The most gentle job rejection I ever got

I had applied for a post-doc — the only one I ever applied to — at the University of Pennsylvania, in their center where they study the science of science communication. Yeah, that probably sounds really boring. But I thought it might be kind of cool!

Any case, I got such a nice rejection note from them. They made it sound like: if only some of their pesky current postdocs who kept hanging around would move on, why then, you, my dear, would be our first next choice!

Because the program is moving into a second year of work on a multi-wave panel on communication about vaccination, and we did not know until recently which of our current postdoctoral fellows would be carrying over for the coming year, the process of matching the aptitudes of our applicants with our changing needs has been complicated by the fluidity of our situation.

Although the fit between our needs and your aptitudes and interests was not sufficiently exact to offer you a postdoctoral appointment, we are grateful for the opportunity to read your work and look forward to applauding your future successes in the field.

 

 

“Yes, we’ll keep your resume on file”

I’m curious, was there ever a time during which the promise to keep the resume of the rejected job applicant ‘on file’ was actually honored, and something came of it?

It never did for me. I soon learned to see this ploy for the base basket of false hopes that it was. When I read it in those curt rejection emails, I always could it hear said in a simpering tone.

I got an email like that from Descartes Lab — that was bogus. I got another email like that from a place called EAT Forum in Stockholm — another lie. And I’m sure there’s been others, I just can’t remember them right now.

Job racism in Sweden and Europe

1. I applied for a job as a “Data scientist and GIS specialist” in Sweden. The job was located in a “peace and development” department. So the job title, and the job focus, were pretty much the summary of my PhD, which I had just finished. I sent my application in to SIPRI (Swedish International Peace Research Institute) and … never heard back. At all, ever. About six months after that, I discovered something interesting. In Sweden, you can email the person you sent your application to, and you can demand that they tell you the prior experience and education level of the person they did pick for the job. Interestingly, the reason for this avenue of information is to clamp down on job discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or how un-Swedish your name is. Well, buddies, nice try, but it ain’t working. Like, if I knew that the job applicants I reject can ask for that information, I would make sure to treat all the applications equally. SIPRI did not. I sent them an email demanding the information. And this is what I found out. That among their top 4 applicants (these were the ones who landed an in-person interview) was someone with two years of experience and a master’s degree. To reiterate, in my application, I had 10 years of experience and a PhD. But they chose this other person for the interview, who I imagine was little miss blondie, all eager to do good in the world, and they thought she was all super cute and everything, and that she would fit in really well. So they interviewed her, in-person, and they had three other applicants they also interviewed in-person, none of whom had as much experience as me. The person they chose for the job had a PhD and 8 years of experience. Again, I had 10. And what made me even more mad was that they pulled those 4 people for in-person interviews out of a larger group of 11 candidates. Those 11 candidates all had Skype interviews. So if little miss blondie with the masters degree and two puny years of experience made it all the way to the in-person interview, I just want to know (I didn’t get this information) what were the worthless qualifications of all 11 candidates who got a Skype interview? Upon finding all this out, that was the last time I ever applied to a job in Sweden. And I’m the one who wrote this, and made this video, and this video, and wished desperately for this. And do you know what hurts even more? There’s this old man who was friends with my childhood hero, Kofi Annan, who is the head of SIPRI. Or he is somewhere in the top leadership. I think this is a situation of the buck stops at the top, so I had this experience at the hands of someone I’ve looked up to for almost two decades. By the way, no Swedish language skills were wanted for the job, they just wanted someone with superior English skills. I don’t care how good the Swedes think they are at English, I’m still better than them.

2. Now, what I described above might just be one situation, but now look at this study which involved 200 000 applications. The professor running the study would send out two fake resumes to employers. The resumes were very similar, but one was fronted by a “White” name, the other with a name that indicated a non-White immigrant, or a Black person. Then, despite the resumes being similar, was the employer still more likely to contact the “White” candidate? Well, of course. But what’s even sadder is they did this experiment in 9 countries, and Sweden was one of the two worst in terms of throwing out non-White applicants automatically. I had seen studies like this before, but I always tried to turn a blind eye to them … and I was always making excuses for Sweden … and I always thought when it came to Sweden, there must be a good explanation. And then it happened to me.

