how I got my first job

hey friend,

It does not matter how much I try to be a cosmopolitan, I live in a country that differs and I live in a society that didn’t have the culture of volunteering, and it was an egg-hen problem: you don’t have an experience so you can’t get the job, you don’t have experience because you haven’t worked.

When I was still a student at the Linguistic University, when I was trying to convince myself that being an English-Armenian translator is the best way for me, the urge of being independent and not asking money from my parents was higher than everything for me, so I thought maybe I shouldn’t wait for the day to get my degree and look for a job, I could do that while studying.

So I was a 19 year old girl, with no job. In my country it’s pretty OK, here parents never make their kids work until they are twenty-something, but I was ashamed.

At that time I was still in my culture shock – moving to a big city from a small village I felt like an Englishman in New York. I got mugged, I didn’t know the name of the streets, I didn’t know good places to go and meet people, hang out, so the only place I had found out was an anticafe – aeon.

Aeon was the only place I would go, study, play board games with my friends. Once, while we were playing some jenga or whatever, I found a flier on the table about a conference – Hartak (Platform). They were looking for volunteers for it. I applied right away. I was chosen for the PR team to help to talk about the conference, to distribute fliers, to write small articles what is Hartak and what is going to happen during the conference.

One of the managers, who was really nice and who liked me, saw how passionate I was, how I would ask every day what I could do more. And the fact that I was looking for a paying job was in the air. I could ask anyone if they know something I could do.

One day, after being rejected for the twentieth time, I went to aeon to have some coffee and read. I was so disappointed that when I entered there and the manager said “Good day” I answered “if it is one”. I told her about the company that had hired me for a trial perios, asked me to do some work and after taking the task they had said that the other candidate is better than me and that I was useless maybe.

I didn’t think I was useless to be exact, people made me believe that. In a few weeks the manager of that awful company wrote me and asked me to send the task again because she had lost it. Now you tell me, if my task was useless for them, why would them ask for it again after rejecting me.

The manager of Aeon – Anahit saw my pain, and told me she was sure I would find a good job in a very near future. I didn’t even have remote idea that the next day she was going to call me and tell me that she worked for another company as well and that she wanted me to be their employee.

So the next day I was there, sitting on the interview-chair for like thirty-third time. This one was different, to the question “do you have an experience” my answer was “yes”. Volunteering is kind of underestimated sometimes. But if someone does their best without getting paid, imagine what they would do if you offer them good payment. I told them about Hartak and everything I did there, I talked about my duties and my responsibilities, and I was pretty sure I was doing well. So there was the worst question of the history: “sell me this pen (or glasses I don’t remember)”. I couldn’t sell it if I am not mistaken, I had never worked in sales I was giving stupid answers. I was pretty sure I failed again, when Anahit called me the next day and said that the manager liked me and I was hired.

My first job was a call center representative at, people would order everything from food to flowers, from groceries to books. Looking back I can say that I learnt more things from that work that I could ever imagine. Anahit was a perfect manager and I was a sponge around her. She taught me how to answer people when they are hAngry, how to sell more than they were willing to buy, how to calm down the customer whose order is late.

So, a long story short, if a teenager comes to me and asks for a piece of advice how to find a good job, I tell them to go and to volunteer for some time if they could afford. Volunteering discovers your true nature and develops your soft skills; something that is so relevant in this AI century.

That was my story, tell me about yours (:

I thought it’s supposed to be easier…

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