Ridiculous things people have said to me

People love giving unsolicited advice and saying they know someone who might be able to help during a job search. Here are a few major eyeroll moments.

  1. “But you’re a woman! and a woman of color, with a PhD in Physics, everyone should want to hire you!” — I mean, what? Hearing this during a brutal job search feels so horrible. Not only is it completely false, but it builds on the notion that people are being hired for their “diversity”, as if that gives you more power. No one actually wants diversity. There is some very weird aura around being a one of kind unicorn that people assume will make you special enough that everyone wants a piece of you. This is not true and does not happen in real life.
  2. “You should start a business! You’re smart, don’t you have something you can invent?” — huh??? I should accept that no one wants to hire me for the skills I have in the field I’ve put work in and come up with a business idea, as if starting a business is easy?
  3. “You should go back to school, get another degree.” —No thanks. I was in school for 12+10 years.
  4. “You should learn python, that’s a skill people are looking for.” — people that are looking for python on a resume are looking for someone with years of experience, not someone who took a course while they were unemployed. I’m so glad I didn’t torture myself trying to learn python while being depressed and traumatized during my job search. I did buy a Udemy course, I just didn’t complete it because it was too difficult to find the motivation.
  5. “Maybe your references are sabotaging you.” — oof. This person thinks I would choose references that would sabotage me? As if I’m a new job seeker that’s never done a job search before. Also, the reality is that out of more than 400 applications, only 2 contacted my references (who have wonderful things to say about me).
  6. “Hang in there, all it takes is one.” — this is not helpful to someone who has applied for 100s of jobs.
  7. “Oh, you’ll find something soon.” — If by “soon” you mean there will be a global pandemic 1 year into your job search and 8 months into your unemployment, which will mean your job search will continue to 21 months with 17 months of unemployment, then yes, that’s “soon”.
  8. “A study showed that recruiters only look at a resume for 6 seconds.” — I can’t believe a job search coach said this in a workshop, that I paid for. This is not true and not based on a study. I’ll make a separate post about this myth.
  9. “You got this girl! You’re a rockstar!” — barf.

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A. Shinde

I’ll be writing about my job search experiences as someone with a PhD in Physics, focusing on my job search in 2019–2020.