3. I applied to an internship — yes, an internship — in the summer after I graduated with my PhD. Yes, it’s a crazy world. You’d think that by the time you have a PhD you’d be beyond internships, but no. It was an internship in Sweden (here we go again!) and actually, I applied right at the time I was applying to SIPRI (first bullet above). This second application was to a place called EAT Forum which does research on environmental impacts of growing food. The internship I applied to was in science communication. I got an interview — so that was good — except they knew I was in the US, and totally ignored the time zones, and set the Skype interview at a time that was comfortable for them, but where I had to get up at 4 am in order to get ready. And I didn’t want to say anything to them about rescheduling, because, you know, I didn’t want to seem difficult. Even though, after the pre-sunrise interview, due to my disrupted sleep, I was neither awake nor asleep — neither dead nor alive — for the rest of the day. I couldn’t do a thing, so I just lay in bed all afternoon and stared at the ceiling, with a headache, unable to get up, and unable to fall asleep. On top of all that, of course I didn’t get the internship — which in my crazy stupidity was all I wanted, yes, please, an internship to go with my PhD degree, just as long as it gets me to Sweden. Now, I am not accusing anyone of discrimination here — I didn’t do that great during the interview (since I was half ASLEEP) and I do believe that another candidate had the better set of skills specific to what they wanted. But what does make me mad is stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. I know a girl who’s half Swedish, half American — and all nice and blonde, and she has the right name and everything — and she got an internship with one of these science organizations in Stockholm upon graduating … with her undergraduate degree. Yeah, that was all it took for her. An undergraduate degree. But I had a PhD, and I didn’t get anything.

5. Now let’s look at clues from the general environment of things. There’s an organization in Sweden called FORSKOM, that’s short for Forskning and Kommunication, or something like that — that means research and communication. In short, it’s like a professional group of science communicators, all supporting each other. Just you look at the names of the group leadership … as if someone like me, with my name, and with my experiences of being pushed away from Sweden, would ever, ever see my name fit in with the ones there. They’ve made room, as is typical, for the one British guy to give a regal touch, and that’s it. I’ve met some of the people of this group at conferences. They’re all super unreliable.

6. Now let’s look at some other organizations in the rest of Europe, for example, a place called EJR-Quartz. I applied for a job here, and I still don’t know what the EJR is supposed to stand for. But this organization works closely with the European Space Agency, satellites and all that my PhD research dealt with. My job application process with EJR-Quartz was totally fine — I didn’t end up getting the job, but it was probably my fault, and I did at least advance to an interview. This was a few years ago now and I have no complaints when I remember back. But what did give me a little pause was when I went to investigate their Twitter account to prepare for my interview. It was all White people, top to bottom, back then (and it still is today!) Please, how much would they really want me around? And when I do and think and say things a little differently from what they’re used to, what would they say? I especially remember, that main Twitter account led me to some Twitter accounts of the people working there, so I clicked around here and there. And I found a photo — from a work event, mind you, like at some sort of satellite conference — of an old man — the head of the organization, or something — standing with a young female employee right in front of him. She was tiny, her face only coming up to his collar, and they both had huge smiles on their faces, and his arm was stretched forward and embracing her from behind, going right across her chest. It was a weird photo from the gender perspective, for sure — but you know, maybe they’re both fine with it, so whatever. But I saw that and thought — yeah, there’s no way all that hugging and smiling and camaraderie would extend to me if I got the job and ended up working there. Like, you get to a point where you have too many experiences, and you know at a glance where you’ll be the odd one out.

