Postcards from the unemployed

Now, I know this is primarily a books blog, and I’d rather not bore anyone with the personal drivelings of my life.  However,  I can’t help myself tonight.  This unemployment thing is really starting to wear on me.  (If I was 16, I’d insert a *frowny face* here.)  I know that a B.A. in English really isn’t as worthless as everyone says–there are plenty of jobs out there for people with my skill set.  Plus, I also have a journalism degree!  I know books AND can write practically anything.  What more could an employer want?

Something I don’t have at the moment, apparently.  My problem is that I’m trying so damn hard to change my situation–I’m being proactive and all that jazz–but it feels like I’m running into a brick wall.  Nothing I do seems to work in my favor.  Plus, there’s the perception issue.  Here I am, a recent college graduate, still living at home with my parents, with no job, no glamorous life…nothing.  I mean, I know my personal life is pretty damn good.  But a job is the way you advertise that life, the way you carve out your niche in this world and make a home.  It’s a status symbol, a way to make money, and it says something about you.   In short, a job is pretty damn important and it’s frustrating the hell out of me being denied one again and again.

Also, I’m not some lazy college grad who is riding out her parents’ money.  Unlike many of my peers who didn’t want to grow up, I chose NOT to go to graduate school.  Let me stress this point: I. Want. To. Work.  I don’t care if it’s shitty hours.  I don’t care if it doesn’t necessarily turn into a career.  All I would like is something in which I’m remotely interested, and something that utilizes the skills that I’ve nurtured over the years.  I mean, I didn’t go to school for nothing.  I don’t expect to be hired as a cubby reporter by a big-city newspaper, but I would like to write.  Is that too much to ask?

You know, after hours spent mulling over this conundrum–like you would suck on a sore tooth, say–I’ve realized that everything they tell you in school is a lie.  Work hard, they say.  Study.  Join extracurricular activities.  Get good grades.  Get internships.  Get experience.  Pour your life and soul into this thing call school so that you can achieve one goal:  get a good job.  However, for my generation–the ones that have burst optimistically onto the world stage during one of the worst recessions of our time–all that logic has gone up in a wisp of smoke.

Guess what?  It doesn’t matter what your grades were, or how successful you were in school.  It doesn’t even matter how many internships you landed, how much experience you have under your belt.  Nothing matters because there are NO jobs.  Not for us anyway.  Some have found jobs–either after months of searching, or because they had a friend of a friend who knew someone who put in a good word for them.  Otherwise known as: luck.  Everything is based on goddam luck in this game, and there’s nothing you can do to get yourself ahead.  Hard workers be damned.  You know, I heard Jenna Bush was hired on as a correspondent for the Today Show.  Real journalists would die to work for the Today Show.  But they hire Jenna Bush, who admits that journalism isn’t even what she wants to do.  OK, the journalist in me just died.

I know this isn’t the most optimistic of posts, and I apologize for that.  Unfortunately, this is how your faithful correspondent is feeling at the moment.  It’s been two weeks since I applied for jobs, I’ve gotten that discouraged.  I spoke with my boss today, and he reccomended freelancing while I wait to see what happens at the newspaper.  The company has offered buyouts to older employees, and they’re waiting to see how many will take the early retirement, thus leaving potential job openings.  However, it’s more likely that the paper will be functioning with a smaller staff for the upcoming year.   But I was “networking,” and he said he will definitely be thinking of me if he hears of anything.  I also received the same promise from another former internship boss, but I severely doubt I will hear anything from her.  I guess all I can do is wait, and hope that the money doesn’t run out.

OK, depressing blog post over.  I promise an uplifting weekly reading update tomorrow.

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