So, what’s new?
Well… I moved to a new city, took me two weeks to find a job and that job is… disheartening considering my qualifications. Worse, I haven’t been writing a whole hell of a lot so this is going to be rusty, and squeaky and more like another stream-of-consciousness posts.
Two weeks, almost to the day, I moved back down to southern Ontario. Two weeks I was unemployed and that was the longest time I have ever been unemployed so I felt my brain rotting for a short time. How bad was that? I have gone into watching toddlers and tiaras thoroughly… dear god, someone save me. These symptoms coupled with an environment where shit has hit the fan (I won’t elaborate on it much more and please don’t ask. I’ll disclose what I want when it feel it’s pertinent [if you know, please respect this post and do not disclose for me. thank you]).
Since moving in a fortnight ago, I have gone through copious collected boxes that have collected copious amounts of dust. First thing was to unpack what I could and determine what had to be put into the storage unit downstairs (since I am in an apartment building now). Dishes, kitchen aids, extras have all been sent to their dark, cool and dry resting places until I am well ahead of being just self-sustaining. The reason for me moving back in with parental units is that I am being offered a year or so to work and be rent-free to build finances and a reputation within Barrie. I need this time to at least get a hold on paying back my student loans… though I need a deferral because the move has truly damaged my accounts. If my credit card and debit card were people, I would be pulling them back from ledges to prevent their suicides. If they die on me, I’m in more trouble that I can handle. Yay post-student hell!
The next step for me was job hunting. Within three days of my homecoming, I was wondering the mall aimlessly and endlessly. Thoroughly scouring for potential jobs and possibly catching a line that was not seen by the general public. In fact, I am still waiting for calls from them but I could not afford to be jobless for more than a month. I wondered, applied, and remembered some key things. I was talking to a friend who was wondering how I was fortunate enough to pick up jobs as quickly as I had in the past.
Here’s some tips that even work when trying to impress someone in the art world;
-have a 15 -30 second selling line – “HI! I’m Elizabeth Hoskin, I just graduated from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. I just got in town last sunday and was wondering if you had a position open for me? I have had experience in [food/retail/commission] through [whatever place], as well as I have had some supervisor positions and been a key holder for others. I’m available any time.” i just nailed any preliminary questions as well as reminding them that I know my assets (key holder, supervisor/trusted position and experience in whatever).
-don’t be cocky, but walk in as if to say, “you want me to work for you” and be super friendly with it. Attitude and believing in yourself always get somewhere.
– best face, best hair, best clothes and best smile. Just put your best foot forward and be prepared. Make sure to pack a small brush, deodorant, dry shampoo/ baby powder, touch up makeup bag, minty fresh gum, bandages, and your datebook/phone with your resumes. I also would sneak a spray or two of perfumes from some stores. Look ready for anything, including booking an interview right then and there. Almost expect an interview on the spot – and use your 15-30 selling line.
– look appropriate… I don’t know why that one is so hard for other applicants. I had on, usually, a black, a-line or pencil skirt with a nice top. I know it’s hot out, but always have your bra-straps covered (I am the last person to care, first to notice as an interviewer). Keep your skirts around knee-length and shoes that are recognizable but comfy and avoid ones with bones, zombie, spikes or blood…that’s a hard rule for me to follow to. Also, and it saddens me to feel like having to remind other applicants that your belly showing at any time, or even your lower back is inappropriate. Think of when your school had a dress code. Follow that or even a bit more strict. There’s still ways to look fashion-forward, unique, vivacious and polished.
