My first post-grad school application was sent out in November 2008, which means I’ve been job searching for almost two full years. If not for having a personal connection to someone in a position of power, I would have spent the past year completely unemployed. My best shot at a job right now comes from my current position. Applying for jobs blindly, without any connections, is a shot in the dark in this economy. Kelly has had a different, but similar, experience.
A friend of mine from grad school was offered a position with an instructor’s firm and accepted (since there obviously wasn’t anything else available). Four months in, she hated it so much and wanted to quit so bad. She has a husband that makes quite a bit of money, so I wasn’t too concerned. Then she spoke with her former grad school advisor, who counseled her to stay put, due to the economy. She later told me, “It looks like the economy really is bad for hiring these days.” I was shocked. She knew exactly under what circumstances I was employed, and at the time Nick was still underemployed. How could she be so sheltered from this reality?
Fast forward to last week, where she is now getting excited about a new job in Virginia. She’s worked in northern Maryland and New Jersey, and is an out of state applicant for this Virginia position. She’s optimistic — only 8 people were chosen for the next round — and has started daydreaming about moving down there for this new job. And this is when I act as a wet blanket. You are getting your hopes up about the first job you’re applying for? For one out of state? I understand that it’s a pleasant thing to think about, especially when you hate your current job. But I have gone through so many “What ifs” and dreamt about various jobs in DC, New York, and Chicago, with absolutely no follow through, that I just want to shake her.
Of course I’m jaded and depressed about the whole thing. But folks should be a bit more realistic.
In happier news, I leave for New York/New Jersey today!