I’m now four months into unemployment. I have looked over dozens of jobs under the basic head of writing/journalism/editor — the vast majority of which pay next to nothing and require a very specific kind of writing. I have applied to numerous possibilities, filling out all manner of on-line forms. So far, zero interviews.
My wife is a professional. She has been in her industry for more than 30 years and will probably never be out of work unless she wants to be. Even if she no longer works specifically under her job title, there are ancillary opportunities. Because of this, she can’t understand why I’m having so much trouble finding work, or at least getting an interview. It’s a different paradigm now. When was the last time you saw a “help wanted” section in a newspaper? Or a “help wanted” ad that includes a phone number where you can call and perhaps talk with an actual human person? Pretty much everything is online, with uploads of your resume, cover letter, and portfolio. After sending in an application, perhaps you’ll get an email telling you someone will be in touch if they think you’re worthy (but in nicer language). This just adds to the concept that social media has put us in a position where you don’t have to speak to anyone, just go about your business staring at one screen or another.
Everyone has advice. (Funny how all those people seem to have jobs.) You have to network, they say. Problem is, most of the people I would network with are journalists/writers who are in the same boat.
To be honest, this is pretty discouraging as I eye the calendar and count down the days until the severance is going to run out.