Wednesday, February 28, 2007

One Toe in the Real World Pool

One of the most annoying aspects of landing an internship or job is how many things you need. No, not the intangible qualities like talent or connections, but the material goods just to get in the race. I started to wonder just how much all this cost.

Step One: Finding a Position
-Computer: Whether it is a huge database like Monster or the company’s website, you are going to need a way to access it.
Estimated cost: Uh, 600 for a boring, bare bones desktop.

-Coffee: Your new best friend during the job search. Invest in caffeine or suffer the consequences when the bland job descriptions lull you to sleep.
Estimated cost: 2 dollars per cup at your local coffee shop… let’s up this to 20 dollars for a couple intense search sessions.

Step Two: Applying for Said Positions

-Previously mentioned computer for composing cover letters, resumes, and other application materials.

-Printer: If case you need to send hard copies of the materials.
Estimated Cost: About 50 dollars for a bottom of the line inkjet.

-Nice resume paper: Do these people really care if your resume is on heavy linen paper as opposed to normal printer paper? I guess it cannot hurt!
Estimated Cost: About 10 dollars for a package.

-Manila envelopes, stamps, and other such shipping materials: Stupid letters of recommendation.
Estimated Cost: About 15 dollars for it all.

-Time Spent Obsessing over Resume Font… priceless. Which one will tell them I am a efficient person? New Times Roman or Geneva?

Step Three: The Interviews
-Portfolio: Filled with ten extra resumes just in case.
Estimated Cost: About 20 dollars for a decent leather one.

-The Suit: Not just any suit, but one that actually makes you feel confident. There is nothing more awkward than someone who is wearing a suit two sizes too big. Remember to get it tailored.
Estimated Cost: A blazer and pair of trousers at J. Crew will set you back 386 dollars… round up to 400 for very minimal tailoring.

-Dress shirt: Because you have to wear something under that grown up suit!
Estimated Cost: 60 dollars for a broadcloth button down.

-Classic Heels: Your New Balance tennis shoes are not going to hack it here. You should really already have these shoes in your closet.
Estimated Cost: Hmm, I going to ballpark 75 dollars for ones that will look nice and wear well.

-Tights/Nylons: Grin and bear it.
Estimated Cost: Only like 5 dollars. Just pray they do not run.

-Knowing the Right Answer to the Off-the-Wall Questions: Cannot be bought. If you really wanted you could invest in one of those books about interviews, or reading the Vault… a lot!
Estimated Cost: Free!

All this junk amounts to approximately one thousand two hundred fifty-five dollars. Ugg, think of all the purses that would buy. (Two? Three?) I suppose compared to the thirty thousand for tuition this little expense is a drop in the bucket. All this “investing” in the future, it just better have a good ROI!