We are apparently in a world where a person can go through a second-round interview--after they reject you once, then call you back in--then hear absolutely nothing. I get that folks are busy, but if I'm covering all of my thank-you note bases and you are, presumably, down to your final candidates, can you not at least notify me? Just seems like courtesy to me. Sigh.
That's the job market today, though, apparently. I'm in the process of signing up for a temp agency (with two more on the horizon once I get my portfolio together). Dude told me that they don't have much, and, uh, where are my administrative skills, again? Seriously. I found myself doing what I hoped was a persuasive hard sell on the fact that I have administrative skills. After working in an office of some sort for a gazillion years, doing letters, mail merges, excel sheets, and overseeing publications dissemination and mailing house details, I'm apparently not qualified for low-pay, low-level administrative work.
I can't decide whether I'm naive or just deluded, but my experience of lower-level administrative positions is that when you're looking to fill them, you long for the folks who can think independently, follow instructions, and be smart about things. This has been the case for every person I've ever hired to help me, anyway. It was by no means a common trait.
I could manage plugging ever onward if I knew that it was just a matter of patience and targeting. But what's really getting me down are all the implicit judgments: idiots on facebook yammering about all the shiftless, money-sucking unemployed people taking all their hard-earned money; well-meaning folks wondering why shiftless money-sucking unemployed people don't just take any job (do you know how it's not a simple tier, at least for employers, and that you're competing with people with retail experience, restaurant experience, ahem, administrative experience?).
You'd think that it would be easier to find a job when you're focusing on your writing and just need income. Flexibility! I'll do whatever, I'm not picky. But why should any employer who has their pick of really dedicated, career-oriented people pick this person who--seemingly, but not in actual fact--has one foot out the door. And all of the career mistakes I've made up until this point really get hammered home. Yes, I stayed too long for the secure paycheck, and if I were really so smart, savvy, and talented, wouldn't someone else have hired me on? In a perfect universe, signs point to yes. And we loop back around to: "well, why are you XYZ? Clearly you weren't the very tippy top, so we don't have any interest in you."
This is all starting to get to me, big time. In some ways, it was easier out of the undergrad gate. I had a spiffy degree from a decent university and could write a persuasive letter. No tea-leaf dregs of my entire work history to scrutinize.
Clearly I just need to hit it big with my novel.