It’s like submitting a short story to a magazine. You spend hours polishing your submission, reading and rereading the guidelines, checking your manuscript more times than necessary to confirm you followed all the rules and caught all grammatical errors. Then, you submit it. Several days or weeks…or months later, you get an email or snail mail saying, “we like it but, it’s not for us.” No matter how many times you get that response, it cuts right through you.

At least you get a response. I spend hours catering my cover letter for a specific job, using the right words, proving I’m more than qualified, read and reread everything for grammatical errors and then… nothing. It feels like all my hard work goes down some black hole. Unread! The fun thing about it-you have to do it all over again.

I keep reading advice saying to contact the employer a week later to make sure they got your application. This is supposed to put your application at the top of the pile. It annoys me when I read this. I don’t know what job ads they’re looking at. The ones I see only include an email address; others have a link taking you to their online application. More often then not, the ad says no phone calls please. They never include a name. So, how am I supposed to contact them! I could email but what good would that do if the message simply fell down the black hole.

Articles telling us employers are looking for reasons not to hire you don’t help. They’re interesting but they do not help the nerves. I used to take comfort when employers told me they’d file my resume in case a position opened that I qualified for until I read this was another black hole. Unless the employer had a reason to look for it, my resume would never be looked at again.

I hate to sound old but, getting a job today is so much harder than it used to be- job hunting was never easy! Some days I think, “What’s the point?” You don’t even get a form email saying you didn’t get the job. Your beautiful application was probably thrown away unread or sitting in someone’s mailbox. Those days I step back and do something else for awhile. My cover letter would be less than what it should if I worked on it when I felt down.

I am so grateful for my writing. Now more than ever. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

The frustrations of job-hunting don’t bother me as much while I’m finishing my first novel, ordering business cards (They are awesome by the way. Did you know creating a QR Code is free? And, it’s just like uploading an image), trying to figure out my brand as a writer and being more active on Social Media. It’s so much fun. Getting my writing career off the ground makes everything else seem so insignificant.

The key is to keep moving forward. It’s difficult when you have nothing to show for all your hard work and you’re watching people’s faces drop as you tell them you haven’t gotten any responses. Focus on what you have to do next, the next job you need to apply for, how can you improve your resume and cover letter, are there any new job-hunting tips you need to know.

More importantly, I stay out of my apartment as much as possible. I go to the library around mid-day almost every day and stay until closing. The main NYPL is gorgeous and more importantly, it’s free to use. I keep my mind busy so I only think about the things I need to do not the things that haven’t happened. It works, most of the time 😉


Kelly Hashway · January 24, 2012 at 1:02 am

Good luck finding a job. I know it's tough. I'll be crossing my fingers for you.

Unknown · January 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm

"I only think about the things I need to do not the things that haven't happened."

Awesome! This is very positive.

Looking for a job was always a daunting journey, I hated it! If all I had to do was write, I would be the happiest person in the world. I wouldn't even have to get paid to do it and I'd be happy. The problem is that I cannot afford to NOT have a job.

Sometimes I think back on previous jobs, though less complex (renting videos or scooping ice cream in a cone), I had a lot more fun. If I lost my job today, I might have to open up an ice cream parlor. Then I'd hire some fun people and retire to my office to finish writing my novel. 🙂

Stay positive and I'm crossing my fingers for you as well!

Auden Johnson · January 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Thanks Kelly and Diane! It would be so nice if I could focus on my writing but I've got bills to pay and you need money to start a writing career.

Alex · January 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Just remember that while you have nothing saleable to show at the moment, you are earning on an investment that will dividend in the future. Your faith has to be very strong at this time because you may encounter some or many difficulties during this time. Eventually, like a forged steel, when you get the job that you are looking for it will mean more to you than just a job to pay your bills. It's all about enjoying what you do and get paid for doing it.

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