7. At the very beginning of this year — pre-COVID, so ancient times — I saw a message that a European Union project called Food Unfolded was “looking to expand its editorial and contributor team”. I thought, sure, I could use some extra money and write about science stuff for them, why not. And it was about food waste, so there’s lots of environmental themes. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time preparing my material, but I did put together a portfolio and CV and sent it to them. But the thing was, by that time, I’d already had so many mysterious silences when sending job applications to Europe, I already knew to expect my material to be thrown out at the first glance. And I was right — I never heard back. I suppose the sight of my name had them clutching their pearls.

 

 

Job rejection: “never got through”

(Back in February 2019)

I applied for a job in October at an environmental research center at UNC Chapel Hill. One of those jobs through a university application system where you get the feeling you’re tossing your information into a black hole.

But for a wonder, this black hole chucked something back out, because they actually did respond, within like a week, and wanted an interview. Now, I had to travel 2 hours to get there for the interview, and they were “unable” to provide compensation — and there’s nothing I hate so much as putting time and energy into other people, all at their whim, knowing by that same whim they can choose someone else.

However, I went for the interview, it went really well, and so I wasn’t as gloomy coming out as in.

Then they told me, it’s going to be a while until we get back to you.

I sent them a follow-up email thanks; they answered, okay, okay, but you know what, it’s going to be a while! But with an assurance I’d hear back.

The supposed start date for the job was December 1. But they implied during the interview that this was flexible, because they didn’t even except to have made the final decision by then. So December rolled around, and I didn’t worry I still hadn’t heard. Then it was Christmas soon enough, so I still didn’t worry. They had to do all these background checks on applicants.

But on the other side of the New Year, it suddenly seemed a lot less likely they would still be selecting their pick. I thought, maybe they they just canceled the job altogether? I mean, they told me multiple times in the interview that I’d hear back eventually, even with a delay, and then in an email they again reiterated: “We will be sure to let you know as soon as a final decision has been made.”

I emailed them today, finally, in February, and lo and behold: “it appears the reply we sent you never got through.”

Wait – are they serious? Or is that a straight-up lie? How does an email reply never go through, unless you just never wrote the email or never bothered to press send?

People are honestly so annoying. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.

How does it make me feel? Like I don’t want to try to do anything.

 

 

A cautious online presence for a PhD student?

When I was a Ph.D. student, I got “the talk” quite often from family members, telling me that my online presence was going to be “problematic”. Not because there were pictures of me doing drugs or anything. But because I was writing an opinion column for the Daily Tar Heel (the nation’s finest university paper), and apparently I was saying things I ought not to say. What will my fellow grad students, professors, future employers think if they see some of those articles, I was cautioned?

So I held back a little bit — just a very tiny little, mind you. I thought: as soon as I’m done with school, and I don’t have to worry about what the department chair thinks of me, then I can be totally uncensored. As soon as I don’t have to worry whether if something I wrote online affects whether my dissertation is accepted, whether I get a slot speaking at a conference.

But … that’s not the case! Because as soon as you get your degree, then you want a job … if you’re worried about how your online presence affects your dissertation, then won’t you worry about the impact on your job search? And once you have a job … maybe you’ll eventually want a better job. And on and on. At each stage, there will be people evaluating you and snooping around your online life. When I was in the PhD bubble, I seemed to think that if I could just finish up, I’d be free from all such concerns. But no … they stick around indefinitely. So are you going to stay quiet about things you care about forever? What if other people can learn by the things you write about, or identify with the same experiences? Especially if those experiences have to do with racism or injustice of some type … or just how to navigate a difficult process … are you really going to keep all that bottled up inside you because you fear what future employers and your PhD committee will think? Cause if that’s the case, you’re have to keep it bottled up forever — or at least until retirement — although I’m sure in retirement we can find yet someone else whose disapproval censors what we write online.

Also, as far as I know, those Daily Tar Heel articles never became an issue for anything I ever applied to. I even have some of my favorites posted on this website, and I never ever during a job application process had a lot of people clicking on those links (WordPress tells me if people do). Even if you went onto the page with all my articles on the Daily Tar Heel website … see, I wrote 24 articles in total and a lot of them were very trusting and humble and begging. You’d have to go through all of them to find the angry, vindictive one, and a busy hiring manager doesn’t have time for that.

