As many of you know from reading my blog, I have been on the constant look out for my dream job since my return from Mexico.! It appears not only were there too many people looking for too little jobs, but most companies had a hard time comprehending why I went to Mexico.! Somehow my master’s degree in international non-profit work seemed to get ‘lost in translation’. Finally last spring, I found my dream job.! But alas, it was only short term contract work. So I was back to the drawing board this September and it was as painful as I remembered.
No one does in person applications anymore.! Everything is online.!! Which is convenient because you can always apply in your pj’s at any hour of the day while eating ice cream. But at the same time, most online applications are long, boring, and tedious.! Just like gas pumps and ATM’s, none of them are similar. In some, you have to download your resume; while, in still others, you have to list every single job you have had in long hand.!! Geesh.!! And of course, you somehow have to learn which key words to use on your resume so the online gate keeper will pick your resume.!! I think I stood a greater chance of winning the lottery.!!
In this day and age of online job applications, nothing works like good old fashioned networking. The dream job I was hired for in the spring was due to networking. I was recommended by fellow grad students. Even the job I started working at after the dream job ended was through a friend of a friend. And now, I was rehired by the same dream job company just in a different department.!! It’s been a year of highs and lows that’s for sure.
And I kept thinking, it wasn’t this hard in Mexico. And then I thought about it some more and decided “oh yes, it was.” Every job I had in Mexico, I was hired because a friend who already worked there recommended me.!! Every job.!! The only difference was, it was all done in person and not online. So there would be a flurry of phone calls, meetings over drinks, more phone calls, and then meetings at the actual job. And of course, let’s not forget the hassle of getting an immigration visa.!! Henceforth referred to as “the Spanish Inquisition” or “Run, La Migra is coming.!” I promise that is a blog post onto itself.!!
What was also crazy about working in Mexico is that ‘isms’ of all types abound.!! Sexism, ageism, lookism (not sure if that’s an ‘ism’, but it exists.!). Everyone is required to put their photo on their resume.!! So, the HR manager or the owner of the company already knows what you look like before they call you.!! And trust me that works if you are a pretty (or handsome) twentysomething hottie, but not so much as you age or if you have never been a hottie.!! No one even gets to see your personality before you are summarily dismissed.!! Then, of course, there’s the age factor which you also have to list on your resume.! If not, they will ask.!! Awkward.!! Two of my really good friends in Mexico were beautiful women, but they were over 50 years of age. There were so many jobs, they were never even called in for an interview.!!
But I realized this is also sort of the norm here in the States nowadays with LinkedIn or Facebook. Many prospective employers will Google you to find out what you look like, what you do on Saturday nights, etc.!! So the U.S. is not really that dissimilar from Mexico. Yes, yes of course, we have laws against that sort of discrimination; but, you have to know about it in order to be able to go to court. And sometimes, getting another job is easier. Sometimes.
However, the one request which really floored me in Mexico was the pregnancy test.!! One of the hotels I worked for required that all female employees take a pregnancy test to see if they were pregnant.!! Every single Western woman I worked with at the hotel (U.S., England, France, Canada, Australia) balked at the request.! Of course, the RH (Recursos Humanos) Department pretty much told us – no test, no job. So of course we all went to the correct pharmacy on Juarez Avenida and took the test. All of us came back with negative results and were hired. That type of test would never fly in the U.S.!! In fact, you can’t even ask a woman if she’s expecting or really planning a family during a job interview.!! It just felt like a huge invasion of our privacy.!
The crazy thing is I still don’t know to this day what would have happened if any of us had come back with positive results.! Would we have been hired or not.!?! No one ever explained that part of the contract to us.! So whenever I think that looking for a job is difficult, I remind myself at least I don’t have to jump through the outdated hoops of Mexico.! And yes, I might have to explain to the interviewer why my master’s degree took me to Mexico.! But at least, I’m not being chosen because I’m cute – which I am 🙂 lol… Or because I’m under sixty – which I am. Or because I’m not with child.! Which at any time I could or could not be, but it’s really none of your business.! Here in the States, I’m being chosen because my qualifications fit the job criteria.! And my dream job which hired me back did just that.! How wonderful is that.!! Happy Friday everyone.!! Enjoy your weekend 🙂