It is undeniable that one of the greatest and most worrying of pains in the process is the inevitable job search. Everyone has gone through it: you search the same internet scavenger hunt but you try to word yourself differently hoping different results come up that don’t include a CDL or a lifetime worth of experience. You attach a resume to an online application but then proceed for the next hour or more to type in the exact information listed on your resume on several different online pages for the application process. You scrape your contact list for anyone responsible enough to be a reference and stretch your “experience” points all the way back to high school.
Job hunting is atrocious and until you acquire an interview, you feel hopelessly unwanted and discarded.
When your talents and education are focused on writing, it can be difficult finding a job outside of retail and even remotely similar to your skill set. For those of us still on our path to finding an agent and hitting that publishing lottery that puts us on a full-time writing/author track, job hunting is a poison we sip a small amount of each day. Every day that our phones remain silent or email sits unchanged of any possible employer reaching out for contact, our hope for a fresh start in the job market begins to overripe and shrivel. It’s terrifying to think that we may not hear anything at all or to never know how many jobs you’ll need to apply for.
The drastic measures we hope to never take?
I worked in retail for much longer than I expected but bills must be paid, groceries must be bought, and to put all of this on my spouse was inhumanely unfair. So I went back to a drugstore-retail chain I had worked at on weekends during school; they were desperate for someone with experience and I was desperate for any paycheck at all. Months stretched, weekends and holidays were worked, and by a lucky encounter with a customer whose company was hiring, I made it out a few years later. Now I’m at a job I yearned for during those forty plus hourly waged weeks; a desk job in an office setting where my typing skills are put to use and I’m expected to use logical and detailed thinking to edit orders for the company’s products. Not what I expected when I went to school but hey, it’s self-respecting work with dignity and I have holidays off and weekends. It’s work I don’t have to take home with me so I can focus on projects and personal work.
Now, I’m leaving to move states away with my spouse, who luckily has his job lined up and will be making even a little more. His job also is helping pay for our move and with a good deal on our new place, I’m afforded a little extra time, as in going there without a job lined up won’t be the end of the world, however with only a week left before our travels, I find my foot tapping anxiously under my desk and my Google page up with “full time open employment” placed in the search bar without entirely remembering doing it. Without thought, I’m constantly checking my phone and email, because even a rejection email would be better to see than nothing; I hate when businesses leave you forever guessing if their application process takes as little two weeks or as long as a month.
I’m constantly reassuring myself that no matter what, we will be good. Even if I must return to the recesses of hellish retail, I’ll survive like I did before. It’s a difficult time for everyone to seek employment and I do have an advantage of now with at least a year of office experience. It does make it difficult at the time being to continue working on my short stories and projects but every writer is allowed emergency times and busy times from work, too; any writer who says otherwise either is lying or has it really made. Never feel guilted when you have so much going on; we literally found out we were moving maybe two months ago. This move came quick and we are checking on the final tallies of our to-do lists.
If anyone has advice on job searching for writers, please comment below! I’d appreciate it and it would be great for other readers to see, too!