Twenty years ago – the last time I was looking for a job – I read somewhere that every job hunt looks something like this:
no no no no no no no no no no no no no no yes.
Times have changed. Nobody ever says no anymore. Now they just ignore you.
I spend at least a few hours applying for each job. I visit the employer’s website, I tailor my CV to the position I’m applying for, and I write the best damned cover letter I can.
And then? Absolutely nothing. Not even an acknowledgment that the CV was received.
I know, I know, everybody’s stressed for time and they get hundreds of applications for every job they advertise. I’ve been on the other side of the desk too, and I do understand.
But it’s been over a year since I’ve even had an interview. (Well, there was that government job with the multiple tests that led nowhere. I never got an interview, but at least they eventually told me I’d been eliminated from the competition.)
A couple of months ago I came close to getting something. It wasn’t a job, exactly, but it could have formed part of a patchwork quilt of mini-jobs.
An editor at a local newspaper contacted me. He said he’d been reading my blog, and he made me a proposition. If I would write them an op-ed, they’d publish it, and if all went well, they’d offer me an occasional (once or twice a month) paid gig writing op-eds about local issues.
I wrote it, they published it, and everything went well. But when I tried to follow up, my emails went unanswered. I later found out on Twitter that the newspaper, for reasons unknown to me, had fired the editor who made the offer.
Can you believe that??
I think I’m on the right track though. I need to stop looking for a job, and start looking for work. Lots of smaller organizations can’t afford to hire full-time writers, so they contract out their writing work to freelancers. I need to become one of those freelancers.
I’ve got one regular client. If I could get three or four more, I’d have the equivalent of a full-time job.
You know what’s ironic? In my old job we used to conduct research studies about the future of work, which amounted to short term precarious employment, contract work, no security, no benefits. And that’s what I’m now aspiring to.