Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting a little dangerous

So, after talking to a neighbor as I was on my way home from yoga last night, I realized that on July 7 it will be three months that I have been without a steady job. The few freelance gigs I had on the outset really helped keep my chin up. They also helped me keep a nice schedule. They got me out of the house. They gave me a real sense that I could transition. But, they're gone now.

And I am left without work. Without a job. Without a reason to get up in the morning other than laundry and dishes, which is not a reason to get up in the morning but a reason to avoid getting up in the morning.

As a condition of collecting unemployment, you have to look for work. I totally get that. I am more than willing to do at least 5 work searches every week. Hell, at this point I've applied to almost 30 jobs and done about 90 searches. I'm good at looking for a job. I think the job, though, is piss-poor about finding me.

After applying to more than my fair share of job openings, I have yet to get a call. No phone interviews. No in-person interviews. Nothing.

So, my confidence is getting a little shaky. I'm getting a little tired of the passive rejection. And I'm thinking of changing careers.

This is probably a big shocker to anyone that knows me. They know me as a writer. They know that ever since I learned to write that I found it irresistible. I love words. I love reading them and I love editing, and I am pretty sure that I will find it very hard to pick up another profession because I love this one so much.

Trouble is, the newspaper industry has left a lot of casualties in its wake, and there are more than too many unemployed editors and writers that have gobs more experience than me vying for the same positions. My meager resume doesn't stand a chance against a veteran assignment editor.

So, here's the mental list I've been mulling.

Top 5 careers I might consider retraining for:

5) Welder and fabricator. If you've seen flashdance, you know that a chick welding is hot.

4) Portrait photographer. I did this semi-professionally in college. I hated it. It's an option, though.

3) Go back to school for a master's degree. I'd likely try for something in natural resources, something related to public policy.

2) Write a book. (Pshaw...)

1) Open my own creperie.

Suggestions? Anything I should consider that I left out?


Josh said...

I'm all about the creperie one. But maybe, to keep your overhead low, you can start out by just pushing a cart around downtown, selling crepes to people on their lunchbreak (or tourists). That way you can kind of set your own schedule too.

Maybe you can call it Travlin' Crepes or Crepes On The Go!

I'm just brainstorming here.

The Famulus said...

Surely pole dancing is an option? No? Being picky eh? OK. Right. Well, starting up your own business doing anything that you have confidence in is always a good way to go.

I've never liked working for others and always been freelance.

But basically, if you think it might be rewarding and you think you can make a living from it, go for it. :-)

Hope it works out, whatever you choose.

Kyla Roma said...

If you start a creperie I will move to your corner of the world and run it with you, and demand that you teach me how to knit.

I'm sorry you're struggling, Miss- I'm sending extremely positive thoughts your way.

sequined said...

That is so frustrating! And I 100% understand how hard it is to not have a reason to wake up.

Possibly useless advice, I don't know: can you look at other kinds of writing--even branching pretty far out into teaching or grant writing or copy writing or advertising or anything like that (or anything for a small company, where writing might become part of your broad range of duties) so that you're at least employed and gaining "experience"?

I do know it's hard to be looking for a job; a friend of mine searched for journalism jobs for seven months before taking a project manager position (which involves writing only in the "collecting information" sense) because it was her best bet to make money. It's a shitty time to be a writer.

db said...

Um, hello? Why don't you start selling those awesome things you knit? You love knitting, you could open an etsy store, and maybe make a little money at something you love while waiting for the writing gig to find you!
Plus, just because you don't write to make your living, doesn't make you not a writer. A writer is a writer is a writer. So, you could be a writer who knits to eat! I am a writer who teaches (horribly and ineffectively) to eat!!
I would totally order your knits!

Jo said...

Josh: Dave and I have been bouncing around the idea of a creperie and niche bookstore called "The Crepes of Wrath." It would, of course, have its own Steinbeck section.

Famulus: Pole dancing is out. Big time out. I did consider doing a yoga teacher training, though. I think I'm still considering it.

I liked freelancing, but freelance gigs as a writer and editor are few and far between. I had more luck as a political strategist.

Kyla: You're on! Thanks for the good vibes!

Sequined: I'm looking into jobs like PR and marketing copywriting and grant and technical writing. The idea of doing something so dry and boring does make me gag, but it's a paycheck.

Danielle: You do not know how many times I've been told to knit things and sell them. I do prefer to give my knitted items away, especially since I would have a hard time assigning value to labor that I really enjoy.

Gina said...

Delurking to comment on tech writing. I'm a tech writer, and though I guess a lot of it could be considered 'dry and boring,' I am continually surprised by how much I've enjoyed learning about the fields I've worked in. It may be that I just have the personality where I tend to find everything interesting, though ;)

Also, I got laid off from my previous job three weeks ago as of tomorrow. I started a new job today, and I have another company that would like to make me an offer if other things fall in place. So, yeah, not a bad time to be a tech writer.

Olivia said...

Creperie, creperie! Oh my God I love the Crepes of Wrath! Oh please do that!

pinkexplosion said...

Hmmm I have a friend whose husband is being deployed soon and needs someone to come help her in the evenings. I know how much she is paying, and it's crazy. Anywho it is in North Carolina, only for a year and you would miss your husband. Sounds great right?