WORK-LIFE BALANCE / OCT. 08, 2013
version 4, draft 4

The Art of Keeping Track

There’s a rumour – a fear almost – that whirls around those looking for jobs. The rumour is that one out of ten jobs get back to you once you have applied. So, with this news, that means that in order to get at least five responses – and if you’re lucky, interviews – you need to apply to fifty jobs. So you do. You look through website after website, list your strengths and weaknesses, write cover letters, all the while hitting send and feeling a sense of bliss for taking an active role in your career.

And the time comes. You get that phone call, you have that conversation, an interview is arranged and you forget what job it is you’ve applied for. You have an idea, you know what you want to do but you don’t know the company, you only know where to go at what time. Then comes the chaotic hours – palpitations, sweating, worrying – where you have to find that e-mail you sent, you have to rush through your history and find the page that led to this job description. Fifty jobs with the same titles. Fifty jobs that you read and in that moment stored and typed cover letters for. Fifty jobs that all sounded perfect and you were qualified for and got excited about and applied – applied, applied, applied.

And, as midnight creeps upon you, and darkness touches the windows, you find it. That small little job description tucked between Google and Hotmail, that link to you getting the job you wanted. There, the Holy Grail. A list of what they want. A history of their company. Everything you want, everything you need.

When writers send out their work to publications – short stories, novels even – they are told to keep track of where and when they send them. Sending out applications can happen in such a quick flash it’s hard to remember, especially when you’re dedicated and committed to getting the job you want. But with every cover letter, every attached CV, keep a list, a chart of websites and companies.

And when you get that call and the details of the interview come forward, all you have to do is smile and get a good night’s sleep.

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