I’m not a Millennial. I will not work in your Start-Up or Corporate Office.
OR: Why I will continue to do what I want, even if it means I am poor for the rest of my life.
Are you seated comfortably? Great, let’s begin.
I have recently moved to Toronto. As such I have found myself back in the work force. A work force where nepotism brings you work, not your actual ability to perform exceptionally well at any given task.
I’ve still been putting my nose to the ground and I’ve been hunting hard. I’ve been able to get a plethora of interviews, but the outcome has been the same. I just couldn’t get a job in an “Millennial” job. It didn’t help that a complete lack of communication, and my own inability to decipher an email, resulted in the loss of the chance of acquiring a particular job.
Yet one of my biggest pet peeves is when there is a lack of communication from the other side. This is a huge turn off for me because if someone can’t take two minutes to send me an email, when we are so connected these days, then I just think — I’m obviously not worth your time, so you’re not worth mine.
After these two experiences happened, I realized — I actually didn’t give two shits.
It really wasn’t part of my life plan, I only thought it was because society told me it should be.
The first job chance was an interesting one.
I had arrived in Toronto and was scanning through Eventbrite. I always do this in any city I live in. It’s a good way to suss out the culture and find out what’s happening in the city. Of course it’s an even better way to meet new people.
So scanning on Eventbrite I found an open house to a Start-up. I started to get really excited because I liked the product and thought it was good idea and a pretty good “start-up”. (I’m starting to use the quotation marks here because it really wasn’t a start-up, it has several big contracts and has been around for seven years. The thing is, it was mostly full of developers and tech dudes, not an HR department, or you know, non-tech people).
I ended up checking out the website and saw that I could still apply for a job with them even if I didn’t think that I fit within the jobs that were posted. So I applied the day before the event. Next thing I knew I was having an informal interview with the VP of Business.
This was followed up with a phone interview a few days later.
I was told on the phone that the VP was out of town for a week, so I would hear back the following week when the Recruitment Agency hired by the Start-Up spoke with him.
I’ve highlighted this particular point for a reason. Understanding that the “start-up” had hired an outside agency worried me on two fronts.
- This wasn’t a company I would be working with, it was a “start-up”. The fact that they had hired an outside company told me there was no HR department. So if something went terribly wrong, would I be able to address it appropriately?
- The agency was a third party. So suddenly I was talking a go-between, not someone in the actual company. This was worrisome to me for one reason “loss of communication”. I felt suddenly like I could be playing telephone at any given moment, and we all know how that game ends.
So a week and a half went by and all I got was radio silence. I did the smart thing and emailed the recruiter. Just touching base, wondering what was happening. Silence.
I reached out again a week later, thinking to myself this would be the last time to see if I could get an answer. I knew already at this point that the chance of moving forward into another interview was non-existent, but I thought I would try anyways.
At this point I had already moved on anyways, but it was interesting to see when I got an email near the end of the month with a basic “I’m sorry I had not been in touch, but I wanted to be sure before emailing you about what (start-up) was doing, and it looks like they’ve signed on someone else”.
This hit me in two ways.
- I was angry as shit.
- I thought this was funny as hell.
Why? I was angry because basically I was a last resort to the company. If the other candidates fell through they would’ve considered me, even though it had already been a month and I had probably moved on. But I guess they thought I would be sitting by telephone just waiting to jump at the chance for working with this “AMAZING” start-up. Then I started to laugh and think it was funny because, hell, if I was person and thought that way about the boys I dated I am pretty sure that would classify me as an egotistical asshole.
So I realized that if this was the culture of the start-up, well frankly George, I don’t want a part of it!
Then the second job interview happened, and I realized that I didn’t care how much money I made, so long as I was happy in my life.
I got the phone call during an orientation I was doing for a restaurant job that had hired me that morning.
I had already picked up my first job as a tele-fundraiser with an organisation and had started my first week that, or was about to, afternoon. So getting the second job was icing on the cake for me. Being in Toronto less than a month I had secured a couple of jobs, maybe around minimum wage, but it was a good start. This way I could at least pay my bills.
