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Eric glanced furtively over his shoulder as he subtly angled his screen for more privacy. It was a slow Thursday at work, and the office was half empty as many of his coworkers were burning their PTO days on summer vacations.
“Must be nice for everyone to be on a tropical beach for a couple weeks,” Eric thought bitterly. “If only they paid me enough so I could enjoy some time off as well. Shit, I’ve been working here since I graduated and all I’ve gotten is a standard 3% raise. I might not be worth much, but I’m worth more than that.”
He had been feeling these sentiments for a while, and today they had come to a boiling point. He opened up a new incognito window in Google Chrome and nervously went to LinkedIn. He knew he was being unnecessarily careful, but the last thing he wanted was to get called out by his work for searching for another job on company time.
As he checked the jobs that LinkedIn had recommended for him, he was immediately demoralized with the options. “Either I’m too cocky, or LinkedIn thinks I’m an idiot,” he thought as he scrolled through various entry-level jobs. “Let’s try a specific job search. Just gonna search in my city, in my field, and…really? A bunch of Junior Account Executive positions at companies that have nothing to do with my career? Is this site broken? Ok, let’s get down to the ‘advanced search options.’”
Eric continued to mutter to himself as he tried to refine his search.
“Ahh, there’s the problem. Gotta refine my experience level. Can’t be looking for entry-level. Please. I’ve been in the workforce for, like, a year and a half. I’m at least ‘associate level.’ Maybe even ‘mid-senior level.’ Fuck it, I’m checking both boxes. Can’t hurt to try. Ok, last filter. Job type? Part-time or full-time? Temporary? Volunteer? What’s all this bullshit? I just want a normal, full-time job, obviously. Who’s on LinkedIn looking to volunteer? Just go to a soup kitchen or something and stop cramming up this website. Shit, I’m only five minutes into the job hunt and I’m already stressed. Here we go. Search jobs.”
Eric slowly stared at the screen filled with entry-level account executive positions and groaned into his hands. Job hunting was the fucking worst. Why was he even doing it? Sure, he wasn’t stoked about his job, but it wasn’t that bad. The money was ok. He had decent benefits. He could work from home sometimes. His coworker Tom was cool. Maybe he was being greedy by wanting something more. Or was that just how complacency felt? Was he already losing his drive? He had 50 more years of work ahead of him, it was way too soon for that.
Revitalized, he continued his hunt, until he saw an opening that caught his eye. The title was a step up from his current position, and he had heard good things about the company.
“Are they the ones with a full gym and smoothie bar in the building? Let me do a quick google and…oh shit yeah, that’s a cool campus. Let’s see what other perks they offer. Free commuter passes? Unlimited vacation days?” Eric looked around at his open-plan office with nary a smoothie bar in sight. “Fuck this place, I’m ready to jump ship.”
He grinned and stretched as he prepared to apply to the job of his dreams. There was no doubt in his mind he was going to get the position. His genius was being stifled in his current company, and he could already tell this new place was where he could truly grow. He just had to polish up his resume, and he’d be good to go.
45 minutes later, Eric’s excitement had been somewhat stifled. “How does it take this long to add one position to a resume?” He thought with frustration. Still, it may have taken a long time, but he was ready. He had added his current role, tweaked the description to make himself seem more important, removed his past position as “fraternity treasury chair,” updated his address, changed the font, changed it back, found a typo, questioned his own intelligence, realized he needed a cover letter, angrily cursed the competitive nature of job searching nowadays, hated his parents for growing up in a time when someone could get a job just by walking in and asking for one, wrote a cover letter, and changed his font one more time. He had his resume, his cover letter, and soon, he was going to have a new job.
“I better fucking get this because there’s no way in hell I’m doing all that work again just for a chance to get an interview,” Eric thought as he navigated the application process. “Fuck this company and their fucking break room full of ping-pong tables. Here we go. Just going to click ‘apply,’ and I can upload my documents. Aaaand done. Wait, what’s this? ‘Please fill in our online application?’ Isn’t that what the resume is for?”
10 minutes later, Eric returned from the brisk walk he had taken around the office to calm down. He slowly lowered himself into his chair and closed his eyes as he placed his hands on his keyboard. He breathed out slowly and entered his information, for the second time, into this online job application. He clicked the “submit” button and exhaled a sigh of relief as he received confirmation that his application had been received.
He glanced at the clock and was pleasantly surprised. It may have permanently raised his blood pressure, but the application process had eaten up a good chunk of his boring workday. He reached for his phone, which he had been neglecting, and saw an unread text in the group chat.
Kyle [4:32pm]: Anyone want to do happy hour tonight? There’s a new rooftop spot that I want to check out, but full disclosure, it’s three money signs on Yelp.
On any other day, Eric would have told Kyle to go fuck himself, and that he wasn’t going to drop a bill on a Thursday happy hour, but today, something was different. His financial status hadn’t technically changed, but he knew it would be coming soon. His thoughts moved quickly before common sense could catch up.
“Hell, as soon as I get hired to my new job, that’ll probably be a big ol’ pay bump. What’s the point of making money if you can’t spend it? I practically got a new job today, might as well celebrate it.”
Looking down at his phone, Eric responded with glee.
Eric [4:34pm]: I’m down. First round’s on me. .