lou's.) Ok, back to the conference. SYNERGY, SYNERGY, SYNERGY!]

Welp, I've got big news. In a little under 8 weeks, I will be leaving New York City for greener, more governmental pastures. Where the skyline is restricted by security concerns and the taxis don't accept credit cards. Yours truly is leaving the Big Apple for the greater DC area. Ok, to be specific, I'm moving to Arlington, VA, but I'll be just a few short metro stops from Meg, which is really what I'm most concerned about. This is all very exciting/terrifying for a variety of reasons. But the overarching reason as to why I'm peeing my pants on a nightly basis is that I need to pack up from my secure, albeit irritating job, and head out into the hurricane that we know as a job market.

This does not bode well for me. As I've recently undergone a quarter-life crisis and have no idea what I want to do with my life, I don't even know the first place to start to look for a job. And the last thing I want to think about are cover letters. But first and foremost, I should probably update my resume. So let's see. Haven't looked at that gem since 2007. What marketable skills have I learned in the past two point five years at my job? Well let me think about how exactly I've spent those last two and half years.

I would be willing to venture I've spent at least two of the last 2.5 years on gmail (the remaining half a year is the time I'm not on my work computer). Do you blame me? When I have a deadline looming and my desk is piling up with papers, I can't possibly focus on work until I know what every single person that appears on my chat list has done over the weekend. That has to get done before everything else. I need to know when one of my friends stays in to watch a Weekend at Bernie's marathon. Oh don't worry, I'll get to that progress report, but first, I've got to hear about this weirdo guy my friend met at a bar who literally said they had "a cosmic connection". Psycho, am I right?! Sure, there's usually a weekly pang of regret that I spend so much time on gchat and I think "Man, I should probably do some real work and ditch this distraction." But then I get a frantic chat from Meg regarding the note Betty White left for Rue McClanahan after her stroke ("I hope you die, so I can be the last Golden Girl." Priceless.). Thanks to gchat and gmail, I'm able to stay in touch with infinitely more people that I would have completely forgotten about. So I guess that I can say I've:
  • Maintained exceptional interpersonal communication skills
Ok, that's one bullet out of the way. Considering I spend so much time talking to friends at work, I hardly ever have time to actually work. This gets a little dicey when I'm supposed meet with my boss each week to discuss my progress that week and to plan for the upcoming week. Usually, in the hour between realizing we're supposed to meet that day and actually meeting, I'm able to find some small tasks to finish while simultaneously compiling a list of tasks I'm "working on" and another list of things I haven't quite started. It's like when your mom would ask you to clean your room and you'd throw everything under your bed, but organize your bookshelf. It gives the illusion of a clean room without actually doing much of merit. Therefore:
  • Improved organizational skills
  • Self-motivated to complete tasks of all priority levels
God forbid I run out of desk work and have to actually interact with the clowns in my office. I get an ulcer just thinking about having a conversation with any of them. My tactics for office conversation is the same tactic I use in a public bathroom: get in and out as quickly as possible without making eye contact with anyone. (And considering my coworkers' general lack of hygiene, the aroma of some office conversation is about the same as a public bathroom. Foul.) I'm mainly just frustrated when I ask them a simple yes or no question and I get War and Peace in response. When I first got this job, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I'd let them tucker themselves out. After two years, I've gotten a little jaded and will gladly cut in on their tangent about their acid reflux once I've gotten the answer to my question.
  • Conducted interoffice relations in a professional and efficient manner
One thing I often take for granted is how lenient my job is. If I wanted to roll out of bed wearing a crushed velour Juicy Couture tracksuit and head to work, I most definitely could. Lord knows I shave maybe once every harvest moon. It's not like I'm interacting with any hot hotties I'd like to impress. Far from it. My unshaven, unshowered, rumpled-clothes look easily qualifies me as the most well-put together nerd in this office. Even when the occasional sales rep drops by my office, they have to trek through the human tragedy I call my co-workers to get to my office, so I'm fairly confident I'm not the fugliest thing they've seen in the past 30 seconds.
  • Observed company policies regarding dress code
Then there are the times when I'm actually doing my job. And when it rains, it friggin Hurricane Katrinas at work. Believe it or not, the past two weeks have been hell on earth for me at work. As we speak I'm getting double-fisted by grant paperwork. These grants are dressing me up in women's clothing, calling me Kathy, and making me their bitch. But on top of all this, I'm able to still find time for you fine people. And work doesn't stop me from: gchatting, blogging, stifling laughter over ghetto Twitter trending topics, researching terms heard on last night's episode of Top Chef, photoshopping humorous pictures for Meg, wishing I was somewhere else entirely, or any number of equally productive personal projects I'm working on.
  • Perfected ability to work on various projects simultaneously
All that being said, I do somehow manage to do my job well. During my annual review recently, my boss told me she was impressed with my time management skills and it took all that I had not to openly scoff, because I know how I spend the majority of my time at work. When she asked me how I do it, I didn't think "Well I put all tasks aside so I can gchat until I realize they are almost overdue, then work on them feverishly until they are finished," was the best answer to that question.
  • Managed time at work wisely
My fear when it comes to applying for new jobs is that the HR person who sees my resume will know the code and realize that I haven't done anything of merit for the past two years. Let's just pray that won't happen.

That being said, anyone have a job they want to hire me for?

28 comments:

S.Rod said...

Co-blogger Chris, I'm so happy for you! I left an equally irritating job in NYC about two years ago and relocated to Arlington. Easily the best life decision of my twenties.

I like the job search through blog readers approach. If anyone can find you a job, it's the fine folks who read this comedy daily. Forget Monster, that's silly.

