The Bad Influence
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The Bad Influence

Seeking Pain: Looking for a job in the Corporate Hellscape

Great… I’m totally happy right now. This is definitely what I want to do with my life.

For completeness (and attention), we’ve decided to augment our SERE-based survival guide on surviving in a corporate machine of bureaucracy, mental duress and meaningless labor with a series of articles to act as a primer on how exactly to land one of these jobs. You crazy sonofabitch. We started with a quick listicle on how to keep your resume looking good, and now we move on to selecting and appealing to your prey.

The Skills That Thrill

Skills that fly higher than you last salary

Let’s face it. You’ve got skills. You probably have a shitload of them. Here’s a few easy steps to get your foot into the door to purgatory.

  1. Think about all the things you love to do.
  2. Refine that image to things you’d love to do for the rest of your life.
    - You might love to listen to Two Princes by The Spin Doctors, but let’s face it, it’s not really a thing you probably want to do forty plus hours a week for the rest of your life. If it is something you want to do that often and that long, PLEASE seek immediate medical attention.
  3. Take that refined list and find a special place for it in your heart of hearts. Really let your love and passion for those things marinate.
  4. Close that all off and realize that if you’re legit reading this article for pointers, all the shit you love to do is fucked and will, at most, be a hobby. Let it cool your heart and harden (heh) you.
  5. Now that you’ve steeled your heart and mind for the journey ahead, go to your favorite job portal and type in “Project Management and Coordinator”
  6. Apply to all of those.
Shut up Susan. Project management is easy. I’ve been telling people what to do my entire life.

Applying for the right job

Woah, woah MUI, how do you know everyone’s skill sets to know that project management would be right for us? Are you psychic?

Are we psychic? Kind of. We can only see the future of a single toaster in Tulsa, OK. (Which, if you’re that toaster reading this — Your owner is about to put his dick in you. You will electrocute him. He won’t die, but he’ll put you up for sale at the next neighborhood garage sale. You’ll have nightmares for a few years about the whole ordeal but they’ll fade with time. Fear not — a nice old lady will buy you at the garage sale and you’ll be toasting bread comfortably until she passes 8 years from now. You’ll fall in love with her KitchenAid mixer — Suzanne. You and Suzanne will both live long happy lives with her granddaughter who just moved off to college. She’ll treat you right. Then you’ll watch all of humanity die in a climate crisis — with the ones you love. Godspeed toaster. Godspeed.)

As for the project management thing: Projects are everywhere, meaning that you have a shitload of experience by simply existing. Did you get out of bed today and brush your teeth? Bam. Project. Take a shit after a particularly greasy wing night? Project. A project is essentially anything where you mentally go “I want to do this thing. How do I do this thing? [Do the thing]. I did this thing. ‘’ Now, there’ll be more steps at the corporate level, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The key takeaway here is that if you’re still trying to get up in it, project management / coordination is a good place to start.

A return to the start

You may need to go back to your resume and make a few wording changes. HR has software that looks for specific words and phrases when you upload your resume to whatever job portal you’re using. Look at all the line items on your resume and find ways to phrase or call whatever they are projects. Did you answer the phones all day? Phone Project. Did you mop prison floors? Multi-Unit Facilities Cleanup Initiative. Just slap a shitload of project-based euphemisms on there and we can move on to the next step. Make sure that you’ve got a PDF version saved and a Microsoft Word version saved — you’ll need both.

Putting in the work to get work

We’ve got our resume in hand. Now it’s time to pound the figurative pavement and start applying. Pull up your favorite job search site. We’re pretty agnostic when it comes to which job sites to use, but keep in mind that you’ll be putting a lot of your info about yourself out there — so make sure you’re on a site that won’t freely sell your info to any Joe, Dick and Sally on the street (LOOKING AT YOU MONSTER.COM).

Most sites let you pre populate some details about your work experience, skills, certifications (COUGH COUGH we have a free one here <link to cert> if you haven’t already done it, and it would look pretty fucking snazzy on your resume), and other resume elements. Some sites will even let you do quick apply where you just hit a button and it submits your whole resume to the employer.

