In Confessions of a virgin, I wrote about how I have never been to a job interview before. I was anxious about how my very first job interview on the 16th of February would be. After a 4 hour interview and assessment centre, I was happy with my own performance. I knew that I had given my best. The week later the company contacted me to arrange a trial working day on the 28th of February. I was elated. They wanted to see me again! It meant that I had passed the interview round. I had faced the unknown monster under the bed and found out that it was not as frightening as my imagination made it out to be. Continue reading
I survived today’s trial work day with only a terrible headache to show for it. Could have been worse, I guess. 🙂 The feedback I received was positive but still no contract, so it is too soon to open that bottle of champagne. I was in my element today and I am convinced that this is the right career path for me. I will write about my experiences with more details soon.
Here is a poem I wrote today. I find it extremely difficult to write happy poems. The ones about loneliness and pain are much easier to write. The irony is that my real situation is one of happiness and I am neither lonely nor in emotional pain.
Therefore I decided to end today on a happy note. Here is my attempt at a happy poem. Hope you like it. If you don’t, I blame my headache for diminishing my literary prowess.
Heavenly moments fleet like the steam above a bowl of chicken soup.
Amore mio, winning your love is my greatest coup.
Picture perfect reality transports me into a state of total elation.
Propagating these pure emotions to the universe is my new vocation.
Yesteryear blues that I grieve not are gone in a swoop.
I kind of feel guilt that I am blogging instead of preparing for tomorrow. What is on tomorrow you ask? Do you still remember that I had my first job interview ever on the 16th of February? I received a call last Wednesday that they want me to come back for another full day assessment. In German it is called “Probearbeitstag” – which translates into “Trail working day” and it is set for tomorrow.
I wonder how a trial working day would look like. I am applying for the position of IT Project Manager. Would they want me to execute a case study on project management? They are aware that I have no knowledge of their ERP system, which is not Oracle. So they cannot expect me to work on their system. Then I was reminded of a point they mentioned during the interview. Given the small size of the company, some controlling tasks would also fall under the role of the Project Manager as well.
I remembered the numerous reports and statistics I have gone through in my career life so far. I hated being presented with a number or value, which I had to explain. How do I know where the 1 Million Euro difference comes from? Before I could explain a difference, I had to first verify how the numbers were calculated. (I know it is a repetition of tasks but it is also a matter of doing my job well.) I tried to find out what formed the basis of calculations or which exchange rate was taken to convert the currencies. Even rounding differences could add up to a substantial amount when there are thousands of transactions. These points usually helped in clarifying a part of the difference and I knew what I was supposed to clarify.
I am registered as unemployed since we returned from our RTW trip last April. Between August and December, I attended courses to get certified as a Project Manager. But I was officially not part of the unemployed statistics during this period, although I was still looking for a job. Therefore when it was reported in the news that the unemployment rate has gone down in the last quarter of 2011, I wondered how much was attributed to job seekers attending training courses.
See what I mean? Why it is not good to trust any statistics? Especially those you did not create yourself. There are so many possibilities to manipulate data and the way they are presented. Therefore keep that in mind the next time you get worked up because of some numbers you have read in the newspapers.
The 16th of February will be a special day in my personal history. I explained what was so special about this day in my blog Confessions of a virgin. After having had a few days to digest my experiences, I am ready to report them.
That wintry Thursday, I joined the club of nervous interviewees, who put their deodorant brands to the ultimate test. The cold winter day was not icy enough to cool down my heated nerves. I felt the excessive perspiration under my armpits soak through my blouse Continue reading
I keep hearing the phrase “Thirties are the new Twenties”. But what does that really mean? Here is my list describing the lives of Twenty-year olds – partly derived from my own life and partly inspired by The Big Bang Theory and How I met your Mother. (Warning: This list is full of sweeping generalisations! It is supposed to provoke.) Continue reading
as I am writing this to you, my eyes are open no wider than a coin slot in a Jukebox. (Don’t ask me where that comparison just came from.) I have had a terribly tiring week – both mentally and physically. I have been on an emotional rollercoaster all week. You know about Mr. M’s operation. I have been visiting him regularly at the hospital. Since I am still not driving a car yet (another long story) I have to take the train and a single journey lasts about 1.5 hours.
Yesterday I woke up with a swollen and painful right eye. If you remember, I told you that I have my first job interview ever on the 16th. Continue reading
11 more days to my interview and I still do not know what to wear. I can hear all the guys out there groaning when they read this sentence. At this very moment they are thinking, How typically female! It’s always, “Honey! I have nothing to wear!” Then explain to me why the ceiling of the apartment below ours is practically sagging under the weight of your wardrobe? Hear is what I have to say to all those men; first this blog is not about what you assume it is about and second I will blog about being typically female soon. Continue reading
I came across an interesting article on The Wall Street Journal online. The title, “No More Résumés, Say Some Firms”, caught my attention. No more résumés? How cool is that! Don’t get me wrong, I am satisfied with my résumé. In my opinion I have an impressive academic and professional record. However I find a cover or motivation letter together with a résumé an inadequate medium to promote oneself. To me the traditional application often feels like an exercise in summary writing and merely shows that I have made the effort to write the letter in such a way that catches the recruiter’s attention. After all a job application is comparable to a sales pitch. I want to convince the company to pay for the product “ME”! Continue reading
I have to confess that I am a virgin; an interview virgin. I have ten years of work experience and possess a rather impressive CV, even if I say so myself. However I have never been interviewed for a job. How did I manage that? In order to answer that I have to take you back to the year 1997.
It was June 1997; I was waiting to start my first Semester at the National University of Singapore in September. My majors were English Language and European Studies. That June, I met a really cute guy from Germany. He says it was love at first sight for him. It was love at second sight for me. As you can already guess, we fell in love and spent practically the whole of his holiday in Singapore together. When he had to leave, we decided to try a long distance relationship. Continue reading
Today I surfed on the internet to get some tips on how to write a cover letter, when I came across an article by the German journalist Harald Martenstein (Martenstein, 2009). It described the time when he was responsible for recruiting trainees. He mentioned a particular applicant; who had studied at Oxford and Harvard, had 2 PhDs, had completed work placements at the New York Times and Le Monde, spoke 5 languages fluently and was the runner-up at the National level in a sport that was not specified. (Obviously it is to protect the identity of the applicant.) Anyway both the recruiters in charge decided against him because he was obviously very qualified and would be able to find a job anywhere. (huh?) Just not at their paper. The reason he gave was that someone like this applicant was obviously very ambitious and would either become the Chief Editor within 10 years or if not infect the others with his sulky mood. In addition, reading that CV made H. Martenstein feel average, lazy, overpaid and lacking ambition. Apparently other recruiters must have thought the same of the applicant because he applied again for the same position a year later.
Unbelievable! Here I was thinking that a perfect CV is what recruiters were looking for. But it seems that an impeccable vita can be read as belonging to a person who is extremely driven in the negative sense. Therefore such applicants are deemed as having difficult characters and being potential mood killers. I wonder if this is a common perception among recruiters? Maybe I should count myself lucky that I do not have any outstanding sporting accomplishments to mention in my CV.
1. Martenstein, H. (2009, 01 04). Retrieved 01 04, 2012, from ZEITmagazin: http://www.zeit.de/2010/01/Martenstein-01