YouTube Can Be Our Saving Grace

Miel Bredouw is a comedic goddess. She’s also freaking brilliant in understanding something that we all keep seeming to forget to use to our advantage: there are YouTube tutorials out there for everything. Ok, so she was focused on make-up tutorials, but we can work with that. Because everything can be learned, somehow.

As Miel says, we knew sweet dick all about make-up when we were young. I can still remember my grandma throwing away a concealer because it was kinda orange, I took it from her in 7th grade. For like 6 months, I covered up my pimples with these weird orange dots of concealer. People would point them out to me, and I had no clue why they could see them. I mean, it was concealer. Shouldn’t it just conceal stuff? I had no clue that I had to match it to my skin tone.

I spent the better part of high school with either a grey or black line all the way around my eyes. I knew that eyeliner was a thing and that it lined my eyes. I had no clue how to make it look right, so I just threw on these big circles of liner until my eyelids disappeared.

As a young adult, the height of style was Christina Aguilera and her leather chaps. I was also spending a lot of time in goth bars around that time and now refer to that period as my “dark days”. Christina had the whole ‘6 hairs constitutes one eyebrow’ thing going on, and I went with it too. To this day, my eyebrows have never fully grown back.

I was a mess for a good 10 years at least when it came to make-up. But I wasn’t alone. We all were back then. Most of our makeup skills came from working with whatever was on clearance at the drug store and using it to copy looks from ads in Seventeen Magazine.

Oooh, Tyra Banks looks so good with the but of purple eyeshadow. Let’s recreate that look, but since I don’t have purple I’ll use this metallic shimmery seafoam green and up it right up to my eyebrows!

Today, kids don’t have that problem. I see 19-year-olds coming into my work with perfect winged liner, the most amazing eyebrows, and contour that would stop a Kardashian in their tracks. It’s like they’ve all skipped that awkward ‘blue eyeshadow with no mascara’ phase and jumped right into life as a makeup artist.  And how the hell are they doing that?

YouTube tutorials.

You can look up any look you’re going for online and learn to recreate it step by step. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a complex Halloween makeup lesson, how to do the perfect winged eyeliner or just the basics of how to apply your foundation. There is a YouTube tutorial for everything. Can’t find what you’re looking for on YouTube somehow? There’s still WikiHow, LifeHacks, and dozens of websites like this that you can fall back on. And when in doubt, there “the Googles” as my mother calls it.

So the always funny and brilliant Miel touched on something that a shit-tonne of people don’t realize. Yes, we can use the internet to learn to make our eyeliner fierce as fuck. But why stop there? I did a course through a local business on Microsoft Word and Excel. I learned how to do mail merges and make pretty spreadsheets and graphs and shit. That was a few years ago, and my skills have become rusty. I had to go for testing on these programs for a job interview last month. Not only am I rusty, but they use a newer version than I was trained on. YouTube to the rescue! As much as people bitch about the Millenials (and the Xennials, and whatever the hell youngins are being called this day and age in their generation), anyone who was raised with a computer in their home as a child or teen has one gigantic leg up on the older generations.

We have Rapid Skill Aquisition.

If there is something we don’t know how to do, we know how to learn how to do it. I don’t know about you, but I live for online education. My workplace has an online portal for our work training, and there are dozens of courses available to us to take at our “leisure”. I’ve freakin done a bunch of them! For fun one day, I did a course on addiction. It’s something that’s interested me for a long time: addiction, the culture surrounding it, ways to help those battling it. I may not make a career out of it, but with what I’ve learned through this course I was able to get into some free online courses on sites like Coursera on addiction. Maybe I’ll go volunteer somewhere with this knowledge. Maybe it will help me at work, considering I do have to interact with dozens and dozens of addicts some days. Who knows what I’ll do with it!

And there’s more. Need to know how to make a spreadsheet? Turn a spreadsheet into charts and graphs? Charley in accounting thinks you’re useless because he’s been using Excel for like 13 years and you’re just some young new thing in the office? There are YouTube tutorials for that! Hell, WikiHow will walk you through step by step how to do things. I have known dozens of 50+ people in higher-up positions who had no clue how to do this. They were always shocked at how their young employees could figure out how to do pretty much anything they were asked, whether it was photo editing or mail merges.

Now, I’m not knocking formal education here. But that shit is expensive, and the debt from it follows you. The skills I learned in my degrees and certificate were more along the lines of “here’s how to think critically and problem solve”. The actual skills I need for a job in my field, like Microsoft Office training and learning how to take more professional looking photos, are things that I have been expected to teach myself. Unless you took something like Communications or Film, you probably didn’t get a whole lot of training in things like video editing.

Social media itself is something that most schools don’t have classes on but is a huge plus to have experience in when it comes to the workplace. More and more companies are getting things like Twitter, and things can either be amazingly brilliant or bomb spectacularly. I mean, if you want to talk brilliant social media campaigning, then look no further than Denny’s. I follow them on Tumblr of all places, just for fun. There isn’t even a Denny’s in my city! They have that perfect mix of professional and bizarre that Tumblr caters to, and they know it. There are so many fails out there, though. Anything from a stupid tweet to a bad hashtag campaign can ruin a business, and companies are looking for people to run this stuff who don’t still type with just two fingers like my dad does.

There is so much out there that we’re able to learn with just a few mouse clicks and a bit of typing. Take full advantage of this the best you can. Want to spend the day on the internet just reading memes? Spend half an hour learning something new for a program you already use first. Bored feel like watching random YouTube videos for a bit? Start with something educational. In a writing slump and need to write just about anything to get out of it? Check out sites like WikiHow to see if they need articles about anything you know how to do.

Sometimes just learning a little bit extra can be the difference between a job you love and a job you spend every day wishing you could escape. Don’t let yourself be limited by what you’ve formally learned, Sunshine. Go that little extra bit. Learn something new online.

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One Of My Biggest Pet Peeves

As I keep telling you, there are five people and the always amazing and precious Bowser Kitten living in this house. Once a week the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend changes the kitty litter, takes out the garbage, and does the recycling. Everyone here does all their own laundry, and for the most part, we do our own dishes. Sometimes we’ll leave something in the sink to soak and someone else will wash it, but we all do that for each other. Even Bowser Kitten does his part, chasing and destroying flies.

So why the hell can’t anyone figure out how to clean the common areas? I mean, it’s like none of them have ever seen a broom before in their lives.

Not How You Use A Broom

In all the years of having roommates, the lack of cleaning in common areas has been one of my biggest pet peeves. I mean, common areas are places in your house/apartment/oversize cardboard box that a bunch (or all) of us use. Everyone in the house eats at some point, so we all use the kitchen. And just like the children’s book taught us years ago, everybody poops. Everybody. Unless you each have your very own individual bathrooms, you share a bathroom with someone else. This ain’t rocket surgery here people. There’s more than one person who uses that room, so logically there should be more than one person cleaning that room.

