It has been three years since I graduated from Temple University, as a communications major. However, in those three years, I have technically been unemployed. Having no job at all after three years sounds pretty bad, but it speaks to how tough it is to find work. Yet it’s partly my fault, since I spent more time looking for a job in my first year out of college than my last two.
I was bailed out by Associated Content and by self-publishing books, but before long, it will be time for me to send out resumes again. Like millions of others, it is my hope that things will go better next time around.
After college, I had racked up a resume that I hoped would get me a journalism job. I was the first student copy editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and had excelled in many other journalism classes. So for about a year, I sent out resumes to a lot of local papers and publications. But I never even got so much as a rejection letter.
As it turned out, I probably had a better chance getting a job then than I do now, since this came before the recession officially began. But both then and now, journalism was hardly the industry to go to for new jobs. With the newspaper business struggling as a whole, papers have more pressing things to do than hire young, unknown copy editors and writers.
However, the lack of success on the job hunt yielded an unlikely side effect. Because I had a lot of free time on my hands now, my dad suggested I should get my name out there via writing. As such, he found a website called Associated Content for me, and after a slow start, it became a much needed source of income.
Because of my success at AC, I didn’t have to press so hard for an official job. In fact, if I had gotten one, I never would have made a living at AC — or gotten inspired to self publish books about Lost on the side.
Not having a job is still difficult in many ways. Yet my unofficial job at AC provides much needed money for my household, which I wouldn’t have gotten so easily at an office job. Since I provide so much for my home, I don’t need to move out any time soon, and so I have a relatively stable life.
I have used Associated Content to get my name out there, and it has paid off in many ways. I made a cameo on The Situation Room last summer, and have an article on Philadelphia sports at the Sports Illustrated website right now. AC’s partners are aware of who I am, and Yahoo will soon know who I am when they take over. As such, my hopes are that eventually, some big company will decide to take a long term chance on me.
However, I have a more uphill battle when it comes to my book career. I can’t consider myself a true author, until I don’t have to pay a company to publish my work. So I have to go back and submit resumes all over again to major publishers, and send manuscripts to them as well. Until then, I have to self-publish a final Lost book, and maybe even self-publish my first original manuscript.
It combines vampires and politics, which are two major genres by themselves – but even that kind of book may be hard to publish. After all, I’m not a big name yet, and the publishing industry is even harder to break into now than journalism.
My dad always says that I just need one big break to make it huge. Given my resume at AC, and the fact that I’m writing books at 25, I technically have a head start already. However, it won’t be long until that head start is forfeited, unless I get that break. Yet at heart, my story is no different than that of the other job-hunters out there.