Now, it’s possible that my powers of job-finding are only legendary in my head, but I like to believe that the world plays along with my incredible narcissism for my safety. That’s nice of you guys. Thank you.
Regardless, I am a strong believer in sharing the knowledge you’ve gained with others. You will always have competition, but I believe that if you can share your greatness, you will not only have competition, but allies. And allies in a race are a powerful thing. So I invite you, fellow writers, artists, journalists, crazies and creatives, to use my knowledge for your gain. And when these methods boost you into superstardom, I want you to remember my lonely self and how desperately you want to fund the writing of my first novel in a lovely cabin on the Cayman Islands (but more on this later…). Think of it as a long-term investment.
This being said, I’m also doing this for myself. I need to write something for my blog, like I promised, and all I’ve been mainly thinking about is jobs. See: me needing to move out of my house. So why not write about it?
Let me get started with the basics.*
Normal Job Sites
These are great when you have general skills that need monetary fulfillment. Some focus more on media, others on academia, and more others on publishing or freelancing. Depending on what you’re into (or how desperate you are for money), troll accordingly. Why do I know about all the sites? Because I am desperate. Or awesome. Or my personal blend of desperawesome.
- Quill and Quire
- Journalism Jobs
- Jeff Gaulin’s Job Board
(my personal favourite – the coolest jobs end up here)
- Media Job Search Canada
- Freelance Writing Jobs
OF COURSE. If you’re not on LinkedIn and you’re looking for jobs, slap yourself in the face.
- Company Websites – Penguin, Harlequin (represeeeeent), Harper Collins, The Walrus etc.
- Charity Village
For the more altruistic.
For the deluded idea that you can ever survive off of poetry submissions to lit mags that are more broke than you are.
The Ever-Hiring Twitterverse
If you’re a keener on social media like I am (woe is my dignity), this can be a minefield that blows up and you discover you’re sitting on an oil field. Wonderful stuff, really.
- Best jobs in Van(couver), Canada
I’m sure these exist for other cities too, but I just follow Vancouver because it makes absolutely no sense for me.
- Canada Arts Connect
- Cultural Jobs Canada
- Other journalists!/writers!/media companies!/job site companies!/
Side note # 231: I got contacted by Colleges Ontario THROUGH TWITTER to take part in this AMAZING Higher Education Conference in November which is the most legit thing I’ve possibly ever been involved in. You guys, they are pretty convinced I’m a real person, which makes me feel more so. THROUGH TWITTER, though.
Exploiting Personal Connections
Sometimes, a little shmoozing (or informational interviewing) can do you a whole bank-account worth of goodness. That you can count. In dollars. There’s no links for this except LinkedIn and your current network, whether that’s on Facebook or in real life (congrats on having a real life!). For example, as you can see on my Writing page, I’ve become a member of the Editors’ Association of Canada, and I’m a content manager for the Society of Technical Communication thanks to a prof that recommended me there last year. These are places that have job boards and people who are much wiser than I am and, I’m sure, full to bursting with advice for youngsters in the industry like myself. Here’s hoping anyway.
Another connection I’ve been wholeheartedly abusing is my dad’s job. He works at IBM as a… I want to say software engineer, but I honestly have no idea. He has 3 master’s degrees, so he might be helping IBM obtain a nuclear program for all I know.
That being said, any large corporation has writers. Internal communications, marketing, and, at IBM, technical writers and editors. His friends are helping me fix up my resume and pointing me towards job postings almost daily, and while it can be a little intimidating to apply to a job where “Oracle” is a skill (I’m not a magician, guys, or a mystic – at least the last time I checked…) I’m glad that I have friends guiding me. Even to experience the kindness of people willing to help you out is a reassuring moment in a day where every moment you’ve spent playing XBox instead of learning complex programming languages is playing through your head with “STUPID IDIOT GODDAMNIT” captioned over each image.
So anyway, get out there and join some professional organizations, liaise with fellow writers/editors/artists (while using words like liaise), and get known and remembered when opportunities come up!
And of course…
Once you scroll down the list of possible job opportunities and your voice mail isn’t full of offers, there are still places you can go. And they’re not even the shiesty versions of behind-the-liquor-store. They’re like, legit. Sometimes. If they’re the government, they’re covertly legit but might never call you back.
- Government Art groups that you can hit up for cashmonies. See here, here, and here.
(Note: these levels get harder to play the further along you go in that sentence. Make sure to level up or have some sort of legitimate artistic standing before trying to pitch yourself to these places.) (What is “legitimate artistic standing” you might ask? Not a notebook full of scribbles.)
Yes, there are creepy offers. But there are plenty of real ones. And while they may not all be long-term, they’ll either provide you with
soberingtroubling life lessons or an extra credit on your resume and some writerly experience.
even after all this, I still don’t have a job.
Part of this is because my university is a buttcrack that clenches any time you want to release some pressure and thus doesn’t offer night courses (which bars me from working a normal full-time job unless a company is literally willing to bend over like Cirque du Soleil for me), but another big reason is because it’s daunting, even for the Queen of the Cover Letter to write one hopeless letter after another, begging for an inconvenient job.
It’s tiring and demoralizing, as everyone’s job search tends to be these days. However, the more I talk to others, the more I relax. Weird job connections happen all the time. My friend, a chef, literally chatted up a woman for whom he was cooking one night at his restaurant who knew managers and head chefs at places in the Cayman Islands. Now his resume is circulating amongst them. Thanks to a woman he cooked for.
So after all this insane obsessing, maybe once I get a job, I can get back into some real hobbies again, as opposed to the job-board trolling and networking lunches that currently take up the bulk of that oh-so-fun time slot.
Sidenote: to all those that have met with me, thank you. I’m not saying it wasn’t informative and fun. Just that I kind of want to get paid. Truce?
If you’ve gotten to the end, I commend you.
If I’ve helped, I expect royalties.
Best of luck,
*These sites are mainly geared towards CANADIAN job markets, as opposed to US ones. Although some websites swing both ways of the border (and lucky you if you can work in the States, because their selection is like a buffet, whereas ours is a university students’ pantry.