Friday, January 8, 2010


I cannot write another cover letter. I cannot send in more clips. I cannot update my resume yet again. I cannot write another sample blog post. I cannot scroll through job postings anymore, click on another promising looking "entry level" job posting only to see that this entry level job requires 3 YEARS of specifically related experience, knowledge of over 100 various new media programs I've never even heard of, 20 published clips, the ability to come up with a working Middle East peace solution, fluency in 17 lanugages including Sanskrit and Latin, some past experience as a fighter pilot and of course, an ability to converse directly with God. I cannot write one more of these pathetic letters to a potential employer, begging them to take me on, listing all of the reasons I deserve to work for them for so little money that I still wouldn't be able to move out of my parent's house or get a dog or you know, go to the dentist.

Today, right now, I cannot do any of these things. Just thinking about them makes me want to scream loud enough so that my neighbors might call the cops. Right now I am so frustrated and tired of checking my email every hour just hoping that one of the dozens of odd jobs I've applied for will have gotten back to me.

Right now I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm cursing my English degree for appearing to mean absolutely squat in the real world. I'm cursing the fact that I was born in this generation and that there are just no jobs out there for anyone, much less a journalist. I'm cursing the fact that I can't even get unpaid internships. Do you know what a blow to someone's ego that is? To in the first place have to beg and crawl on your knees and throw yourself at an organizations feet just so that you can work full time for them, to work as hard as any of their other employees for absolutely FREE, with no benefits. It's beyond humiliating. I know there are other professions that have unpaid internships, but they are just so pervasive in journalism that you wonder why any magazine has paid employees at all. Because clearly there are just hundreds upon hundreds of graduates willing to enter into what might be the only still legal form of indentured servitude. You work for four years towards a degree so that you can work for free? And I have the good fortune (and kind parents) to not have any student loans to pay off. What about all of those would be journalists who do have loans, who want so badly to write for a career, who worked so hard to get that degree, who took on jobs to pay for housing
through college, who are buried in debt now, only to realize that the only jobs that exist out there don't even pay?

So this is how I feel right now. Tomorrow morning I will hopefully wake up and exit right out of this pity party. I will realize that there are plenty of people out there working at fast food restaurants and as temps who hate their jobs, but who have no choice but to get up in the morning and deal with it. I will realize what a luxury it even is that I can sit on my butt at my parents house, not working, waiting to find a job in writing, in the field that I love. I am lucky and spoiled in a hundred different ways.

But just for a moment I want to throw a fit and scream and cry over the fact that despite how much I want this, despite how hard I've worked for it, I am just stuck, and that it is a very real possibility that I will be stuck for some time.

So for anyone reading this who has ever applied for so many jobs that you actually lose track of the jobs you've applied for, who could recite word for word your latest cover letter, who sometimes just want to dispense with all the begging and tell this would be employer that they would be LUCKY to have you instead of the other way around, I know you feel my pain.

And that is why I am going to go and pour myself a huge glass of Pinot Grigio, wallow for a little while, so that tomorrow I can suck it up and start all over again.


joan said...

I am so sorry. I can't imagine how discouraging that must be. A good job is such a treasure right now. I hope things turn around for you and you land something good.

Unknown said...

thank you :)

Unknown said...

i read this as i avoided filling out yet another application to yet another county that is an hour away. i understand completely and would love to treat you to starbucks (with what little salary i do have) and let you vent all about it. good luck. we all know you have the talent and are cheering for you!

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