I swept our kitchen three times today. THREE!!! When I got up to make coffee this morning, there were crumbs and dirt everywhere. When I went to take a shower, someone had tracked dirt and grass all through the house. And when I was reheating my leftover Chinese food later in the afternoon, there was rice and dirt everywhere. Now I know none of that stuff got there on its own. Someone had to track in that dirt and grass, and someone had to spill that rice. And whatever someone did that, did NOT clean it up afterward.

For some reason, grown-ass adults in this house who manage to keep their personal bedrooms immaculately clean can’t be bothered to sweep up their spilled food. They can’t find the time to wipe down counters after they use them. They have no problem spilling pasta sauce all over the stove and leaving it there to bake on.

Since I’ve lived here the longest, I tend to take on the ickier sometimes-jobs. I’m the one who pulls the grates off the range hood to clean up the grease from the fan over the stove. I’m the one who scrubs out the oven. I’m the one who sweeps the cobwebs from the corners, who washed the handprints off the walls, who dusts the cupboard tops and baseboards. I can plan for all of this. But having to drop everything to once again sweep up someone else’s mess in the kitchen and re-mop the floors is just draining me.

And it doesn’t stop at the kitchen, either. As amazingly awesome as the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend is, our bathroom is the root of many fights between us. Even after he “cleans” it, I can run my finger along the side of the tub or on the shower wall and just feel the grime on there. But at least he’s trying. We share that bathroom with another person who has cleaned ONCE. Yes, once. And that was just his sink. In the months he has shared that bathroom with us, he cleaned his sink out once. When it comes to 99% of the cleaning in that bathroom that three people use, I am the one who scrubs the toilet and bathtub. I am the only one who washes the bathmats or the floor. And I am the only one to ever clean the mirrors or wipe filthy handprints off the door and walls.

As I’ve said before, I’m far from perfect. I once had the horrible habit of leaving mostly drank 40oz bottles of malt liquor on the sun porch of a house I shared. At my old apartment, I had to sleep in the living room for quite some time and let my piles of books and study material take over a portion of the room. I learned from all of this though. And I pass on what I learned so you don’t have to make all of my mistakes. I mean if you can’t be a good example, you may as well be a terrible warning, right?

One of the main reasons I hate living with roommates so much is because of the lack of cleaning anyone ever does. I am the only one who sweeps anywhere but the bedrooms. I’m the only one who mops, who vacuums, who dusts, and who scrubs anywhere in this house that is not inside a rented bedroom. No matter how many people live here, I am the one who does 99% of the cleaning here. And it drives me up the wall.

Are you living with other people, Sunshine? It doesn’t matter if they’re family, friends, or perfect strangers. If you’re not living a perfectly solitary existence locked behind the door to your own private abode, then you need to get up off your ass right now and do a bit of cleaning. Make sure you didn’t leave any sort of mess behind. Take a quick walk-through your place and think, “Do these floors need cleaning? When was the last time the countertops were washed? Do I know how to use a toilet brush?”. Clean something you normally wouldn’t, but that you normally use. I don’t care if it’s mopping the floor in the whole place or just cleaning cobwebs out of the corners: if you’re not living completely alone (save for any animal friends), then you need to be cleaning a little bit more.

And if you are living that hermit-life….. I envy you.

Took A Day Off

So things have been more than a little crazy here. Went to a wedding with the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend and met his dad’s side of the family. Like any family, there was drama. It followed us. It was so stressful that AAB needed to take an extra day off just to relax and deal with it all.

Things at work are…… interesting. I took a look back at my calendar from last year. Figured out that I am working more days a week, but getting fewer hours. Unless everyone calls in sick, or everyone has the day booked off, 8-hour shifts don’t exist for me anymore. I used to get one or two a week, which I loved. 8-hour shifts seem to go by faster than the shorter shifts I usually get, and I feel so much more energized throughout the shift. But all I’ve been getting lately are 4 and 5-hour shifts. I’m picking up shifts on my days off, and are working few enough hours that other stores in the district have been able to call to see if I can pick up a shift with them. I work 7-16 day stretches, getting up early in the hopes that I can get a call-in for the day on my days off. Then I get weeks where I have like 3 shifts scheduled, and I have to hope that someone gets the flu so I can work. That in itself is super stressful.

Of course, we have the usual roommate drama. One of the guys downstairs got a job in another city, so he’ll be moving out soon. And the guy we share the main floor with is getting creepier with every passing day. He seriously walks like Michael Myers and stares at walls in the middle of the night. Even the precious and all-mighty Bowser Kitten is getting creeped out by him. He won’t eat when the roommate is in the same room as him, almost as if he’s afraid to turn his back on the guy for too long.

Add to this the usual family drama, ever increasing work drama, relationship drama, and the ever-crushing existential darkness that is creeping in closer with every passing day, and I’ve been super stressed. That “speeding heart rate and fluttery chest” feeling I get when my anxiety is getting worse has been like an every morning/evening thing for me. I’ve been existing in a constant state of panic for the last week and a half basically.

The final nail in my sanity’s coffin was Monday at work. We already had three co-workers off that day, with another filling in at another store. I traded shifts with a co-worker, so I had a morning shift and he was taking my closing shift. So while we’re already short staffed, he calls in sick AND our full-day closer calls in sick. To top it off, the three girls at the bottom of the schedule are students and couldn’t come in for a closing shift. We had craft beer deliveries all day, and our regular beer load, and not enough people to cover everything. I had to stay a few hours extra, and my co-worker and manager both wound up with split-shifts to close the store short-handed. I came home from that shift and poured wine right away. I know it’s not healthy, and it’s totally not a great way to deal with my anxiety, but I drank. And I mean I DRANK! Chilean cabernet sauvignon is both cheap AND delicious, and I buy it in the big bottles (1.5L). I had half of one left from the weekend and polished that off. THEN I worked my way through a second one while I stayed up too late watching Twin Peaks and writing emotionally draining notes for a writing project I’m doing.

So yesterday, feeling hungover and emotionally drained, I finally took a day to myself. I know I’ve been preaching self-care on here a lot, but I’m horrible at practicing what I preach. I always make sure AAB takes time for himself, and lend my ear to anyone who needs it at work. But when I’m at home, “Taking time for myself” usually means sitting at the computer watching old Vines and looking at job ads while I go through my social media accounts and make to-do lists for the day. Yesterday, I did none of that.

