Monday, August 12, 2013

The Job Hunt

I am embarking on a journey that just about all of you can relate to...I am job hunting.

This is not a task for the faint of heart. It involves hours of combing through Craigslist postings, typing out prior job information for applications that is easily found on one's resume, and convincing potential employers and yourself that you are absolutely, positively, the person they want for the job. Even if you have just moved to a new state and are trying to get a job at a magazine geared to that state. Of course I am perfect for the job, Sir/Ma'am. Yes, I have next to no experience with the great state of Connecticut, but I am a quick learner and a hard worker.

Just how far will being a hard worker take me?

When I began my job as a preschool teacher, I had no experience at preschools. I had a college degree, high school job experience (lots of babysitting!), and one internship, and my boss took a chance on me and hired me as an aide. After a year I took on my own classroom and learned so much through my experience. I will always look back on my time at the preschool warmly, and be grateful that I received that opportunity.

Now that I am job hunting again, I keep thinking back to that job hunt two years ago. I threw myself into job hunting, cold calling private schools all over Santa Barbara, filling out nine page applications which included my beliefs on everything from marijuana to the Trinity, and ultimately scored a handful of interviews which led to my preschool job. I viewed the job hunt as a full time job itself, and with the gracious professional advice and assistance of my dad, cranked out cover letters and phone calls for hours at a time. I was incredibly blessed to find my job as quickly as I did. Other, more qualified people than me found it harder to find a job.

I had a lot of direction back then, and focused my search on schools and preschools. Now, I find myself a bit directionless. I know that I want to write. The question is, how do I get paid to write? Not only do I need to work hard to find a job, I also need to work hard to figure out what that job might be. And that's what makes this job hunt seem more difficult than the last one.

Ultimately, I am my biggest enemy in the job hunt. Chances are, if a company is hiring, they are looking for someone hard-working and dedicated, and I fit that description. Yet in the process of the job hunt, it's far too easy to put myself down and tell myself that I am not qualified for the jobs that I apply for. Sometimes I am tempted to just not apply and keep questing for that elusive perfect job.

After only a few days of searching, I quickly realized the key to my job search: when I feel that I am not qualified, that is the time to apply. When I start telling myself I can't do it, I need to counter this negative voice with action. Writing cover letters and sending in applications does wonders for combating this attitude. When I feel like I am doing something, no matter how much of a long shot the job applied for may be, it makes me feel productive. It makes me feel more successful just to put myself out there, and trust that something will come of it, as well as trust that God has placed Aaron and me in Connecticut for a reason.

If I think it's hard to break into the writing business, I just need to remember that I once felt it was hard to break into the education business.

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