Why You Should not Want Just a Job.

As a hiring manager in the COVID era, I can say that it’s been the most overwhelming experience of all times.

I recently was a hiring manager, trying to find a good fit for my CX team in the COVID era. This experience is something I might want to share later, once I’ve settled with all of this emotionally.

What I wanted to bring to your attention is some observations of mine. The hiring process, especially in UX, is broken. And I have to admit it seems like it’s broken from both sides.

There’s nothing groundbreaking that I’ve uncovered, but that’s my point. It’s been like this for quite a while. The pandemic just highlighted it even more.

Here are three main trends I’ve noticed in the candidates.

1. I am just here for the job.

And, trust me, I understand it.

I know that you need to pay your rent, that you might have a family to support, and kids to raise. I am a human being myself, after all. It is clear that you need something right now, and it should not suck too much. Unfortunately, most of the jobs suck unless you genuinely want to do them.

We all have to be motivated, positive, team players, seeking collaboration, and welcoming any feedback. I know that everyone is looking for an extroverted, outgoing employee. It is one of the things that’s broken. Honestly? I do not want a team player if I need a person who will spend 90% of their time heads-down writing Help Desk articles. Of course, it does not mean that no interactions with the internal team are necessary. But there’s no need to be everyone’s favorite coworker.

If you want to do the job that you are applying to — even if it’s not the most amazing things you feel passionate about, it’s always better than just having a job that makes you miserable.

Do not just apply to everything. Make sure that it’s something that does not make you want to puke.

2. I did not read the job description. I just like that it’s remote.

Yes, being remote is a trend, no kidding.

Honestly, this moment is quite similar to the first one. But this time people have some illusion of remote work that does not correspond to reality.

If you do not care about the job, you will feel miserable after all. It’s just as simple. If you are a functioning human being, you need to care about something you spend 70% of your life on. If you do not — you are doing everyone a huge disservice.

On top of it, remote work is not for everyone. You’ve got an idea that it is just sitting on the beach all the time and sipping cocktails. It is the same as base your expectations on what’s life like in a movie about superheroes.

Being remote offers you some flexibility in your life and schedule. But it’s still the same work you have to do in the office. Not more or less.

Don’t just want “a remote position,” especially if you have never tried it before. Weight all the pros and cons when it comes to such a drastic change.

3. I have no relevant work experience, but I am ready to learn.

And it’s a tricky one. I understand that some people might “booo” me for bringing this up.

But here’s the thing: if you have no relevant experience of what you are about to get yourself into, it means that you need to put in the double effort. And I am not saying that you cannot do it, of course. Two things matter. Is it worth a shot in your specific case? Are you motivated at all?

“Everyone is working in tech now, so should I” is not a motivation. It is how we add more pressure to the industry that already has a decent number of flaws. First of all, not everyone is working in tech. This statement is just not true.

Second of all, to be aware of new technology, you do not have to work in tech. I am serious. But you do not have to. You can work in another industry and see how tech impacts it and, therefore, learn. How cool is that?

Don’t just go into tech because you feel like you are missing out. What’s worse than missing out is facing all the ugly problems of working in the tech.

In conclusion.

We had an open position with simple responsibilities, and it had 456 applicants in fewer than two weeks. It’s the first time in my life where I had to go through 40–50 applications per day.

Most of them were missing the point and hitting the trends I mentioned. Honestly, this approach does not help anbody. Hiring managers are overwhelmed with the number of applications they get per day, and applicants do not even hear back for weeks and sometimes months.

Do not just play a lottery. I know that it’s hard, and in most cases, very frustrating. Especially if you do not hear from anybody after sending a handful of CVs per day.

In this game, you can go with quality over quantity. I am not saying that it will work like a charm, and Google will hire you if you make sure to target the position you want. But if you are applying to the jobs you are willing to read about and willing to do well, there’s a chance to hear back from the hiring managers.

If you are looking for a job right now, I wish you all the best in your search. Because it’s tough now. But I’m pretty sure you’ve got this.

I lead a CX team in short-term rental in Canada and the US as my day job and draw funny comics about UX later.