We’re looking for a candidate who wants to work part time and make a reliable, but modest salary. We’re a low-drama, chill, business casual organization that wants our employees to focus on and excel at their tasks while they’re here, but then be able to leave their duties behind when they walk out the door. We want our employees to have the capacity to do the things that are really important to them in their lives like maintain connections with family and friends, pursue artistic ambitions, participate in hobbies, and improve their general health and well being. We know that a paying job is a necessary part of life, but that it is not life itself.
What no job description has said ever.
The language of many job descriptions demands high-octane skills deployed with blistering 24/7 devotion by rampant careerists who are laser-focused on their ascent to Employment Nirvana.
It isn’t what employers really think they’ll get, and may not even be what they want. But whenever I start looking for a job, by the fourth job posting I read, I’ve started to believe that it is what I have to be to get employed.
I start to imagine assembling a hard, shiny, workplace appropriate exterior. I squash down my softer, squishier tendencies and streamline my life experience into a perfect progression to this very job opening. I arrange my face to keep my eyes bright and a smile hovering on my lips. I wear closer fitting, more feminine clothes and keep them dark to hide my anxiety sweats. My speech is full of my professional interests, carefully calibrated boasts, non-threatening ideas, and mildly amusing anecdotes.
I may not actually have to do this elaborate sanding down and disguising of myself to get a job, but why do I believe so thoroughly that I must?
There has be a way I’m just not seeing to professionally present as skilled, competent, and pleasant without feeling the need to enter into a kabuki-style performance where I profess my commitment to the job as the center of my universe to make the cut.
Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.