~ Before reading this post, I would just like to point out that I am at that point in job hunting where I am prepared to stick my pencil in my eye and that in a few months or when I find another job - whichever comes first - I'm sure I will be in a better mood and have a little more perspective on the whole 'career' thing.
George Monbiot has a section on his blog called Career that got me thinking. Specifically the part about not listening to college career advisers:
"In journalism school, for example, students are routinely instructed that, though they may wish to write about development issues in Latin America, in order to achieve the necessary qualifications and experience they must first spend at least three years working for a local newspaper, before seeking work for a national newspaper, before attempting to find a niche which brings them somewhere near the field they want to enter.....You want to be free? Then first you must learn to be captive.
The advisers say that a career path like this is essential if you don't want to fall into the trap of specialisation: that is to say, if you want to be flexible enough to respond to the changing demands of the employment market. But the truth is that by following the path they suggest, you are becoming a specialist: a specialist in the moronic recycling of what the rich and powerful deem to be news. And after a few years of that, you are good for very little else.
This career path, in other words, is counter-educational. It teaches you to do what you don't want to do, to be what you don't want to be."
I managed to get through college and graduate school without having a single conversation with a career advisor, especially after one friend came back having taken one of those career assessment tests and finding out that he should maybe think about a career in manual labour or building fences. I kidd you not. Considering he was a film student with a fairly functioning brain, I was wary about spending any time at the career centre.
One the tips you always learn (whether from your college career advisors or your friends/parents) is to tailor you CV to each job application. Recently I've been spending copious amounts of time applying for jobs and finding this harder and harder to do. Yes, I have dropped several jobs that are totally irrelevant but there are sections that are harder to tweak. For instance under Written Work (or in applications that have sections entitled Published Work), I can't really put anything without indicating my obvious political stance towards women's equality: all the titles include either 'rape', 'violence', 'equality', 'pornography' or 'George Bush is helping to kill women with his stupid abstinence programs' (ok, that's not really the exact title but close enough). So I either don't put that I have any written/published work or I do and scare the pants off whatever employer is briefly reading through my CV. And no, I am not underestimating people. In in recent interview for a think tank (with no feminist slant), the interviewer told me that he was concerned that I would no be satisfied with my work if I wasn't dealing with feminism directly everyday. While this was said with no animosity, I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from giving him a speech about how being a feminist is not just about working at N.O.W blah blah blah. And that in the UK jobs that are purely about feminism that ACTUALLY PAY THE RENT are far and few between and I would give my rights arm to be able to do something that I actually believed wholeheartedly and not partially.
If I took out everything that didn't involve feminism on my CV, it would look pretty bare....little work experience, no published work, no volunteering....Editing your CV is a great way to figure out how far and what you want to compromise.