After my recent post about my intern days at KCTS Television back in the early 90’s, details came flooding back to me. Not necessarily about the internship itself, but the socioeconomic climate of living in Seattle at that time. I couldn’t find work after college. I worked diligently on finding work like it was job itself; a perfect resume, job seeking guidance counseling, job guidebooks, and career interest questionnaires. I applied for jobs in industries that interested me: newspapers, television stations, advertising and marketing firms, and other writer/editor style jobs. Nothing. It got so bad that whenever I received a “thin” envelope in the mail from a place where I applied, I didn’t even bother to open it.
So, as my internship at KCTS was nearly at a close, I really got into the groove of the job and liked it. But I liked money. I liked sleep. I liked to eat. I had no insurance coverage—I wanted medical and dental. I was tired of working my crud job AND doing this internship. I needed the station to give me a paying job. And with the economy then, the depletion of public television funding, it was looking grim.
Then, the beautiful day came right before spring where I was offered a jr. production job with one of the producers. I was thrilled! I felt like Mary Tyler Moore, making it the world! I could turn on the world with my smile I was so happy.
Ah, but like all young ones, especially those who were extra eager and thirsting to grow like me, fall and tend to fall hard. Grant money fell through. No project. No job. No hope. Internship up. Game over.
Back to the crud job, making photocopies and fixing copier jams. I spent a good deal of my spare time sending resumes and figuring out how to pay bills.
I applied at King 5 Television for an associate producer slot at the local show. I applied for it, fully prepared to recycle my thin letter. I actually got an interview. I thought it was a courtesy one, so I didn’t feel nervous. After standard interview stuff, I left and figured I wouldn’t be back.
The next interview was grueling and I quickly realized that I didn’t have the skills for this and that I didn’t want to learn the skills for this kind of production. So, again, I relaxed, was honest when I didn’t know something, and counted down the time when I would be done. Then I was told I was in the top three. Huh? They asked me to come up with 25 ideas/pitches for the show and come back tomorrow.
I was young and dumb. I wanted insurance. So, I did the assignment. It was very hard. But I worked hard because I felt like I had too. My boyfriend at the time mentioned that they are probably NOT going to hire me and that they’ll just rip off my ideas. I didn’t believe that at first, but when you are tired, worn thin, and it’s 1:00 AM and you need five more ideas, you believe anything. So, I made a note to self: need different boyfriend, need different plan, need to be honest, need sleep.
I went to the third interview, exhausted, lackluster, and got hammered. In the end I got rejected for the job. I suspect young job seekers these days, in this economy, have the same battle. I would hope they wouldn’t beat themselves up, but I know they do.
Readers/Bloggers: Job tales you want to share? Lessons learned?