Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Job Hunt

Although it doesn't seem to be anywhere near time to start thinking about it, to the trained mind it's quite obvious that the applicaiton and job search process for next summer's job has arrived. The old Eli would be having violent panic attacks, usually ending in running across a rocky ice glacier barefoot with streamers singing every song from "The Sound of Music" on the backside of some seemingly incaccessible mountain. But the new long-hair-post-Moscow Eli is calm as a summer breeze. Now I know exactly what you're all thinking: "What?! Why would even the old Eli be nervous about something like this? He's so talented and intelligent. On top of that he's really good-looking and everyone is attracted to him. And he's always so successful at everything he ever puts even minimal effort into. And he's so tan and fit. And he looks like a GQ model because he's so stylish. And his ONLY flaw is his foot disease which, I might add, he has successfully contained to the bottom of one foot and maybe even beaten this summer but it's still too early to tell. And he always has dozens of super-models constantly surrounding him" etc. But the truth is, despite all of that stuff you all just thought (and I'm so blushing that you would all think that about me---how embarrassing!) this process can be quite stressful.

Part of the problem lies in my being largely unsure about what it is I want to end up doing in the legal profession. Often people ask me what kind of job I would like after law school. Usually my answer goes something like this: "Oh you know. I just want to live all over the world and travel all the time and lay out on the beach." That sounds great and all but the problem is I've yet to find any legal jobs that match that description word for word. As I'm quit sure that most people around me are aware of this fact, I usually try to throw in some kind of legal mumbo-jumbo at the end of my explanation of my professional aspirations to make it seem as though I've really thought it all through: "Of course, that beach time will have to be between my international corporate tax finance contract litigation practice." Of course I never know what any of that really means but I find that if I say that with the same look on my face as I have when I recite a Robert Frost poem, nobody really knows the difference.

So wanting to live everywhere but do nothing and everything at the same time makes the job search a bit broad and daunting. Fortunately I've lived most of my life in a tragically clueless state, leaving me to never really focus on and become fantastic at one thing but rather become slightly below mediocre at a multitude of tasks. This is reflected on my resume which is always duly noted in interviews when the interviewer becomes quite intrigued at the mere lack of any kind of theme. I usually respond by tilting my head to the side while nodding, giving a serious yet thoughtful look, and saying some inappropriately long sentence somehow using words like "well-rounded" and "variety" which are positive alternatives to "unfocussed" and "schizophrenic."

I imagine most of us feel this way to some degree. Selling yourself is a refining process. The silver-lining, I believe, is that this whole thing is forcing me to get comfortable with tactufully pointing out my strengths while identifying and eliminating the things that really seem to be holding me back. And all in all I am really excited about where my life is going to go although I don't know exactly where that is yet. Ultimately I know that it's going to go somewhere if I have anything to say about it. So it's great that I do.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. People often think those same thingsa bout me...excpet the part about being a GQ model it's usually some other magazine like Vouge. It does get a little embarassing but as you get older you learn to deal with it.

    I also understand how stressful it is to look for a job, especially since I have the same desired job description. the only thing I can figure is that we need to open a travel handle the legal stuff and I will handle the finances...

  2. I wonder what it's like to be ugly...............
    I'm just sayin'!
    Eli, you know that I have offered you a job time and time again! And it pays MORE than any Law job you could imagine! It pays in compliments! Remember? It is a nanny job and a house cleaning job, oh and yard work of course.
    Anyway, let me know ASAP cause I don't think the job is going to stay open for too much longer......lots of interested people out there........

  3. Eli, you are FAR from mediocre. Its true, people really do say that you're good and successful at everything you do :) I personally admire (and envy) all of the places you've traveled to, and the different things you've done. I'm sure you will do well at whatever you decide to do.

    Oh, and if you ever DO find a job that meets that description, let me know-- I've been searching regularly and haven't had any luck.