The Job Hunt, Such As It Is
Today, in frustration, I picked up the latest edition of that old standby, Richard Nelson Bolles's What Color Is Your Parachute?--and it's a good thing, too. It actually told me exactly what I already knew but needed forceful reminding of: online searches don't work, sending out resumes doesn't work, and this throw-things-until-they-stick mode of job searching is exactly what makes the conventional job search process so frustrating.
So the good news is that Bolles has provided me with a little bit of focus: You need to search from a position of strength and skill, which means you need to focus on what you actually want, not necessarily what'll pay the rent in the meantime. (That's the fallback I've been dreading.) I'm pretty clear now that I'm a good writer with a low boredom threshold, and I'd be happiest writing comedy (or, failing that, advertising or p.r). He also asks people to focus on how employers actually find people in the first place: by looking around their company already, then asking close associates, and basically doing everything they can to avoid a general advertisement for employees and the subsequent slog through piles of resumes.
What this means, among other things, is that statistics (apparently) tend to favor the guy who can politely gain a brief audience or introduction, and who then makes a brief pitch about how his skills can help the employer--ideally, of course, with an example of successful work in hand.
In other words, it looks like it's finally time to write my Office spec script--and probably a piece or two for The Daily Show. I've long known that a spec script is key to getting a job in the industry; I just forgot, until reading Bolles, that I could actually apply; that the job was an actual possibility and not an eternally-deferred dream. So that's what I'll be focusing on for the next week or so. (How long does a 22-minute script take?) Wish me luck!