anonimo ha chiesto:
Hi Sam! Could you help me out with a weird job question? Is 26 too old to start your first Real Adult job? ("real" meaning full-time with salary, benefits etc) I wasn't able to get hired straight out of college so I did lots of part-time and freelance contract work. Because of that I've never worked at the same place for longer than 4 months. Would this look less legit to a hiring manager as compared to my peers who by this point have been in at least 2 full time jobs?
I’m pretty sure my first real adult job was at the age of 26, but it’s true I’d been in grad school for most of my 20s at that point.
Here’s the thing though, Anon: does it matter?
Because whether or not it would look good to a hiring manager, that’s the work history you’ve got, and you’re kinda stuck with it. :D
Now, if you’re looking for validation about all of this — and that’s totally okay, I’d be looking for reassurance too — then I can tell you that 26 is not too old, you are still a baby, and these days it takes that fucking long to find a job anyway. It’s admirable that you’ve been working part-time and freelance, so that you (presumably) don’t have a lot of big work history gaps, and it’s admirable that you are persisting in trying to find steady work, because job hunting is super-depressing and exhausting. So it’s all good — list the jobs you’ve worked (preferably the longest ones), and don’t feel you have to put down that the part-time jobs were part time. Just list them as jobs. You worked them, after all.
But in the end, whether or not a series of short-term jobs comes across as legit depends less on the jobs you’ve had, which you can’t change, and more on the attitude you take about them in the interview, which you control. If I were you I’d talk about how they were good learning experiences, wonderful opportunities to explore, but now you’re looking for something steadier and longer-term, which is why you’ve come to [whatever company you’re interviewing with]. The way you treat the jobs you’ve had will tell your interviewer a lot about the kind of employee you could be.
So be confident in the work you’ve done, cheerful about what it taught you, and excited about what’s to come, and your interviewers will dwell on that, and not the duration of the jobs themselves. Good luck!