One week into the post-college job search and even my computer gave up on me. Dear Thomas (pronounced the French way) let out an alarming squeak of a noise and went black. For good. I have decided to react with amusement, but only because the life of the unemployed is depressing enough. So now with a new computer, itself with a different name and ethnicity, Luca, (pronounced the Italian way of course) I continue my hunt.
Although I’m not sure I was made for unemployment, as I physically can’t sleep later than nine, I have found comfort in a veritable laundry list of morning talk shows and infomercials. Just last week I was one digit away from ordering a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer, but decided to hold off on the purchase until viewing the next segment, Cindy Crawford’s new line of youth-capturing, skin-rejuvenating lotions and potions. I went with Cindy, figuring that anti-aging products will come in useful if my status of employment fails to change.
Because most companies seem to be firing more often than hiring, I am currently in the business of making connections. These connections allow me to become exposed to industries I might not otherwise consider, and will perhaps aid in my being able to acquire a job further down the line. If nothing else, the email responses I continue to receive allow me to maintain positive self-esteem, as I become visibly excited when new emails appear in my inbox.
“My advice? Go to law school.”
This is not what I wanted to hear from a successful editor-in-chief of a magazine, a woman whose success and knowledge I was hoping to absorb through the keys of my laptop. While disappointing, this suggestion seems suddenly as common a response to unemployment as “thank you” is to “happy birthday!” How did law school become the fall back option?
Part of the job search is identifying all of your interests and strengths and then trying to draw from that list—or in my case, Venn diagram—a practical career. It is important to look at this list through a realistic lens. For example, my list of interests includes “roller derby” and “cross-canceling fractions.” These two items must be eliminated for several reasons. Why must I cut roller derby? Well, aside from the time I bit my sister because she wouldn’t let me have a turn at the piano (I was five), I have never been one to engage in physical aggression. Roller derby must go because I have always favored a friendly high-five to an unwarranted shove. Also, I don’t know how to roller skate. Cross-canceling fractions is impractical for its own reasons. None of my other interests are in any way mathematical, and unless I can find a way to incorporate this into a piece about food trends or urban culture, it’s got to go.
So why should an employer choose me from a pool of several thousand equally qualified, undeniably eager recent college graduates? I won’t ask for much money, and in this economy, that might be the most important factor in an employer’s decision. After three years of unpaid internships, the promise of lunch money would be enough to make me feel lucky, grateful even. Throw in subway reimbursement and I’ll work overtime.