Sending (and not receiving) emails is an integral part of life. You spend most of your day constructing kindly-worded messages, smoothly networking without leaving the couch, and regretting not waking up earlier because it’s now 4 p.m. and all you’ve done is craft two emails and down a smoothie.
I’m a fairly skilled email-sender myself, but sadly, my email receiving percentage (ERP) hovers around the unemployment Mendoza Line of 20 %. And that’s not including automated responses that my application is under review. Factoring those into your ERP is basically the equivalent of juicing in baseball.
So while you wait for that sales recruiter to realize your resume shows zero experience in anything sales related, here’s how you stay productive.
1. Become a Collector
I’ve never heard of anyone with a cool collection scorned for not holding a job. Unless you’re a toll collector or debt collector, people love a committed hoarder. Try stamps, U.S. coins, jock straps, your friend’s sister’s thongs, whatever gets you out of (or into) bed. You can’t question someone’s commitment to finding work when they’re literally groveling on the floor looking for spare pennies at the gas station. That’s the sort of work ethic you can’t find on a resume.
2. Take a Bath
Nobody is going to hire you if you’re the smelly kid in town. Just look at Julian from Big Daddy. He was deemed the least-hygienic of a bunch of six-year olds, which is a pretty low standard of hygiene, and you didn’t see him out on the labor market. Probably because his strong piss stream scent created a “toxic work environment,” or however the class brown-noser put it in her memo. In other words, it made sense that Julian played Ben Franklin in the school play because neither of them held a diSTINKly defined job.
Another advantage of bathing while in email limbo is that you’ll resist constantly checking your phone for a response. If you paid attention in grade school, you’d know electricity and water don’t get well together, and similarly, neither do you and most jobs you applied for.
3. Take a Hike
I don’t mean this in a literal sense at all. You just spent the last month of college drinking into oblivion, and waking up and regretting it, only to be back off the wagon by the time elementary schools let out. If you’re like me, you can’t fathom the thought of a full workout, or even just going to the gym for five minutes, seeing who’s there, asking some old high-school acquaintances what their post-graduation plans are, and leaving right after the first person you know leaves.
In between emails, take a moment to get away from the computer. Whether that’s playing NBA 2K until your eyes bleed, heading out to the local bar to get blitzed on a Wednesday, or moving to a new city without any disposable income or relevant life skills, a break from the rat race could one day lead to a fat raise. I think Gandhi said that.
4. Rock a Nap
You can’t get rejected if you’re unconscious right? Sure, when you wake up, grab your phone and see that Foot Locker just hired a brand manager, you’ll probably want to brand that manager. But as you sleep, you won’t worry about such a response. In fact, studies have proven that full REM cycles often lead to well-articulated, less-grammatically challenged email responses. And those are the types of messages that will lead to sit-down interviews. You know, the kind of interviews where you actually have to wear pants while explaining how your concentration in international affairs translates to a “strong background” in sales and marketing.
Another positive of napping constantly is that you won’t be able to send a desperate follow-up email one hour after your introductory correspondence. Unless, of course, you suffer from sleep-job hunting which is a condition one in five college graduates suffer from. It’s actually more common than our nation’s current plague, Restless Legs Syndrome.
5. Look at Inferior Postgrad’s LinkedIn
Now I don’t want to pit my fellow postgrad’s against each other. We’re all in this together, even if I’m way more talented than you but you scored the internship I banked my summer bar tab on. If you need a little pick-me-up after a poor response or no response from that pesky accounting firm, take a gander at Sheila from freshman year’s “skills” on LinkedIn.
Attention to detail? She never noticed the phallic image you drew on her door’s name tag. Teamwork? She led the group project and never let the unmotivated students contribute. Sales? Come on, she wouldn’t even sell her sociology homework to the highest bidder. If she can’t make a profit from being smarter than her peers, how is she going to make the company money as an entry level employee? It’s simple subtraction by addition.
So laugh it up at some of her outrageously overestimated accomplishments and then DM her on the side and see if her company needs an intern with a low motor but incredible potential..
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