Jumping Through Hoops aka Hustling aka Job Hunting in 2011.

“So, Melissa, what have you been doing lately?”

I’m working on creating a profile on one of ye olde job sites.  I wonder how many profiles I have created across the different employment networks.  Today I’m creating a new one.  This was unexpected – I thought I had created all the profiles in every relevant arena of my field.  Nope – here’s a new one.

Have you been job hunting in 2011?  Even just curiously?

I think I would fare better on blind dates – at least there is an opportunity for rejection, and, of course, for acceptance.  And when it comes to jobs, it seems – everyone is settling for whatever’s available these days.  Which, certainly, bites.  Because who wants to begin a relationship with someone not because you like them, love them, or are attracted to them, but just because they’re available and you could probably get by and basically withstand being with them?

I choose not to settle when it comes to my love life.  Regarding occupational endeavors, however – I hope to find some sort of middle ground – not throw all those hopes and dreams and stuff out the window.  Picture a father and his young 8 year-old daughter:

Father: “You can be anything you want to be, if you put your mind to it.”
8 Year-Old Daughter: “Really?”
Father: “Yeah.  Well…it really depends on the economy…so, actually, you might have to settle.”
8 Year-Old Daughter: “Whoa.  That bites.”
Father: “Yeah, honey.  I know.  Sorry.” 

Firstly, I’m sure hiring managers are getting dozens, if not hundreds, maybe even thousands of applicants for any position, and given the number of opportunities I have been qualified for and haven’t received an interview request, if I don’t have any personal contacts at the company to which I’m inquiring, I’m aware that the chances of my carefully drafted cover letter and resume getting reviewed are pretty slim.

Too bad – I’ve had some pretty awesome cover letters.  Who says writers can’t have egos?

What’s to think?  The whole occupational search appears to be getting longer in this great nation, and with companies increasingly reluctant to hire, the current jobholders (I’d imagine) are likely gripping their positions even tighter meanwhile taking on hefty helpings of added responsibilities lest they be on the next chopping block.

So, yes – I’ve been researching companies.  Editing, revising my resume, cover letters.  As a writer, however, the work may be more extensive.  Submitting writing samples, or writing an original piece specifically for the position to which you’re applying (and, as aforementioned, may not even be looked at anyway; no doubt there are insiders and friends-of-friends closely intertwined in the hidden wiring – we don’t know who these people are but we know that they exist somewhere), can be a lengthy and tiresome task – hell, you’re working but not getting paid yet.  It’s true: finding a job is a job.

But then there’s the luxury of free time – nope.  Complete lie. Job hunting is a time-suck.

The only luxury that I’ve had was probably the countless hours spent reviewing employment positions online that could be done in my underwear, if I were so inclined.

But – I’m not so inclined.

As a writer, I’ve written reviews and submitted drafts and filled out surveys, writing tests, questionnaires regarding proficiency in various editing programs.  I’ve also written an original pilot webisode just for a job application, which I’m at least happy to have as a writing sample to add to my repertoire.

There have been many, many emails.

Perhaps becoming an actor is now equivalent to the task of finding a job in 2011 (a lengthy gamble inclusive of a vast number of rejections).  Except, more glory.

One of the jobs I applied to sent a follow-up questionnaire.  Not the basic writer skill-set type of questions.  Nothing orthodox about it.  They sent soul-searching questions, the kind of probing that you would ask on your 20th date with a guy that you really, really like, if you’re not in love with him already.  The kinds of inquiries that parents ask when they’re arranging their kids’ marriage.

They could have at least bought me dinner and tried to make out with me first.

I understand: job hunting in 2011 requires jumping through hoops, akin to being a contestant on Survivor or Love in the Wild (however, I didn’t realize that there were so many flatirons and eyelash curlers involved in said Wild); these are the times.

Perhaps it would be more fun to teach an intro computer class to a group of elderly people. At least that would be employment.

Sometimes it’s good to step away from the whole job hunting game.  I put on some music.  I’m relaxing to Kanye West – but this so-called “Good Life” that he speaks of does not resonate with me at the moment.  Perhaps because Kanye is not currently in the job market today.  Maybe he hasn’t given it another thought since his days folding clothes at the Gap.

Dating is more fun, for sure.  Remember, back in high school and college, that was where the real drama and excitement was to be had?  It was a simpler time.  Perhaps that is the root of my current revived taste for musicals – what? I enjoy a silky dark ganache of escapism wrapped in a fine cookie crunchy crust of escapism just as much as the next gal.

Job hunting has become a video game.  No, not even – I actually enjoy Mario Kart.

Once I am dutifully employed, I may count all the email records I have and tally up just how many coins I’ve tossed into the fountain of employment.  I’ll let you know how the ridiculous number computes.

‘Til then, if anyone has a fully functioning old school game of Donkey Kong or Duck Hunt…

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