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July 4, 2023 – Cracked Ice and Chrome

LIVE from the cesspool that is LinkedIn

Ok, not really live, but my thoughts are live right now if that makes a difference.

Prior to this year, I had not job hunted in 17 years. My job hunts have always been fairly easy. The last two interviews I had resulted in jobs.

I posted last time about the murky waters of LinkedIn and how it is so foreign to me. That sentiment remains.

LinkedIn seems to have two extremes: the platform for the successful and the megaphone for the desperate.

NETWORK! That is what all the advice is for people like me: desperate teachers who want to switch careers. I don’t know HOW many times I have gotten a message from someone who seems helpful but ultimately just wants you to pay him/her to redo your resume.

LinkedIn is, at best, shark-infested waters that introvert types like me do not do well in.

I have always tested as a strong INFJ type. If you read about this personality type, we thrive on genuine connections with other people. We are notoriously bad at bullshitting and clamoring over others for personal gain. I would say that is a good thing. However, if you look at allllll the advice on LinkedIn, most people say that’s a bad thing.

You have to get your name out there! That’s what the masses howl. Yes, but to me there is something inherently wrong in pretending that I have a deep connection with someone when I really don’t have one. Some people can fake this. I cannot.

YOU WILL NOT GET A JOB WITHOUT NETWORKING! That is also the status quo. However, if I have no connections, how do I form them without feeling totally phony?

LinkedIn was made for certain personality types. It was NOT made for people like me who thrive on honest, real connections with people.

So the job search continues. I’m about 75 applications in with a handful of rejection letters and zero interviews. To say that this job market is tough is a supreme understatement. It’s more like a battlefield. Thousands of teachers are fleeing the classroom and they are all competing for a very small sector of jobs.

In addition, I have become increasingly annoyed with the trends in job postings that I see:

  1. Not listing the salary. Ok, in a dream world, we can say salary doesn’t matter, but it does. People jumping careers are used to making a certain amount.
  2. Not disclosing that a remote position is only for certain states. I don’t know HOW many job applications I have filled out where I don’t find out at the end that the listing is only for certain states and I get immediately rejected. How about putting that important detail in the job description?!
  3. A LOOOOOONG list of job details makes it apparent that companies are looking for a robot or some sort of unicorn in the job market.
  4. Refusal to train. EVERYONE, it seems, wants 3-5 years of experience. I still see a job posting pop up that says “Entry level with some experience.” If you have experience, it’s not entry level. This particular job posting wanted a long list of qualifications for this “entry-level” position.
  5. Being ghosted. For the 75-ish jobs that I have applied to, I have gotten follow-ups (rejections) for about 25% of them. For the rest of them, I just notice when the job says it’s closed and I delete the listing from my Teal queue. How hard is it with today’s technology to send out a mass rejection email? Y’know, the “while your qualifications are certainly impressive, we’ve decided to move forward with other candidates” email. I mean, c’mon . . . if my skills were impressive, I would be getting an interview. Stop trying to be nice.
  6. I didn’t realize until now that there were fake job postings. I don’t understand the purpose of this other than stealing people’s info, but it is infuriating to have to work around these fake job postings. There is one that I have had to filter out for months. It promises 100k and the job posting is ridiculous. Basically, they want an educator who can guarantee proficiency in 100% of students. Nope, not going to sign up for that BS. This company has been running listings for MONTHS and they clog up my job feed.
  7. No recruiter to connect with. LinkedIn makes it pretty impossible to connect with recruiters unless you pay a ridiculous amount for their Premium service. Many listings have no one to talk to at all or follow up with. There has to be SOMEONE reading these resumes and cover letters. Who are they? Why not let people talk to them?
  8. The stupid questions at the end of the job application: gender, veteran status, disability disclosure, race, etc. Aren’t companies NOT supposed to discriminate about any of those things? If so, why do we have to disclose it? If you hire someone based on their qualifications rather than their race, veteran status, or gender, then that is a more fair hiring practice, is it not? Even though the questions are optional, in this intense, competitive job market, do you think people will risk not getting hired because they didn’t disclose that info?
  9. Personality/Temperament tests. The ones I have seen have forced me to choose from a selected group of adjectives. How authentic is this if I only have 8 predetermined answers I can use?
  10. The endless stream of people who just want to connect with you to sell their services — resume rewriting, job coaching, cryptocurrency investing, etc. It is all exhausting.

I have a phone interview with a recruiter tomorrow. I am preparing as much as I can, but that imposter syndrome is very real and I’m trying like mad to fight it off with a stick.

I can do this.

Not . . . I can do this?

I hope my next post has much better news.