I laid in bed for way too long, not even touching my phone. I didn’t check my email, Instagram, or Twitter until the afternoon. I just laid there with Bowser Kitten, clearing my mind and cuddling. When I finally got up, I stayed in the bathroom for more than an hour doing random beauty things that I never take the time to do for myself. Threw in a hair mask, exfoliated my face, did a face mask, and then took a long relaxing shower. Took some extra time to rub coconut oil on everything, threw on tights and fuzzy socks, and took the time to use all those weird expensive face creams and toners and eye creams and stuff that I keep getting from Ipsy.

After doing dishes and laundry, I made some buttery pasta with faux crab and threw on the 10-hour Vine compilation, and relaxed while I ate. After that, I threw on an emo playlist on Spotify and it was more kitten cuddles while I curled up with a Bathroom Reader in bed to relax and catch up on my random bits of useless knowledge. Fell asleep at some point with Bowser Kitten laying across my legs. When AAB came home, we ordered a bunch of random Chinese food. I had never had Moo Goo Guy Pan before, and it turns out I love it.

We curled up on the couch with dinner and watched some old episodes of the British version of Kitchen Nightmares. We were in bed before 10pm. Somehow all that relaxing and napping was exhausting. I spent a lot of time just trying to work through things in my mind, find ways to combat the stress at work. I have been so mentally drained lately that trying to clear my mind just left me drained.

I’m still not fully charged. I’m tired today, and if I had more hours this week to fall back on, I would’ve called in sick today to relax more. Today would be a great day to play Mario 2 on AAB’s computer for hours while eating carrots. But instead, I’m working my way through my 3rd cup of coffee trying to wake my sorry ass up. It’s almost 12:30, I haven’t eaten or showered yet, and I’m already done with today. But it seems a little easier to get through being “done” somehow. I’m willingly doing the piddly little things on my to-do list, looking forward to eating some leftovers in a bit.

I need more time though. I haven’t been properly taking care of myself, so it takes more time to recharge. Honestly, I should be taking a bit of time to myself more often. I know I need time to just lay there and think sometimes.I need time to play old video games, or just lay there and listen to music. I need time to read and cuddle Bowser Kitten, or throw on a face mask and play MahJong on my iPad while it dries. I tried to fit all of that in in one day, and it was just too much for me. If I had taken the time to do this a little bit at a time, then maybe I wouldn’t be so damn drained all the time.

As it is, I’m damn exhausted today. I want to crawl back into bed. I want to eat leftover Chinese food with my feet up on the table, watching TV shows where people ask an angry industry expert for help and then scream at them because they think they know more than them. I’ve been practicing some very harmful act in the name of “self-care”, and it’s not something I’m proud of. I’ve been self-destructive, and I need time for healing.

Don’t let yourself get this far, Sunshine. Do something for yourself to take time for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s getting out for lunch sometimes, or throwing on your headphones and ignoring the world for a bit. Find a healthy way to clear yourself. The roommate I share the main floor with seems to poop like 6 times a day and takes forever when he uses our bathroom. So one thing I like to do sometimes is grab my iPad and just take forever in the bathroom. I’ll play MahJong and Rummy, or just browse Pinterest while I poop or just relax on the bathroom floor. Passive aggressive poop is my self-care I guess.

So go do something right now. Like seriously, NOW. Go grab a chocolate bar. Do a few push-ups and squats. Drink a giant glass of water. Open up the blinds and let the sunlight in. Just do something, anything, that helps you feel a little bit better about yourself for the day. No drinking, no drugs that aren’t prescribed to you to deal with this, nothing that harms you. Hell, if you can, go take a nap or curl up with a blanket and a book. Do something that helps cleans your mind, your soul, or even your colon if pooping is what relaxes you.

Take A Little Time When You Need It

Well Sunshine, this weekend was a busy one. The Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend’s cousin got married, so we got a hotel room out in the county and spent the weekend out there. He had to take care of the booking and transportation on Friday (we don’t have a car). I worked Friday night and had to come home to feed the Bowser Kitten afterwards, so we didn’t get in until around 11pm. Saturday was all wedding stuff, and Sunday was supposed to be a nice day out with his mom at the greenhouse so I could hug baby goats. But of course, life happens.

Without getting into too much detail, things are a little strained as far as AAB’s dad is concerned. It’s an enormous amount of stress on AAB and on his mother when we all get together. When we all get together, we can’t just make plans. Things always get majorly derailed and any plans we make get completely thrown out the window. Like this past Sunday, we had planned to leave the hotel around 11am, go his AAB’s aunt’s place to walk the dog for her, stop by his dad’s place really quick, and then head out to the Giant Greenhouse of Awesomeness for the rest of the day. Instead, AAB’s dad started calling us around 10am, asking us if he could stop by the hotel. Then he started asking if he could stop by AAB’s aunt’s place. Later, while we were at the aunt’s place, he just randomly showed up and started arguing with AAB’s mom and just wouldn’t leave. We had planned to leave his place around 1:30pm. Instead, he stuck around the aunt’s place until a little after 3pm, giving us only a few hours at the greenhouse.  I didn’t get to go to the arcade OR the candy store!

We got home Sunday night, made some snacks, and curled up in front of the tv with Bowser Kitten. AAB headed to bed a bit early, exhausted from the weekend. Even though he took Friday and Saturday off from work, he woke up early yesterday morning and called in sick from work. We have a tonne of stuff to catch up on around the house (why no one ever fucking cleans around here is a whole other post) but decided to put it off. I did a few little things, he did some laundry. Instead of getting things done. AAB spent pretty much the entire day on his computer playing Super Mario World. Every time Bowser was on the screen, he’d say “Look, Bowser Kitten, it’s a big scary Bowser!”.

And that is perfectly cool.

After an emotionally draining and physically long and tiring weekend, AAB was just done. He needed a day to just do nothing. He wasn’t sick, he was totally able to go to work. But he needed a day to process everything that had happened over the weekend, needed to recover from the lack of sleep, and needed time to clear out his mind. If he had gone to work yesterday, his head would’ve still been filled with all the weekend’s happenings. He would’ve had a miserable day, which would lead to a miserable evening while I was at work, which would lead to a miserable night once I got home. So he took a day to just have time to himself and do nothing. He needed to process everything and then needed to just blank out his mind. And because he took that extra day to himself, he let himself go blank, he’s having a great day today. He is having a good day at work, is happy and productive. He’s already planning to make a ham and potatoes for dinner and cuddling the Bowser Kitten for a bit while he plays video games for him. He’s having a better day today because he took care of himself yesterday.

