Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The wanky world of work; or, Let's all help Mel get a job. I am feeling quite desperate today because I have been looking at job ads. I am finding them very depressing because they use stupid HR jargon that tells you the job is about "being responsive to organisational requirements working both independently and as part of a small creative team in a fast-paced environment". And they always seem to require x years experience working in corporate or government. What if you have x-1 years experience? What if you've worked in a small company? What if you've worked for yourself? What if your work was done for free? Why can't they be responsive to my organisational requirements?

I took the piss out of this in my Comedy Festival show! Here I would like to treat you to my "Position Description" rap, which was an excerpt from my book The Incredible Melk's Kama Suitra: A Guide to Hot Corporate Lovin'. Once some chicks actually walked out during this song. I wonder if it was the pictures, which are probably not work safe I'm warning you right now.
It’s an entry-level position
If you perform, you’ll get a commission
And an intimate understanding
Of an industry that’s very demanding

Work it!

Fig. 1: Area Manager

You’ve got to be thinking bigger
And have an excellent head for figures
We run a tight operation
And you’ll handle sensitive information

Show how flexible you are
If you’re ambitious, you’ll go far
Show us all your skill and drive
Come at 9 and again at 5

Work it! Work it hard!

Fig. 2: High Staff Turnover

You’ll certainly see some action
We’re all about employee satisfaction
Embracing team requirements
Will build relationships with our clients
You must be a self-starter
Who’s not afraid to work harder
Responsive to directions
And good at facilitating connections

Let me see you work it!

Fig. 3: Work in Progress Meeting

We want someone who’s able
To bring experience to the table
Someone who hates slackage
Can get their hands on a decent package
At first it’s short-term
If you’re good we’ll love you long-term
Opportunities for expansion
You can grab ‘em if you want ‘em

Fig 4: Chairman of the Board

Meet that target, swallow it whole
Clamber up that greasy pole!
Be strategic, never stop
With due diligence you’ll be on top

Work it! Work it overtime!

Yes, rather. Where was I then? Oh yes. Job ads. I began to get really frustrated, because I'm a smart, well-educated person who has all sorts of interesting skills, projects and experience on my CV that could be applied to all sorts of things. And at this stage in my life, I would like to be working in a job that uses these skills. And it depresses me so much that the recruitment industry is not interested in people like me. They don't want people who can apply knowledge and experience to different contexts. They don't want people whose CVs contain independently funded and run creative projects. They just want people who can prove they've done exactly this job somewhere almost exactly like this, and who have exactly these qualifications.

God this depresses me. I got into a fight on Dougie's blog with some dufus who wanted Doug to start up a magazine. Well, it's very nice to dream, and my philosophy has always been to do what you dream. My work history is full of me actually putting my ideas in action. But it's fucking irresponsible to recommend a magazine start-upto anyone who's unemployed, like Dougie is, or to anyone who has less than $100,000 cold hard cash at their disposal. Because it isn't a job prospect.

Magazine start-ups are fucking hard work that nobody involved gets paid for. They cost a lot of money that you never get back - more money than you can ever anticipate at the outset. You have to work full-time hours on the magazine around your normal job, and prospective employers don't give a fuck about all that hard work when you put the magazine on your CV, because they consider independent projects to be 'hobbies' rather than legitimate career trajectories.

But I suppose the reason why I wrote this post is in the vague hope that someone here knows of a media job that suits me. I'm a writer and editor - I think a very good one. I can and have turned my writing skills to magazine and newspaper features, academic essays, media releases, copywriting, scriptwriting and writing for the web. I am good at archival research, public speaking, meeting deadlines, and editing other people's writing so that it makes sense. Please help me. I'm beggin' ya. Or at least hug me and buy me alcohol and brush the hair from my eyes and tell me everything is gonna be aaaaaall right.

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