How to Try Something New (Or Why I Suck at Job Searching)

Jonathan Adler storefront by flickr/jfiess

I’ve been a full-time freelancer for only two months now, and already, I’m dying for some human interaction. Don’t get me wrong, working from home has its perks (a 10-second commute being one of them), but I’m starting to feel like maybe I should get a part-time job, just to break things up and get out of the house more. I started cruising through Craigslist, thinking I should just do something I would enjoy, like being an ice cream scooper at Sweet Action (there goes my diet) or a floral arranger or maybe even a salon receptionist. Then I saw it: Sales Associate for Jonathan AdlerSwoon. They’re opening a Jonathan Adler store in Denver?! I’m in love.

Immediately, my mind was filled with Technicolor fantasies as a Jonathan Adler sales associate, where I warmly greeted well-heeled clientele looking for the perfect étagère for their vibrant, mid-century modern home. “Why, we have just the thing!” I would beam, while effortlessly sauntering through the boutique, wearing my red and blue Café Capri Kaleidoscope Dot pants from J.Crew (offset by a robin’s egg blue silk shirt, naturally).  The other sales associates would wear hot pint or teal tailored pants, gold bangles and Tory Burch patterned tunics, and we all would smile throughout the day, as we fluffed peace/love pillows, enfolded mustached porcelain teapots in Bargello Chevron gift wrap and glowed with joy from the orange-spiration permeating throughout the Shangri-La-like shop. Sigh.

Sorry, I got carried away there. Where was I? Oh, right, applying for a job.

So, once I actually set my mind to assembling my resume for this happy-chic career, I realized I actually have no experience whatsoever. True, I learned how to deliver detailed customer service and memorize extensive product knowledge during my time as a waitress, and yes, I had to use my “eye and passion for design” as an editorial coordinator when I styled photo shoots and worked with graphic designers on layouts. But other than those things, dammit, I’m not even qualified to work retail, even for a brand I absolutely adore.

I love the idea of trying something entirely new, and I seem drawn to jobs that take me out of my realm of experience…but how do you dabble in a career path that’s completely different from your expertise? I would say an internship, but lately, even those seem to require an extensive amount of knowledge and prior experience, despite the fact that they’re largely unpaid. Well, I applied for the Jonathan Adler job anyway. If nothing else, at least now I have a really cute, new layout for my resume.

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