My mixed feelings on Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

 Well, on my hunt for employment I figured I should try to stay sharp through doing some reading. Also, since I tend to be socially awkward in the beginning so I figured something to help remedy that and maybe help me remedy that was to read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. While, I am sure this book tends to be viewed as a self-help book, my hope was to use it to enhance my approach of talking to people while I look for work. 

The weird thing is that this author sort of reminded me of the nice version of Machiavelli, without the whole wanting to conquer Italy vendetta (am pretty sure about the Italy thing but the last time I read that book was high school). I say this because I am sorry to say some of his tips seem like they are manipulating people.  Some example of this is him recommending to  “Arouse in another person an eager want”(Carnegie 79) and “Let the other person feel that an idea is his or hers”(Carnegie 196). However, even with this one example his compelling argument seems to be the golden rule of treating people how they want to be treated. He exemplifies that by reminding readers to be nice to people, smile, listen to them and appreciate what they do.

His whole book in a way revealed to me how self involved people can be since he mentions getting to talk about themselves and to be sympathetic to their needs, wants and desires. He seems to be showing that people like talking about themselves, which is not a bad thing. One part of the book that I admire in the last section of the book is that he focuses on constructive criticism so that people will become better workers, learners, etc.

Even, with my mixed reviews of this book I will be trying to apply some of the concepts that he has taught me for future social interactions. Also, I think this book would also come in handy for networking because his tips come in handy when you want to help someone out a networking event and expect nothing in return.



My choice you would think

As much I love my family and friends sometimes it feels like they want to dictate how I should be feeling about a subject or about my own career trajectory or lack their off.  I know that their intentions are good but they might want to work on their approach. I say this because as of right now I don’t know what I want to do with my life. Well, I know what I don’t want to do, you never want me to sell you anything, and while I have gained some skills over the years I still have much more practice on my hand.

I say this because I just had a job interview recently and I my gut feeling is that I didn’t get it and because the interviewer asked me some questions I did not expect or prepare for and it was hot outside and I think I was just nervous and uncomfortable and I and other people had put too much pressure on me to land this dream position. Now, my gut could be wrong and my friend could be right that I need to stop being so negative. But these days I am more realistic than negative since where I live there is as a twelve percent unemployment rate, employers can be as picky as they want, and I have learned from experience that some interviews go better than others depending on how comfortable you are. I say this because out of the ten to eleven interviews I have felt at ease in four of them. I am hoping at some point this changes but who knows.

It is not just that is bugging I have had many people I need to keep on pursuing the teaching the community college think which I would do if I was confident I could get all the recommendations I needed. The thing is I know I should pursue it just to say I did whether things work out with that as a career or not. I might be using going back to get my credential as a scape goat, I am not sure at this point. I think I just need people to see that I am pretty sure I still want to do the teaching thing but I also want to keep my options open and pursue other careers of interest to me. I am also considering being a grant writer, working in the tech industry once I learn how to code and program and create apps, working for a non profit, being a technical writer since I love the sciences but don’t have much aptitude with them, working for a pr company, and plenty of other things I have not even begun to think of yet. I mean yes they are right I did get the masters degree so I could teach but I can use this same degree to other things and still make a difference in peoples’ lives I hope.

I am just curious of other people out there feel like I do where you are bit lost but you are ok with being lost and just want to figure things out for yourselves with out someone patronizing you or giving you advice you really don’t want to hear. It reminds me of that Planes movie where all his life the main plane is told he has to be a crop duster, but he decides to be a race plane. I think I just want the choice of not being a crop duster, or in the words of Seinfeld “I don’t want to be a pirate”.  I would just like the option to be whoever I set to be whoever that is. I know I used to be a more determined go getter person and I am sure that person is in here somewhere hopefully while I looking for work and figuring out my next career move, I will find her again.

Cha-Cha Sir // Lost In Life (rough mix)

The commodity of certainty

   I was at a job fair and talking with one of my volunteer cohorts and we were talking about uncertain one feels when unemployed and how this comes out in networking events. I say this because this person and I both have no idea how to act in this situations even with ample preparation. For example, I have gone to three of these events and to be quite blunt I don’t know what to say, how I should be and if the focus should be on me telling the person about me seeking work, or actually getting to know them as a person. What, I have discovered over much practice with both approaches is that they don’t work and this might be furthered by the fact that I like most unemployed people feel lost and not entirely sure about what to do with themselves.
However, I think this uncertainty comes at a price for those who are out of work, if you don’t know how you plan to define yourself to yourself how are you going to do with the many others that you converse with at a network event.  My new theory is that maybe employees are searching for those that are certain about those and their career path in life.  My guess is that they can’t waste time on those that are feeling lost, uncertain, and want to keep our employment options open to some degree. Also, employers might be okay with people like this it just depends on how they portray it in networking situations.
But, I have a feeling that those have clear goals in sight are able to do more purposeful networking and job hunting compared to those of us who just want work, and to have somewhere to go during the day where we feel like we are making a difference.  I think for me I feel like Marshall when he is looking for work in How I Met Your Mother in the hunt for the perfect hamburger where he just wants to be able to put on pants and go to work.
I think, me like other job seekers just want to be able to put on these metaphorical pants and feel like we have been productive that day.  This being productive being defined as helping with their taxes, tutoring a student, or helping a customer find exactly what they are looking for in a retail environment, anything that makes one feel that they have helped a person, and the reward was just in that. I am not sure if others who are out of work, feel this way but I would love to hear your thoughts readers? Also those that are employed if you have any tips or hints for those of unemployed and are in an uncertainty funk I would also be open to hearing those too…

The search for employment aka as "Hunger Games"

      As of recently I have been applying for most government jobs because they pay well and they are expected to train you pretty thoroughly before you start a position, and also for most government positions if you have a bachelors degree it matters to some extent. I recently had my application accepted for a government position and was thrilled to know that I would get to take the written test to find out if I would make it to the interview process. Also to prepare myself I looked up online what would be on the civil service test for the job so I would at least be mildly prepared at the time of the test.
When, I showed up to where the test was going to be taken their was a line of people, and while I was sitting to wait for our test booklets I guessed that their were at least 100 people taking a test for two departments that were each hiring one person for each of their departments.  This is not a good ratio 100 people taking a test for two positions, I do not like these odds.  Also, I happened to over hear one person who I think for worked for the county saying that they will pick the top seven scores to interview for these two positions. This test is basically used as a smart weeding out tool to determine who to interview and who would be best for these jobs.
This whole situation made me think of the “Hunger Games” series where Katniss constantly has to use various strategies and get a one up on her opponents during these games. Also, I know that I am not the only unemployed person where I live since our unemployment is about 11 to 12% when I last checked it, and I am sure that is not including those who have given up looking for work, or who have been unemployed for the past couple years.  So, I think in my situation is was more like “Hunger Games” magnified combined with feeling like its Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest and the odds are ever not in my favor.
This has me wondering though if this is how I feel after being unemployed for the past month, imagine how other people feel. Also it had me thinking what are the new tools that job seekers need out there to survive in this dog eat dog world where its about if you already have the skills to do the job, and to some extent about who you know?“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” –H. Stanley Judd