I’m unemployed. This is something new for me, after having been at my last job for 15 years. I’m a writer. This is not new; I’ve been a writer ever since I submitted a story about the arrival of our rambunctious Irish terrier puppy to one of my mother’s magazines (probably Ladies’ Home Journal or McCalls) and received a sweetly encouraging rejection letter. (Did they know I was a teenager? I had not yet learned most rejection letters were perfunctory.)
Last summer, shortly after I had dragged my bruised and bloodied ego into a Five O’Clock Club meeting, my career coach, Renee Lee Rosenberg, suggested that I blog. But about what? I was still smarting, and wasn’t sure I wanted every twist and turn of my job search exposed. I briefly considered blogging about having adopted a new cat, my first in 15 years … but worried that would have branded me as a crazy cat lady. Billy was about as much newness as I could let into my life just then; rescued rail-thin and scruffy from the streets of the Bronx, he turned around and proceeded to rescue me.
As the months wore on and the job applications went unanswered, I let leads slide away from me. Job-hunting, I had heard over and over again, is a full-time job itself. But I was used to having something to show for a day’s work: an issue planned, writers lined up, articles edited, an interview transcribed, a profile written. You know, accomplishments. This felt like one of those ineffectual dreams where your feet keep churning up the stairs but you aren’t actually going anywhere. I kept on slogging; I had to. At least I got satisfaction from adding contacts to my LinkedIn profile.
Then I got an e-mail from a contact: “Couldn’t find you on Twitter; would you please request to follow me and I’ll reciprocate?” I had set up but never used an account; now, realizing I could actually protect my tweets while I got started, I began to explore. My first weeks on Twitter, I shared my activities, got safety updates on the muggings in Inwood, marveled at Ruth Reichl’s breakfasts, and snared a special ticket offer at Symphony Space … and I was hooked.
Things began to happen. After I found a Metrocard on the sidewalk with a single word on the back: optimism (and three dollars on it, no less!), I got a job interview. Joked about the Metrocard in an elevator and met a headhunter. Joked about that at the Five O’Clock Club and, after I was asked to share my “elevator pitch,” got a job lead. Enthused about Twitter to someone at a concert who turned out to be the author of a book about Twitter as a job-search tool and the organizer of a Meetup group, which I joined.
In addition to my own Twitter account, I set up one for a music ensemble on whose board I serve. They were thrilled, having heard at every conference that Twitter is a necessity; I was delighted to expand my skills and knowledge. Explaining Twitter to a couple of 30-somethings at a party, I suddenly felt … well, cool. I realized I no longer felt like an anachronism, tossed aside while the rest of the world marched on.
There was one last step to take: unprotecting my tweets. Once I did, I was ready to be found. I was nervous. I was excited. And then it hit me: all it takes to move forward is something new: one new thing. The next one would be a blog.
Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized
Tags: blogging, cat, Five O'Clock Club, headhunter, job application, job hunting, job interview, job search, LinkedIn, Metrocard, Twitter, unemployed, writer
You can comment below
, or link to this permanent URL
from your own site.