I know we can’t all just call in sick when we’re super stressed. With the shifts I’m getting now, I can’t afford to take a day off when it’s not scheduled. Hell, I sometimes even have to come in on my days off to pick up more hours! But I try to find a way to take time for me before or after work. Sunday night, after AAB went to bed, I put on some music, curled up on the couch with Bowser Kitten, and read my newest Bathroom Reader and updated my day planner for about an hour. Today, I’m catching up on the I’m Sorry Day Podcast (RyDoon + Brandon Calvillo + Marlon Webb = pure magic) and getting some cleaning done. Nothing major, just scrubbing counters and sweeping. Maybe I’ll clean out the fridge, or do some Christmas shopping and craft planning (I like to start super early). This is how I take time for me. Instead of taking a whole day, I’ll take an hour or two a day.

Figure out what calms and centers you, how you can take time for you. Do something nice for yourself. As the very wise FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper once said “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”

Job Scams: Just One More THings Screwing With Your Job Search

My name is Crystal Coates am an Human Resource Manager at Complete Technical Solutions. We have a job offer for you.

You are happy to greet you.

Complete Technical Solutions provides enterprise-grade IT support for small and midsize businesses. We help your company get more IT bang for your business buck, tackling network and application issues and resolving user woes all while minimizing outages and driving your IT budget down. Complete Technical Solutions is a well established company providing a wide-ranging(and growing) portfolio of services. Clients approach us with many objectives: to evaluate and improve their existing infrastructure, optimise information flow and reduce the hassle of daily activity, outsource their IT support and take advantage of the Internet-based technologies which are transforming the way we all do business. Bottom line: Complete Technical Solutions makes sure that your IT works for your business and not the other way around.

We got your resume from the website: www.workopolis.com We are looking for responsible and reliable people to expand our personnel. Currently we have an open 3 position of an Online Service Manager.

What does an Online Service Manager has to do?

Online service manager performs tasks in the Internet similar to ones performed by customer service representatives. However, as managers, they also supervise other client service representatives. In general, representatives work to ensure clients’ satisfaction with organization’s products and services. They are often the primar point of contact for a client or customer. Their job assignments include directing and controlling the process and fulfilment of orders, fielding customer inquiries, and resolving customer complaints.

If you are interested in this position and you are ready to become a successful manager with the opportunity for career growth together with Complete Technical Solutions, please reply this mail and we will begin your employment.

If you are not interested, please let us know also, and we will not bother you again.

This gem popped up in my inbox this morning. Now, I have three different email addresses, and I can check all three automatically from my main Gmail account. There’s my social media account, my university account, and my professional sounding Gmail account I use for everything from resumes to bills to online shopping. Yes, I use the professional account on my resumes, and for all my job search related emails.  The only time I ever used any of the other accounts was in University when I had to use my university account for my positions through the university.  Every single resume, job search site, employment seminar, and online class uses my professional address.

This showed up addressed to my university address.

That right there is the first red flag. In fact, this is a HUGE red flag! If this red flag got any bigger, it could blanket this entire county. If you have multiple email accounts, and you get any sort of job search related email in an account you never use for job hunting, it’s 99.999% most likely a scam.

It’s a pretty shitty thing, but the number of online scams for job hunters is on the rise. There have always been scammers out there, but their schtick was so old it’s was easy to identify. Back before I had my own personal computer, I remember looking at the old “stuff envelopes from home” thing, where you paid a “low low one-time fee” of something like $69.95 to get a list of work from home jobs. From there, you could contact each of these jobs, most of whom made you pay a “low low one-time fee” of anything from $10 to $500 for materials and training. They claimed you would be reimbursed once you proved you were willing to work for them. They only collected money because there were too many people out there who would send away for the materials and then do nothing with them. They were losing millions, they claimed, and needed to protect themselves from us work-from-home scammers.

Boo-freakin-hoo.

These scams have always been around because people who need money to survive sometimes become a bit desperate. They tell people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to work or make a living that they can work from their home. Working mothers, the elderly, disabled, and people with other issues or responsibilities that keep them in their home were told that they would be able to earn a decent living. Students were told they could work around their schedules to earn money. All they had to do was pay a little bit up front and they could earn all they needed.

Of course, it was all lies. I knew someone way back in the day, before I was so ridiculously old, who fell for one of those ‘stuff envelopes from home’ scams. He got an envelope in the mail, with flyers and lists for all these work from home jobs.  He shelled out $19.95 for a list of work from home jobs, to start with. The list had all sorts of jobs listed: assembling jewelry, assembling small toys, stuffing envelopes, telemarketing from home, things like that. He then had to pay $79.95 as a “material fee” for a box of envelopes and boxes of flyers. The information he got from the company said that he could make “up to $45 an envelope”.  They claimed he could afford to quit his job and stuff envelopes professionally in a few months.

How?

Well it turns out he would get a base fee of $25 for every 200 envelopes he stuffed. That means he would have to stuff 16,000 envelopes a month to make $2,000 before taxes. $24,000 a year before taxes, for stuffing roughly 550 envelopes a day. BUT he could earn more. If someone received his envelope, was interested in the information in the envelope, and ‘responded in a positive manner’, he would receive a $45 commission as a ‘finders fee’.

So what was in the envelopes?

They were the envelope he got in the mail. The one he read, and then sent away for more info for the initial $19.95. It turns out, every time someone sent away for the list of work from home jobs, and then signed up for one of those jobs and sent them a “material fee”, he would get his $45.  The thing is, we were all constantly getting those letters. I would get 6 or 7 a month.  All of my friends did. Out of dozens and dozens of us who knew this guy, he was the only one who sent away for anything. The chances of him getting people to not only send away for the list but then send away for materials was slim to none. He would have to work roughly 12 hours a day, to live below the poverty line. Their whole “you can quit your job” line was based on you getting 50% of the people you send envelopes to every month to send in that money. The real rate of return on that was actually less than 1%, we later found out.

This scam is still out there today, but online. And with the ever changing nature of the internet, scams are evolving too. Some of them are a little too slick, a little too convincing. Some of them are a little too hard to detect at first. You’re not getting the standard “send us money, we’ll send you stuff to make money with” bullshit from the past.

So how do you avoid becoming a victim of these scams? And how do you identify them?

Do they offer you way too much money for simple tasks? 

The job offer from above emailed me again, with more “details” from the job.

Emрlоymеnt: Full/Pаrt timе:

1.Sаlаry: $1340/$670 per week
2.Wоrкing hоurs: 40/20 hоurs wеекly
3.Working hours (full time position): 9 AM – 5 PM.
4.Payment will be sent to your bank account weekly directly via Interac e-transfer. Payable at regular every Friday at 6 pm.

If you choose position of Part Time, you need to work at least 4 hours a day, it is advisable to start the morning.

So working 20 hours a week earns you $670 to “keep in touch with customers and clients”. They claim you would be answering emails and online chat requests, and you’d be working directly from a script. So they’re willing to pay you $33.50 AN HOUR to answer a few emails. Doesn’t that seem just a little bit ridiculously high?

