Off to Work I Go!

27 01 2011

It took 8 long months but I am proud to say that I have been offered a job and am finally going to be starting work in the real world on Monday. Look Mommy, wow! I’m a big girl now!

Technically I’ve been in the “real world” since graduating college in May but I can say without a doubt that these past months living at home have been like taking a step backwards in my maturation rather than helping me in my path toward adulthood. While my celebration dinner with my parents—accompanied with a Shirley temple and a hot chocolate lava cake (YUM)— got a little emotional toward the end as my mom pointed out the fact that once I move out it will be for good this time, I am extremely excited at the prospect of starting my working-girl lifestyle in the big bad city. I’m picturing lots of happy hours after a hard day’s work followed by glamorous nights out on the town with girlfriends on the weekends. Sex and the City minus all of the Manolo Blahniks, Fendi handbags, and endless dates with good-looking men, because lets face it—I’ve got an entry-level salary and there really aren’t that many eligible bachelors in New York City. Another thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older, not everything on TV is real. Harsh, I know. Enter sad face emoticon here.

But seriously if anyone out there has been looking for a job for a long while and is starting to get discouraged, just look to me and you should be able to feel better about yourself. I mean there were plenty of times when I got frustrated and depressed to the point where I felt like throwing in the towel and calling up the Betty Ford Clinic to see if they had an extra spot for moi . . . especially right around the time people in the grade below me started getting hired. But believe me, it’s so not worth it. From what I can tell, everyone leaves there with all their problems still in tact anyway. Just keep your integrity, don’t lose sight of your original goal, and keep yourself surrounded by positive people who love you, adore you, and have a good sense of humor.

I think since it’s awards season and the Oscar nominees were just announced it’s appropriate to use the following metaphor: I feel like I just won the Academy Award for Best New Hire. I know it’s not a category, I just made it up but it’s my Academy Award so let me have it. I mean, I had to go on about a billion interviews (auditions) before I got the job (part), which I practiced for hours by myself in front of the mirror (normal). And now I have found the perfect fit (role).

So now for my acceptance speech, please hold the clicking of the mouse (music) because really I think that’s so rude after all I’ve been through this year. I mean a summer job in retail, an internship in NYC, classes at NYU, a ruptured stomach ulcer . . . I think I deserve your attention. I promise to make it quick. So anyway as I was saying, I would like to thank my parents (the Academy) for supporting me financially and taking me in when nobody else would, my sister (agent/crew/director/producer/anyone I forgot) for allowing me to stay with her in New York until we find a better solution, and most of all to my new employer (the love of my life) for seeing in me what no one else could.

Now wish me luck on my first day!


NYU Bound

21 09 2010

I have been applying to jobs since December of my senior year. I’m tired. I’m tired of reading rejection letters and  hearing “Thanks, but no thanks.” I’m tired of feeling like I’ve tried everything – from networking and going on informational interviews, to interviewing for freelancing positions to applying for jobs I don’t even want. I’ve applied to them all — part-time, full-time, half-time, paid, unpaid, freelance, from-home , in-office. I’ve stalked HR departments, hunted down my favorite author, used parents’ connections and you would think that after all of this I would want to give up.

I’ve thought about it. But nope, not yet. As Destiny’s Child would say, “I’m a survivor.”

So I’ve decided to go back to school. With the little money I have left from my working days in retail and making minimum wage as a copy editor at my university’s newspaper, I am going to be taking night classes at NYU Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  I’ll be working toward my certificate in book editing to further spruce up my resume. The program offers exclusive job fairs with publishing companies and will hopefully help get my foot in the door with teachers who work in the business.

Thursday will be my first day of class and I haven’t been able to contain my excitement. I feel like a little kid on Christmas, which is really weird since I’m Jewish. My friends make it sound really exciting, though. I can’t wait to write on notebook paper with fresh ink from my brand new pens. I just love the excitement that new school supplies bring! I never thought I would miss being a student so much. I feel like such a nerd but I can not wait to learn all about the book publishing industry and prove that I belong in this field.

I am upset about having class Thursday night, though, because I will be missing part of the Pitt football game vs. Miami. My new school is conflicting with my old school and I was hoping that I would never have to choose. However, I can’t miss my first day of class and I will rush home in time for the end of the game. I hope Pitt understands and knows that my heart will always remain loyal to the Panthers (thank goodness NYU doesn’t have a football team).

Wish me luck on my first day!

The Labor of Looking

8 09 2010

This Labor Day weekend was a strange one for me — with my being jobless and all. As always the three-day weekend marked the end to summer and the beginning of the unofficial fall season. To many it meant one last weekend of freedom before the start of another school year. To others it meant an extra day off work.

As my more fortunate friends headed back to college I tried to avoid Facebook, Twitter and any other forms of social networking. The last thing I needed, other than realizing that it was September and I was still jobless, was to see how much fun everyone else was having back at school.

Instead I caught up with some of my working friends and family. Seeing them complain about their work week made me feel guilty about my plans to go to the beach all weekend when I was already the most tan one among them. They made me contemplate what it was that I deserved a Labor Day weekend for. Did I currently live such a laborious lifestyle? After doing some hard thinking I came to the conclusion that, yes, I did.

While I got my hair cut today my hair stylist, Sue, said it best. “Looking for a job is a job within itself.” And nothing could be more true. I have been working extremely hard five days a week — sometimes even six or seven — looking for, applying to and interviewing for jobs. I am constantly thinking of ways to improve my resume and cover letter. I am constantly marketing myself and at the end of the day, frankly, I’m exhausted. Just because I work from home, using my phone and computer most of the time, and am able to fit in some sunbathing on the clock does not mean my job shouldn’t be taken seriously.

So when people ask me what I’m doing these days I am no longer going to be ashamed of saying “Oh, I’m just looking for a job.” Looking for a job is hard work. Especially in today’s economy. It’s slim pickings out there and I am not just sitting around waiting for something to fall into my lap. I have been doing everything in my power to make something happen for myself and its truly tough.

So I celebrated this Labor Day by putting my feet in the sand, because I deserved a break just like the rest of the working world. Today it was back to work for me. I just hope that someday soon my job comes with a salary to match my hard work.

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