Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Oh, happy day!
I have a biiiig announcement -- no, not a book deal, but something just as important to Reese Family, Inc.'s bottom line.
I. Have. A. Job. Offer.
A good one. With a good company. Making what I was making with my previous employer.
Oh, and did I tell you the BEST news? The office? It's five minutes from my house.
Of course, my REAL office would be mostly in my car, but that's something I've grown accustomed to over the years.
I HAD planned to write about how the job hunt process was remarkably similar to the Great Agent Hunt, especially after Jeffe Kennedy had announced her very interesting post today about the same thing. I trust serendipity, trust timing, and after my good news this afternoon, I can't ignore such big smoke signals in the sky. Maybe someone somehow will get some encouragement out of what I have to say.
Before I embarked on this job hunt, I hadn't actively pounded the pavement for a job since 1992, during the middle of another recession. It was hard then -- nobody would believe an ex-teacher would STAY an ex-teacher. I looked, on and off, for about a year for a job, but I was able to be picky then. I only applied for the jobs that sparked my interest.
The job changes I've had since, for the most part, were jobs that sort of fell in my lap. I never was out of work between them. And then .. boom. Right outta left field, I found myself without a job, without insurance, WITH a family who depended on me.
I cried. And I don't cry that often. The Husband says that I'm the sort of person who would join the cockroaches after thermo-nuclear war, scrabbling out from under the wreckage, saying, "OK, let's make the best of it." But this just socked me in the gut.
But like the roaches, I soldiered on. I found a job opening or two, and I read them, and I thought, "Huh. Sounds like something I could do. I'll apply." Repeat, repeat, repeat.
In the real world? No response means no for prospective employers, too. The most discouraging times were when I'd sent in my best polished resume and my best cover letter and my best list of references, and I'd wait for a call to interview ... only to have a silent phone, and a few days later, see the job posting quietly disappear from the website.
That's remarkably how it was with me pre-pubbed (or even post-pubbed) and writing. I'd think I nailed it, only to, at best, get a "meh" response.
Like Jeffe points out in her blog, the query letter is your cover letter, the resume your partial or your synop. The request for more? Well, that's the interview in job-hunting terms. And the competition? It's just as stiff. One job that I applied for had over 100 applicants -- and it had only been posted on ONE website for two weeks. I felt like a winner just getting an interview for that one.
The one thing that I kept holding onto throughout this process is the fact that so much of the time, either in writing or job-hunting, agents, publishers and prospective employers are right when they shrug and say, "It's not you, it's me." Just as I don't ever want to write for a house or an editor or an agent that feels tepid about me, I didn't want to work for someone who was just using me to fill a hole. I wanted them to love me, to feel excited about me. And if they didn't feel that way, then that wasn't where God wanted me to be. Same with you -- DON'T sell yourself short.
These folks? They like me, they really, really like me! Fingers crossed that everything works out -- for you in your publishing dreams, and for me in my prospective dayjob.