The Dreaded Job Hunt

On the 7th June, my university career ended – I finished my three-day run of Caryl Churchill’s Fen, closed up my coursework folders for the last time, and sighed a sigh of relief once more about my dissertation marks and upcoming graduation. I still have a month to go before I get to throw that cap into the air, but I am finally relaxed, breathing in the summer, and relieved that the degree is all over.

Now begins another long journey – the one towards my chosen career, where my dreams, passions, and ambitions are to be tested and questioned, along with my patience. Since February this year I have applied for nearly 30 jobs of varying levels of practicality, likelihood, and interest. Being pro-active, my CV is thankfully bursting with relevant experience, and my fingertips filled with enthusiastic cover letters. However, now that studying is over and my part-time work is only providing half a dozen shifts a month, I begin the slow process of ever-increasing applications.

Job hunting is something that everyone dreads. It is filled with disappointment, frustration, and the tedious task of re-wording a cover letter as many times as possible in an attempt to remain enthusiastic. But what is keeping me going is the knowledge that I have found a career path that I am excited by, and that I am willing to work for. When I started university I didn’t really know where I was heading – I chose my degree because I enjoyed the subject, not because of its job prospects, and it was only through one bored summer where I got a placement at Penguin Books that I discovered publishing. It was one of those occasions where everything just clicked; the office was fun, every day was different, and even the mundane tasks were completed with a sense of satisfaction. Seeing a piece of text go from manuscript to publication is incredible, and to be a part of that journey has become an ambition.

That is undoubtedly the key – find something that excites you and keeps you interested, even at its most every day and boring. Similarly, if you haven’t found that niche yet, get some experience with a hobby you enjoy, and you might just find your calling. I emailed Penguin because I like books, and wanted to try something different. It wasn’t my intention to discover my profession, I just wanted to fill up a week. What’s the thing you do to relax? The activity you turn to when you’ve got free time? The place you dream of when you’re stuck with nothing to do? That might well be a good place to start.

So I continue to hunt – with a list of over 60 publishers to sift through daily, and increasingly creative ways to say “I’m really keen!”, my job hunt begins in earnest. In fact, just this morning I sent off number 28, possibly with my strongest cover letter yet. Watch this space… soon, I may be magnifying Editorial Assistant.

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