Also, at this point, I have even more writings online! I have this website and blog; then I have the articles I wrote for WIRED magazine; plus the articles I wrote for the Daily Tar Heel, plus other miscellaneous webpages about this and that and the other. Buried in all this, you’d really need to search to sensitive topics I’ve written about. Most people don’t have time to do that, and I guess they see the nice surface veneer of everything, and would never think anything else is lurking underneath!

So the doomsday predictions never came true. And just to be clear — I was definitely not throwing around racial slurs or anything disgusting in what I was writing about. I was mostly writing about Islamaphobia. And people told me that would cause a problem. Well, you know what? My soul might have died and the respect I have for myself would have died had I not written those things. I’m not saying I was 100% right in everything I wrote. In some cases, I realize that I even think a little differently now. But the idea of having censored myself for fear of what future employers or my PhD colleagues would have thought — it just smacks too much of mercenarial overtones and lack of integrity.

Also, and here I rest my case: Once upon a time a woman at UNC Chapel Hill was enrolled in the Ph.D. program for epidemiology. While writing her dissertation or something, she took a short absence and went on the Bachelor TV show as a contestant! Like, she was wearing pretty and skimpy dresses, and talking about her boyfriend and dating status, in front of the entire nation. She got lots and lots of press. But now she has graduated and is a professor at Duke and has published tons of epidemiological articles and shows up in videos saying very complicated epidemiological things. So if she could go on the Bachelor as a PhD student and still pull through, why should the rest of us be worried?

 

Should you take time off after your PhD?

I took time off after my PhD, and here’s my thoughts on the matter:

1. I was very tired after my PhD concluded. I really wanted to rest. And this felt like a more important consideration than needing to find a job right away for the sake of being able to have a ready, assured answer when people asked, “so … what are you going to do next?”

2. People say that you can’t have gaps in your employment/educational history … but people parroting the conventional wisdom are often wrong, so this seemed pretty safe to ignore. (Except more on this below, avoid this if possible.)

3. I did not want to go into academia (still don’t) so for my personal circumstances, I didn’t need to get on the post-doc job search interview campaign.

4. I could move back in with my parents. The whole “take time off” thing sort of hinges on being able to live rent-free somewhere, I’m afraid. I really am so grateful that I could do that.

5. I got on Obamacare for health insurance. When your income is 0 (or fine, I had the PhD stipend from the first half of the year, but still), then Obamacare is free — at least, here in North Carolina, and as long as you get a Gold Plan. If you have lots of serious health problems, the Gold Plan might not cut it. The next step up, the Silver Plan, would have cost me maybe around a hundred dollars or more a month, I don’t quite remember. Also, I’m not entirely sure, but possibly the prices go up as you get older (Shouldn’t that be illegal?) So yes, this whole take-time-off experiment of mine also hinged on being relatively healthy. And hopefully on not getting in a car wreck or anything like that.

So, since I had the optimal circumstances, I decided that I would indeed take time off. I didn’t want to run around with my head cut off trying desperately to find a job, any job. I luckily was able to delay that stage by a few months (unfortunately, it eventually found me). And I guess I should also add, I applied to about 30 jobs during the last year of my PhD and the summer after. If I’d gotten any of them, I would have taken them. But the point is, I didn’t get any of them, and also, I didn’t really apply for all that many. It was not a super serious job search that demanded I find a job. I was more or less fine not having found a job.

But … I did realize that it wasn’t an option to do absolutely nothing. Also, I didn’t want to do nothing. I wanted, since nothing else was in the offing, to run my Animations with Kids program. I wanted very, very desperately to do it in Sweden, but everyone knows how that turned out. But as long as I was living rent free in rural North Carolina, I could just do it here! So I did. I worked with 170 kids and they made seven animated films about science, and it was great. It was nice, because programs like this usually are exclusive to big cities with the resources, or rich schools. But this was all in rural North Carolina with many poorer neighborhoods among the school catchment areas. It was really, truly doing something that wouldn’t have been done otherwise, and that is a super-great way to take time off after your PhD. See, you’re doing a fun project … and it’s not full time, it’s all very flexible, so you still get to rest … but it still is a lot of work and it is something definite that you’re doing, so now you can write about it on your resume and you don’t have that pesky unemployment gap everyone is always howling about.

