Pete Davison: Eve of Something

Posted on May 26, 2011 by

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I have a job interview tomorrow — the first one for a while. Okay, granted, I haven’t beenlooking for a while due to the fact that I’ve been enjoying the freelance work I’ve been doing, but the position in question (which I won’t discuss for now for fear of jinxing it) is one that would be pretty much ideally suited for me, given my background, skills and indeed what I’m doing right now. As such, I’m looking forward to it.

The whole recruitment process is, a lot of the time, very artificial. I recall one time when I happened to catch a glimpse of a letter that someone had written to the place I was working at the time, asking if there were any jobs available. The language used throughout was all very flowery and took in pretty much every application cliché that there was along the way. Said applicant was “confident” and “enthusiastic” and I’m pretty sure she was “passionate” too. I’m not sure if she was a “talented generalist” (apparently that was the fashionable thing to be a little while back, I’m not sure if it still is) but she probably had plenty in the way of “transferable skills” and “relished” the “opportunity” on offer.

I mock, but I’m pretty sure everyone is guilty of it at times. But where does all that language come from? I remember sessions in English Language classes at school dealing with “formal letter writing”, but that mostly focused on layout and ensuring you put the correct “Yours faithfully/sincerely” at the bottom of a letter — a practice which seems to have fallen by the wayside in the age of the email, incidentally. I don’t remember classes teaching you buzzwords that you should use in job applications.

Perhaps that’s where school career advice is going wrong, though. I remember the whole Careers Week thing, where you took that questionnaire and you laughed when the kids of questionable intellect got “shepherd” and “chimney sweep” suggested as potential career paths for them. But I don’t remember getting any particularly useful advice out of them, barring thinking that I wanted to do something involving writing, even then. And I didn’t need a Careers Week to know that — I had already pretty much figured it out.

Of course, it’s not that easy, and your life follows paths that you might not have predicted along the way. Is it chance? Fate? Destiny? Or is it the result of free will and conscious decisions that you make? Either way, it’s often fairly unlikely you find yourself doing exactly what you’d imagined you’d be doing straight away. You might get there in the end, but there seems to be an awful lot of “paying your dues” along the way initially — unless you’re one of the very lucky ones, of course.

Well, I think I’ve paid my dues by now. It’s time for awesome things to happen. Bring it on, tomorrow.

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Posted in: Pete Davison