Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dispatches from the job search: On cookies and (un)employment

The following is from a new blog I've created to record and cope with the trials and tribulations of my job search. Follow it here.

I was in the 11th grade when I took an advanced writing class at my high school. By then I knew I was going to be a wordsmith, I just hadn't quite figured out where to apply my talents. It was in that class that I was introduced to the field of journalism. My senior year I was accepted into a mentorship with the local newspaper. From day 1, when I was assigned my very first story as a reporter, I was hooked.
When I graduated from college - armed with a journalism degree, a year of experience as the editor in chief of the school paper and an undying passion for the art - I took my first job as a copy editor at a hyperlocal newspaper. Unfortunately that was also the year the newspaper business began a nosedive that ended with a phone call and the giant cookie you see above.
Alright, the path to that cookie wasn't nearly direct as I make it sound. I enjoyed almost two years of wonderful people willing to teach me the ropes. I grew to enjoy designing pages and eventually became a little obsessed with the online medium that all newspapers are moving into. And I will be forever grateful to those who took me under their wing and fought to keep me around. But, alas, I couldn't stay there forever. It seems a twist of fate has finally bulldozed me a new path.
On Wednesday morning - St. Patrick's Day - I received the summons to the HR office that all of us were dreading since the announcement came that layoffs were imminent. I was among those who were being laid off. It was the third round of layoffs that I had experienced since joining the paper, and I suppose my luck had finally run out.
I'm not embarrassed to say that I went to a bar that night. Of course, so did the rest of the nation. It was St. Paddy's Day, after all.
My fiance made me promise that I would not attempt to do anything for a few days. Take a break; that was his advice. But I'm not much of a take-a-break kind of person. I did start my job the day after I accepted my diploma, instead of taking a week off like everyone said I should have.
So, after celebrating that I was one quarter Irish (and mourning my career), I made the giant cookie you see above. And then I ate it. With ice cream and peanut butter. Because I could. And then I fell into a coma.
I woke up this morning, less than 24 hours into my newly unemployed condition, and I was already bored.
And this is where this blog comes in. You see, I love writing. I realized about half way through my enormous cookie that I would not be able to survive a job search on writing cover letters alone. I also realized that many of you might be in the same boat as I am and could use my failures as lessons on how not to go about recovering from being laid off. And eventually, you could learn from my successes on how to find a job. At the very least you can laugh at me as I struggle to network, apply and interview my way into the next step in my life.
Won't you join me?

I will post the first few posts from "Dispatches" here, and then I will discontinue. I'll continue to do my normal posting here. Please follow both, if that's what interests you.


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