Congratulations, you just graduated college and are about to enter the job search with thousands of other people competing for the same position. Just imagine if instead of emailing out resumes, your name was plucked from a bowl of all the other applicants. The more internships and experience you have, the more times your name goes in the bowl. You’re basically just a career tribute – training your entire life for this one chance to make something of yourself and receive fame and glory (aka a paycheck). Even after all that work, the chances of a hand even grazing your name are slim to none. It’s all in the hands of someone equally as optimistic as Effie Trinket – the HR manager.

Finally, the last day they’re accepting resumes comes and it’s time to decide if you’ll be going into the interview arena. Your name is drawn out of the stack! YOU’RE IN! A mixture of excitement and fear consumes you. The anxiety of waiting is the hardest part.

Now, it’s time to prepare and decide how to present yourself to the panel. Do you want to be the peppy, upbeat recent grad who’s excited to learn or the serious intellectual? So many options! Time to consult with your mentor and begin prepping for the battle to come. All throughout training, you decide what your strengths are and how to combat your weaknesses. How can you outsmart your competitors and come out a victor? Your best advice – stay alive. Make them remember you. Hopefully you have a great stylist on your side like Cinna to help you stand out from the other tributes.

The time has come to enter the arena. Have you prepared enough? It’s now or never. Will you reign supreme or will you die trying not make it into the second round of interviews?

As the platform beneath you slowly elevates into the arena, you begin to take in your new surroundings. You’re feeling unfamiliar and anxious, mixed with just a little excitement. The canon goes off and you sprint to grab the closest weapons interviewer and begin proving your worth. Why am I the best person to win? What value do I provide the capitol? My district? Myself?

One by one each opponent is removed from the games, whether by proving yourself better than them or by their own inadequacies (starting a fire during night one). It all comes down to the final battle at the cornucopia. After spending many hour sparing and showing your strengths, you must fight tooth and nail one last time to come out a victor. You let one final arrow fly, sending your opponent plummeting to his death, but really just send him home without a job offer. You did it! You won! You’re rushed back to the capitol to get cleaned up before you are presented to the people of Panem, as well as the executive board at your new job, as the latest victor employee.

You are presented with a new wardrobe, a new hairstyle, a new outlook on life, and, most importantly, a new job. This “new job” of being a victor provides you with a home, food for your family and your district. Fame and fortune abounds you. You’ve succeeded and you begin settling into your new role.

Then, one day out of the blue, just when you think everything is going smoothly, you’re thrust back into the arena as you vie for a promotion. Let the games begin again.

Happy job searching – and may the odds be ever in your favor.



Heather Burnett is a recent graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism where she studied public relations. She currently works in local search marketing in Columbus, OH during the day and pretends to still be 21 and a Bobcat at night. In her spare time, she enjoys happier hours (extending well beyond acceptable happy hour times), obsessing over pop culture, drinking too much coffee, fantasizing about a world where Harry Potter truly exists and embracing her puppy fever. (Seriously. She watches “Too Cute” every single time it’s on TV and finds herself “awe-ing” to her heart’s desire.) You can follow her @heather_burnett

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