Applying for a job and interviewing at SESYNC

(Back in spring 2019)

“Well, it was nice to meet you!”

So said a man as my Skype interview with him and his colleagues was wrapping up. He hadn’t otherwise said much of anything the whole time, he’d just sat there while the lady beside him ran the show.

But at the very end, he told me, “well! It was really nice to meet you.”

You might think that boded well, but it had a certain finality to it. Like he was only telling me that because he didn’t expect to ever see me again. Shortly before those last words, towards the end of the interview, I saw the man and woman exchange a look – I guess I lost the job somewhere around there, though I’m not sure what I said or did. And when the man damned me with his praise at the finish, it pretty much confirmed for me that it was over.

Indeed, I was right. They sent me a cute little email, “We have chosen to move forward with another candidate for this highly competitive position. We wish you the best of luck and hope you will consider applying for positions in the future.”

This job was at a place called SESYNC, which is a fancy research center at the University of Maryland. It was for a science communication position. And I had read the job description very carefully, and I noticed that communication requested was geared towards communication between scientists, or communication with policy-makers. Knowing that, I told myself, okay, don’t mention your great love of communication geared for the public at your interview!

Lo and behold, during the interview, I got caught up in my enthusiasm, forgot myself, and blurted out my clandestine feelings to my interviewers. Maybe that was around when they exchanged glances and my fate was sealed.

Three weeks (yes, just three!) after I was rejected, they advertised for the exact same job. I wondered what happened, and in my shamelessness, I emailed the main woman running the show to ask her if she thought I could reapply. After all, they said, “we hope you will consider applying in the future …” But no, the professor knocked me out cold: “I do not recommend you re-apply to this position.” Then apparently forgot to erase the final sentence of her copied-and-pasted response by finishing off with “Please consider SESYNC in the future for research and career opportunities.”

So you have an interview with Descartes Labs?

I wrote all the following in fall 2018 (?) right after my final interview. But I couldn’t post any of these job search posts until the sensitivity of the matter had receded somewhat. Descartes Lab is some sort of company that uses GIS and maps to solve problems for other businesses. If I remember correctly.

******

They are very exclusive. So be on your best behavior when you deal with them.

I sent my resume in and heard back the very next day that they wanted an interview. But they have a four-step interview process.

Step 1

First, they assign you to a thirty minute phone interview to their general, first-pass hiring scout, to see if you make the lowest cut. I honestly don’t really see the point, looking back. Pretty much, they were just going back over your resume, which they’ve already seen. Mine didn’t take the full thirty minutes allotted, maybe 23 minutes.

Step 2

If you impress that person enough – and I don’t see how you couldn’t, given they’ve already selected you to speak with them based on your resume – you then move on to a full hour phone interview. You’re supposed to hear back within a week if you will proceed. But I didn’t hear back for like two weeks, so then I emailed them. “Oh, we’re a little delayed because we have so many applicants!” I finally heard after one more week.

The second phone interview is with a Descartes employee who is working at a job similar to what you’re interviewing for. I was interviewing to be a satellite data analyst, so that’s what the guy I talked to did all day.

To set up this interview, a whole other “human resources” person starts emailing you, separate from the human resources person who handled your first interview. Is all that personnel really necessary? Seems like overkill.

I thought my hour-long interview went really well. It actually only lasted for 50 minutes or so, and it seemed to go fast. First, we spent about 10 minutes – yet again! – talking about my resume. Okay…

Then, he asked me what they referred to as “high-level reasoning questions and problem solving.” Except they weren’t all that high-level, and as it so happened, the first set of questions were directly related to my Ph.D. research. The second set of questions was directly related to my master’s research. I thought I had it all in the bag.

