I attended my first job fair recently and I’d like to share with you all the ten most important things I learned from it.
One: Dressing business casual means dressing uncomfortably overdressed
On the poorly printed out admission “this is not a ticket” ticket, it said to dress business casual. I figured this meant no rap t-shirts. Everyone else assumed it meant to wear really fancy blazers and slacks. I decided to wear a plaid shirt and some nicer jeans. I was probably in the bottom 1% in terms of style, but was thankfully saved by a man wearing sweat pants and a yellow soccer shirt from being the worst.
Two: I’m old
Do you ever have those days when you’re surrounded by people you think are your peers or older only to realize you’re terribly, terribly old? This happened to me. Everyone there was a recent college graduate. I had no idea because of all of their suits. They looked so mature. Except for that Van Wilder kid looking for a job, most of the people there were likely significantly younger than I.
Three: Just because you’re dressed nice doesn’t mean shit
As intimidating as it was to fall in line with 200 other people and to probably have the cheapest clothes on, it really didn’t mean shit. Listening to everyone else talk there, it was revealed that they had very little experience. That’s the shitty thing about recently graduating from college. The only thing you know is where to buy weed on campus.
Four: People love or hate me
The way the fair worked was you got to have one-on-one time with people representing different companies. This one was specific to sports because it’s a passionate field of mine. When talking to those representatives, they all either seemed to like or really hate me. Two that liked me only did so because I knew the towns they worked in. The other that liked me only did so because I was the only one in the group she spoke to with any work experience at all. She was an angry old woman who looked at my resume far too long–most likely wondering why I even bother.
Five: I have a very supportive wife
This wouldn’t be Bee Blog worthy if not for a mention of Jenny, right? She was there too. She mostly hung back and observed how horrible people were. But she was there with me and that’s more than almost everyone else there could say. Plus, it got us free hockey tickets. It gave her an opportunity scream in public.
Six: Why having such a supportive wife is great
More on that last point: It’s great to have someone to support you because when all else fails, you still have them. I know that’s corny. Go read Jenny’s recent post about farting if you’re bothered by the lack of humor here.
Seven: I’m not that bad of a talker
I have to do a lot of talking at my current job. I’m not a fan of it, but it’s a necessary evil. I shouldn’t really complain. Some people never get to talk. That Marlee Matlin woman, for instance, does but it’s all muffled. Then there’s that kid in the urban legend who bit into the apple with the razor blade. The kids all make fun of him. Me, I don’t talk the best, but I’m surely better than most. It’s probably because I have less to lose than those college kids.
Eight: Most people are unhappy right now
Why would job fairs exist unless people were unhappy with where they are in life? As much as I’d like to say we should be grateful for having a job at all, I think we’re programmed to want to spend half our day doing something we enjoy. Observing the crowd there, many curse as much as I do each morning.
Nine: Everyone wants you to work in sales or marketing
The scariest thing at the event was the first booth I went to when they made us go around saying which field we wanted to get into. I was the second one to go, too, so I had no clue what to say. So, I just repeated what the first guy said: sales and marketing. Everyone else copied us. Apparently, only sales and marketing jobs are available out there right now. You also need a Bachelor’s Degree to get them.
Ten: I can eat a foot-long sandwich from Subway as fast as Jenny can eat a six-inch one
This occurred before the job fair. I managed to eat my foot-long sandwich from Subway as fast as Jenny ate her six-inch one. To be fair, I’ve eaten hundreds of those in my life. This was only her second trip there and the last was in Malaysia so you know the sandwich was probably smaller and more respectful.
I learned a lot at this event. I’m not sure if anyone will call me or if my follow-ups to them will amount to much. There were no amazing opportunities available that I view as “can’t miss.”