What Job Descriptions Really Mean

by Lara on October 25, 2011

Because of my recent relocation to Seattle, I am no longer gainfully employed.  Let me tell you, this is not going down well with my dad.  Couldn’t you tell from the photos? He’s Asian.  Asian dads expect you to have a well-paying job when you come out of the womb.

I digress (hey, I’m part Asian, I can say stuff like that).   As I now spend my days juggling the semblance of a part-time social media job and being a full-time crazy dog mom, it’s time to look for big-girl employment.  Trolling through these job ads, I can’t help but notice that I am being bombarded with the same universal job descriptions, all of them having a secret meaning.  Allow me to decode.

“Ability to multitask.”  Roughly translated, this means that there will be ten different superiors with whom you could potentially have to report, and all of them have the authority to give you different assignments.  Multitask, bitch.  Just do it.

“Requires a 4-year college degree, or equivalent industry experience.”  This is more like, you better have gone to college, and even then you should have a few years of experience.  If you didn’t go to college, you in fact need 10+ years of experience and should have won some awards by now.

“Must be a team player with the ability to work independently.”  Autonomy is expected, but play nice with the other kids and don’t ask too many questions.

“Must have a great attention for detail.”  In other words, you better catch the boss’ mistakes before they affect any aspect of the business.

Compensation commensurate with experience.”  Unless you are the Tom Cruise of this industry, we will be paying you as little as possible.

**Note to any potential employers:  I wrote this while balancing on my shoulders in a complicated yoga pose, while holding my college degree, collaborating with my canine colleagues, all for very little compensation.  Bring it on. **

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea@WellnessNotes October 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Pretty true… 🙂 Now the important thing is that you find a job that is the right fit for you! And you will!!! 🙂


laura October 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

totally true. my dad’s not asian but basically has the same expectations. i hear you!


Cindy October 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

This made me smile for the first time today … so thank you!


Lara October 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Thanks for reading 🙂


Roz@weightingfor50 October 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

So fun Lara. This post, not looking for work. And if you can write a post while standing on your head, you are certainly a candidate to work here in our organization. If you can read minds…that is a bonus! 🙂 Joking aside, good luck on the hunt!!!!


skippysays October 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm

LOL Lara. After that note on the bottom, who wouldn’t hire you??


Erin October 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Ugh totally. That rhetoric is a bunch of crap! P.S. Asians are fierce


~Andy October 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Love this humorous take on job searching. Hilarious!


elise October 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

and if you are in nursing, it seems the only openings are for night shift and geriatric homes.
good luck!


Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! October 26, 2011 at 6:31 am

“Asian dads expect you to have a well-paying job when you come out of the womb.”

Bahahahaha. Let me assure you it’s the same with Asian moms.


Lea @ Healthy Coconut October 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

ha ha, you made me laugh out loud on this post.

So true about everything you said. The job market these days can be mostly about underpaid and over worked 🙁

P.S. I know too well about having Asian dads and their expectations. I feel you on that.


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) October 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm

For once I’d like to see an employer stop using job-description speak. Simply say, Applicants need to do a ton of shit that big bosses don’t want to do- catch mistakes when we screw up, have a phD or higher and do a Subway run for the office without grumbling”. And I am glad I don’t have an asian dad breathing down my neck to get a job, ’cause he’d be very upset with me by now 🙂


Susan October 29, 2011 at 8:03 am

I think these are pretty darn accurate! One thing I’ve learned through talking with grad schools is the value of experience in addition to education. I don’t feel bad any more about deciding to take some time off and work before getting my master’s or PhD. I’m thinking it will help me in the long run.

In regards to the last one, I actually heard it’s become easier to get hired with the lowest degree possible for the position – they can pay you less!


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