Jobseeker woes: the Bait & Switch

My head hurts.

Applying to full time jobs careers right out of college is stressful and uninspiring. As a millennial with a Bachelor’s degree, I know I need to do something to make myself stand out from the crowd. I just don’t know exactly what that is.

My writing is (sometimes) top-notch. I’m an excellent researcher (I get creepy on a company/subject’s social media.) I have experience crafting social media content to promote events, businesses and programs. I’m a completely self taught SEO expert. I know how to podcast from scratch. Wow, none of this stands out from any other millennial with a bachelors degree in public relations.

This is probably why I haven’t been getting very many job interviews. The ones I have been getting, however, have been less than ideal…

I was a young, about-to-be college graduate when I learned about a classic scam that targets people like me: the bait and switch.

Picture this: you’re browsing a job board like Indeed dot com looking for employment, when you see a job ad listed that looks almost too good to be true. For me and mine, this job was Entry Level Public Relations and Marketing Assistant. I should have known this would be shady from the start, because I got an email immediately after only submitting a resume through a random recruitment website I had never heard of.

I wanted to be optimistic. I now realize I was being “green.” I went in for the first interview, five minutes late mind you, and was immediately asked to come in for a second one. At this point, I still didn’t know what the job exactly entailed. So, I did some digging.

If you’re like me, an inexperienced recent graduate desperately seeking employment, SIGN UP FOR GLASS DOOR. All you have to do is review one company you worked at (and it can be any company! That coffee shop you worked at for two weeks? Roast them!) and you get free membership for a year. Glass door is excellent because it allows current employees, former employees, and individuals who interviewed for jobs within a company to review their experience. The kind folks who reviewed the interview process at this company let me know; it is a bait & switch scam.

A bait and switch is a job that is advertised as something vastly different from what it actually is. The Entry Level Public Relations and Marketing Assistant position was actually a sales job that entailed standing in Costco for anywhere from 6 to 9 hours a day selling Direct TV packages. The company didn’t let me know that until the day of my second interview, when I sat down with a bleary eyed Team Leader who would have been my supervisor had I gone on to accept the position. (They offered it to me and I declined because – at that point in my job search – I did not consider myself desperate enough. Things may have changed at this point but that’s neither here nor there.)

The team leader broke down the process for me during that second interview; do floor sales for 3-5 weeks, become a team leader for 1-2 months, advance to coordinator for 3-5 months and within 7-10 months you could own your own company and make anywhere from $70,000 to $115,000 a year. Um, sure.

I am a professional so I turned that job down politely, claiming that I would not be “a good fit.” I wanted to say “I decline this offer because your company is a shady DevilCorp that misled me and I will not be misled!”

FYI: A “devilcorp” is a multi level marketing scam that engages in the bait & switch tactic to lure in employees, overwork them, underpay them and brainwash them into thinking they have it made performing sales work that was not advertised in the original job ad they applied to. The idea of the “devilcorp” lies somewhere in between conspiracy theory and marketing scam, but the idea fit very well with my experience so I have added it into my vocabulary.

Some people enjoy sales! Some may thrive and do very well for themselves selling cable packages, or any other product, in big retailers! That’s great – I just know that doing that kind of job would only exacerbate my mental illness. Also, I don’t appreciate being misled.

Should I have accepted this job? Maybe. Will I be a barista for the rest of my life as a result? Also maybe. But I think I’d rather serve coffee than be that person in Costco I zoom past, avoiding eye contact because yes I am very happy with my current cable provider!

tl;dr (too long didn’t read): Jobseeking is tough. Don’t fall for the bait and switch and get your hopes up. Use glass door.

(Glassdoor isn’t paying me to say this, they’ve simply helped me avoid applying to these MLM scams more than once. Bless the people who review companies on glass door)

Happy job hunting.