Job hunting is a difficult process, and today I’m feeling exasperated and a little sorry for myself. My current company brought me on board to work on a specific project that will be finished at the end of August. After that, I’ll likely be unemployed unless I can land another job in the meantime. It’s not exactly news that there are very few jobs available in the current economy. Unfortunately, there are even fewer available to me because I have an aversion to working for many companies and industries. Being on my moral high horse throughout this job search is starting to make me saddle sore.
I’ll admit that I might be taking the moral high ground to the point of being obnoxious (and possibly self destructive if it means ending up unemployed). But there are certain industries I just will not work in: oil, tobacco, and gambling, for example. The problem is that I work in sales and marketing. To do my job properly, I must convince people to buy my employer’s products, preferably in large quantities and with great frequency. I feel strongly that people and businesses should be trying to reduce their oil consumption, so how could I work for an oil company? Using tobacco products and gambling is hazardous and a terrible waste of money, so how can I promote these types of products?
The sales and marketing thing bothers me even when it comes to more socially acceptable products and industries. I hesitate to work for consumer products companies (like clothing, electronics, home goods, etc.) because I would feel guilty about trying to convince people to spend money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need. It seems hypocritical for someone who has a blog called HotFrugal to develop a marketing campaign for products that are expensive and total non-necessities.
If I worked in a field like accounting, operations, or human resources, I don’t think I would have these moral qualms. I wouldn’t be actively promoting and selling products, so I would have some distance from the responsibility of influencing people’s buying decisions. The truth is, I actually love being involved in sales and helping people make smart buying decisions. I have a real passion for B2B (business to business) marketing, and I’m pretty damn good at it. When I help customers figure out the best solutions for their problems, it makes me feel great. I love knowing that I have helped customers make their companies stronger so that they can better serve their customers.
Unfortunately, there just aren’t many B2B marketing jobs available in industries that won’t make me feel icky.
There are a lot of good people who work in the industries I have issues with, including many of my friends. I certainly don’t judge them or condemn them for the jobs they have. The fact that I have made my financial philosophy so public puts me in a different position. The last thing I ever want to be is a hypocrite. It’s human nature to be hypocritical, and I’m sure I have done and will do things that are inconsistent with my frugal philosophy. But I would prefer to make those mistakes accidentally, not consciously choose to do something that goes against what I’ve preached.
The self imposed restrictions in my job hunt are certainly not the only reasons I haven’t been able to find a job. It doesn’t help that I’ve been limiting my search geographically so that I can stay near my friends and family. I haven’t even considered working for non-profits because I can’t afford to take a major cut in salary. Even with these restrictions, there have been many “acceptable” jobs to which I’ve applied. It just makes me frustrated that there are so few jobs available in the first place, and then I feel like I have to narrow the field even further. I know I’m probably taking myself way too seriously, but I want to feel confident and dedicated to any job I have in the future. It wouldn’t be fair to myself or my employer if I had reservations about the work I was being paid to do.
This post was kind of whiney, and I apologize for that. I needed to do some venting, and I’ve gotten it out of my system. Thanks for listening. 🙂