It's Hard Enough to Find a Job - Don't Make it Harder

Want to find a job? Start with spell check. We'll work our way to employment from there.

The more I observe what's going on around me, the more I realize that times may not have gotten tougher...maybe the average person has just gotten dumber/entitled-er.

I've worked in the creative field for over a decade and I've seen the reason for the existence of the stereotype of the lazy creative professional. Just to be clear, stereotypes exist for a reason: They are true. For example, if I were to say, "That guy spends money like a professional dog sledder," it would be met with no reaction because dog sledders aren't known to spend irresponsibly. They really aren't known for much of anything except dog sledding and the occasional bootleg porn.

In the case of creative professionals, the word "lazy" gets changed to "free spirited" and all is forgiven. Must be nice to lead an unaccountable life. I'll have to try it sometime when I'm tired of living indoors and not smelling bad. Anyway, this is not about creative professionals — it's about doing oneself a favor.

I recently posted an ad on the magical interweb asking for 3D animation help for $25 an hour.  I received dozens of replies, including one gentleman from Canada who wants to transfer USD $50 million to my bank account "if I am so kind to give him simply my bank account and routing number."

Wait. Canada? That doesn't make sense. See above paragraph about stereotypes for clarification.

Just under half of the replies were what I expected - a brief explanation of who they are, why they are qualified, a link to some of their work, and maybe a résumé. Of these, about half of them managed to spell all of their words correctly and make sure their links worked. Those were the front runners. It seems a non-brain conclusion that if you want someone to hire you, you must put your best foot forward. Look at it like a first date, to use an old adage.

So it would appear that a minimal effort was required to make a good impression. Proof read, check your work, etc. The e-mail equivalent to not farting in an interview.

I was not surprised and subsequently disheartened by my lack of surprise to see just how many people didn't seem to have time to respond in any meaningful way. If they aren't interested in the job, fine.  An hourly wage of $25 isn't a king's ransom. So don't respond if you don't care. I just don't comprehend the synaptic orgy that it must take to respond with this:

"ima 3D animator with lots of experience.  What r u looking for in particular?"

Well, first I'd like someone who writes in whole words.  Second, I wrote three frigging paragraphs about what I was looking for.

"Hi, I am writing to repond to you're posting about the job.  I was just let go form my current job and would like to find some extra work.  I do not have much experience with the softwares you mention but I can learn.  Hit me back.  Peace."

Tantalizing.  You hooked me with the fact that you just got fired, told me you weren't qualified, and topped it off with a sprinkling of bad grammar and a valediction that was both weirdly colloquial and meaningless.

As much as I'd like to blame the education system, parents who don't care, drugs, poverty, or any number of convenient evils, at some point it comes down to YOU - the individual writing the résumé. Do you want to get a job? If so, it is worth your time to craft something that shows others how good you are.

Even if you are new to the job market and have no experience, good communication skills are a fantastic place to start. That and a little humility will get you much further than showing your potential employer just how little you care. For all I know, some of these responses might be from a 14 year old in his parents' basement. To him or her I say good for you - you may have the skills and that is great - you are competing with others and in real life we keep score and there are winners. So compete.

It is amazing that among the cesspool of misspelled garbage there were also folks who had won awards, worked for network television, had more experience than I thought existed, and were frankly worth far more than I could pay, but were willing to do the work. These are the people who have gotten ahead in life. Seeing a pattern? Those who work harder go further.

As the bar has been lowered it would seem that good help is harder to find. However, that can be a good thing if you want to find work. I can't speak for all disciplines, but in the creative field just showing up will put you at the front of the pack. Show some hustle and there's no telling where you can take yourself.

However, the key is not your crappy parents, not the adolescent warehouses we call schools, and not your self-esteem.

