The big hunt

My husband is a compulsive job hunter. Oh and before his current and all prospective bosses blacklist him for lack of commitment let me clarify that he is NOT a compulsive job changer. That he spent something like nine years in his first job is more than proof enough. However a few months into a job and the hunt begins… rather, resumes. Never will he admit that he has no real intentions of switching.

When we were newly married just as I was putting up our nameplate he announced, “In six months we’ll be out of this place.” I dropped the hammer on my foot and while limping around painfully wondered why I was investing so much effort in making a home when we’ll be out in a few months. We stayed on for six years.

Let me put it this way.. The pleasure is in the journey not the destination. It’s the hunt that thrills him. That first call from the consultant, the preliminary interview, the next stage and the next.. parrying questions from a panel of company experts, the salary negotiations… the whole deal…that’s what excites him.

Come Sunday and my completely non computer savvy husband can be found puttering on his laptop. He spends hours updating, revising, renovating and beautifying his CV. He even invested in a book on the art of resume making… I didn’t even know such books existed. He then went on to try out various formats. “Different styles suit different companies,” he informed me gravely.

As a relative lay person in the field resume-making, I could never really figure why one wasn’t enough. Why would anyone need to ‘update’ a resume even while there was no enhancement of qualification or position, I wondered. Experts however seem to differ.

My dear husband is never satisfied. Otherwise a frugal spender he readily parted with an exorbitant sum to try out the services of a CV specialist. The specialist promised to draft him a deadly resume along with the assurance of forwarding it to some hundred consultants. However to his horror the ‘deadly’ resume turned out to be a rather dead one. It was littered with basic grammatical and spelling errors which stood out like red flags to my editor eyes. He safely retreated to self help.

Then there comes the first call. When the phone rings his eyes light up and I can feel his pulse quicken at the thought of a consultant at the other end of the line, the hunter in him at a total alert. A bit of cross questioning and he sets up his itinerary. “I have a videoconferencing after office today and if that works out I’ll be flying down to Chennai (or Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad),” he will announce with aplomb.

A complete workaholic the only leaves he takes are for attending those unending interviews across the country. He is never too tired or too tied up to rush into the arms of a waiting interview panel.

Sample this.. For that interview at Chennai he woke up at 4 am to catch a 6 am flight. After the interview he waited at the airport for his 9.30 pm flight back, got home after midnight and was ready for work the next day. Is he too tired.. nopes, not he. This, by the way, is the same man who is always, yes always without exception, ‘too tired’ to go out for dinner over weekends. We’ve had just about two holidays together in our 14 years of married life because – yes you’ve guessed it -- he’s too tired.. but miss an interview.. nah.

One Saturday I found him getting ready for a meeting at CCD for a position even I, a total proletarian to the placement game, knew he would never take up. “What’s the point?” I tried to reason. “Practice,” said he solemnly. “It’s important to keep in touch,” he added.

There are other reasons he cites -- ‘I might not like the company, but if I get a good enough offer I might be able to push my current company for a hike.’ And another one – ‘If I don’t keep going the consultant will forget about me and stop calling.’ Never will he admit his love for the hunt. That would be like admitting that job hunting was a mere hobby.

We’ve just moved and the other day as I was considering joining a gym. He peered over my shoulder into the membership form and said, “Go for a quarterly membership. I have a tentative offer. We might be moving.” Did I get worked up? Na na. Not for nothing have I been married for fourteen years. I gave him a serene smile and confidently ticked on ‘Gym plan – annual’.

Oh and by the way anyone out there who needs advice on changing jobs, job trends, how to negotiate salary, how to make a killer resume you know where to go. He’s really really good.. I’ll vouch for that.

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