Usually, if you’re going to make a ridiculously high wage like that, you’ve either worked your way up in the company to a very high position, or your daddy is the CEO and just handed you the job to keep the business in the family. No one is going to send out random emails to prospective employees and offer them that kind of wage. No one out there offers this as a starting wage for customer service. No one.

So you received an email with a job offer. What email address did it come from?

Companies pay good money for their domain names. Big companies aren’t going to have email addresses from Yahoo or Hotmail. The emails with come from addresses like FirstnameLastname@company.com. If Amazon were to email you a job offer, for example, the offer would come from someone directly at Amazon. You would be able to Google them, and get their contact information through their website. If Jane Doe is the head of the HR department, you would get an email address from JaneDoe@amazon.com or something like that. You would be able to Google “Jane Doe Amazon HR Department” and come up with information and contact information about her.

You would NEVER get an email from JaneDoe_AmazonEmployment@gmail.com or AmazonEmploymentRelations@yahoo.com. If a company has a website (which pretty much every company existing today does), then it has a professional email address. They’re not going to give everyone a professional email address except the person in charge of hiring new employees.

They’re also not going to have ridiculously long email addresses that seem to have been randomly thrown together. JaneDoeHRdeptcdhm@yahoo.cdhm.gime.uk emailing to offer you a job with a local company is about 200% fake. If an email address looks like it was thrown together randomly from a box of alphabet soup, it’s bullshit.

And don’t be fooled by how professional an email looks. Templates can be copied, logos can be stolen or faked. Just because someone knows what the Amazon logo looks like, or knows how to make an email look super pretty, doesn’t mean they are offering you something real.

What does their website look like?

Ok, I honestly think that “how to spot a fake website” should be a mandatory course, not just taught to students but taught to EVERYONE!!!! I swear, if I have to see one more post on Facebook saying that McDonald’s/WalMart/Tim Horton’s is giving away free $1,000 gift cards to anyone who signs up on their linked website, I’m going scream. Every single one of those websites fails the very first thing you should be checking for a website: their web address looks totally and completely bogus.

If Burger King is emailing you a link, that link should be http://www.burgerking.com/whateverelsefollowsthat. The important part is that little space between “www.” and “.com”. If it’s Burger King sending that email, it’s Burger King you should expect to see in that link. If their web address has anything like “www.wxyz.burger.hamburger.king.zyxw.com”, then run screaming into the night. Run hard, run fast, run far away.

But what if the web address looks legit?

Well, what does the website look like?

A real business website will have certain information on it: email, phone number, business address, prices for services, etc. If something is a scam, then it’s going to be missing a lot of these things. Let’s take the company that emailed me earlier today. In their follow-up email, they gave me their website to take a look at. Go ahead and take a look through the website. The home page has almost no information on it, other than a phone number. There’s no info about their staff, their CEO, the extent of their services. They don’t even have a mission statement or a picture of the big boss.

If a company doesn’t have a picture of at least one of the big bosses (CEO, CFO, founder, site manager, etc) you know there’s something up. These guys LOVE having everyone know that they are responsible for the company’s success. Hell, the website above doesn’t name a single employee!

Can you go through the website and tell me what services the company provides? Not just a basic list of the services. Can you look at the website and tell me details about the services? How much they cost? What exactly they include?Scams don’t go so far as to cover this on their sites. They want to throw together as professional looking a website as they can in a very short period of time.

I’ve never heard of this company before.

Google. Google is your friend. Google will help you find out things you need about a company.

So if you type the company name into Google, what comes up? If you Google a company, you should come up with a whole shit-tonne of information. Just for fun, I Googled the company I worked at before I went to university. It’s a small business, one location, that services and distributes equipment for a few big photocopier and postage meter businesses.  And you know what? There are dozens of results that pop up when I search them. There’s their website, job ads, customer reviews, former employee reviews, and all sorts of random bits of information about the company.

Now, do you know what came up when I Googled the company that sent me that email? Absolutely nothing. Their website didn’t come up, no reviews came up, nothing.  The only time I got results was when I Googled their name plus the word “scam” attached to it.

Did they outright offer you a job in their email?

No phone call. No interview. No back-and-forth emails. There was no cat and mouse to it. Just opened your email and *BAM* there’s a job offer.

Ya, that’s a scam. They don’t know anything about you. They don’t know if you’re qualified for their position. Hell, to be honest, there probably isn’t even a position!

Did they ask you for any details to get payroll moving, or to do a background check?

NEVER give out your social insurance/security number out to random people online. NEVER!!! The same thing goes for banking info, credit card details, or anything else that could be used to “look into” your identity.  This ain’t rocket surgery. If someone came to your door and said, “Hi, can I have your social insurance number? I want to do a background check on you”, would you give it to them? The Same logic applies online.

Wait, did you even apply for this job?

I’ve lost track of the number of jobs I’ve been offered that I haven’t applied for. Most of them say that they found my resume on Workopolis or Monster.ca. The thing is, I don’t have resumes posted on either of those sites. So how did they find me?

I had a local company message me once saying that I was “ideal” for a position with their company. They started telling me about the position, and it was nothing at all what I was looking for. It was strictly commissioned sales in insurance, which would mean no guarantee of a paycheck. It was also mainly based out in the country, well beyond any bus routes. I don’t have a car and take the bus everywhere. I searched online for the company and found out that the “recruiter” jobs are the most lucrative. Basically, they hire people to send out mass messages to “prospective employees”, and they get a commission for every employee they sign up. Then they get a commission for every sale that employee makes. It’s the very definition of “pyramid scheme”.

If you didn’t actually apply for that job, or they say they found your resume through a means you don’t even use (online postings, temp agencies you don’t use, an unnamed “friend” who supposedly passed your info along), then ignore it.

Do they want you to move money around for them?

This one is classic. They give you a check for $1,000. They tell you to deposit the check into your bank account. $250 is yours to keep. You then have to send the other $750 to their business contact. The only reason you’re sending it and not them, they claim, is something like “tax purposes” or some other financial reason. What came to be known as the “Nigerian Prince” scheme was basically the same thing: he gives you a check he can’t cash for “political reasons”, you cash it and keep 10%, and send the rest to his sister/mother/wife to help him escape his country.

Don’t bother. That check is going to bounce, and you’ll be on the hook for whatever money you sent their contact. They’ll disappear, you won’t be able to contact them, and you’ll never get your money back. Oh, and the money they told you to keep will be gone too since the check bounced.

Ok, but what if they just want you to buy something to do the job with?

I’ve had to pay for stuff to do my job before. I bought a special uniform shirt at my current job that I’m allowed to wear on Fridays. I’ve had to pay for uniforms at my old fast food jobs. But that special Friday shirt wasn’t mandatory. And my uniforms came out of my paychecks.