The key is you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Péralte Paul (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 01:26 PM
"Well, first I'd like someone who writes in whole words." — OMG, I LOL while ROTF because it was so funny. (Seriously, that summed up the problem nicely. I once received a pr pitch where the e-mail intro was all shorthand speak like that.
LG May 22, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Amen! Thank you so much for the article. It is much appreciated and will be put on the doors of two young men I know post haste.
Terry Patterson May 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM
AMEN! I have a niece who graduated from college in 2010. She was pretty pampered growing up as the baby and only girl in the family. She applied for multiple jobs but wasn't hired. After talking to her, it became very clear that she was very angry, and her mindset was that she was owed a job because she had bothered to finish college and she was angry because all these people weren't rushing to employ her! She finally did get a job in the ATL area selling new cars, but four years of college was wasted on her, IMHO.
Lana L May 22, 2012 at 04:40 PM
It extends even to dating - I got an e-mail once, "Sex Plz." At least he said, 'Plz....'
Péralte Paul (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I guess I wouldn't mind as much if I could be sure people knew when to be informal and with whom, and when they'd need to communicate in a way that shows they have a mastery of the language.
Péralte Paul (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 06:30 PM
That might be function of your niece's generation. They expect things just because. I have a friend who is in a hiring position and he was floored when the Gen Y graduates were cycling through. Some had their parents call to set up their interviews and candidates — even before landing the possibility of an interview, would dictate what hours they'd work and that work-life balance was important to them and that there were certain things they just wouldn't tolerate.
Marcia May 22, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I'm sorry I forgot to leave a comment... Too busy rushing to post this to all the grads I know on fb! (excuse me.... facebook)
Helen Ward May 23, 2012 at 03:42 AM
I am a 71 year old with only 2 years of college and have recently retired and spend too much time blogging. This problem of which you speak has to be an indictment of our current K-12 school system. English grammar? Some of these gentlemen who write these blogs are beyond help. They can't even put the right "to" or is it "too" or maybe it's "two" in a sentence. Spelling? Dunt evene go ther or youse end yours frends will shoerly git me madd.
santa May 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
$25 or 3D work? Are you stupid? Start at $60 for a freelance professional. $25 is like offering me 50 cents to flip burgers. I am in no way surprised you got exactly the people you wanted to reply by low-balling market rates.
santa May 23, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Hey, maybe I should put a lame ad on Craigslist for a new lawyer. $25 an hour. Any takers? Just call 714.LOL.STFU.
Dusty Scott May 23, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Dear Santa, Maybe you should read the whole article and not just the parts that offend your delicate sensibilities. I did mention that I got a lot of responses from very qualified folks who were willing to do the work. I have since hired someone and he's happy to be making the money. You may also be wondering why you may not have as much work as you want to have if you are in fact qualified and not merely a "free spirit". See paragraphs 7 and 13 for your answer; and remember - read all of the words..even the big ones. P.S. For Christmas I want a new bike.
Space Ship May 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Dusty: a friendly word of advice - don't stoop to the Patch troll level.
santa May 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Yes, Yes you did mention that. It is you and your delicate sensibilities that are complaining about untalented and illiterate fools who replied to your $25 hour rate. Which is what I pay my cleaning lady.
Dusty Scott May 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Does your cleaning lady know 3D software? If so, get her in touch with me. Merry Christmas!
Dusty Scott May 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Thanks, space. I've been blogging since before blogging was stupid. I'm cool with the trolls. Makes me feel alive.
santa May 23, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Good question. I was wondering the same about your 3D guy while on the way home today. You see, my cleaning lady does not have those skills. That is why I pay her so little to clean my toilet. So if he/she is still looking for some extra side cash, have them hit me up. I'll even sweeten the deal and pay'em under the table.
Dusty Scott May 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Now you're thinking. I knew you'd catch on.
Christian Stark July 05, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I am rolling on the floor laughing my ass off at the last sentence here...Laughing out loud now!
Christian Stark July 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Hi Santa, Could you please send me the info for the next Occupy movement here in Atlanta? I am dead pissed now that I went back to school for my BS degree, and am working for less than $25/hour. Time to march and stick it to the man! Shame on Dusty for providing pay for service at over 4 times the minimum wage. Power to the PEEPS!!!
santa September 10, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Atlanta? Awe that's too bad. I'm in the market for another person to clean my house, but I live in Philly. $25hr or $30 if you also load my dishwasher and fold the laundry from the dryer. Me propina! wink wink
Electric Weasel October 05, 2012 at 03:42 AM
You're a very entertaining writer, you should have a blog or something...


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