So when I got a phone call about a job I had applied for about a week before all this hiring, I was surprised. I managed to charm the woman over the phone and was brought in for an interview the next day.
What happened over the next two days was stressful. I was working 1 pm — 9 pm almost every day and was suddenly asked last minute to come in for an interview at 10 am. I was also needing to get everything in order for both jobs so I could be payed appropriately, not to mention spend the four hours doing my Smart Serve so I would be able to take shifts.
I managed to charm them at my first interview and was asked back for a second interview. It was all looking very promising, but then I got an email that I read wrong, but when I replied to the email, I was never sent a response back to know in time that I was mistaken.
The next day I ended back at the office of this business, but by the time I had realized this was a mistake, it was too late. I had messed up and had lost any chance of making this work.
However, what I witnessed at the office made me realize again, “I don’t want to work here”.
What happened? Well the short of it was that I over heard an employee having a complete shit fit at another employee, to the point that I realized that this young woman had no emotional intelligence whatsoever. Who want’s to work in an environment where a person can be condescending and down right childish to a co-worker instead of actually taking a moment to understand the other person, recognize the problem and address it appropriately? I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure I stopped throwing bitchy teenage girl tantrums after High School…
The second thing was the way the hiring manager I spoke to originally reacted to my mistake. I saw an email pop up on a screen that I could see as having an underlying tone of anger and disgust. I was amused by that. It wasn’t my fault, but she was obviously placing the blame on my inability to read an email. Fair enough, I added a word where there shouldn’t have been one, but in this fast paced crazy workplace it’s apparently easy to make a mistake and blame the other person for it rather than, you know, taking responsibility.
Had she responded to me she would have realized the mistake. The best part about of the exchange, (or lack of one) was that had I not shown up at the office, she still wouldn’t have replied to my email. I would have missed out on something that could have given me the ability to properly secure the job.
Again. If you can’t spend two minutes to check your emails at the start of the day and respond appropriately then you don’t know how to manage your time, and I’m obviously not worth it, so you aren’t worth mine.
Perhaps I am being too critical here. Maybe people aren’t as up to scratch with their emails. I know we all get busy, but if you’re interviewing a perspective employee, I would think you would be a bit more aware of an email exchange back and forth. Lack of communication can really hurt your business, whose to say that the perspective employee on the other side isn’t going to be turned off by your inability to communicate? Whose also to say that this same employee isn’t entertaining other job offers?
Sorry folks, but the game of job hunting, it works both ways.
After these experiences I just started to do a bit of a re-evaluation of my life.
I came to Toronto to give myself a second chance after my horrible bout with depression. What type of job was I looking for? What type of environment was I willing to work within?
I am, at the moment working towards going back to school for Social Work. Getting a graduate degree in Addictions, and I’m also entertaining the idea of becoming some sort of Death Doula within a community, if it’s an option.
The thing is, society tells me I should be this eager go-getting Millennial that is willing to do what she has to in order to secure that job in that company that is going to start paying me 50,000 per year.
But if you read my last article, I’m not a F*ing Millennial. I’m a person. As a person I don’t want to work for a Start-Up. I don’t want to work in a silly corporate office 9–5 job.
I want something real, tangible.
I want to work one on one with people, not from a office desk hoping that my learning how to code in my spare time is going to get me a job in super cool office that allows me to drink beer at lunch. I don’t care if my office has a super cool hang out room, or perks like a catered lunch or dinner.
I’m fine with bringing my own lunch to work and not developing alcoholism because of my work environment — I can do that in my own time thanks.
Seriously though. I’m okay if I’m poor for the next ten years of my life. I don’t need the fancy cars, apartments, or to sit at a fancy restaurant every weekend, spending ten minutes trying to get that perfect Instagram photo and then have my food go cold.
So thanks for those experiences. They were a real eye opener, and in the mean time I’m going to enjoy being a non-conceited, not overly trite, sexually active, absolutely crazy, Millennial.