The Ph.D.-related questions were about satellites and water. The question was: if you’re trying to study lakes and dams in a cloudy area, where the lakes will often be hidden from satellites, what can you do? The answer is: use radar satellites. At first, my brain felt a little stunned at the sheer audacity of being asked a question and having to answer on demand, but then it came to me … after all, my second Ph.D. paper was literally based around those techniques!

There was a follow-up question that revolved around … what if you also have discharge gauges upstream and downstream of the dam, how would you use those? Well, in my Ph.D. work, I also mixed discharge data with data gathered from satellites, so my mind is used to thinking along those lines. I thought I gave a decent answer.

The master’s-related questions had to do with: what if an insurance company asks you to create a map of which properties in a city are most likely to be flooded. And they want you to figure it out based on areas that flooded in the past. Well, it struck me all of a sudden you’d want to use a spatial correlation. Yes, indeed, that was what my master’s work was about. My interviewer, at this point, while I enthusiastically waxed on and on about spatial correlations and autocorrelations and digital elevation maps, went a little silent. Did I say something wrong? I have no idea. All I know is that he had the sound of a bratty frat guy, and my conclusion was that he was miffed that a woman was answering the questions correctly. Like, how dare you? I like that conclusion better than me having said something wrong.

Any case, he got over that tongue-tied stage and ended the interview with a lot of “great, great,” “awesome,” etc etc, and then his final overture was to tell me how at the Santa Fe office, they get free and amazing lunches cooked in the company kitchen every single day! Yes, honey, your tech-bro-ness is showing.

And that was that. Like a week later, I got a super-prissy email from them, and this was the subject line:

“Thanks for your interest in Descartes Labs, Mejs”

That pretty much said it all. First of all, when you’re rejecting me, be kind enough not to appropriate my name into your fake-chummy email subject. Second, they decided to tell me in the email that “we’d like to keep your resume on file as our team continues to grow.” Oh, if I stacked up the number of times they told me they would “keep my resume on file,” the stack would reach the moon. First of all, honey, I only made it to stage 2 of your 4 interview stages. Do you really expect me to believe that you’re going to leave my resume on file or ever consider it again, stacked against all the people who made it to stage 3 and stage 4? No, I don’t believe it!

Which brings me now to …

Step 3

In a hypothetical stage 3, you have to take a test online to show you know the Python programming language really well. Well, at least I don’t have to study up and refresh myself now!

Step 4 –

You’re finally considered illustrious enough to merit an on-site interview. They fly you out to Santa Fe, I suppose, and I daresay you’ll get to try to their “oh my God, it’s so good” tech-bro free lunches while you’re there.

How I got two science communication jobs

I have seen on Twitter the heart-ache for people in science communication who can’t find full-time jobs with benefits.

Well, I found two of them. So let me tell you how I did that.

First, how did I search for job openings? I’m not very good at that, but one thing I did was to keep on searching “scicomm jobs” and variants thereof on Twitter. Apparently, not a lot of people do that. In fact, the first scicomm job that I got seemed to have advertised almost exclusively on Twitter, and from what I could tell, a total of three people applied. Once I had the job, I was given control of the gmail account for it, and I could see the great rush of applications sent in for the job (not). Kind of made me feel like a loser, like, wow, I was more qualified than two others. Great.

Well, this job turned out to be not so great. I complained to all my friends about it, and one of them sent me a job posting she’d seen out of the blue. I applied for that on a whim, mostly because my friend had been nice enough to think of me and send it to me. And then I got that job, too.

So why do I think I got these jobs? From what I can tell, the employers liked the fact that I had a PhD; and they also liked the fact that I can make animations.

The PhD is apparently a big boost when applying to scicomm jobs, from my experience. My first employer did not say this straight out, but I got the impression that is was sort of an elitist issue for him, like, he doesn’t like to deal with people who don’t have PhDs.

The second employer straight out told me that me having a PhD was a big advantage to my application. They wanted someone who had a strong background in earth science, because they want a communicator who knows the science about as well as the scientists.