A real job will never tell you “you’re hired, just send us $189.99 for software to get you started”. If they really wanted you to start working, they would just give you the software to start with, and take it out of your pay somehow. They would make sure you had what you needed, were comfortable using it, and were able to do your job well enough to receive regular paychecks. If they want you to pay up-front for whatever reason, they’re just looking to take your money. You’re not getting it back. You’re not going to get paid. Run.

Does the email actually make any sense?

I know we can’t all write with perfect grammar and spelling all the time. But professional emails should be like 99% perfect. MOst of the scam emails I’ve gotten over the years sound like they were written by a 9-year-old who just discovered the Thesaurus feature in Word. Sometimes it’s really big words when a smaller one would be better and make no sense. Other times it’s a ridiculous amount of misspelled words. Most often, it’s sentence structure that makes little to no sense. Like, it just seems wrong and off.

You should check your email constantly throughout the day and quickly response to my messages,
because I’m your manager and I have a few people in this position and I communicate via e-mail only.
I am your mentor, I am interested in your success as well as you when you go through the trial period.
So i need you to connect your phone to Internet connection to receive my messages without delays.

This is exactly what that company from before sent me about my “duties” in the position”. Like, exactly. Spacing, wording, everything. See the weird sentence structure, the odd times to start a new line, and strange wording? Huge red flag!

This shit just makes no sense at all. What the hell would I be doing?

This is the one I have the most fun with. You see, I like to email these people back and string them along like I’m actually going to fall for their scam. I think I get that from my dad. He’s the only man I know who has multiple checks from different “Nigerian Prince” scams in a file at home because he was bored and answered their emails. I emailed that company back, asked what the job entails. Then I emailed again, asking what the job entails. They’ve gone so far as to send me a ridiculously vague Labour Agreement for me to sign and email back to them. They haven’t told me what the damn job is yet though.

All they’ve said is I would be in constant contact with the manager and would have to constantly check my email. That’s it. They’ll pay me $33.50 an hour to check my email and “perform tasks”. They haven’t said what those tasks are at all. I mean, tasks is a pretty broad term. Would I be transcribing record? Raising goats? Arranging travel for foreign dignitaries? Sending out my own scam emails claiming to be a manager for some reason? No clue! They haven’t said a damn thing!

REAL job offer would tell you what the job entails. They want to make sure you’re the right fit for the job before you start. I mean, if they’re going to pay you to work, they want to make sure you can fucking work, right? No company would go through the trouble of performing a mass job search, hiring a candidate, training them, and paying them just to find out they can’t actually perform their job and they need to be fired.

 

Well Sunshine, that’s the basics there. In the end, you really need to trust your gut. Does the offer seem too good to be true? Does it seem off to you? Does it give you that weird feeling in the pit of your stomach that you get when you’re walking home alone at night and hear footsteps behind you somewhere? Don’t fall for it then.

Hope your day is bright and shiny!

Stephen King’s IT: Chapter One, a Review

My mother and I don’t head out to the movies together very often. Pretty sure the last film we saw was Hannible back in 2001. Still, when we saw that IT was being remade into a full movie, we made plans weeks in advance to go see it my first day off.

Now, my mother and I have a long history together with Stephen King movies. When I was 7, I came home from school upset because everyone else was insisting they watched Pet Semetary the weekend before and were bragging about their favourite scenes. After I told mum about some of the scenes, she laughed and said, “They didn’t watch that movie. I’ll prove it. We’re renting it this weekend, you’re watching it with me.” And she actually did rent it, a rated R horror movie for her 7-year-old daughter.

To my credit, I made it pretty far in the movie. Mum says we made it about 3/4 of the way through. I was curled up in the recliner with the foot rest up, while an evil undead cat stalked the main character while he took a bath. Right when the cat lept out at the man’s face, our cat Wussyfur decided to jump up onto his favourite spot: the foot of the recliner. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped so high in my life. Mum turned off the movie and turned on SNL instead. But from that day forward, I could watch pretty much any horror movie I wanted as long as I told her I was going to watch it.

The original 1990 mini-series IT was my second Stephen King movie. Mum had just read the book, I had a huge crush on Jonathan Brandis, and we rented a few Nintendo games to keep my younger sister and brother busy. I made it through both parts of that one mostly unscarred, just a few minor nightmares and a fear of the bathtub.

I don’t know why we both seemed to think that if we could make it through a made-for-tv miniseries, then a full-length NC-17 feature film on the big screen would be no problem. Of course, my mother also thought that Pennywise was being played by one of the possible fathers in Mamma Mia, and still can’t wrap her head around how much they charge for food at the movie theatre.  She did seem super impressed with the big, squishy recliner seats we got in the theatre, which came in very handy when we were each curled up in a ball watching parts of the movie through our fingers.

Now, as for the movie ITself, I’ll start off with the good. The kids in that film were amazing!!!! I really found myself hating those bullies, rooting for the Losers Club, and totally creeped out by dead Georgie. I haven’t seen a very little kid be that creepy since Gage in Pet Semetary. The Losers Club was cast perfectly. You not only empathized with what made them part of the Losers Club, but you could almost feel their terror at different parts of the film. They were such endearing characters, so full of life and charisma. You found yourself screaming right along with these kids as they ran for their lives.  My only fear with these kids is that Chapter Two will befall the same fate as the original. Many people felt such a connection to the kids in the first half, that they had trouble empathizing with their adult counterparts.

The special effects for the different forms of Pennywise were terrifying. He takes the form of what scares each child the most and just does some bizarre stuff to get their attention throughout the movie. While his Georgie formation is creepy enough to make your skin crawl, his physical forms for the other kids are what got to me. Without revealing too much, the manifestation of illness for one of the kids was one of the creepiest images I’ve seen on the big screen in a very long time.  Being on the big screen, this version was able to be much gorier than the original. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean it was gory just for the sake of being gory. Georgie’s death scene in the beginning of the movie, with the full blood and gore, made his demise that much more horrifying. In the original, Georgie reaches into that sewer, and the scene ends. In this version, we see the final moments Georgie spent above ground, and what Pennywise actually did to him.

The story overall was a lot closer to the actual book. While there were some changes here and there, this seemed truer to King’s work, while still leaving out that strange-ass child orgy scene (thankfully). For the purpose of filming, certain aspects were left out of this version, much like the last one. The alien origins, the mental aspects of the final battle, and that freaking terrifying spider in the final battle are (thankfully) absent in this version. That didn’t stop the story following King’s original plan this time. WIth the restraints of television censors, certain elements of the children’s backstories were made much more evident, allowing viewers to really connect with them.

And now, for the bad.

