Perhaps it’s true for everybody, but I can’t help thinking it’s particularly acute in my case: for me, looking for a job is a supremely depressing endeavor. I can’t say I particularly like working, and I’ve found that unemployment doesn’t suit me all that well either, but I really, _really_ hate actively looking for work. It is all the things I hate doing rolled into one.
My resume is diffuse; it doesn’t portray any particular narrative or direction or ambition–and that’s because I haven’t moved any particular direction and haven’t demonstrated any particular ambition. The natural reading of my resume is the correct one: this guy is not a go-getter. I’m not particularly qualified for anything, at least on paper. What I am qualified to do–read, write, and edit–is scattered in tiny bits around my work history, but not in such a way that anyone would gather those fragments and say, “hey, here’s our guy!”
I have a smidgen of graphic design experience, but not enough to get a professional GD job. I’ve worked in internet advertising, and marketing, but honestly, one runs a real risk of suicide in pursuing those jobs, much less getting them. My experience creating advertisements for IMDb.com, and dealing with the folks who sold and managed the advertising end of things, was unpleasant, to say the least. And my experience marketing for Microsoft, while more pleasant, was pleasant in the way that one’s anesthitized floating in a dentist’s chair is pleasant: nothing you can, or would want to, remember or return to.
What I’ve really always wanted to do is write and edit content (preferably content I care about) for a smallish internet-based media outlet. But of course, I’m not particularly qualified for that either, having never, y’know… done it.
Note here the layers of bitter irony: I’m not at _all_ qualified to do what I _want_ to do, and anyway, there aren’t any such jobs advertised, at least not where I’m looking. I’m a _little_ bit qualified to do several things I _don’t_ want to do, so those are the things that, rationally-speaking, I should pursue. Thus, when I am looking for a job, this is the state I find myself in: desperately pursuing work that a) I really, really don’t want and would be miserable doing, and b) I have very little chance of getting anyway. Hopelessly seeking that which will degrade me. It’s no fun.
Ah, but I lay out this familiar (to my wife anyway) tale of woe for only one reason: to celebrate the galactically-unlikely happy ending.
Turns out there was _one_ job editing content at a smallish internet-based media outlet that _was_ advertising in a place I looked (it’s called craig’s list, and I only learned about it a few days before the job was posted). Knowing I was not particularly qualified, I wrote one of my patented long, overwrought cover letters, which (miracle!) found a receptive audience. They liked the sound of me. I liked the sound of them. I interviewed.
I got the job. And I like it.
Such small, simple words, so profoundly unexpected to me, so surprising, so beyond the scope of my fondest hopes.
After so many happy endings in my personal life and so much tedium and frustration in my work life, I had consigned myself to that state of affairs continuing in perpetuity. Now there are happy endings all around, and I’m just bewildered, not to mention happy as a pig in shit. I suppose it’s incumbent on me now to work my ass off and acquit myself well. To it!
(Oh, yeah, the job is editor at this online environmental magazine. I’m obliged to tell you that you should subscribe to their daily email, if for no other reason than to read my clever pun headlines.)