Now, here’s where our advice differs from most conventional wisdom out there. We like the idea of getting acclimated to one’s environment first. You’ll probably be getting a lot of “no”s from some of the more uptight employers, so we suggest starting big and getting used to no. So, find the search and look up “CEO / President”. Each listing will come with a bunch of requirements that you need for the job — ignore those. Just click the apply button. Worst case, you get a no. Best case, someone actually trusts you to be CEO of the company. Wouldn’t that be neat?

Now that you’ve gotten the no’s out of the way (or landed a bitchin’ CEO job), it’s time to apply to targeted jobs. Just search for project manager / coordinator jobs near you. Here you’ll have to read job descriptions. They usually suck and aren’t super representative of what you’ll actually be doing (herding cats with paperwork), but they’ll give you clues to the general demeanor of the employer. Here’s some phrases and their translations to look out for:

  • Looking for a Rockstar! We need someone who is fine with us asking them to go above and beyond their duties with little to no additional compensation for the extra work done.
  • Must be Detail Oriented! Our internal process are bulky, hard to manage, and require a lot of manual intervention so we need to rely on you to not fuck this up for us.
  • It’s a fast paced work environment! Your co-workers and management are going to be mean, overly stressed or both and we don’t really give a fuck about that. We also haven’t planned out anything further than tomorrow and our plans change hourly.
  • Must be a utility player! We’re going to ask you to do a lot of stuff that sucks and isn’t your part of your job.
  • Looking for a passionate, driven worker. This work has broken a lot of people mentally, so we need someone who will stick it out so we don’t have the up the salary range for this position.
  • Must be a self-starter! We’re not sure exactly what the hell it is you do, but you better figure out how to do it. OR. We don’t have a formal orientation process and no one is interested in fixing it, so we’re just going to rely on you to figure it out.
  • Looking for someone with an “Intrapreneuer” Mindset. Someone in HR went to a conference somewhere and heard this buzzword. We need someone who will passionately drive the business like it’s their own without reaping any of the rewards for doing so.
  • May require occasional overtime. Get out now! We work 60+ hour weeks every week except for the occasional 70 hours prior to releases. Also releases are every two weeks.
  • Produces bug free code. Ok. Not typical of a project management job description but we’ve seen it on a veritable shit-load of job descriptions. Might as well make the entire job description “Qualifications: Never made a mistake. Ever. Also never missed planning for every possible scenario. Ever.”
  • Up to 25% travel. 60% travel.
Like Everest but your sherpa is drunk and hates you

Climbing the Everest of Redundant Work (to get work)

You know how we told you to save a MS Word (or whatever text editor you prefer) copy of your resume. Well, here’s where that comes in handy. Now that you’ve found the platform on which to find your job, it’s time for the data entry part. OH! Data Entry Project! Put it on the resume!

Anyway, you’re going to get asked to enter descriptions of your jobs, dates you worked there, etc… about a thousand times for every job you apply for. For starters, the job application platform will probably ask you to enter in your job history, skills, and certifications (COUGH again COUGH we have a free certification here). Then, when you apply to a job, they’ll probably have a job portal that you need to enter the information into again. THEN, when you select that specific job, you may need to enter additional information. See how having a document that you can just copy and paste from would be handy?

This guy didn’t let people tell him he’s a shitty personal trainer. Fake it until you make it.

The Last Part Before You Get to the Next Part

You’ll have to go through the copying and pasting of job-related shit like a buh-zillion times. However, some job places are catching on and allowing you to “quick apply” with a pre loaded resume. We suggest using this feature. Actually, not only using it, going HAM on it. We mean, really get out there with it. See a CEO position with quick apply? Submit. See a Chief Government Scientist with quick apply? Submit. Quick apply to be president of the United States? Submit submit submit. It’s a numbers game, so play the numbers.

You’ll probably have to apply to a bunch of stuff, but eventually you’ll get a bite. Interviewing isn’t really in the purview of this article, but rest assured — we’ll still be covering it.

Godspeed in seeking bullshit work you insane person you.

XOXO

Minimally Useful Industries

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We’re a Bad Influence because we INCITE change through inclusion, thought and creativity. We imagine a world where people can think critically, express themselves, and thumb their nose at the status quo, together.

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