Holy. Freakin. Jump scares. I’ve never really associated Stephen King with jump scares. Those are usually reserved for movies without a plot-line like King can develop. The scariest thing about Pennywise in the book was his psychological torture. He knew exactly what scared you the most. He preyed on your fears, drew them out. Pennywise can reach into the depths of your soul, find things you may not have even admitted to yourself, find that things hiding in darkest recesses of the mind that terrify you beyond anything else. In the book, King explains each fear, bringing forth each child’s fear manifested with Pennywise mocking them with it. Pennywise shows where each fear comes from, explains why it’s there. In this version, Pennywise just……… appears out of nowhere. Two of the kids’ fears are shown only once, and very briefly. One kid’s real fear doesn’t appear until the final battle! There’s no real explanation for any of the fears except for one, with three others being pretty obvious. One is just…… stated. Pennywise doesn’t even show up as this fear until after it’s made known to everyone. Instead of that deep, psychological fear that haunts your dreams and makes you second guess every bump in the night for years, it’s totally missing from this version. Instead of toying with your mind, this movie just jumps out and screams, “Boo!” a whole lot.

Overall, I think this was a fantastic movie. I would definitely watch it again, and would actually pay money to see it in theatres again. That is huge, considering I never get out to the movies anymore. The actor playing Pennywise was phenomenal, and he did an amazing job with the material he was given. I just feel like the material wasn’t completely up to snuff. While Pennywise is terrifying, and I did spend a good portion of the movie curled up in a ball, it wasn’t the right kind of terrifying. This was a much more raw, physical, in-your-face evil clown, as opposed to the psychological terror of the Pennywise I was expecting.

 

Shit Advice for Your Job Search

Hey Sunshine, remember when I said your life is full of well-meaning people who want to give you well-meaning advice on every aspect of your life? One of the times they come out in full force is when you announce you’re looking for a job.

Everyone and their uncle come out of the woodwork to tell you what worked for them when they were looking for a job. It doesn’t matter if the last time they had to write a resume was in 1972, what worked for them should work for you! The thing is everything changes with the times. I’m sure your Uncle Howard looked sharp in his plaid suit, with his crisp one-page resume showing that he was fresh out of high school when he walked into the local department store or factory or whatever was the major employer back then. And sure, walking in off the street and asking to see the manager worked for him then. He got his entry level job and was able to stay there until retirement, slowly progressing his way higher up in the company until he was in charge of people.

Yeah, that doesn’t work anymore.

Even in the years I’ve been looking for work (on and off since I was 18), things have changed. I’ve been to dozens of resume workshops over the years, and just the changes in writing a resume are drastic. In high school, there was one format that everyone used because a streamlined resume made it easier for employers to find information. It was one page, with your name and info at the top, and a section called Objective where you explained why you were applying for a job. If you brought a resume like that into a workshop these days, they’d tear it to shreds.  Still, this is the way almost every well-meaning relative and family friend has told me to write my resume even to this day.

This is actually something we’ve talked about at length at quite a few job hunting workshops over the years. It seems everyone is somehow getting the exact same advice from people, who then get mad when you either don’t follow it or you do follow it and don’t get results. A bunch of us over the years talked about getting attitude from (or straight up yelled at by) someone who seems to think we lied to them about taking their advice because “if you really did do [xxx] then you would’ve found a job by now!”

But what exactly is this shit advice we’ve all gotten?

#1:”You don’t need the internet. You need to get out there and pound the pavement! Back in my day, you walked right into a place, asked to talk to the manager, and you shook their hand and gave them your resume. It helps them put a face to the name! You’ll never get a job just sitting around playing on that internet all day!”

When I was looking for a part-time job in high school, I walked through the mall with a folder full of my resume. I passed them out to every store that had a “help wanted” sign in the window, and eventually got a job at a mall kiosk.

Fast forward to four years ago, when I graduated from University with my first degree. I needed to pay rent and buy food, so I went back to the mall. No one takes paper resumes there anymore. Every sign in the window said, “apply at [jobs@storename.ca] or check our website”. The mall itself even has a page on its website telling you what stores are hiring, and where to email your resume. And this is just at the mall.

At the store where I work right now, all our hiring is done through corporate. You apply online, they do one massive day of interviews for all the stores in the area, and you wait to hear back from them. All of our job postings are done on the corporate website, and you apply online by filling out forms and uploading your resume. Still, we get an average of 3-4 people a week walking into our store with their resume, asking to speak to our manager. And every time, I have to tell them that they can only apply for jobs with us online.

#2: “Well even if they say to apply online, you need to show up there with your resume! They need to be able to put a face to the name. And showing up there with a copy of your resume after you applied online shows your dedication.”

Actually, when a company tells you to apply for positions with them online, showing up in person with a resume just shows that you don’t know how to follow even the most basic of instructions. They specifically ask that you fill out an application and submit your resume online, and leave it at that. Showing up in person shows that you can’t even do that. If you can’t follow instructions to get the job, then what would make them think you can follow instructions enough to do the job.

In a lot of cases, whoever you leave your resume with has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you get the job anyway. My manager has pretty much zero say in who we hire. All applications go through corporate. Two managers for the whole county interview every prospective employee, making notes and grading each applicant on certain criteria. Then, they sit down, divide the applicants up by what store they’re nearest to, and pick out the best employees for each store. My manager right now has no say in who we get at our store. The only thing he can do is, if someone worked seasonally for us before and is applying to us again, tell the hiring managers if he liked that employee or not.

My store isn’t unique in this either. The only time most managers, whether it’s a store or an office, get to see an applicant is if they’re chosen for an interview. For a lot of places, it’s not even that manager that gets to pick applicants: it all goes through algorithm software, corporate managers, and then the chosen ones end up on the manager’s desk. It’s only then that they would be able to ‘put a face to the name’. And from what a few friends in HR positions have told me if they have to interview someone who previously insisted on bringing in their resume in person, they toss the application as soon as the interview is done. Again, if an applicant can’t follow basic instructions to get a job, then what would make them think the applicant could follow directions on the job?

#3: “You just need a killer resume. Get a template to follow if you need to. It’s easy enough, just objective, education, work experience, and then references.”

This is so wrong these days. For starters, most people realize your objective for applying for a job as soon as you apply: you want to work there. You want a job, or else you wouldn’t be applying. You don’t need any of that “It’s my goal to use my 17 months of HR experience to further my career with…….” bullshit anymore. Yes, putting an objective in was THE thing to do for a very long time. No one reads them anymore. They just take up valuable space at the start of your resume and give those reading the resume a reason to toss it.

Second, stay away from just filling out templates!  Yes, you can use one as a guide. I have 4 or 5 different templates printed out and kept in a file folder at my desk. Different types of jobs or industries require different resumes, and it’s good to have a guide as to how that resume should be done. Don’t follow it step by step though, or just fill out a template. This is especially true if anywhere on your resume you mention being able to you Microsoft Word or any other word processing program. If you can use Word, then you should be able to create a resume pretty damn easily.