-think ahead or look around first; you’re likely to be asked why you considered that store or establishment. You can fib here if you’re good at it. “I’ve been a customer for so long, why not work at a place i love as a customer?” or “I’m always in, and I love [a certain product/line/goal of the company and tell them something that you know about the company].” A lot of the time, you’re not fibbing. You’ll likely first go to the stores you like the most, first. After a while I applied at a children’s clothing store. My only real experience with kids are recent and the only thing about clothing that I know, is that kids grow out of them too damn quick. When I was asked why I considered them, I knew to mention that it seemed like all my girlfriends are becoming or are already mums and, even though I hope to work there, I would be shopping for my surrogate nieces and nephews constantly. It seems to be an exciting and fun place to work. I had an interview just a few days after with them and they asked for me to elaborate why I wanted to work there. I reiterated that kids were coming into the picture more and more often and since I have retail experience, it was logical to find a place that catered to both aspects – I made connections for them such as I used to sell makeup, but I can translate to selling clothes. It was also weird since I didn’t have kids so my experience with kids was also questioned – I did tell a bit of a personal anecdote that one friend was a room-mate with me shortly after her first child. My friend knew I was new to babies and sometimes “threw” her daughter into my arms to force me to get comfortable. Very quickly did her daughter found a place in my heart and had inspired me to become mommy one day. We had stayed good friends and it has been an experience to relearn the world through her daughters and the kids world in general. I mentioned I didn’t really grow up around a ton of kids or babies so my experience was recent, but very self-reflecting. The most fun part of that interview was the next rule.
-be prepared to be put on the spot. There’s always the hard questions you don’t expect or don’t remember to prepare for – and I’m not talking about the “if you were a tree, which tree would you be?”. I mean the “I’m going to give you a scenario, and you’re going to tell me how to handle it”. I can’t tell you how to answer those; if you’re goof in customer service, then you’re good. If you are not, then S.O.L. The best was at the children’s clothing store, the woman gave me a few minutes to browse a section of the store, to learn the stock and then she walked in as a customer and I had to help her. I’d like to think I nailed it until she became specific, like a coloured, girly dress. But I knew to point out current promotions, new stock and when she made a selection, helped pair it with other items like shoes that matched. Funniest thing was, I wanted her to do that. Nailed it. Lastly…
– Always have a question prepared from them, and phrase it in a way that you expect to be hired or hearing back from them soon. My favourite is “Should I be hired [remember, don’t be cocky, just confident], what is the biggest expectation/what would you like to see most out of me?”. It’s vague enough that you will get an answer. But there are others, including “How did you becoming a team member of [store]?”.
In one day of hunting I had two interviews for the next day and several prospects. I’m still waiting for second calls and other hiring but I cannot wait forever… hence why I am, at this current moment, going to work at a Chinese buffet restaurant. I have an Honours Degree, and I will be a waitress. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. My father happened to see a “Help Wanted” sign out in the front of the establishment down the street from us so I applied and was hired on the spot. Yay I will be earning some money, but I am waiting to hear back from something better. Even if it’s a lingerie store. I need a job that challenges me in another away besides solely testing my patience. At least, at the places I want the most, there is an element of personal assistance and confidence building. I will feel like I have a purpose even if the day is so busy I want to scream. I won’t feel brain-dead and watch much more of toddlers and tiaras or storage wars. Though I like storage wars – I like seeing what people keep away and forget they have. People are neat.
What else have I started since I got back down south? My goals?
I have a new android phone and so I have instagram! just look for elizabethhoskin and it’s linked to my twitter!
I do daily makeup looks and tips on instagram and I am looking to join gagillions of other people on youtube tutorials! Still need a better camera but I am likely to be doing it soon.
I have a reading list and goals – a book every two months. After new years, I hope to bump that to a book a month. I’m a slow reader but I love to dive into a good book. And it’s just better for mental health, imagination and for writing.
Art making! … has taken a hit. I had been without of materials and the other night, I had realized I was being so short and curt with people, that I started something completely new. When my scanner gets here I will post more! For now, browse my instagram! I will make more tonight!
I still want to post that critical response I had thought of in Thunder Bay. Will do soon and I hope to do that monthly with new articles and new artists.
I’m employed again, that’s what matters. In this economy I cannot wait and I seem to have beaten a number of people out of the water in getting a job within two weeks of landing. I can cast a net out for a better job after that. I applied at the MacLaren Art Centre and so I hope to hear back from them. I think I can survive working at the buffet if my life has purpose at an art gallery. Better things to come, just need to keep my chin up and keep making art.
Good to be back and more to come,
-I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam