I’ve been looking for a job lately, and it’s been a much harder process than I’d like it to be. I have a steady retail job, but I recently graduated. So I’m looking for an editing or publishing position in the book industry. I’ve had to prioritize a lot in the last few months. I had to ask myself a lot of questions that I don’t necessarily have answers for.
- Where do you want to live?
Washington. Oregon. Colorado. Texas.
This isn’t a question I can answer so simply, though, because the most successful editors flourish in locations with worse traffic. I’m not sure how living in New York or Chicago would work for me. This also isn’t something I necessarily have to worry about until later in my career, though.
On the other hand, if I want a job sooner than later, I might have to look at places I’ve never considered living before. Some of them are fine, like Indiana and New Mexico. Others of them would take years for me to adjust to. The plus side of this is that I could do it for one year and begin applying for other jobs for which I would then be qualified.
- What sort of position are you really willing to take?
My first impulse was to apply in very limited locations to as many positions as possible. I looked at copy editing jobs for medical journals. Although this would be an interesting job, I cannot quite imagine myself loving it or feeling fulfilled by it.
Lately, I’ve been focusing my attention more on what I really want to do—book editing and publishing. Books and short stories, not scientific journals or newspapers, are my true interest. I don’t mind if they’re on a kindle or in hardback. Early in high school I went through a phase of manga and vampire books, but then my mother exposed me to Anaïs Nin’s diaries. In them, I discovered what literature should be. From then on, writing and editing have been my passion, and my goal in whatever genre is to help quality books be born.
I suppose, then, that the answer for me is that I am not going to sporadically apply to any job posting including the words “editor” or “proofreader.”
- How qualified am I?
I’ve had some difficulty answering this question. While I did get a degree in English in three years while doing internships, I’m not always confident that I can fulfill the duties of every job I apply for.
For instance, I apply eagerly for many jobs that require knowledge of AP style, but my thought process is flawed. I don’t know anything about AP style, really. I just figure I’ll figure it out on the way. This is not a way to make a good impression if you actually do end up with the job: “Thank you for hiring me! I’m going to be terrible at this for at least two months!”
To fix this particular problem, I’ve decided to buy all the essential style guides and learn them. Then—guess what—I’ll actually be qualified. I’ve begun to take the same steps in regard to web design and Adobe InDesign.
I’m also slightly confused by my own years of experience. While I had a year-long internship and a semester-long internship, neither was full time. I apply to anything requiring up to three years of experience, but I don’t always feel honest for claiming a year and a half even if it was.
It’s particularly funny that this is worrying me, however, because it is probably an easy question to look up on Google. I’ll save that activity for another day.
- How much will my future job impact my relationship?
This feels off topic because it’s a personal issue, but I honestly have no idea what could happen with this. He graduates in a year, so if I get a job it might be long distance for a while. I also worry that he wouldn’t be able to get a job where I decide to live, or vice versa. For now, I’ve been avoiding thinking about it. Number four just feels like such an imminent life complication.
- Should I stop all my bad habits?
Yes. Yes, I should. I know. Geez. Get off my back.
I mean should I stop all my habits because I’m looking for a job or is that a bad reason to grow up?
I don’t drink very much. It wouldn’t hurt to cut back, but even if I continue to drink as much as I do, I don’t drink enough to damage my health. One or two beers a night isn’t the worst thing I could be doing. I’ll just have to work out a little more pretty soon.
I smoke tobacco. Dokkha and hookah. I only do it at home, though, so, again, I’m failing to see why I should stop. It wouldn’t affect my job performance.
I have more bad habits, but so far they’ve only been justified like these two. From this I have to ask whether I’m just avoiding quitting them or am being irrational in calling these bad habits.