So, here’s the deal: I have been actively searching for a job since October. And when I say searching, I mean checking MediaBistro every single day, sending my resume to everyone and anyone that I might even consider working for, and networking like crazy. I haven’t really dropped the ball or stopped looking at any point, and I’ve put a lot of my focus and energy into making sure my clips, resumes and cover letters are the best they could have been.
But now it’s April and I literally have zero offers. At this point, I am officially the only one of my hotelie friends who has no idea where she will be living or what she will be doing six weeks from now. As my classmates sign leases and start checking out IKEA furniture for their new urban apartments, I’ve found myself staring out onto what is nothing more than just a big, black space that lies beyond May 25th. As one might imagine, it is probably — likely — one of the scariest things I’ve ever been faced with (hey, come on, I’m only 21). And yo, incoming freshmen: the prospect of moving far from home to come to college is nothing; just wait ’til you’re a Cornell senior!
It’s been no secret that the job market is especially tough for this year’s grads, the state of the economy is terrifying and media — a fairly unpredictable industry to begin with — is changing rapidly. People are getting slashed from newsrooms all over the country and, this summer, staffers at my favorite magazine (Jane) walked into work one day to find that they no longer had jobs — the publication had just folded. It happens.
I have been lucky enough to find something I’m passionate about (and trust me, I know that apathy is probably far worse than uncertainty or unemployment) and even more fortunate to have parents that support their children who have both decided to ditch their respective educational tracks to be Alaskan Mountain Guides (my brother) or writers (me). I consider myself fairly savvy when it comes to new media (and therefore employable), but — let’s get real, there’s a whole city full of equally-savvy, comparably-educated media types who can interview for, get hired into and start working at the job I’d want in the time it takes for me to even get down to New York and interview for the open position (let alone the time that would pass between my landing the job, finishing up my degree and moving out there).
I never thought it was going to be a piece of cake to use my Hotel School degree to pursue something outside the scope of a traditional hospitality or financial job, but JC — I would have never imagined it would be this difficult or emotional. I think I did a really, really crappy job of managing my expectations throughout this process (let’s just say sista got a little full of herself) . . . but, then again, when you’re at the most prestigious hospitality school in the world, you watch employers banging down your classmates’ doors, and so some part of you expects them to do the same to you. Also, more often than not, I found myself having to defend my decision to major in Hotel Administration in all my media and publishing interviews — and I wasn’t prepared for that, either.
Anyway, since I need to graduate, I have to pour my energy into my massive courseload and just stop searching now. I still have a couple of balls in the air, but, at this point, I can’t reach out to anyone new because, hey — if I do get a job and then have to stick around Ithaca for an extra semester just to finish my degree anyway, that job won’t do me too much good, will it? =) Today was the deadline that I’d set for myself; I promised myself that if I didn’t have a job offer by now, I would turn my full attention back to my schoolwork.
Right now, the plan is to move back to Dallas and look for jobs from Bromberg HQ. Word on the street is that the computers, printers and broadband connections are much faster there than they are in my yucky college apartment, anyway. If anything happens between now and then, you, my dear fabulous readers, will be the first to know.