Resumes are more than just a list of your past jobs and education. Your resume is your own personal advertisement for yourself. It’s a marketing tool to show people what it is you can do, and what you can do for them. They don’t care for a list of your grade school and high school, or a list of your college and university courses. A job in a corporate office may not care that in 12th grade you worked as a line cook on weekends.

What do they want to know about? Your accomplishments, anything that shows that you can do the job you’re applying for. Can you spin your line cook job to show that you were willing to give up free time to work, that you showed extreme dedication to learning any and all new skills to advance your work, that you were able to work your way up from dishwasher to food prep to line cook despite being a full-time student and only being able to work nights and weekends? That’s the kind of things that make you look good. Showing up for a shitty job twice a week to flip pancakes for a few months is nothing. Unless you need to give a chronological list of past employment, or your past employment if only part-time student jobs, leave off what isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying for.

And while we’re at it, forget the references. I actually know someone who, on top of having the most shittily formatted resume I have ever seen, would also include a page of references (each one formatted differently), and 3 or 4 letters of reference from past employers and a family friend. He never updated any of this and used the same little resume package for everything he applied for. Yes, he was able to get jobs while he was using this package, but to be fair he got them despite this. He already had the job and just needed to formally apply. You don’t need to include references with your resume unless a job ad specifically asks you to. And forget the “References Available Upon Request” line. Every employer knows that if they request references, you’ll give them some.

#4: “Ok, well now that you have a resume, just spread it out there. Blanket the city with it. Apply to every job you can, put your resume in everywhere. Print stacks of it, mail it out to companies and ask if they’re hiring. Just get that resume out there.”

Ok, how about you don’t do that. First off, we already went over why you don’t apply with a printed resume to places that ask you to apply online. Same thing goes for mailing them a resume.

Secondly, you shouldn’t be applying to every single possible job out there with one resume. Remember a few paragraphs ago, when I said that different jobs need different resumes? Well, that means that different jobs need different resumes. You need a different resume depending on your past work experience, your education, the type of job you’re applying for, and to make sure the algorithm software chooses your resume.

I know, that sounds pretty messed up. Hear me out though.

If you have a lot of relevant experience in the field you’re applying to, then a chronological resume should work great for you. It can showcase that you’ve spent years working towards the position you’re applying to and that you have a growing knowledge in that field. Just be careful with this one: if you have any gaps in your employment history or made any major career changes, this is going to highlight that like your mother pointing out every calorie you’re eating at Thanksgiving dinner while telling you you’re looking “a little more Monroe-esque this year”.

If you don’t have a solid build-up to the exact job you’re applying for, you were out of work for periods of time, or you are applying for something in a new field, then go with the functional resume. This just emphasizes your skills instead of your past jobs. I’ve got education in office administration, psychology, criminology, women’s studies, and a bit of business. I’ve worked in offices, customer service, academic research, security, food services, and have volunteered in everything from fraternity parties to food banks to fundraising. There is no way laying that all out in chronological order would impress exactly no one.

You can combine both of these types together like I do. My resume starts out as a functional resume, but then just lists my past jobs and education. Above all, it needs to be tailored. Like I said, companies use computer programs and algorithms to sort through the hundreds of resumes they get. If you throw a basic resume out there, putting the same resume in for every job, the chances of that resume having the words those programs are looking far are pretty damn slim. You really need to be tailoring your resume to each job you apply to, pulling words from the job ad that match your experience.

How the hell are you going to tailor your resume to every job you apply to if you’re applying for every single job out there? Well, you don’t. You just don’t apply to every single job out there. Want to make a general food service/fast food resume and use that at every restaurant and fast food place in town? Go for it. Make a general resume tailored to a certain field if you’re going to send out mass applications. But you can’t just use one resume for everything though, and you can’t apply to every single job out there.

#5: “Oh you Millenials are just lazy! Why don’t you pry yourself away from that computer screen for a bit, go out there and network! It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and you’ll never get to know anyone sitting at that damn computer!”

What’s your LinkedIn profile looking like these days? I’ll tell you right now, mine is a complete mess. My summary is too long and wordy, I have too many former jobs and volunteer positions listed in detail, my photo is really old, and I don’t even have a decent headline. I know this holds me back at times. LinkedIn is a tool that more and more big companies are using, and it’s becoming a much more important part of job hunting and career planning.

Fact is, a lot more of our job searching now revolves around the internet. Job ads are sometimes only posted online, applications are submitted online, background checks by employers are done online, and networking is done through email and websites like LinkedIn. The internet is becoming more and more important these days.

#6: “Well that still doesn’t excuse anything! When I was young, I walked into the local factory and got a job there. I worked my way up to the office job I had, I didn’t just expect to have a job handed to me!”

You have no idea how many times I have heard stuff like this over the years.My hometown has one major industry that the town has revolved around for decades.  Back when my dad and all of my aunts and uncles were young, anyone with a grade 9 education could go and apply there, get a job right off the street.Starting on the line in the factory, a lot of these guys were able to work their way up to nice office positions by the time they retired.

Today, just to be considered a TPT (temporary part-time) job in that same factory, you have to be a full-time student in either college or university, under the age of 25. To get the same job these men got as high school drop outs 40 years ago, you now need a high school diploma with grades high enough to get you into post-secondary school, and then you need to basically win the lottery and be one of the dozens of people hired among the hundreds of people who apply. I know a tonne of people who would love the chance to get in there and work their way up the way people did 40 years ago. That’s just not possible there anymore.

I have seen job ads for entry level positions that required degrees and years of experience. More and more people are having to work at unpaid internships and volunteer positions to get experience just to get their first job. Jobs today require more education to qualify, more experience to qualify, need more specialized training to qualify. Basically, jobs are harder to get these days than they were before.

To top it off, the job market is changing. More and more jobs are popping up online, or in small start-ups. Now, these jobs can be risky to take but offer the chance to work your way up back like our parents’ generation did. Every single time I have applied to one of these jobs, the ‘work your way up’ crowd has laughed at me. It’s like they’re not respectable jobs.

Pretty much, no matter what you do in your job search, you’re going to get these questions. Nothing you do is right, you’re not trying hard enough, you’re not trying the right way, and everything you do is wrong. Fan-fucking-tastic, eh? Just remember that we know what we’re doing. We know things have changed, that markets have changed, that ways of doing things are different. Don’t let all of this get you down.

As always, if you need someone to vent to I’m always here. Drop me a line at TheFailedGrownUp@gmail.com and vent away. Don’t worry about annoying me, or bumming me out. Nothing’s gonna dull my sunshine, and I’m pretty much a recluse when I’m not at work. Emails are nice from time to time.