OCIs were hell.

I hated almost every minute of that process, from the early mornings I spent preparing applications instead of sleeping beside someone who travelled 3000 miles to see me, to the stressing over who would grant me preliminary interviews, to the 17-minute preliminary interviews, to the stressing over who would offer me second interviews, to that final, crushing morning where no employers called me at all.

I don’t have words to describe just how horrible and stressful the whole process was, and I’m glad I never have to go through anything like that again.

Oh wait.

Welcome to Articling Recruitment, boys and girls! If you thought OCIs were fun, you’re in for a real treat over the next two months!

Once again I’ll be preparing dozens of applications and sending them out to employers who probably won’t even bother to respond to me.

This time, however, the stakes are both higher and lower. They’re higher because we’re playing for keeps this time. If I get an articling job through this process, that job will likely lead to a permanent position with whichever employer hires me. So that’s neat.

The stakes are lower because I’ve theoretically got a job offer for next year already (courtesy of my present employer), so even if I come up empty I’ve still got an option in the bank.

You might be thinking “But Michael, if you’ve already got an offer locked up, why bother subjecting yourself to all this torment again?”

The simple reason is that although I’ve got a job offer, it’s not an ideal one.

On the bright side, continuing to work for my present employer would give me some continuity. I’d already be familiar with all the staff and systems of the place, and so there would be no learning curve next August. I’d also be able to continue living at home (and thus not have to pay rent, allowing me to save the vast majority of my income).

On the not-so-bright side, I’d be paid significantly less than I could be earning. And it means I’d be stuck in Woodbridge until at least June 2017, at which point I’d have to start looking for jobs again if I ever want to get out of here.

Like I said, not ideal. And while staying with my present employer would have some advantages, on the whole I’d rather article downtown. Doing so would allow me to get out of Woodbridge in August 2016 with a fair degree of financial independence. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

So here we go again. Hopefully this grand game goes a bit better for me this time.