MISS MOOX + time

Job hunting

I have been job hunting for nearly six weeks now, industry hampered by the lazy slow days of summer when everyone in the office is on vacation and all the lesser jobs have been filled by college-student interns.

I've registered with four temp agencies, which is an experience in itself. Each one requires you to take a skills assessment, a series of tests in standard blah-de-blah office fare like Word, typing, and data entry. Each one, I've passed with flying colours. But each one, too, I could probably have done while sleeping.

This morning I spoke to an agent at one of these temp agencies, discussing what sort of positions and in what geographical locations I might be interested in. She asked what sort of pay rate would be enough to lure me to a particular town, a very long commute, and I told her.

"Well, normally only our executive assistants get that kind of rate," she told me. "Your experience...well, your scores were very good in Word, typing, and so forth, but did you take an Excel test?"

I explained that I hadn't had much experience in Excel, was willing to learn.

"Well, our clients are looking for very polished skills," she explained.

When I hung up, it struck me: I am so much more than the measure of my skills. I am so much more than the sum of my scores in words-per-minute, how to do a mail merge, and adding up columns. Employers have no idea who I am as an individual, what I have to offer, how valued I've been by those who've had the opportunity to work closely with me. All they see is the bottom line of skills assessments, their vision narrowed into boring data-entry and mindless admin tasks. They don't know that what I can do stretches so much further than that.

Probably, there are a lot of people out there like that. People who are viewed as the sum of their skills in standardized testing. People, who have so much more to offer if only you'd get to know them.

Just a thought.

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