The Hungry Writer

An unemployed writer keeping sane during The Depression II.

Another happy day done.

Posted by The eDater on January 26, 2009

Apps today: 1

Projects worked on: 2

WHAM is right baby!

WHAM is right baby!

Y’know, this job search is very enlightening. All the pundits talking about the economy really should take a moment to pretend they’re unemployed, and see what a job search looks like today.

The anecdote I use to explain it to friends involves Craigslist. You see, I love New York. I’d really like to live there.

So, every day, I’m checking the New York writers and editors jobs page on Craigslist. (I check elsewhere too, of course – but this anecdote is limited in scope.) Last time I was searching for work, if you visited the site around noon, the first page (100 posts) were all from that day, with a good bit of the second page also filled. All from that morning.

Now, you go, and the first page goes back a week or more. Take today – it was a Monday, a pretty big hiring day. Definitely above average – 14 posts.

Of those 14, one was glorified spam, trying to get folks to sign up for a website. Three were for translators. Five were for low-paying or no-paying internships. Seven were actually for some kind of real job – and only one of those in any way fit my skill set.

That’s for all of New York – and of course, there’s something like twice the number of folks actively searching now compared with a couple years ago. At least.

I sometimes consider starting a pool. We could call it Degrees of Desperation.

Family and friends could bet how long it takes me to lower my standards – with multiple winners. Say, how long before I stop trying just for jobs I’d like, and start applying to anything where I might have a chance. How long before I give up my favorite destinations, and start applying to any and every corner of the globe. (Ironically, I’d do better outside America given my work history, but I’m not ready to break my ma’s heart again, not just yet.) How long to forget my industry, and start applying entry level elsewhere. How long to go from skilled to unskilled. And don’t forget, I know there’s a bunch more unemployed just lurking, waiting to join the search. Delay too long, and those Starbucks jobs could be gone before I’ve gotten to the lowest level of desperation!

That would make for a very hungry writer.

I’m convinced, with all the variables, this would be quite an exciting pool. If you want to start it up in the comments, I just want to say – I can be bribed. Easily.

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