“A Stern Talking To” is a new column giving voice to those everyday pet peeves our community has, until now, been forced to internalize and let stew.

Spring is approaching. For those of us who are still job and/or internship less, we know what this means: spring recruiting. Or, as my friends in i-banking and consulting say, “non-traditional recruiting.” As much as I know these friends mean no harm, I admit it kinda burns a little bit every time I get the “You don’t have a job yet? Oh, so you’re doing non-traditional recruiting” spiel.

But guess what, guys? You got it wrong.

The latest I’ve heard, admittedly thirdhand*, is that the terms have been inappropriately reversed: the job searching we’re doing now, with short-term hiring outlooks, simple interview processes, and hire-as-needed firms, is in fact that traditional form of recruiting. The fall process? Not so traditional.

You see, the process we’re doing now is much more like the real world. Fall recruiting is not real life. Most people are not, in fact, wine-and-dined for months, cut in iterations, hired in “classes,” or given lucrative signing bonuses with start dates a year away. That’s luxury recruiting, in my opinion.

Last year, I dropped my resume at a career fair, interviewed twice, and got an individual offer within the span of a month. No long process, no BS, and no need to worry about competing with 347 other people for a set number of spots: they wanted to hire me, and they did. And that’s how I plan to get my theoretical future job for graduation, and every job after that.

My recruiting process now will be indicative of every future job search I have to do. And that, my friends, is why it is traditional. That fall process? You’ll never do it again, unless you decide to get yet another graduate degree for some reason.

So the next time I have a conversation with someone about my non-traditional spring recruiting, I will smile gleefully at the completely irrelevant validation this information has provided me and know that I am not, in fact, “doing it wrong.” Just please don’t brag and/or complain to me about your signing bonus, okay?

*The original source of this revelation is one of our friends at OCD, so it must be true.

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