One of my biggest struggles as an American twentysomething was trying to convince my elders that my generation is struggling to be as good as them. They simply don't understand why I can't just graduate from high school, walk into any big building downtown, and walk out with a $70k job with benefits. Instead, I had to "struggle" and work for "pennies" while I created a "reputation." The words I kept hearing over and over again were "he just doesn't have his heart in growing up." Excuse me, wait, what? What exactly is that supposed to mean? Is this some sort of comment that I'm lazy? Unmotivated? Or does my elder generation just flat out not get it?
I don't deal well with uninformed people. Therefore, I will explain the details of my first post-college job interview in hopes that I can shed some light on the subject. It was with an advertising company that shall remain anonymous.
When I walked in to the building, the first thing I noticed before I even got to the reception desk were the people. There was an employee meeting going on, and all of the employees had one thing in common. They were all young, thin, brunette girls in business suits with skirts that barely covered their knees. I was a male, and damn, I didn't fit in already. I got to the receptionist who very politely did her job and instructed me to have a seat while the supervisor was alerted that I was there. I felt a little more at ease until she went over to her co-worker who asked her "Is that who's applying for the job? Gosh, I sure hope not."
The supervisor then came out to interview me. I shit you not, she had a cheat sheet of interview questions and had no idea what she was actually asking. Now, I know you're thinking, well maybe she was new to the position, right? Okay, I can accept that, except wouldn't you have the questions memorized instead of reading straight off of a card that looked like it came out of the book Employment for Dummies?
Anyway, one of the questions she asked me was "why do you want to work for an advertising agency when you studied video production?" Since this was a company that sold television ads, I wanted to facepalm like no one's business. And then of course I got the standard "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Which, in my opinion is like asking somebody something as ridiculous as "so why shouldn't I punch you in the stomach today?"
Needless to say, I did not get that job. And in this case, thankfully so.
This is the nonsense my generation is putting up with. Big companies have lost so much touch with the reality of actual business, that they have no idea what's happening outside of the bottom line. In this case, they wanted someone who was going to look good for about a year, then let them go before they qualify for a raise, and then hire someone else young and attractive to take their place.
But, I guess I just didn't have my heart in growing up and that's why I didn't get the job. How silly of me to think otherwise.