This week I've been putting together a job application.
I realise that for most of you who are, you know, living in the real world, this probably isn't such a big deal.
But for the last seven years I'VE BEEN WORKING AS A FULL TIME, SELF-EMPLOYED WRITER, PEOPLE!
And that's not the worst part. The last time I actually had to apply for a job was when I finished university and applied for my teaching position in Perth. I applied for one job. I had one interview. That was in 1994.
That's right. The sum total of my experience in the field of getting a proper job is one interview, over a decade and a half ago.
And boy, things have changed...
When I finally dug it out, my CV was only half a page long. It had dog-paw prints on it. A silverfish had eaten the honours off my arts degree. When I compared it to the job advertisement, it was immediately clear that it wasn't going to work any more.
For one thing, what the hell are 'selection criteria'? Who invented them? When? And why do I have to assess myself against them? Isn't that what the selection panel are for?
For what it's worth - here's the 'selection criteria' for my life since leaving teaching at the end of 2002:
The ideal candidate for this position will:
- Get out of bed before nine. At least twice per week.
- Write a minimum of words per day.
- Remember not to repeat the same gags at the same festivals two years running.
- Develop a fondness for toasted cheese and mustard sandwiches
- Have a dog who requires putting out / bringing in a minimum 900 times per day
- Be addicted to caffeine.
That's it. You'll note no requirement to be fully committed to the principles of equity (even though I am) and to maintaining an optimal OH&S environment in my working position. No need to have a 'demonstrated capacity for production of best-practice output at world-class levels'. I don't even need to own a tie!
Luckily, I have some lovely friends, who have been far more diligent than I during the last few years, who have bothered to familiarise themselves with 'jobspeak' and have all gently pointed out to me that referring to my ability to entertain "sugar-loaded year nines on a friday afternoon" as an "educational strength" probably won't cut the mustard with the interview panel. (Mmmmm...mustard. *fighting back sudden craving for a toasted sandwich*) Thanks to them. You know who you are...
Actually, I'm rather excited about the whole thing, now. I'm really loving 'selection criteria'. I'm thinking of running my whole life according to them.
"Sorry darling, the ideal candidate to change that particular nappy will be fully conversant with current infant-hygene technology, and capable of implementing that knowledge at all levels of their day-to-day parenting practice. That's clearly not me..."
Have a good day, everyone. I'm off to rewrite my CV...