Finally, I don't know what field you're looking into...but you should know that most government agencies block gchat! I know. I only survive because of the Google Talk on my Blackberry. I just don't want you to be blindsided like I was...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I just moved to DC in the fall with no job in site and no particular vision of what kind of job I wanted. After sending out more than 200 resume's and individualized cover letters to every company in the city I realized that no one here actually hires directly anymore. I hooked up with a few employment agencies though and they are certainly where the jobs are at. They found me a job that I absolutely love within 2 weeks after meeting with them. Even if they don't find you something permanent right away, they have tons of temp openings so you can make some money while they look for a job for you.

That being said, if you are moving to DC you are going to have to do some things that may seem very difficult, which are (a) shave more regularly and (b) get used to not wearing juicy couture track suits to work

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

when we talked at jager ball you said you were moving to falls church. i tried to put a positive spin on it, but arlington's a much better pick! don't worry, you'll like it here. when is moving day?

Chris said...

S.Rod - Thanks for the encouragement/pep talk. I'll make sure to avoid gov't jobs because lord knows I need my gchat.

Anon #1 - Thanks for the advice. However the Juicy Couture track suit stays.

Anon #2 - March 27. I am so much more excited that it'll be Arlington instead of Falls Church. For reals.

austin said...

Hmm, I don't have a job to pitch for you, but I wouldn't mind if you stuck around in your NY apartment for another two months so I have time to move up there and sublease it.

Damn the torpedoes, and poor timing.
But congratulations on the move.

-austin

Anonymous said...

I've been talking about moving to DC for years! but now it turns out that most of my friends from DC are moving up to NY and the thought of having to start my social circle over again is just too overwhelming. That being said, I also have done very little of merit the past two years, and feel very guilty about it on the daily.

Liz said...

I too just moved to the DC area... but right now, I'm living in my aunt and uncles basement. (Yes, it's about as awesome as it sounds)

You wouldn't happen to be looking for a roommate when you move to Arlington...would you? :D

Hails said...

ok seriously, is this blog written myself at night? Am I "sleep-blogging"?
I literally JUST put in my two weeks today. I made up some crap about wanting to travel and thinking about grad school.
Really, my future holds Bravo channel marathons and craigslist combing.
best of luck to you and I

Anonymous said...

Chris if you let us know your general industry or field it's possible one of us has an internally-posted position at the office... or knows they're leaving their own job sometime soon.

2 Birds, 1 Blog: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Haha...sleep blogging...

Austin I dare you to move to DC instead of NYC. I. DARE. YOU.

Jamie said...

I work for the government, and unfortunately people wearing Juicy Couture velour track suits to work is a pretty regular occurence, particularely on Fridays. The color of choice is generally purple or hot pink, and the culprits are usually middle-aged black women. You might want to start with business casual, but if you play your cards right, the casual can probably be widely interpreted.

On another note, I live in Arlington, and I very much enjoy it. And if you are taking a cab from Arlington, the cab companies you call take credit cards. Score one for Arlington.

Talia said...

that's what im chatting about.

Kim said...

What do you do? Maybe I know people who know people who could help you out, you never know! Oh, and I live in Arlington, VA (Ballston) as well! Good choice! :) Do you know where exactly you'll be?

CER said...

oh man. thank goodness it's not just me.

godspeed on your new adventure & congrats on escaping 'ole nyc..!

Sweet Dill said...

This job just came in my inbox in case you're interested?
Staff Writer
Nuclear Energy Institute www.nei.org
Washington, DC (Farragut West metro)
Salary: $65K + benefits
OVERVIEW:

As the need for alternative energy sources increases, the Nuclear Energy Institute (www.nei.org) is at the forefront of communicating the benefits of building clean-air nuclear power plants and promoting the safety of existing plants to Capitol Hill staff, policy makers, media outlets and NEI members.



As one of six writers in a 20+ staff communication services department, you will have the opportunity to contribute your writing skills in a variety of forms including newsletter articles, fact sheets, policy briefs, web updates, reports, issue briefs, presentations, brochures and other collateral material.

Not sure if this is your slice of pie, but if you want, I can send the full info on it?

pattypunker said...

if you've had to sit through non-productive, protracted meetings because blow-hard executives who just worship the sound of their own voice get into dick wars with each other over who should have the spotlight, then you can also add this bullet to your resume:
"Collaborated with leadership teams on multiple high-profile corporate intiatives."

PS: Good luck.

Ushma said...

Chris, Best of Luck with the move and the job search! Arlington is a wonderful area, and truly it's just a hop, skip and a jump from DC. I've been living here almost 5 years and I love it.

On another note, Meghan, did a little part of you die when Chris broke the news of moving to VA? I know how much you hate crossing the bridge...

austin said...

Really, Meg? Really?

Oh, and also, is it any coincidence that "couture" and "velour" rhyme?

Bobby said...

If Chris had a nickel for every time you threatened to quit, delete the blog, or kill yourself, he'd be making money in a very odd way.

Caitlin said...

u stealing sugar frm mcdonalds to make kool aid #UknowUbrokewhen...Twitter trending topics...Kool-Aid need I say more?

April said...

Hi Chris, (and Meg!)
As a woman in her 2ns quarter of life who's moved A LOT, good for you! Courage, change, new windows of opportunity and tons of new experiences will enrich your life and your already fantastic and very witty writing about it all! You're way ahead in the blogging game...an inspiration. My blog, www.goodoodles.com, which has been MY big start of the year adventure, isn't remotely similar, yet I try to share the positives and get people thinking, smiling. So, thanks for the smiles yours sparks and good luck to both of you!! April

oh kate said...

is it ok that when I read you're moving to Arlington I got excited about all the delicious restaurants and trendy bars that will be right outside your doorstep? also, what kind of work are you looking to do? sounds like you did IT/tech nerd stuff. I think we're hiring.

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