So the PhD has been a boost, but so has making animations. I think this is a somewhat unique skill among earth scientists, or scientists in general. I make 3D animations in a free and open-source program called Blender. I’ve been using Blender now for years and years. In the interview with the first scicomm job that I got, the animations were something that my soon-to-be boss asked about and seemed interested in. It was probably something that stood out from the grand total of two other applications.

And with the second job, the animation skill was even more important. The job was advertised as earth science visual storyteller. I might have been the only person who applied who both had an earth science PhD and extensive visualization experience.

Because I had been making animations for so long, and making them about my science research and as part of outreach programs, I had many years’ worth of samples that I could show during the application period and interviews for the second job.

When I first started making science animations, by the way, it was during my PhD, and my first advisor, who was a total disaster, was very haughty about the whole thing, and seemed to think it was a big waste of time, and something that perhaps demeaned the field of science. But I loved doing it, so I kept on. I’ve never been officially trained in animation, and I get feedback often that I’m not doing things quite right; but it would appear that despite all that I still need to learn, science + animations skills are a unique and rare combination. And that seems to be how I got these jobs.

So I guess my advice boils down to a very unsatisfactory, very humdrum: “follow your dreams and pursue your passions” and something will work out. Haha, so boring. It’s not true, anyways — it won’t always work out.

But I can’t come up with anything else, except …

For those who are both getting their PhDs and interested in scicomm:

Ignore the people who say that a PhD has to consume your life. No. Absolutely not, not least because of the big chance you’re going to crash and burn out of your PhD. You want to have other things going on for you. Don’t give up everything else that you love.

Oh, and I can think of one more piece of advice for everyone: when I was done with undergrad and had a 9-5 job, that was when I taught myself how to animate. I wasn’t in school anymore, but I still wanted to learn this new skill. I spent a few hours after work several times a week on it, and then usually a full day on the weekends. I didn’t have to force myself to do it, it was so enjoyable. My point is, keep on developing interests and skills even when you’re out of school — it will pay off so much later if you can spend at least some of your after-work hours doing that. Even if you don’t get a job from it, it will pay off — learning to animate was fulfilling and wonderful way before I got any money or reward from it.

 

Fashion for the job

Am I an airhead? Possibly. I say that because a lot of people were murdered or almost murdered in the US last week, based on religion, race, or politics; and I haven’t really been that affected emotionally. I think I just have accepted that this is normal. Can’t bruise me anymore unless it hits closer to home.

So let me instead tell you what I wore to a job interview last Friday. Yes, indeed, poor obscure me had a job interview. It was a rainy, rainy day, and there were puddles everywhere and cars raising the surfs on the streets, so I wore:

1. Light brown boots (short ones; the brim came to just above my ankle); not rubber ones, but leather (I  hope fake leather) ones. So more or less, neat and tidy small boots with thick red laces. My dad bought that for me, I’m sure it was on a big sale.

2. Green leggings. Dark green. They were $25 and I’ve had them for about 3 years. They were only that expensive because I was trying to be good and bought them from a locally-owned store.

3. A simple cotton black-and-white plaid dress. It comes to just below mid-thigh. It’s a very light material. It has a very nice, trim design. It doesn’t billow out or anything. And it has about 3 buttons or so coming down the neck to my ribs, and a nice collar, and it’s sleeveless and has these nice ruffles on the hem. It was $3! And it’s very simple but it honestly looks really nice. Maybe it’s the plaid, or the black color.

4. Over that, I wore a tan colored jacket – a professional-looking jacket. Not a “suit” jacket, though, because it’s longer. It has buttons down the front, is a nice material, and comes just above where the plaid dress hem stops. No pockets. Nice collar. Etc etc. I didn’t button it so the plaid dress showed through the part. I’m pretty sure I got this jacket in high school, I think it was $11. This might have been the fifth time I wore it. Surely, I haven’t worn it more than 10 times.

And that’s it, not counting the coat and the umbrella. Ah, I was also wearing a necklace from my uncle that I got in middle school, and a bracelet from my aunt I got last year.