Nearly two weeks ago, my talented and most experienced brother sent me a cursory New Year’s greeting, a positive one wishing me the best prospects for the year ahead. Added to that was a terse reminder to mail my resume and letter to a company with which he spent a few years of his professional life. A week before this message, I had thoughtlessly informed him and other loved ones that I had, indeed, mailed the resume, but did not expect to hear any news for at least another week or so owing to the fact that said company had closed for the holidays and would re-open sometime in the New Year.
Previously, I had given up on following up on non-responsive job applications. I simply sent them off and, without any expectation that there would be any reply or response, tried to carry on with my job crusade. But just yesterday I received news from my alma mater that they had appointed me as a junior lecturer and college administrator. Surprised to the extreme, I was understandably overjoyed and without any hesitation gave thanks.
Now, in regard to this career starter let me tell you, readers, that I made my application approximately seven or eight months ago. This contract represents a major career move because, for one thing, I studied towards it. Apparently I’m under-qualified (I need to step up to Honors and/or take my teaching diploma) but the faculty gave me the job anyway. This may have something to do with three things mentioned by the lecturers and professors. For starters, they had noticed my ‘obvious’ love for the work I was turning in for them each semester. Next, my results were good and I was recognized as one of their ‘top students’.
It may have helped that I’d already begun to establish my online presence as a casual writer. By that I mean I was writing prodigiously on mainly commercial topics, essentially copywriting, but for wages far below industry standards or recommendations. But, the competition for freelance jobs being as strong as it is along with the thousands of desperate workers trying to get a piece of the pie, allows companies, large or small, to profess their own ignorance and plead their non-existent poverty and go ahead and pay their outsourced workers at below the belt rates.
And while this happens, the authorities, professing to be overwhelmed with heavy caseloads, look the other way. But sometimes desperation finally begins to show promising results. Now that I’ve landed my college job, I have not yet settled down to relax and recuperate from all the long and painful hours of searching for my dream job in vain. The college job takes care of only a few financial necessities, so more work is still needed. Call it a hunt for a red, nuclear-powered submarine, but my hunt for another job must carry on post haste. Two people in the last few days gave me this sobering piece of advice; any job will do.
I also read a forecast from one of my country’s best-known and top economists the other day. Specifically related to our country, but pretty much a global picture too, things are not looking good for high school and college graduates. It may be near to impossible for us to land our chosen career job at this point. So this economist advises taking any job you can get. He said that at some stage in the future, things will turn out for the better and economies of scale will start to improve.
Now, in my trade, there may be positive trends to look forward to. For instance, as a qualified and experienced writer, I may eventually be able to land my dream job at a leading or growing publisher. Those who read and write prodigiously or at a professional level will know that it remains extremely difficult to break into the traditional book publishing business for a number of reasons that you may already be familiar with. But recent trends have seen a slow shift back to old-fashioned ways of practicing our crafts and hobbies.
In fact, these values were always the best to follow anyhow. As I speak, there’s a shift taking place. This shift is slowly but surely placing more emphasis on printed material rather than producing online publications which has been proven to be extremely difficult for readers to follow anyway. Evidence shows that there is a growing preference for good old fashioned books. I think I can use the following scenario to wrap up how I may be on the verge of finally making headway in my career as a writer and editor. Let’s begin by saying that it took me a while to adjust to online reading and writing.
Here’s the scenario then. It’s an ironic one because the man or woman sitting on the tube train travelling to or from work is still struggling to adjust his or her eyes and mind to reading short or long texts on viral white space. A continuous but ultimately distracting process of scrolling and tabbing to get to the next page is required. And sometimes speed slows to the degree that the readers lose patience and subsequently lose their concentration and interest in what they were following. Now, why was this scenario ironic then?
The readers in question are extremely well-educated. They have advanced college degrees which has equipped them well for their chosen careers. Out of necessity rather than pure interest, they adjusted themselves competently in the use of hardware and tools required to access and work with viral material. But while they were doing all of this, they could have just as easily been paging through their favorite (printed) books on the tube without any hindrances whatsoever. They accessed more information and stored it. And they enjoyed the process more.
Confident in the knowledge that the demand for old-school writers like myself is about to take off; I leave you to go and process my next job application.
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